Aug 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Arizona Cardinals tackle Levi Brown (75) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won the game 27-17. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Still to become official later today the Arizona Cardinals have traded 2007 first round draft pick Levi Brown to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a rumored late round draft pick. Options include a sixth or fifth, versus a two pick swap like the Ravens did for Eugene Monroe formerly of Jacksonville. The Cardinals were looking to dump Levi Browns $4.75 million salary at the end of the season and now receive a draft pick.
Brown is departing a disappointment considering his draft position and the talent that was taken after him. He arrives in Pittsburgh ranked 60th out of 72 tackles and is asked to replace 68th ranked Mike Adams. This has been titled a desperation move as the Steelers obtain another tackle in the lower 10 when it comes to pass protection.
Replacing Brown will be Bradley Sowell who is an undrafted free agent from 2012 and is familiar with coach Arians system due to playing for the Colts last year. A description of the trade by Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report has Levi Brown being a better option than using untapped talent, which is exactly what Arizona is looking to do with Sowell who is unproven. Sowell has been reported to have given Anthony Castonzo a run for his money while in Indianapolis’s camp and noted as coming to Arizona having the mental part down, just needing experience to flourish. The production ceiling that Brown leaves isn’t remarkable and Sowell may end the season with a higher ranking than Brown. This goal is certainly reachable with “untapped” talent.
The Cardinals may address the loss of Brown by free agency. Likely moves include bringing back Chilo Rachal at guard and moving Nate Potter to tackle again. Recently worked out tackles on the market include Frank Omiyale who is an average skilled swiss army knife lineman who plays guard and tackle. The other option is former top pick Jason Smith who worked out for the 49ers less than a month ago but has been on 3 teams the last year.
In the end the Cardinals got something they desired for the future which was dumping Browns contract and poor production. They will try to fill it with unknown talent and good coaching. In return they get a draft pick as the cherry on top. Understandably Cardinals fans may be concerned as they are still in contention but keep in mind Brown isn’t leaving large shoes to fill.