Arizona Cardinals Likely Better Off Drafting A Running Back


A lot of rumors have surrounded the Arizona Cardinals and their pursuit of a running back

We know Arizona Cardinals fans would love to see Adrian Peterson in a Cardinals uniform.  Well, many of them.  Not me, as I’ve documented a couple of times.  Rumors still swirl that the Minnesota Vikings are looking to unload Peterson, not necessarily to Arizona though.  However, Peterson may not be the answer for this team.  It may be sitting there for them in this year’s NFL Draft.

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No one can deny that the Cardinals aren’t doing their due diligence in scouting the top backs.  Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon was in town a couple of days ago for a visit with the Cardinals.  Now, of course that doesn’t mean that’s who they are looking at drafting.  All it means is the Cardinals are certainly entertaining the idea if the fit is right.  It would also help if he was available at number 24 in the first round.

Then there’s the history of the Cardinals drafting backs.  It isn’t good.  The last running back to be picked in the higher rounds by the Cardinals in 2011, Ryan Williams, is no longer with the team and struggling to find work in the NFL.

This doesn’t mean Gordon wouldn’t work out.  Every back is different but NFL teams aren’t taking running backs high in the draft like they used to.  No running backs were selected in the first round last year.  Gordon is worthy I think of a first round pick.  I’m fairly certain he would be gone by the time the Cardinals picked in the second round.  Same can be said for Georgia running back Todd Gurley.

Then there is the money aspect.  We know the Cardinals can’t afford Peterson on his current contract.  He would be roughly a $15 million hit on the 2015 salary cap.  Peterson has said he would be willing to restructure a deal with any team he goes to.  Just how much is he willing to cut?  If you get a back in the draft, it’s at least four years later before he sees his first real huge payday.

The fit for the Cardinals at back is probably better in the draft.  I don’t see any other impact backs in free agency remaining.  I do like C.J. Spiller but he’s prone to injury.  Age is a concern too.  Draft a running back, you have youth at the position.  Anything is still possible up until the draft but for now my best guess is the Cardinals will find a back to share carries in the backfield with Andre Ellington in this year’s draft.

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