Arizona Cardinals: Trading young talent would be mistake

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24: Wide receiver Roger Lewis #18 of the New York Giants fumbles the football as inside linebacker Deone Bucannon #20 of the Arizona Cardinals makes the hit in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24: Wide receiver Roger Lewis #18 of the New York Giants fumbles the football as inside linebacker Deone Bucannon #20 of the Arizona Cardinals makes the hit in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Arizona Cardinals alleged willingness to part ways with linebackers Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick is a bit distressing

The Arizona Cardinals front office made some blatant mistakes this past offseason. The contract extension that was given to Steve Keim stands out as one of the organization’s most egregious blunders. The Cards’ general manager has made a mess of the team, and could be on the brink of doing even more damage.

Rumors are circulating that Keim may be listening to offers for a couple of his former first-round draft picks. It seems that Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick are no longer wanted in the desert. Management’s apparent willingness to trade away the talented young linebackers is an indication of how clueless the personnel department has become.

Head coach Steve Wilks has stated that Bucannon and Reddick are poor fits for the 4-3 defense that he brought with him to Arizona. It’s a bit alarming that Keim would even be listening to Wilks, considering how bad the Cardinals have been on the defensive side of the ball thus far in 2018. The unit is ranked an ugly 31st in the NFL versus the run, and an almost as disappointing 24th overall through five contests.

Bucannon has been a tackling machine since the Cards made him the 27th-overall pick of the 2014 draft. The 6’1, 211 pounder played safety at the University of Washington before being turned into a linebacker in 2015. Bucannon has flourished in the role, amassing 379 tackles, six quarterback sacks, 11 passes defensed and two interceptions during his five campaigns.

Reddick, drafted 13th-overall last year, just so happens to be coming off of the best game of his pro career. The former Temple University product tallied eight tackles, a sack and two passes defensed during Arizona’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers this past Sunday. Reddick’s fourth-quarter strip of 49ers quarterback C. J. Beathard resulted in a game-clinching fumble return for a touchdown by Josh Bynes.

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Getting rid of productive contributors to accommodate an incompetent coaching staff is not good business. The Cardinals need to be adding good players to the roster, not sending them on their way. Perhaps team President Michael Bidwill should rein Keim in before he does even more harm to the franchise than he already has.