In order to stay competitive in the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals best trade partner is the other set of birds with the same color scheme: the Atlanta Falcons. With the top three spots most likely cemented, this is the Cardinals best shot at making sure they get the player highest on their board.
Of course this is easier said than done. Potential roadblocks include cap space, pulling off the trade itself, and if other teams are looking to move up to the 4th overall spot in the draft. Regardless, general manager Steve Keim needs to jump up to save his job and this may just be the move to help him.
Cap space to make the Arizona Cardinals best trade offer
As of this writing, the Cardinals have about $8 million in cap space, whereas the Falcons are way over, at roughly $36 million. Of course this will change come Free Agency, as most likely changes will be made on both sides. I feel that longtime Cardinals Patrick Peterson will hit free agency, and that Larry Fitzgerald actually calls it a career (but I would be happy to be wrong). To wrap up the big free agency moves, Chandler Jones is traded. As a result, the following moves are:
- Let Peterson walk in free agency: save $12.5mil in base salary alone
- IF Fitzgerald retires, there’s another $11.75mil in space
- Trade Jones to Atlanta, which makes room for another $15mil
So adding that all up, that number quickly becomes $39.2mil in cap space. Atlanta could really trade anyone they wanted to as part of a salary dump.
Arizona Cardinals best trade looks like this:
Now since the math is out of the way, it’s time to get to the juicy part. How would Keim pull this off? Well for one thing, he definitely has more experience than Atlanta’s new GM Terry Fontenot. I’m not saying there’s going to be “Hopkins-like fleece” going on here, but maybe Keim gets the magic once again. Here’s the trade:
"This trade would cover many spots instantly: from Atlanta’s cap space, addressing their pass rush issues, and acquiring capital. For Arizona, you get to improve both the TE position and move up to get the guy highest on the draft board. With how seldom used TE’s were in the past in Kliff KIngsbury’s offense, maybe Hayden Hurst helps change that."
Other teams involvement
It’s a well-known fact that this is a quarterback’s league. With Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields most likely to go in some combination within the top 3 picks, that leaves a handful of quarterbacks and teams that are looking for a new signal caller. The Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, and maybe even the Carolina Panthers could be thrown into this mix alongside Atlanta.
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There’s also the chance that Atlanta doesn’t budge at at all, or asks for something completely different that just doesn’t fit into Arizona’s plans. However the phone must be picked up, and a trade is necessary for Keim to keep his spot. Even getting up to 13-15 range would still be a win in my book.
Let’s enjoy the off-season and the moves that are going to come our way.