Why the Green Bay Packers owe the Arizona Cardinals a Super Bowl ring

Mike Jones, #75 is the player that changed the NFL landscape in the 1990s. (Getty Images credit)
Mike Jones, #75 is the player that changed the NFL landscape in the 1990s. (Getty Images credit) /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Getty Images credit) Mike Jones #75 /

The Mike Jones “no” cost Cardinals and Jets a shot at glory

The Cardinals hadn’t had a quarterback since Neil Lomax had retired, and before that, it was Jim Hart. Why didn’t the Cardinals take a flyer on Brett Favre?

Of course, no one knows if each draft pick will end up with a gold jacket when it’s all over, but doubling down with two defensive linemen is a bold strategy that is rarely seen.

What would the Cardinals have done with Favre as their quarterback? Could they have kept the gunslinger from Hattiesburg, Mississippi for as long as Green Bay did? They certainly had the weapons in Ricky Proehl, Larry Centers, and when they acquired Rob Moore via free agency, it could have done some damage.

This would have been a great preemptive move, as Timm Rosenbach would get hurt in the 1991 training camp and be lost for the year with a knee injury. Cardinals coach Joe Bugel didn’t think a trade would have helped, so in came Tom Tupa, Chris Chandler, and Stan Gelbaugh. Barf.

Phoenix’s offense was so bad that they went 4-12 after starting 2-0 and forcing 13 turnovers in their first two victories against Philadelphia (who still had Reggie White) and the Los Angeles Rams.

In fact, the defense got out to such a hot start that an 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Eric Hill was the team’s first touchdown of the 1991 NFL season. Phoenix would finish with just 16 touchdowns in the 16-game season.

Meanwhile, the Jets went 8-8 under head coach Bruce Coslet (some deep NFL trivia right there) and made the wild-card round of the playoffs. But New York went on to be highly inconsistent over the next few years until Bill Parcells came in and steadied the franchise. Could the Jets’ have had a Patriots-like reign if Favre had been drafted to New York? So many questions and so many “what-ifs”.

We have to talk about Jones and his career because this is a story that’s hard to believe.