5 most abominable trades in Arizona Cardinals history

(Photo by Todd Warshaw/Allsport) Thomas Jones
(Photo by Todd Warshaw/Allsport) Thomas Jones /
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Arizona Cardinals
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Thomas Jones /

Trading away Thomas Jones (2003)

The opposite of Branch, the Cardinals drafted Thomas Jones in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and he never averaged over 3.7 yards per carry. And while Jones was at least serviceable out of the backfield and as a pass-catcher, he never lived to expectations, and the Cardinals traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Marquise Walker in 2003.

Walker never played a down for the Cardinals, and Jones averaged 4.0-plus yards per carry for the next four seasons, later becoming the featured back for the Chicago Bears during their 2006 Super Bowl run. Jones would later become a force with the New York Jets, scoring a combined 27 rushing touchdowns between 2008 and 2009.

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As for the Cardinals, they replaced Jones with the aging Emmitt Smith and never managed to find a solid running back in the years following the Thomas Jones trade. Had they given Jones just one more chance rather than labeling him off as a bust, he may have been present during the team’s 2008 Super Bowl run.