A crazy story about how the Cardinals almost landed Steve Young

(Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Steve Young
(Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images) Steve Young /
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Arizona Cardinals

Stouffer never played a snap for the Cardinals.

Kelly Stouffer refused to sign a contract after Bill Bidwill said that the Cardinals as a franchise “owned him,” and the young quarterback wound up being traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

But, much like how the Cardinals drafted Joe Namath and then lost him to the Jets, they had failed in contract negotiations once again.

Now Stouffer didn’t have the best career at all, nor did he guarantee a Super Bowl win like Namath. The Cardinals’ replacement for Namath was Charley Johnson, who had some success in his career, but Stouffer did not.

What hurts even more about this trade is that when the Seahawks did trade for Stouffer, the deal was missing one key player and that was star safety Kenny Easley. Easley would have a short career in the NFL, but he did end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

However, the Cardinals may have saved Easley’s life. He was originally sent in the trade to St.Louis, but he failed his physical when it was revealed he had a rare kidney condition.

Easley was one of the hardest hitters in the league and he claimed that the Seahawks’ doctors and athletic trainers told him to keep taking ibuprofen to help with any pain, which is what the safety contributes to his kidneys failing.

He is still doing well and he reconciled his ways with Seattle after getting a legal settlement. But just imagine what could have happened with Easley in the secondary for a Cardinals team that desperately needed a defensive leader at the time.

Imagine if Steve Young had never said no to a trade to the Cardinals. Imagine if Bill Bidwill hadn’t been so cheap during contract negotiations. Imagine what could have been the trajectory of this team.

It all seems to come down to the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” with the Cardinals. But, in the end, the franchise gradually got better down the road once the team was in the hands of Bidwill’s son, Michael.

Ever since Michael took over, the team has enjoyed the most success since they last won a championship.

This time, they have a young franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray who didn’t hold out. But with the current state of his contract negotiations, the Cardinals need to be careful.

Let’s hope that they build around Murray and remember the mistakes from their history. If they do not, then they are doomed to repeat it for the third time.

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