The Arizona Cardinals have built a better foundation through trades than they have through the NFL Draft during the Steve Keim Era.
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has been in control of the franchise for nearly a decade, and we have learned a few harsh truths about the former NFL Executive of the Year: He can’t draft.
But we also know that he can wheel and deal with the best of them. Just this season alone, Keim brought in and saw remarkable returns on Marquise Brown. Unfortunately, a foot injury will keep Brown sidelined for at least another five weeks, but when we learned the star receiver would miss an extended amount of time, Keim worked the phones and brought in Robbie Anderson.
Needless to say, there is no quit in Steve Keim, and his stellar trade record is one reason I wouldn’t be opposed to keeping him around as general manager. Just don’t let him draft anyone! Anyway, speaking of his remarkable record in making trades, which also included the lopsided DeAndre Hopkins trade, let’s look at Keim’s last two major in-season moves, and how their subjects panned out.
This will not include Anderson, since he has thus far played in just a handful of snaps. We will, however, be talking about Zach Ertz and Markus Golden.
Grading the Arizona Cardinals last two trades
Markus Golden, OLB
In 2020, Keim traded a sixth-round pick to the New York Giants to bring back pass rusher Markus Golden. And while a now-aging Golden is struggling to produce this season, having logged just a single sack, his first 1.5 years back in the desert was promising.
He recorded just three sacks in nine games during his time in Arizona in 2020, but 11 quarterback knockdowns and 14 quarterback hits showed he was more than capable of applying pressure, while allowing Haason Reddick and Dennis Gardeck to put up big sack numbers.
Grade: B: Golden was hovering around an A until this season. And while he is over 30, we were expecting something more from an edge rusher who had 11.0 sacks and 19 quarterback hits in 2021. If Golden can get it together over the second half of 2022, that letter grade will increase.
Zach Ertz, TE
Ertz seemingly fell out of favor with the Philadelphia Eagles when Keim decided to trade for the once-productive tight end for a fifth round pick and Tay Gowan. As it turned out, the Eagles loss was the Arizona Cardinals gain, as Ertz logged 56 catches and three touchdowns in just 11 contests (74 catches and five touchdowns combined).
Ertz is putting up similar numbers in 2022, with 37 catches, 320 yards, and two touchdowns, putting him on pace for 90 catches, 777 yards, and five touchdowns. Did I say once-productive? Even at 32, Ertz is far from being a wash.
Grade: A: Ertz may not be considered one of the best tight ends in football these days, even if his numbers say differently. So far, he has been nothing but productive during his time in the desert, and he has shown nothing but resurgence since joining the Cardinals midway through 2022.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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