10 biggest trade mistakes for the Arizona Cardinals in franchise history

The Arizona Cardinals have made a lot of mistakes over the years, evidenced by the fact they haven’t won an NFL Championship since 1947.
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins waits during a timeout during the third quarter against
Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins waits during a timeout during the third quarter against / Michael Chow / USA TODAY NETWORK

6 - Trading for DeAndre Hopkins

Like the Adrian Murrell trade, the Hopkins trade looked like a steal. Not only did Steve Keim acquire the former All-Pro receiver for just a second round pick, a fourth round pick, and running back David Johnson, Hopkins gave the Cards quite an incredible first season in 2020.

That year, he caught 115 passes for 1,407 yards, and six touchdowns, giving one of the best receivers of the 2010s Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. Unfortunately, Hopkins played in just 19 more games for the Redbirds, and while he looked good when he was on the field, injuries and a suspension derailed both campaigns. 

In May 2023, the Cardinals cut ties with Hopkins, and he has since latched on with the Tennessee Titans. Overall, getting rid of the former All-Pro seemed to work in the best interests of both parties. 

5 - Trading Aeneas Williams

The Cardinals traded the aging Aeneas Williams to the St. Louis Rams for a second and fourth round pick in the 2001 draft. With the picks, they drafted Michael Stone 54th overall, a defensive back out of Memphis who recorded 29 tackles in four seasons with Arizona. 

They also drafted Marcus Bell with the fourth round pick, a defensive tackle who was Stone’s teammate at Memphis. Bell lasted just three years with the Redbirds, recording 88 tackles, 10 tackles behind the line, and 3.5 sacks. For trading such a star player, the Cardinals sure got next to nothing in return. 

4 - Trading for Rodney Hudson

As mentioned, Steve Keim had a penchant for pulling off some bad trades, but his trade for Rodney Hudson might be one of the worst. In March 2021, Keim traded a third round pick for the former three-time Pro Bowler. 

Hudson proved to be injury-prone in his advanced age, missing five games in 2021 and an astounding 13 games in 2022. This meant Hudson missed more regular season games than he played in during his time in the desert. He retired following the 2022 season, and as a result, the Cardinals were without a proven center until they signed Pat Elflein in July 2023.