When the NFL trade deadline came to a close on Halloween it also meant that Monti Ossenfort’s ability to make big moves has ceased until the new league year begins in March of 2024. In just seven months since taking over, the Arizona Cardinals general manager has radically transformed the roster. A new coach was brought in, the defense was revamped, and the Cardinals starting quarterback of the first eight weeks has already come and gone.
Whenever trades happen there is an immediate snap judgement even when the winners and losers are not known until perhaps years in advance. For a lot of moves, Monti Ossenfort decided to swap present talent for future opportunity. Though the true outcomes are still unknown, the value that the Arizona Cardinals were able to accrue through the tear down of their roster is more visible. This article will look at the most important trades Monti Ossenfort has made in his early tenure and determine if the Arizona Cardinals are currently on the winning or losing end of these deals.
Grading the Arizona Cardinals top trades in 2023
1 - Isaiah Simmons for a seventh-round pick
When this move happened it was a bit of a shock that the Arizona Cardinals were hardly able to recoup any value for a player who was the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Nearly three months have passed since the trade, so it is worth reviewing if the Arizona Cardinals were wrong in giving up on their young linebacker.
Though Isaiah Simmons may be in a new jersey, he is still the same struggling player. He has played on only 35% of defensive snaps for the New York Giants this season. His most significant play with the G-men has been a controversial play where he injured Geno Smith on Monday Night Football but beyond that he has failed to leave a strong impact.
Transitioning to the safety position has not resulted in a transformation on the football field. Not being able to consistently crack a middling defensive roster bodes poorly for Simmons’ prospects of sticking in the league.
With the benefit of hindsight, the Arizona Cardinals are winning this deal
Isaiah Simmons is only a depth piece for the Giants, and his original draft status is at this point irrelevant. Monti Ossenfort is not responsible for the draft selection, so one can only look at how he manages the assets he inherited from Steve Keim’s management. A seventh round draft pick for a depth piece with only one year left on his contract is a perfectly reasonable exchange of value.
When factoring in that Isaiah Simmons was not a culture fit for a Jonathan Gannon coached defense, one can make a strong argument that the Arizona Cardinals outright won this trade. The Arizona Cardinals have been targeting competitors, and Isaiah Simmons failed to show in the preseason that he could be relied upon to play inspired football. The Arizona Cardinals may be struggling, but their calling card has been that the defense shows up every weekend and plays with maximum effort even when short on talent.
In the end, the Arizona Cardinals made a move showing a commitment to Jonathan Gannon’s vision and also received a seventh round pick that could become a contributor down the line. Thus far, it is hard to say that Monti Ossenfort was wrong to make this move.