With Cam Akers, Randy Gregory, and Chase Claypool all on different teams it is the clearest sign yet that trade season is upon us. The Arizona Cardinals might not be super bowl contenders, but that does not mean they should stand pat. There are several players on the trade block who could address the needs of the team for the present and the future. If the Cardinals can find an opportunity to improve the roster for 2024 and beyond, they should aggressively pursue it.
One misconception about rebuilding teams is that they should just look to trade away their players in exchange for picks. This can often be too passive of an approach so instead I am looking at three players the Arizona Cardinals can acquire while keeping the future in mind.
These are players who, for one reason or another, have not been able to establish themselves with the teams that drafted them. However, with the right context these are also players who could become long-term starters or even stars. The Arizona Cardinals have built a strong foundation for success through four weeks, and the next step is to load up the roster with talent.
3 players the Arizona Cardinals should aggressively pursue
1 - Jerry Jeudy, WR
Considering the other needs of the roster it might not seem like the Cardinals need another wide receiver, but this is a move that could take the unit from good to great. The Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans have performed strong enough where it looks like neither pick could be in play for the Marvin Harrison Jr. sweepstakes. Still, the Arizona Cardinals could benefit from adding another wide receiver who in the right situation could turn into a true number one option.
Marquise Brown is a free agent after this season and if he leaves the Arizona Cardinals will immediately have to replace him with someone who has the potential to take over as a number one wide receiver. Jerry Jeudy could be that player.
Though he has yet to have a true breakout season Jeudy is still only 24 years old
His career thus far profiles fairly similarly to Marquise Brown’s. The 2019 first rounder has shown flashes of what draft analysts projected him to be, but that development is often stifled by both injuries and inconsistent quarterback play.
Through three games Jerry Jeudy has only garnered 17 total targets and has yet to hit 100 yards in an outing this season. Even with his uninspiring statline Jeudy is an interesting reclamation project because what shows on tape is still a player who is extremely good in open space and is one of the best in the league at creating separation.
Jeudy has been in trade rumors since March and if he is available the Arizona Cardinals should add themselves to the mix with a strong offer. After mortgaging a large chunk of the future for Sean Payton and Russell Wilson the Denver Broncos are draft pick starved. The Arizona Cardinals currently hold three third round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft and it is worth a try to see if the Denver Broncos would bite at one of those third rounders being the centerpiece for a deal.
If the team is able to retain Marquise Brown this offseason, a unit of Jeudy, Brown, and Wilson would become top 10 right away with the upside to turn into the deadliest unit in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers are finding immense success by overwhelming teams with their talent at the skill positions.
The Cardinals should be looking at these teams for inspiration of how to build a Super Bowl contender. And acquiring Jerry Jeudy would be a step in that direction.
- Denver Broncos Receive: 2024 third round pick (via Texans), 2024 fifth round pick (via Philadelphia), Arizona Cardinals Receive: Jerry Jeudy, 2024 sixth round pick (via 49ers)