Three players the Cardinals should acquire by the NFL trade deadline

The Arizona Cardinals should target struggling young talent to fill out the roster
Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons
Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Kyle Pitts
Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

2 - Kyle Pitts, TE

If the Arizona Cardinals wanted to make a big splash move at the deadline that sets up their team for 2024 and beyond then they should look to acquire Kyle Pitts. Pitts looked like a budding superstar at tight end in his rookie season, racking up 68 receptions and over 1,000 yards.

Since then, Kyle Pitts has curiously been phased out of the Falcons offense and it does not look like a turnaround will happen. Jonnu Smith, the Atlanta Falcons de facto backup, has more yards and receptions this season than the former Pro Bowler.

The Cardinals would be a great spot for Kyle Pitts to regain his stardom because he could step right into the role that Zach Ertz has had in the offense for the last couple years. Considering Zach Ertz has already been targeted 30 times this season, a great tight end is clearly important to Drew Petzing’s offensive philosophy.

The Arizona Cardinals have a potential out of Ertz’s contract in 2024 with only a $5 million dead cap charge. He is scheduled to make $12.5 million next season and at 33 years old it seems likely that the Cardinals will be looking for his replacement. Trading for Kyle Pitts allows for the Arizona Cardinals to have a tight end who has demonstrated game breaking potential who is also under control through 2025.

He is only 23 years old and though another slow start is concerning there is reason to believe he will improve.

Desmond Ridder has failed to demonstrate that he is the long-term answer at quarterback, and this comes to the detriment of Kyle Pitts. Scott Bair, a reporter for the Atlanta Falcons, wrote that Desmond Ridder’s passer rating is a dismal 49.9 and that over half of Kyle Pitts’ targets have been deemed uncatchable.

The other possible concern for Kyle Pitts is if he is fully recovered from the torn MCL he suffered in November of last year. Though some clips look like he lacks explosiveness a trade for Pitts would be a move for 2024 and beyond.

It is not uncommon for a player to not look like themselves less than a year removed from a major injury. Another year could give Pitts confidence in his knee holding up and he could look explosive on every snap once again.

It is exceedingly rare for Pro Bowl talents still on a rookie deal to become available, so the Arizona Cardinals should be aggressive in their pursuit. The disappointing numbers for Kyle Pitts are separate to his inherent talent so I do not see him as a player who is over the hill. If the Cardinals can pry away Kyle Pitts from the Falcons without giving up a first-round pick, that would be a massive step towards building a contender.

  • Falcons Receive: 2024 2nd round pick, 2024 4th round pick, Zach Ertz, Cardinals Receive: Kyle Pitts