When the Arizona Cardinals hired Drew Petzing to be their offensive coordinator, the organization had a certain type of scoring attack in mind. There are indications that the 36-year-old Petzing is said to be installing a system that centers primarily around the run. With that being the case, would the Cards pass on an opportunity to get the type of ball-carrier who could take the team's rushing attack to an elite level?
According to reports, superstar back Jonathan Taylor has asked the Indianapolis Colts to trade him. After hearing the request, Colts owner Jim Irsay let it be known that the fourth-year pro is going nowhere. However, anyone who follows the league is well aware that things can change in an instant.
Taylor is the type of acquisition that could steer the Cardinals back towards respectability. A 4-13 campaign last fall followed by an offseason full of bad press has dug the franchise a hole in the desert. While adding a high-profile player like Taylor would help immensely on the field, it would also show the rest of the NFL's top performers that Arizona is a fine place to flock.
The thought of a backfield featuring Taylor and incumbent starter James Conner should have the "Red Sea" brimming with excitement. Over the past two campaigns, the 6 foot 1, 233 pound Conner has been a productive workhorse. In his 28 appearances (19 starts), the bruising runner has racked up 2,209 yards from scrimmage and 26 total touchdowns for the Cards offensive attack.
The Arizona Cardinals would be acquiring a bona fide star if they pull off a trade for Jonathan Taylor
Three years ago, Indianapolis acquired Taylor for the measly price of a second-round draft pick. As a rookie in 2020, the 5 foot 10, 226 pounder rumbled for 1,169 yards and 11 scores on the ground, and added another 299 yards and a touchdown on 36 receptions.
The following season, Taylor turned in the performance of a lifetime for Indy. In his 17 starts, the former University of Wisconsin product racked up an eye-popping 2,171 yards from scrimmage and 20 total scores for the Colts. As expected, Taylor was rewarded with the first Pro Bowl invitation of his NFL career at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.
Last year, Taylor's numbers were very pedestrian after an ankle injury sidelined him for six matchups. In his 11 starts, the New Jersey native managed to amass 1,004 yards from scrimmage and four rushing touchdowns for the Indianapolis attack. Obviously, a healthy Taylor will be counted on to produce a whole lot more for whatever club he plays for in 2023.
If Irsay's Colts do ultimately elect to make Taylor available, the Cardinals should absolutely have interest. General manager Monti Ossenfort has stayed relatively quiet, so a blockbuster deal would provide some excitement for the franchise's loyal fanbase. Landing an outstanding running back like Taylor would go a long way in achieving that goal.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)