Arizona Cardinals Trade Deadline Preview

Arizona Cardinals Trade Deadline Preview

by October 15, 2021 3 comments

The 2021 NFL trade deadline is just under three weeks away. However, that didn’t stop the Arizona Cardinals from making a trade earlier today, sending a 2022 fifth-round pick and cornerback Tay Gowan to the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran tight end Zach Ertz. With Maxx Williams recently suffering a season-ending knee injury, the Cardinals had to make a move for a veteran tight end. Even after today’s trade, fans should expect the Cardinals to be active between now and the November 2 deadline, improving the team.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Trade Deadline Previews.

The Cardinals Current Status

Current Record: 5-0

Division Standings: First in the NFC West

In the Playoff Picture: Yes

Buyers or Sellers: Buyers

Current NFL Draft Slot: 32nd Overall

Potential Trade #1: 2023 fifth-round pick to the Houston Texans for Terrance Mitchell

Entering the season, some had concerns about the cornerback position for the Cardinals. However, Byron Murphy and Robert Alford have played well, allowing only 57.5 percent of the passes thrown their way to be completed. However, behind the two veterans is the rookie Marco Wilson and six-year veteran Antonio Hamilton. The duo has allowed 76.7 percent of the passes thrown their way to be completed this season. Furthermore, after trading Gowan to the Eagles, the Cardinals need to replenish their cornerback depth. In a division with several elite wide receivers, the Cardinals can’t have too many good cornerbacks. More importantly, they are an injury away to Murphy or Alford from starting Wilson across from Cooper Kupp or D.K. Metcalf. Adding a veteran cornerback is a must for the Cardinals.

After their Week 1 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans have lost four straight games by an average of 17 points per game. Meanwhile, the Texans have struggled to slow down opposing passing attacks, giving up over 257 passing yards per game this season. However, the one member of the secondary who has played well is Mitchell. Despite being targeted a team-high 4.5 times per game, Mitchell has allowed only 44.4 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed. Furthermore, Mitchell has only missed 12.5 percent of his tackles this season. The Texans are the heavy favorites to land the top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and have no reason to keep Mitchell around past the trade deadline.

Potential Trade #2: 2022 sixth-round pick to the New York Giants for Nate Solder

On Friday, the Cardinals placed swing offensive tackle Justin Murray on injured reserve with a back injury. While he should return sometime this season, the Cardinals lack depth on the offensive line, especially at offensive tackle. Furthermore, starting right tackle Kelvin Beachum has missed two games this season with injuries, playing under 60 percent of the snaps in two of the other three games. While Kyler Murray has been sacked 12 times this season, he was pressured on nearly 20 percent of his pass attempts over the first four weeks of the season. With Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Darrell Taylor in the division combining for 18 sacks this season, the Cardinals need to add depth to the offensive line.

With their loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Giants are three games out of first place in the NFC East. However, with losses to the Cowboys and the Washington Football team, the Giants have almost no chance at winning the division title. Furthermore, the New York offense has been killed by the injury bug this season. Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, Kenny Golladay, and Saquon Barkley have all dealt with injuries. Currently, the Giants project to have a top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. With Solder in the final year of his contract and 2020 third-round pick Matt Peart waiting to take over at right tackle, the Giants need to move on from the veteran.

Potential Trade #3: 2022 conditional seventh-round pick to the Houston Texans for Mark Ingram

In the offseason, the Cardinals let Kenyan Drake leave in free agency. To replace him, the Cardinals signed James Conner on a one-year $1.75 million contract. Over the first five games of the season, Conner has done his job, leading the team with five rushing touchdowns on 12.6 rushing attempts per game. However, in Conner’s previous four seasons, he missed an average of 3.5 games per year while never playing a 16 game slate. While the Cardinals also have Chase Edmonds in the backfield, he isn’t a short-yardage or goal line runner like Conner. Their reserve running backs are Eno Benjamin and Jonathan Ward. The two special teams players have zero career rushing attempts combined. Arizona needs to add a cheap veteran running back.

For Houston, their season was over before Week 1 kicked off, thanks to the Deshaun Watson situation. After leading all Texan running backs in snaps played in Week 1 with 36, Ingram has played under 45 percent of the snaps in every game since averaging 18.5 snaps per game. At almost 32 years old, the Texans won’t get much for Ingram. However, a conditional seventh-round pick for the veteran is enough to move him. For the conditional pick to transfer from Arizona to Houston, Ingram would need to score five rushing touchdowns with the Cardinals this season. If something happens to Conner, Ingram can step in at the goal line. He will also provide veteran leadership to a moderately young running backs room.

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Mike Fanelli is the Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk since 2018. He is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime with any fantasy football questions.

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