The Arizona Cardinals could be one of the NFL's most active teams ahead of the trade deadline, with league sources indicating that All-Pro corner Patrick Peterson is among the players the team is willing to move. Arizona is off to a slow start, has already transitioned from Sam Bradford to Josh Rosen at quarterback and the front office is keeping an open mind about moves to reposition the franchise for the future.
The Cardinals had hoped to compete for a playoff spot this season with a roster largely comprised of players brought in while Bruce Arians was head coach and with the hope that Bradford, with a contract worth up to $20M for 2018, could keep them relevant in the NFC West. But the tenor of this campaign has already shifted significantly to the point where several sources indicated a trade involving Peterson, perhaps the top corner in football, is quite possible by the deadline a little over two weeks from now.
Accruing high draft picks will be imperative if the team is to rebuild around Rosen, and there will be numerous holes to fill on this roster is it currently stands. As reported last week, the Cardinals are also seeking a trade for safety/linebacker Deone Bucannon, a former first-round pick who has not fit in their new defensive scheme (a trade is likely, sources said), and are also open to moving linebacker Haason Reddick, the 13th overall pick in 2017, though his steep salary is expected to severely limit any real trade market for him, rival general managers said.
But Peterson could be a potential blockbuster that would put the Cardinals in position to make significant noise in the next few drafts. He continues to play at a truly elite level, he is incredibly versatile, and, with the corner market exploding since his last contract, his salaries of $11M in 2019 and $12M in 2020 (when he turns 30) significantly increase his trade value as well.
In the past, future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald has always been emphatic about wanting to remain a Cardinal for his entire NFL career, a wish the franchise would always grant, but some general managers wonder if the receiver might alter that stance by the end of the month should this season look hopeless in Arizona and if Fitzgerald, year-to-year with retirement plans, wanted a chance to get a ring elsewhere.
Regardless, the Cardinals will be one of the most closely watched teams in the NFL ahead of the deadline, and with most of the intense trade talks taking place in Week 8, there is a strong expectation that the Cardinals will be among the best-positioned teams to wheel and deal with playoff teams seeking various players off their roster.