The Cardinals released wide receiver Kendall Wright on Thursday, per a team announcement. In his place, the club promoted cornerback Deatrick Nichols from the practice squad.
Wright was signed just ten days ago, with Nichols being waived to create room on the roster. It’s not uncommon for teams to juggle veterans each week depending on needs, so it’s possible that Wright could be back soon with Nichols back on the waiver wire.
Wright, ostensibly, was signed as insurance in the slot for Larry Fitzgerald. But, Fitzgerald is a go for Thursday night despite his hamstring and back issues, so Wright was no longer needed in Arizona.
The Cardinals, with Nichols on the roster, will face the Broncos in a Thursday night matchup that could have serious implications for the losing team.
A trade of star cornerback Patrick Peterson is “not happening,” Cardinals president Michael Bidwill tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Many expect the Cardinals to engage as sellers before the Oct. 30 trade deadline, but Peterson is apparently off limits.
“Not true,” Bidwill said. “I’ve seen the speculation. But it’s not happening. Not happening.”
Other clubs, unsure of the Cardinals’ intentions or future plans, have tried to pry P2 away from Arizona. At least one other team inquired about his availability, Rapoport hears, but were met a flat-out no.
Peterson’s place in Arizona appears to be safe, but the same cannot be said for other Cardinals players or coaches. The Cardinals are 1-5 heading into Thursday night’s game against the Broncos, and changes are certain to be made if they come up short.
A fun fact to keep in mind: the 1970 Bengals are the only team in the NFL’s Super Bowl era to ever made the playoffs after starting the year 1-6.
The Cardinals drafted the former Temple standout with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft in the hopes that his explosive athleticism would serve him well as a pass rusher and as a run stopper. So far, his development has not gone as planned, but the Cardinals are not ready to give up on him just yet. The 24-year-old recently regained his spot in the starting lineup and has two sacks in the last three weeks, so he seems to be trending in the right direction.
The Cardinals fell to 1-5 after Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Vikings. While Reddick apparently won’t be on the table, you can expect GM Steve Keim to pitch rival clubs on Bucannon and others as the Cardinals look to build for the future.
October 14th, 2018 at 9:47pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Cardinals guard Justin Pugh broke his hand in the team’s loss to the Vikings, the lineman told Josh Weinfuss of ESPN (Twitter link). Lineman can often play with a club/cast on their hand, but it would seem likely Pugh misses at least a little time, and may need surgery. It’s a big blow to an Arizona offensive line that is already among the worst in the league.
October 14th, 2018 at 6:12pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Earlier today, it was reported that the Cardinals were shopping star cornerback Patrick Peterson, and now the team is pushing back on those reports.
Cardinals coach Steve Wilks called the rumors “ludicrous” in his press conference following the team’s loss to the Vikings and wouldn’t even address the reports, according to Josh Weinfruss of ESPN (Twitter link). It was reported last week that the Cardinals were shopping linebackers Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and even David Johnson’s name has been brought up as a potential trade candidate, but Peterson’s name was new.
It’s looking like a lost season for the Cardinals, who currently sit at 1-5, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they are aggressive in looking to trade some veterans to acquire draft picks. Still it would be pretty shocking if the team dealt the All-Pro corner, and Wilks’ denial is strong enough that it leaves little wiggle room. Peterson’s current deal runs through the 2020 season and and pays him around $12MM a season.
Peterson, a 2011 first-rounder, turned 28 over the summer. While his star has faded a bit the past few years, he’s still one of the league’s best corners. He’s made the Pro Bowl all seven seasons he’s been in the league and is a three-time First-Team All-Pro. If the Cardinals due ever decide to shop him, they’d likely seek multiple high draft picks.
We heard last week that the Cardinals were at least willing to listen to trade offers for Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and while GM Steve Keim later threw cold water on those rumors, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Arizona is not only looking to deal Bucannon and Reddick, but that the team is also open to parting with star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mike Jurecki of the team’s official website tweets that there is zero chance that the Cardinals move Peterson, but even if that’s the case, it seems apparent that the rebuilding Cards will be busy as we approach the October 30 trade deadline.
October 12th, 2018 at 6:47pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
As the Cardinals have started the season 1-4 and are in the midst of a rebuild, there’s been a lot of trade rumors surrounding the team. Arizona is reportedly shopping former first-rounders Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and now a more surprising name has emerged as a potential trade candidate.
Over the course of the week, David Johnson‘s name has been a frequent subject of internet discussion, with many speculating the team could look to deal him as they aren’t in win-now mode. The Eagles, who have also been linked to Le’Veon Bell after Jay Ajayi‘s ACL tear, have been suggested as a possible destination for Johnson.
Johnson has been having a down-year by his standards, and Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has taken a lot of flack for not getting Johnson involved more. Johnson thrived in now-retired coach Bruce Arians’ system, where he was often utilized as a receiver. McCoy’s scheme has turned him into more of a between-the-tackles runner, and it hasn’t been a great fit.
Despite the scheme issues, it would still be shocking if Johnson was dealt. Just last month, the team signed him to a huge three-year extension worth $39MM. As former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry points out, it wouldn’t make much sense for the team to pay Johnson a massive $12MM signing bonus then deal him months later (Twitter link).
It also wouldn’t seem to make much sense for the Cardinals to trade away the offense’s best weapon as they seek to develop Josh Rosen. Trading away Johnson would take away Rosen’s safety blanket and make life much tougher for the promising rookie.
But as long as the Cardinals continue to lose and until McCoy succeeds in getting Johnson more involved, rumors will likely continue to swirl. It’s likely the Cardinals would seek high draft picks if they did decide to flip him, and it’s unclear if any team would even be willing to play the necessary price.
What do you think? With the team not winning anything this year, should the Cardinals at least listen to offers on Johnson? Vote in the poll below and weigh in down in the comments!
“One part of my job is to have dialogue with other teams,” Keim said said on 98.7, Arizona’s Sports Station (via the team website). “The one thing I won’t do, I won’t confirm or deny those things in public, I think you do those things behind the scenes. But it’s a lot of gossip, people enjoy it, it’s water-cooler talk, and a lot of stuff you’ll read is certainly false. Wednesday I woke up to three different names that were brought to my attention and those conversations never happened. So I would just say, for most fans, tread lightly, because very rarely are those accurate.”
Keim knows this, and that’s why he is looking to preserve team morale without explicitly ruling out any deal.
“Some of the names brought up to me will do nothing but bring a chuckle out of me,” Keim said. “You have to listen. You never know what the compensation is going to be. It might be something you couldn’t resist. You look back at the Heschel Walker trade with Dallas, you can never say never. … Sometimes, there’s a lot of procrastination, where you’ll call and there are a lot of conversations that go nowhere, unfortunately. But it’s part of the business and a fun one for fans to follow.”