The Arizona Cardinals are in a transitional period to say the least. But they still do have some talented players. Chief among those is cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Peterson has been a top corner in the league for years and his production has been solid throughout his career. An eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro, he is a true coverage corner. Apart from his second year in the league, when he collected seven interceptions, he is always good for two to four takeaways per year.
The Cardinals are steadfastly standing by the assertion that they are not considering trading Peterson. But, they have to field offers while they are in a rebuilding stage. Despite their recent success, they stand close to no chance of making the playoffs. Draft capital is paramount for a team in Arizona’s position, and making this move could be extremely helpful in that regard.
So let’s look at some teams that need a player like Peterson.
The biggest question mark on the Eagles’ roster is easily cornerback. They need help on the back end to stop teams from throwing all over them.
Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills and Avonte Maddox are all serviceable, but constant injuries have limited the defense’s production. They could use a sturdy leader on that side of the defense who is not prone to injury.
While Peterson has only played in two game this season (in Week 8), it was due to suspension for PED use. Otherwise, he has played and started in every single game over a career that began in 2011. That kind of consistency is exactly what Philadelphia desperately needs.
At 4-4, sitting at second in the NFC East, their hopes to win the division are not dead by any stretch. Their only competition, the Dallas Cowboys, have a brutal schedule ahead of them, while Philly’s is more favorable. Plus, they have another game against Dallas in Week 16 (at the Linc) that could help decide things.
The Eagles can take this division, but they need help. They should be willing to give Arizona whatever they want (within reason) for Peterson.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs lost out on Jalen Ramsey. They also watched their main AFC competition, the Patriots, snag Mohamed Sanu, filling the only glaring weakness on their roster. That means it is time to fill their weakness through a trade. That weakness is a bad defense.
While they have problems rushing the passer, the secondary is easier to fix through the trade deadline. Peterson is a player they need if they want to keep pace with New England. They will need him even more for a playoff contest that seems inevitable.
Now that the Patriots have Sanu, they need a lockdown corner to shut him down, regressing them to the middling offense they have shown so far. That is about the only way they will have a chance. With a defense as historically great as New England’s, they cannot expect to just throw it everywhere and win a shootout. Even with reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes.
It seems myopic to boil this trade down to just acquiring him to beat the Pats, but, with a weak AFC, that is really the name of the game here. Peterson could help immensely, and odds are he will buy in quickly so he can win a Super Bowl.
The Chiefs’ window is open. They should go after Peterson now and worry about the draft later. Not only to shore up their pass defense, but to ensure another AFC team on the brink does not get him.
The Raiders are no strangers to aggressive trades. Both on the giving and receiving end. And with an AFC West that is much more open than anyone expected, they may want to make a run here.
The Broncos and Chargers are severely underachieving, and the Chiefs will have to see how Pat Mahomes’ injury goes. The Raiders could try and build a lead here and get some momentum by fixing their abysmal pass defense.
Ranked 30th against the pass in 2019, the Raiders are giving up nearly 300 yards per game through the air. On Sunday, they allowed Aaron Rodgers to have a perfect passer rating, surrendering five passing touchdowns (and one rushing touchdown, also by Rodgers). Clearly they need some defensive back help.
With their draft capital and aggressive GM Mike Mayock, this could be a good trade for everyone involved. The Cardinals could have some prime picks, Peterson could stay on the west coast and the Raiders would become exponentially better immediately.
Again, Peterson is more of a coverage corner than a ballhawk, but shutting down an opposing number one receiver is something Oakland is just not capable of through seven weeks. But with a piece like this, they could shock the NFL world and make the playoffs in this weak AFC.
Featured Image courtesy of Rick Scuteri/AP Photo
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