Somewhat the forgotten team of the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals have quietly put together a roster that, while not intimidating, certainly looks intriguing if anything else. With that in mind they are still looking to the future under a new head coach. Are there any trade possibilities for them to consider?
Of all the players on the roster there is no question Daryl Washington faces the most uncertainty with the Arizona Cardinals. Not only did he do himself few favors by getting brought up on assault charges against his girlfriend, but the team reacted accordingly by bringing in two possible replacements in rookie Kevin Minter and veteran free agent Karlos Dansby. It’s a real shame too because Washington seemed like one of the rising stars in football after posting 134 tackles and 9 sacks in 2012. Unless he can put his off-the-field problems to bed then the team may not have a choice but to send him somewhere he might make a better fit. It certainly seems that Bruce Arians doesn’t have the time or the patience to tolerate it.
Where Washington’s talent gets overlooked by his bad decisions, Ryan Williams suffers from the stark reality of NFL football. He can’t stay healthy. After missing out on his rookie season in 2011, the promising 2nd round pick made it just five games into the 2012 regular season before he again got knocked out by an injury. That prompted the team to go hunting for more bodies in free agency, landing veteran Rashard Mendenhall. What is so sad about it is Williams has shown flashes of what he can be and what he was in college. He is only 23-years old. There is still time to rescue his career. However, if the coaching staff feels he is no longer a fit in their plans, perhaps the best thing to do is offer his services to another team that is willing to take that chance.
Before Cardinal Nation launches a riot at the thought of such a notion, they must consider the facts. Larry Fitzgerald turns 30-years old before the regular season starts in September. His best hope for a championship in Arizona rests on a quarterback in Carson Palmer who hasn’t won a playoff game. Fitzgerald is the unquestioned best player the Cardinals have but their problems go deeper than that. If they have another rough first half of the season, can they really expect to rebuild the team in time to make sure Larry gets the ring he so richly deserves? Another way to look at it is the Herschel Walker complex. Back in 1989, Dallas dealt the Pro Bowl running back for draft picks and players. Those were used to eventually build their dynasty of the 1990s. While on a smaller scale, the same can be done with Fitzgerald. More than one team around the league would give up a couple high draft choices for the All-Pro receiver, and those can in turn help Arians rebuild the team that much faster. It is a difficult choice, but one they should at least consider.