It’s no secret the Arizona Cardinals have a hole to fill at cornerback. After a decade of locking up receivers in the desert, Patrick Peterson opted to take his talents to Minnesota this offseason. The team did ink Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler in hopes of helping counteract the loss. They also brought back Robert Alford, although he brings more question marks than certainty at the position after missing the entirety of the past two seasons.
The vacancy on the boundary has the Cards readily engulfed in draft talks surrounding the top corner prospects. However, what if instead of gambling on an unknown, the team packaged some draft capital to acquire one of the most prominent, well-established corners in all the NFL?
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Trade Proposal Has Cardinals Landing Stephon Gilmore
Bleacher Reports Alex Kay believes New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore could be dealt at the right price. That sentiment would back up CBS Sports Jason La Canfora‘s report from March, detailing that “most GMs have considered it a foregone conclusion” that the Pats would trade the former Defensive Player of the Year this offseason.
While trade chatter on the Gilmore front has been rather mum of late, Kay points to the development of fellow Patriots corner J.C. Jackson, as well as the team’s history of handling aging stars, as a reason why they may be inclined to move off the four-time Pro Bowler. And if they ultimately do, the B/R columnist expects the Cardinals to be waiting with open arms.
“Don’t sleep on the possibility that the Pats still elect to trade Gilmore,” Kay wrote. “Although nothing concrete has materialized early in the offseason, the veteran defensive back should still garner at least a second-round pick. The Arizona Cardinals, who are putting together a contender and already made a splash signing with J.J. Watt, are an ideal candidate to trade with.”
- Proposed Trade:
- Arizona Cardinals receive: CB Stephon Gilmore
- New England Patriots receive: 2021 second-round pick (No. 49)
“Sending the No. 49 overall pick to New England should be enough to get it done,” he added. “The Pats would get a respectable draft pick to add to their arsenal, and Arizona would obtain an elite corner to help it contend in the tough NFC West.”
Dealing for a CB Opens Up the Cards Draft Board
Obviously acquiring Gilmore — especially for a lone second-round pick — would be a bargain get for the Cardinals. Yes, the veteran will turn 31 years old in September. Yet, he still remains one of the better cover corners in the game, posting a PFF grade of 82.8-plus in two of the last three seasons. The trade would also follow suit with the organization’s win-now moves this offseason, such as the aforementioned J.J. Watt, as well as A.J. Green and Rodney Hudson.
Furthermore, solidifying their cornerback position would give the Cardinals the freedom to address other needs early in the draft. For instance, NFL Network’s Peter Schrager envisions a scenario where the team makes the most of this year’s prolific receiver class by trading up to the No. 7 pick to add Alabama speedster Jaylen Waddle.
“The Cardinals continue their uber-aggressive offseason by acquiring yet another weapon for Kyler Murray to help the franchise emerge from the gauntlet that’s the NFC West,” Schrager wrote. “Waddle, whose ankle has fully healed, is seen as tough as nails and an instant-impact player at both WR and on special teams. In the swap, the Lions pick up No. 16 overall this year, as well as the Cardinals’ 2022 first- and third-rounder.”