If the rumors coming out of Arizona are to be believed, the Cardinals are preparing for a fire sale in the coming weeks. With reports emerging of numerous names on the trading block ahead of the October 30 deadline, the list of talent potentially available appears to be growing with every defeat. Sitting at 1-5 after dropping their Week 6 matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, Arizona is apparently looking to clean house with the 2018 season already lost.
While the Cardinals might have a number of players that could interest the Pittsburgh Steelers, the latest name to be mentioned as possibly being available is perhaps the one that should grab Pittsburgh’s attention the most.
Arizona Cardinals being eyed closely by other teams ahead of the deadline. Open to trade talks on Patrick Peterson: https://t.co/nUHr67mMA9— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) October 14, 2018
At 28-years-old, Patrick Peterson is one of the best in the league at his position. A shutdown cornerback who is still in the prime of his career and playing at a very high level. Arizona’s woes are not of his making, but he is an expensive luxury for a team far away from competing for a championship anytime soon and cutting him loose might make good financial sense for them.
However, for a team like Pittsburgh, Peterson could be the missing piece in the secondary. Having struggled to get consistent play from whoever they have lined up on the other side of the field to Joe Haden, adding a talent like the Cardinals cornerback would be a massive upgrade. Artie Burns regression continues unabated in 2018 and there can be little question that Coty Sensabaugh is far from the answer either.
With more than $8.2 million in salary cap space currently on the books according to the NFLPA public report, the Steelers could easily afford to take on the remainder of Peterson’s deal. The two years remaining on his contract are also equally serviceable and very much in line with what Haden will earn next year.
If Patrick Peterson is dealt at the trading deadline (after Week 8's games), the acquiring team would need $5,823,529 of salary cap space (9/17th of Peterson's $11M base salary). Peterson has 2019 & 2020 contract years at $11.25M & $12.55M. https://t.co/81bt9s0zdm— Joel Corry (@corryjoel) October 14, 2018
The bigger issue would be the question of compensation, especially when you consider the Cardinals are likely to have multiple teams interested in his services. If the price tag is as high as a second round pick and a late round selection the following year, Pittsburgh might be wise to place themselves in the running. As an out of conference opponent, the Steelers should offer some appeal to the Cardinals as a trade partner too.
While it would be fair to say a move like this would be very much out of character with the way Pittsburgh normally does business, at some point in their history a move like this will happen. For a chance at a talent like Peterson, the Steelers at least need to be making a call to see what Arizona wants for him.