TAMPA — Ever since it was reported the Cardinals would consider trading cornerback Patrick Peterson, Bucs fans have wondered why can't their team make that deal?
Bucs general manager Jason Licht has worked with Arizona general manager Steve Keim. Why not call up his buddy and get some much-needed secondary help for the worst scoring defense in the NFL?
Let's start with the premise that this report by CBS NFL analyst Jason LaCanfora is correct.
Peterson is only 28. He's in his prime, a rare shutdown cornerback who can take the other team's best receiver out of the game.
Peterson also is in the middle of a five-year, $70.05-million contract. He has two years remaining after this season at a total of nearly $24 million.
What do you suppose Arizona would want for that?
You would have to assume it would be something in the neighborhood of what the Raiders got for defensive end Khalil Mack.
The Bears gave up first-round picks in 2019 and 2020, a third-round pick in 2020 and a sixth-round pick in 2019 to acquire Mack. In return, the Bears also received a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020.
Do you really think the Bucs or Licht want to part with their first round picks the next two seasons for one player who may only make a modest improvement in their overall defense? The Cardinals are tied for 13th in the NFL in points per game with 23.2.
Remember, if the wheels fall off the Bucs' season, they could be looking at owning a top 5 pick in the draft in 2019.
Keim is not one to give up his best player for a couple first-round picks. The Cardinals can't expect to replace Peterson like that, no more than the Raiders are likely to find another player as good as Mack.
It's good fodder on social media, but this isn't fantasy football. Of course, Mack was traded to the Bears and the Raiders bemoan the lack of a pass rusher.
It's just doesn't sound like Keim would be willing to make a deal like that for Peterson. And if did, it's a steep price to pay for a team that's more than a cornerback away from the Super Bowl.
Contact Rick Stroud at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @NFLStroud