Oct 21, 2021
NFL Insiders Proposed Trade Links Giants Captain to Cardinals
This news has been received from: Heavy.com
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Getty Images Tyler Higbee of the Los Angeles Rams is tackled by Jabrill Peppers and Adoree Jackson of the New York Giants.
It’s truly amazing the work the Arizona Cardinals have done in terms of the front office. In his ninth season as general manager, Steve Keim is operating like it’s Super Bowl or bust for the 2021 club.
When tight end Maxx Williams went down with a season-ending knee injury against the San Francisco 49ers, Keim swooped in two days later and dealt for Pro-Bowl veteran Zach Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles.
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Keim isn’t afraid to pull the trigger when he sees vulnerability from other organizations. He did it when he heard DeAndre Hopkins was available in Houston. Last October, Keim traded with the scuffling 1-6 New York Giants at the time and reunited with edge rusher Markus Golden.
Could we see another “Keim Time” special?
Keim Time? ✍???????? https://t.co/7FoFtoHNZ1 pic.twitter.com/jvr3W7h0IU
— ????sSǝNʞu∀ɹℲ???? (@fltautolo) October 15, 2021
Arizona has also created $5.2 million in cap space by creating defensive tackle Jordan Phillips’ salary into a signing bonus. Thus, the Cards, “get relief to use to operate the rest of the season”, says NFL analyst Field Yates.
The Cardinals converted $6,507,222 of DT Jordan Phillips' salary into a signing bonus (while adding two voidable years), creating $5,205,778 in salary cap space.
This move coincided with the trade for Zach Ertz, as Arizona gets relief to use to operate the rest of the season.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 21, 2021
Could the Cardinals make another trade? And with a familiar team?Proposal Sends Hybrid Safety to Arizona
The Cards have already traded with an NFC East rival in the 2-4 Eagles. So that leaves the Cowboys, who are already running away with the division at 5-1 and the Washington Football Team will still try to win despite being 2-4.
The Giants are once again seemingly out of contention with a 1-5 record. Keim might just take another opportunity to strike against the NFC East. This time, it would be with the Giants again.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell strung together 10 trade possibilities throughout the league. Barnwell suggests the Giants send team captain safety Jabrill Peppers to the desert.
This is what Barnwell had to say:
As the only undefeated team left, the Cardinals will be looking to supplement their roster with a piece or two at the deadline. We know both general manager Steve Keim and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph love adding great athletes on defense and relying on them to fly around the football field, independent of position. Peppers has seen his role reduced for the Giants this season, and he’s probably best used as a hybrid linebacker/safety. The former Michigan star is in the final year of his deal, so he’s probably not in their long-term plans.
This is what the proposal would entail:
- Arizona Cardinals receive:
- S Jabrill Peppers
- New York Giants receive:
- 2022 sixth-round pick
Peppers would be all for joining an organization that hasn’t lost in 2021.
“I just want to win, baby,” he said. “I want to make plays, go out there and win ball games.”Why Proposal Makes Sense
Let’s just put this to bed. Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson’s roles on the defense would not change one bit. Thompson is an unsung hero on the defense and has made key important open field tackles left and right. Baker’s resume speaks for itself.
For Arizona, it would only cost a sixth-round pick and Peppers is in the final year of his rookie contract. The Cardinals would have no picks in the fifth or sixth rounds in 2022, due to the Ertz trade and Barnwell’s proposed Peppers trade.
You can make the argument that Arizona not budging at the deadline wouldn’t be an issue. But what if one of Baker or Thompson gets hurt? Other than Week 4, with Deionte Thompson’s four snaps, the Cardinals use only two safeties.
Peppers, the supposed starter in 2021, has seen his playing time shrink, averaging 20 fewer snaps per game when compared to 2020.
And while the Cardinals defense is one of the best in the league (second in DVOA), Vance Joseph bringing in a hybrid linebacker and safety who can fly at the quarterback would make the rich get richer.
Jabrill Peppers cracks Jameis pic.twitter.com/YpaM0DqSoo
— Talkin’ Giants (@TalkinGiants) October 5, 2021
Barnwell also brought up a great point about Peppers taking some duties at punt returner over budding rookie sensation Rondale Moore.
Peppers could also figure into Arizona’s plans as a return man. The Cardinals have used Rondale Moore as their primary return man, and while the rookie second-round pick is a threat to make a house call whenever he touches the football, he had a significant track record of injuries in college at Purdue. The Cards have only used Moore on 42.9% of their offensive snaps so far. Giving Peppers some of the return duties might make them more comfortable with giving Moore a larger offensive role.
Other teams that need safety help more than the Cardinals could probably snatch Peppers. But if Keim works his magic, adding to a position that could use depth would be a smart avenue to cross.
News Source: Heavy.com
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Chicago Bears QB rewind: Justin Fields cant return soon enough as meaning in this season becomes harder to find
Justin Fields can’t return soon enough. As the Chicago Bears look to squeeze as much meaning as possible out of what’s left of their wayward season, the rookie quarterback’s continued development is at the top of the priority list.
Fields missed his second consecutive game Sunday with injured ribs and was left to watch veteran Andy Dalton throw four interceptions in a 33-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field. The Bears offense was without wide receiver Allen Robinson for a third straight week. Marquise Goodwin (foot and ribs) was also inactive because of injury.
And despite running 20 more plays than the Cardinals, controlling the ball for nearly 35 minutes and scoring touchdowns on all three of their red-zone trips, the Bears didn’t have enough firepower to topple the NFC’s top team, undone by the four turnovers and the 23 points the Cardinals scored off of them.
“No matter who you’re playing, four turnovers are going to hurt you,” coach Matt Nagy said.
Here’s our Week 13 QB rewind. Defining moment
After Dalton’s first interception and the Cardinals’ subsequent 28-yard touchdown drive, the Bears were in good position to answer quickly, having moved the ball inside the Cardinals 25. On third-and-6 from the 20, tight end Cole Kmet worked open over the middle with linebacker Isaiah Simmons in coverage.
Kmet, however, couldn’t secure a Dalton dart inside the 10, juggling a rain-slicked ball into the air as he fell onto his back and then watching as safety Budda Baker picked it off. Baker easily broke free, returning the interception 77 yards into the red zone.
The Cardinals needed just five plays to score their second touchdown, with Kyler Murray’s 9-yard scramble putting them ahead by double digits for the remainder of the afternoon.
Kmet’s blunder was the most pivotal moment in the game.
“The ball is wet and kind of just slips through,” Kmet explained. “You’ve just got to be able to be more focused on catching the ball than (thinking about) what you’re going to do after the catch. So, yeah, I just have to be better about that.”
For the Bears, that was a fitting snapshot of this season, another damaging error for a team that needed to play a near-perfect game to pull off an upset. Uh-oh
Both of Dalton’s first-half interceptions hit the hands of his intended target. But the first pick, on third-and-6 to Jakeem Grant during the opening drive, was off target as Grant came across the middle from right to left.
“I left it a little high and a little behind him,” Dalton acknowledged. “The thing that is unfortunate in this league is that tipped balls usually don’t find the ground. They usually find the other team’s hands.”
In this case, Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson took advantage of Dalton’s inaccuracy for a key takeaway.
That was particularly unfortunate for the Bears after the Cardinals gave them precisely the man coverage look they were hoping to work against. An accurate ball could have sent Grant into the open field for a huge gain.
“We had what we wanted,” wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said. “It would have been interesting to see if (Jakeem) had been able to catch that ball pretty cleanly and if he would have just made that one guy miss, everybody else was out of there. So it would have been interesting to see where he ended up. It was what we wanted. It’s just unfortunate.”
After Kmet’s bobble led to the Cardinals’ second interception, Dalton hurt his left hand while making a touchdown-saving tackle.
“I had two tackles today,” Dalton said. “Unfortunately.”
The injury wasn’t serious enough to sideline the veteran quarterback. But he did say he would undergo further testing.
Dalton’s third interception came on a pass toward Damiere Byrd that was tipped by Chandler Jones and snatched by Byron Murphy. The final pick was on a screen play to David Montgomery with Dalton failing to see defensive end Zach Allen lurking behind right tackle Larry Borom. After faking a swing pass to the left to Grant, Dalton came back to the right to Montgomery but didn’t account for Allen’s quickness in working past Cody Whitehair and into the throwing lane.
Said Nagy: “Andy would tell you that in that situation, it’s just (about) getting your eyes over there, then try to either dirt it or throw it over the top.”
Instead, Dalton’s dump-off was a disaster, returned by Allen 25 yards to the Bears 12 and setting up the Cardinals for a two-play, win-sealing touchdown drive. This is the Bears offense in 2021: inconsistent, error-prone and ultimately not good enough to keep them afloat. On the bright side
The Bears’ longest gain came on a trick play midway through the third quarter with Dalton hitting Grant for 34 yards up the right sideline. The play was a replica of what the Bears tried early in their playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints last season — “Flash Right Atomic Bomb” — with Mitch Trubisky firing what should have been a 40-yard touchdown pass to Javon Wims. But Trubisky’s pass slipped through Wims’ hands in the end zone.
On Sunday, another “Atomic Bomb” call produced a better result but didn’t unfold exactly as designed. Montgomery took a direct snap from a wildcat formation and handed the ball to Grant coming across to the right on a jet sweep. Grant quickly flipped the ball to Dalton, who had lined up as a receiver wide to the right.
Dalton’s first read was to Darnell Mooney, in the Wims role, running deep up the right numbers. But the Cardinals defense had a zero blitz called and linebacker Devon Kennard shot into the backfield untouched, getting his hands on Dalton and disrupting the play.
Still, the Bears quarterback shook free, adjusted and threw a dart to Grant up the right sideline.
“Great play by Jakeem getting behind (the defender),” Dalton said. “And I was able to find him there.”
The Bears didn’t have many highlights to celebrate, but that was one.
Unfortunately, it could have been even more enjoyable. Mooney was streaking deep for a possible touchdown had Dalton been able to throw once he got the ball.
“He was down the field,” quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo said. “You never know, throwing the ball in the wind like that, what the end result would have been. But we would have liked to see that come to fruition for sure.” Odds and ends
- The Bears had only three explosive passing plays. In addition to the 34-yard completion to Grant, Dalton hit Kmet for 24 yards and Byrd for 19. Both of those passes came on the Bears’ penultimate possession after they were trailing by 19. That series ended with Grant’s 8-yard touchdown catch from Dalton, a play Nagy identified as “a rare throw” given the pressure Dalton was under and the window he had to fit the ball into. But it took far too long for the offense to get any kind of vertical passing attack going. Said Dalton: “We wanted to try to get the run going and different things. So it took us a while.”
- Montgomery had his best day this season as a pass catcher, snagging eight of the nine balls thrown his way for 51 yards. With Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph scheming to take away some of the Bears’ shot plays, Dalton utilized Montgomery frequently as a safety valve. Montgomery came into the day with 12 catches for 103 yards in seven games.
- Nagy couldn’t say Monday how the week will evolve for Fields, who is working his way back from cracked ribs and hopes to play Sunday night in Green Bay. Nagy said Fields’ status is “going to be an ongoing discussion for us all week long” as the Bears work to get him medically cleared while also having a clear understanding of his pain threshold. As for what Nagy would like to see Fields get out of the final month of his rookie season once he returns? Nagy hopes to see Fields continue to gain a heightened understanding of the offense, learning pre-snap checks and utilizing different options within certain plays. “I really felt like his confidence was starting to get good out there,” Nagy said. “At practice. On the field. In himself. Then the other part of this, too, is us creating and knowing what his strengths are. That helped us out as well. So we were kind of trying to find that balance.”
- Twelve games into the season, the Bears have only 10 touchdown passes. Over the last 25 seasons, the franchise lows for single-season TD passes came in 2004 (nine), 2005 (11) and 2003 (12). Heading into Week 14, the Bears are one of five teams with more interceptions (14) than TD passes. The others are the Jaguars (nine TD passes and 10 picks), Panthers (10 and 15), Texans (12 and 13) and Jets (17 and 20). That’s not the offensive company you want to be keeping.