Pro Football Weekly reports that the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Bruce Arians are expected to amicably split ways this offseason after back-to-back mediocre years and a rebuild on the horizon. Arians was regarded as a quarterback whisperer that helped Carson Palmer put together some of his strongest seasons late in his career.
If this report is true, then I think the Arizona Cardinals are my new favorite landing spot for New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.
The Cardinals defense is flush with talent of Patricia’s likings, from pass rushers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, versatile linebackers Haason Reddick and Deonne Bucannon, and defensive backs Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Budda Baker. If Arizona could add some talented defensive interior players, then Patricia would have a field day with this unit.
The offensive side is a little more up in the air, but there is certainly plenty of talent. Three starting offensive linemen are on the injured reserve, as is starting running back David Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer, so of course there are expected struggles in 2017. The next head coach will be tasked with finding a replacement starting quarterback (I’d hope Patricia would make a play for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith), but a lot of the other pieces are already in place.
Patricia is known for his versatility and flexibility and maximizing the abilities of every player on the field. The Cardinals have numerous players capable of moving anywhere on the field, from Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald on offense to Reddick and Bucannon and Mathieu on defense, that would blend perfectly with his approach.
So long as Patricia can find a good offensive mind to join him and groom the next quarterback, Arizona could be the ideal landing spot for Patricia.
Oh, and this would set up the perfect mid-season trade that would send Fitzgerald to the Patriots for a conditional 2021 7th round pick, and isn’t that what we’re all here to see take place?