ARIZONA CARDINALS

Bucs’ Jason Licht couldn’t reach Cardinals GM Steve Keim to trade up

Apr 27, 2020, 10:04 AM | Updated: 6:58 pm
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said going into the 2020 NFL Draft that he was “up for” making a trade if the right one came along.

But eventually, that willingness expired.

Jason Licht, the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who once was the Cardinals’ VP of player personnel under Keim, was looking to make a move in Thursday’s first round, as documented by NBC Sports’ Peter King. But once versatile Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons was on the board with the Cardinals on the clock, Licht couldn’t get a hold of his old office mate.

Trading is tough. Licht made about 30 calls during the week, up and down, to see which teams might want to go up or down in the top half of the draft. Tonight, Carolina (picking seven) is a no. “I don’t think they’d deal even if we offer next year’s one,” McCartney, who’d been the Panthers contact, tells Licht. Arizona (eight) has to be a no. GM Steve Keim won’t pick up Licht’s call. Licht: “He’s one of my best friends, and he told me, ‘If you want to come up, gimme a call.’ Now he doesn’t answer.” Someone on the videoconference says to Licht: “Got a hold of Jacksonville yet?” Jacksonville (nine) has not been eager to move out.

Keim, enthusiastic about getting Simmons as late as eighth overall, indicated after his selection on Thursday that the Cardinals had no intention of letting the blue-chip prospect get away.

“Regardless of whether there were calls, and I did field some trade calls, this was a player that we were not going to pass on,” he told reporters.

The lack of trades in the first round, at least early on, was a storyline during Thursday’s NFL Draft, which was done remotely. It’s not clear whether the altered format of the draft had anything to do with teams failing to get deals done. Probably not, as teams aren’t ever in the same location on draft day anyway.

“We were able to follow along, the league has a live view that’s through a website that I’m able to watch,” Keim said. “I’m able, as live time goes, [to] watch the picks come in, see how much time is left on the clock. This format, because it’s virtual, it does seem a little quicker to me than being in a draft war room and that sort of thing, but I felt like it was pretty smooth.

“Again, the biggest thing is being prepared, having your board stacked the right way, trusting in it, and once your opportunity is up to pick you go ahead and make the selection.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator and acting head coach Vance Joseph looks on during the seco...
Arizona Sports

Listen: Cardinals’ Joseph, Bidwill give locker room speeches after win vs. Browns

Acting coach Vance Joseph and Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill credited their team for overcoming in a win against the Browns.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a touch down pass to DeAndre Hopkins #10 (not pictu...
Tyler Drake

No Kliff, no problem: Short-handed Cardinals don’t blink vs. Browns

Despite being down a head coach and a handful of key contributors, the Arizona Cardinals dug in and came out with a win in Week 6.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the C...
Arizona Sports

Rapid reactions: Cardinals make statement vs. Browns

Here are a few main takeaways from the victory that keeps Arizona as the only loss-less team in the NFL through Week 6.
1 day ago
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the third...
Dan Bickley

Might we call Cardinals special after they overcame adversity again?

The Arizona Cardinals prevailed against the Cleveland Browns because special football teams don’t let anything get in their way.
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones interacts with Arizona Cardinals tight end Darrell Dan...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals TE Darrell Daniels, DT Rashard Lawrence hurt vs. Browns

Already down starting tight end Maxx Williams, the Cardinals lost replacement Darrell Daniels to a hamstring injury against the Browns.
1 day ago
Christian Kirk #13 of the Arizona Cardinals catches a touchdown pass during the first quarter again...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals start fast and finish strong to beat Browns, move to 6-0

The Browns chopped into the lead with zeros on the first-half clock, as Baker Mayfield connected with Donovan Peoples-Jones on a Hail Mary.
1 day ago
Bucs’ Jason Licht couldn’t reach Cardinals GM Steve Keim to trade up