Cardinals GM: We needed more production out of WR Andy Isabella

Oct 7, 2022, 3:50 PM
Wide receiver Andy Isabella #17 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of the NFL game at S...
Wide receiver Andy Isabella #17 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals cut wide receiver Andy Isabella on Tuesday in what was the final year of his rookie contract after three-plus seasons in the Valley.

General manager Steve Keim selected the wideout in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of UMass with the No. 62 overall pick.

However, Isabella only garnered a total of 447 yards and three touchdowns on 33 receptions in his Cardinals tenure and was only active for eight games last season while seeing 5% of available snaps. He finished with one catch for 13 yards in 2021.

The 25-year-old fourth-year pro was signed to the Baltimore Ravens practice squad on Wednesday, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Although, head coach John Harbough on Friday told reporters he was unable to comment on the signing and the team has yet to make it official.

“I think he just needed a fresh start,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday. “We thought he was a tremendous slot-type that could create separation with exceptional speed and quickness that just really never got his niche here.

“Not to his defense, but we have had some good receivers with (Larry Fitzgerald) and (DeAndre Hopkins) and now Hollywood (Brown) and some of these other players that have been on this roster. So it’s been hard to crack the lineup for him. But no excuses — bottom line is we needed a little bit more production out of him and we wish him luck in Baltimore.”

Keim admitted to some of the mistakes he’s made in his draft history, especially when it comes to the WR position.

Isabella was the eighth wide receiver taken in the 2019 NFL Draft, with Seattle Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf being the ninth to go just two picks later at No. 64 overall as the final selection of the second round.

Marquise Brown was the first wideout drafted in 2019 at No. 25 overall in the first round, followed by former Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry at No. 32 and Deebo Samuel at No. 36.

“Sometimes in this business we grasp and we get excited about potential and projections instead of realizing that guys are highly-productive, good football players at the time. … Guys who don’t have all the bells and whistles,” Keim said. “Deebo reminds me a lot of Anquan Boldin, a guy who didn’t run fast coming out but was a hell of a football player and highly productive and great after the catch.

“To me, it just reminds you and the scouting department and our coaching evaluations to make sure that we concentrate on guys who can actually play on Sundays and not just run fast (40-yard dashes) and run quick (three-cone drills).”

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