ARIZONA CARDINALS

CBS grades Cardinals’ 3 trades from Thursday: How did they do?

Aug 25, 2023, 11:32 AM | Updated: 1:40 pm

Isaiah Simmons and Patrick Mahomes (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...

Isaiah Simmons and Patrick Mahomes (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals made a flurry of trades on Thursday.

Some of the trades could be seen as getting something for someone who may have been cut. Another may be to spur competition.

CBS is grading those trades, giving the Cardinals the winning edge in just one of the three moves.

S Isaiah Simmons to New York Giants for a seventh-round pick

Isaiah Simmons had played well in his first two seasons with Arizona, racking up 258 tackles, 7.5 sacks and four interceptions at linebacker and safety.

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon had moved the former No. 8 overall pick to safety full time this preseason, but that had proven to be problematic.

During Week 2 of the preseason, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes picked on Simmons to the tune of two touchdowns in the first half in Arizona’s 38-10 loss.

The Giants will reportedly move the Clemson alum back to linebacker, where he’s played the majority of his NFL career.

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports is favoring the New York Giants in the handling of the Simmons deal.

CBS Sports grades the move a B for New York:

The trade does not move the needle in either direction very much. Simmons is an intriguing fit for Martindale’s defensive goals but he has proven little to this point in his career. His skill set allows New York to match different personnel groups.

Meanwhile, for Arizona, the Cardinals were given a C+ grade:

If Arizona had determined Simmons was not a fit for what it wanted to do on defense, then getting anything in return for him is a positive. However, it is impossible to shake the sunk cost of a first-round pick. The return on investment is rather low.

A 2024 fifth-round pick to Cleveland Browns for QB Josh Dobbs and a 2024 seventh-round pick

The immediate question is raised: Five quarterbacks? So, who’s the odd man out?

Dobbs will presumably compete for the starting quarterback position alongside veteran backup Colt McCoy and 2023 fifth-round pick Clayton Tune, who were splitting first-team duties in practice on Thursday. Quarterback Kyler Murray continues to work his way back from a knee injury, with his return date unknown at this time.

Dobbs has bounced around the league, getting looks from many teams, but never has been given the keys to the car for very long. The former Tennessee Volunteer hasn’t shown the consistency with his explosiveness in playmaking since being drafted in 2017 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin favors Cleveland heavily in the trade, but not for the reasons you’d think.

CBS Sports grades the move a A- for Cleveland:

Dorian Thompson-Robinson proved in the preseason he’s at least got the tools to be an NFL-caliber backup, and Dobbs, while decent on short notice for the Titans in 2022, isn’t nearly as experienced as you might think, appearing in a grand total of eight games in his six NFL seasons. Shedding his one-year, $2 million deal as a low-end No. 2 to move up in the 2024 draft is pretty solid. More importantly, it paves the way for Thompson-Robinson to get more reps as Deshaun Watson insurance.

Meanwhile, for Arizona, the Cardinals were given a C+ grade:

Dobbs is a reasonable addition to a mishmash of largely unexciting fill-ins for Kyler Murray, and in fact may well end up winning whatever competition occurs between now and the end of the 2023 season. But does he justify surrendering the equivalent of a sixth-rounder? Especially after the team dumped former first-rounder Simmons for even less? Maybe. Maybe not. Arizona is clearly operating with 2024 in mind, and this probably won’t affect them too much one way or another.

OT Josh Jones and a 2024 seventh-round pick to Houston Texans for 2024 fifth-round pick

Josh Jones is set to make $2.75 million this season. D.J. Humphries is intrenched at left tackle and rookie Paris Johnson Jr. is set to start at right tackle, while veteran Kelvin Beachum is able to backup at both positions. That leaves Jones on the outside looking in. As a potential cut-day casualty, it’s better to get something than nothing.

Jones started 21 games in his time with Arizona, playing 47 games overall.

As for Jones, he gets the opportunity go home, as he played his collegiate ball at Houston.

Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports favors the Cardinals in the trade.

CBS Sports grades the move a C+ for Houston:

You can never have too much depth along the offensive line, especially when you have a rookie quarterback like the Texans do with C.J. Stroud. Jones has starting experience across various spots along the offensive line, including both tackle spots. That should make him an ideal swing tackle for DeMeco Ryans’ team behind Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard, who both got extended this offseason.

Meanwhile, for Arizona, the Cardinals were given a B- grade:

While the depth would’ve been nice for 2023, Jones didn’t have a firm place with the Cardinals this season with Humphries and Johnson cemented at the starting tackle spots. With Jones entering the final year of his contract and no long-term use for him beyond 2023, it made sense for GM Monti Ossenfort to move on and attach a seventh-round pick to a player who wasn’t going to have a significant role on the team to jump up a couple of rounds. Ossenfort clearly knows the Cardinals won’t be a competitive team this season and that awareness and desire to stock up his draft assets is a savvy move.

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