CARDINALS CORNER

Monti Ossenfort keeping trade options open as Cardinals’ draft board nears completion

Apr 18, 2024, 3:03 PM

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals have about 95% of their draft board completed about a week out from the 2024 NFL Draft.

But while that may sound like all there’s left to do is dot a few i’s and cross a couple more t’s, there’s still plenty of work to be done, from simply completing the draft board to playing out potential scenarios that may arise come draft night and everything else in between.

There are also boxes to check away from the facility.

Given where Arizona sits at No. 4 overall and the handful of quarterback-needy teams positioned behind the Cardinals, outside interest remains.

And although those conversations have been more surface-level than anything and likely won’t intensify until the week — or even the night — of the draft, any of those talks could very well lead to getting a deal done in the near future.

Because at the end of the day, you never know what a desperate team might offer in a pinch, especially if the draft order doesn’t shake out like anticipated.

“We’ve had talks with multiple teams. Multiple teams have checked in with us,” Ossenfort said Thursday. “I think the way I look at it is I love my house. I love where I live. My wife loves where I live. If all of a sudden there’s a knock on my door and someone offers me something, I’m going to look and see what they’re offering me. If I open that up and it’s something I’m not expecting, ‘Hey Shannon, let’s go. Pack up. It’s time to roll.’

“It happens beforehand. It happens on the clock. Different teams have different motivations, but we’ll see how this one plays out next week.”

As far as whether or not he would trade his “house” for a trio of first-round picks, you’d have to talk to his wife Shannon about that.

In all seriousness, if Ossenfort and the Cardinals do in fact get an offer they can’t refuse, it’ll likely come from one of three teams in the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos or New York Giants.

Minnesota, though, could present the most enticing package of the bunch by tossing in both of its 2024 first-round picks at Nos. 11 and 23 overall on top of a 2025 first-rounder.

The Broncos at No. 12 overall could also lump together future first-rounders or even a player at a position of need for the Cardinals in cornerback Patrick Surtain II to sweeten their deal.

A trade with the Giants for their No. 6 overall pick and change wouldn’t have to break New York’s bank to move up and likely still gives the Cardinals a prime opportunity to nab any of the remaining wide receiver prospects on the board.

With any of those moves, though, comes the reality that Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. likely won’t be on the board when the Cardinals are on the clock.

For a lot of fans who have already pegged the potential generational talent as a Cardinal, that would be a gut punch.

But there’s certainly levels to this and Ossenfort isn’t about to make a move for another war room video or the sake of saying he did.

“Our fans are very important to us. I think ultimately what I can promise and what I always promise is we’re going to do what’s best for the team. We’re going to do what’s best for the team this year and long term.

“Everyone’s got an opinion, everybody’s got favorites and that goes with the territory. Ultimately, no matter what decision it is, whether it’s the draft or free agency or cutting a player or who makes the practice squad, every decision we make it will also be in the best interest of the team.”

But just because Ossenfort trades down, doesn’t mean he can’t shoot back up the draft order through another deal.

From the sounds of it, there appears to be more than one suitor in that regard, with Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reporting that the Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears could be in the mix as a potential trade-up partner.

Making a deal with any of those teams would bring the Cardinals back up to Nos. 5-9.

And if it’s the Chargers, who currently own the fifth overall pick, there’s still a very good chance the Cardinals will have their pick of Harrison, Washington’s Rome Odunze and LSU’s Malik Nabers.

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