Here are some quick thoughts on the abrupt departure of Levi Brown:
• I am trying — and failing — to recall the last time an athlete/personality who was this scorned by media and fans alike exited the Phoenix sports scene. Michael Beasley and Linsday Hunter weren’t here long enough. Justin Upton and Ken Whisenhunt weren’t scorned universally the way Brown was. Rod Graves? Josh Byrnes/AJ Hinch? Wayne Gretzky? Joe Johnson? I don’t know.
• Ron Jaworski said that Brown wasn’t “fixable.” It took Bruce Arians and his staff a few weeks to agree. In the course of Arians’ time with the Cardinals, Brown went from “elite” to “correctable” to gone. And even though Arians will get lightly mocked for the “elite” moniker of the offseason, this move shows something I didn’t see enough of during the Whisenhunt/ Graves era — the willingness to try something different when what you were doing wasn’t working. Of course, clearing that contract also plays a part.
• And of course, part two: it’s much easier to have that sort of attitude when you don’t have any real ties to the player you’re letting go. Let’s see if they display the same willingness to adapt when it’s a guy they brought in.
• It would appear Bradley Sowell is the next man up. Obviously the Cardinals will be looking for a left tackle in the offseason either through the draft or free agency. But they would have been doing that with or without Wednesday’s move.
• Did the trade make Carson Palmer a better quarterback? Or at the very least a more comfortable, confident quarterback? If Palmer was having trust issues with Brown on his blindside, perhaps. That feeling might last as long as it takes for Palmer to get sacked on a missed block by Sowell.
• This deal says more about the Steelers than it does the Cardinals. Hard times have fallen in the Steel City if they think Levi Brown is the answer to keeping Ben Roethlisberger upright.