Sunday, June 26, 2022

Cardinals could trade for Hulking’s former first-round DT

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On June 16, the Arizona Cardinals signed two NFL free-agent defensemen, cornerback Josh Jackson and linebacker Ben Niemann, and are poised to continue bolstering their defense. The Cardinals had $11.7 million in cap space prior to the two contract signings, according to OverTheCap.

Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton issued a list of trades NFL teams must make before training camp begins. While discussing the Cardinals, Wharton proposed the idea that the Cardinals should trade against Chicago Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn, who amassed 18.5 sacks in 2021.

With the Cardinals losing Chandler Jones to free agency from the Las Vegas Raiders, Wharton feels adding a Pro Bowl pass rusher is extremely important.

Wharton wrote: “The best landing place for the veteran (Robert Quinn) is in Arizona. The Cardinals didn’t replace (Jones) with an impressive talent.”

However, there is one other defensive player who could be available for the Cardinals to trade. Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne is targeting another deal as he enters the final year of his contract. He could be a trade contender, particularly given the depth of the defensive line of Montez Sweat commander Jonathan Allen and 2020 first-round pick Chase Young.

While Wharton tied the Detroit Lions with Payne, the Cardinals could also be an option for the 2018 first-round pick due to their lack of defensive line depth.

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Payne has played in at least 15 games per season since his rookie season in 2018. Despite his consistent availability and performance, Commanders added tackle Phidarian Mathis in the second round of the 2022 draft. Mathis is an affordable option with $42 million already dedicated to Sweat, Allen and Young for multiple seasons. There’s a chance Payne won’t play for burgundy and gold in 2023.

Payne’s participation in voluntary OTAs has also been patchy. He participated in individual exercises but not in team exercises. But Payne is willing to work in mandatory mini-camps.

“I mean, it was voluntary, so I could have done it, but I didn’t have to, so I didn’t do it,” Payne said of NBC Washington’s Bijann Todd. “But now it’s minicamp and I’m working.”

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin is another player that commanders have to worry about when it comes to future suspension.

Contract talks with Payne continue, but the Alabama-based product declined to comment on his future.

“It’s between my coach, my agent and me,” Payne said.

While commanders don’t think Payne is available, the 6’2 320-pound tackle shouldn’t be considered untouchable. The 25-year-old has yet to make a Pro Bowl and The Athletic reported in May that the captains were “quietly letting other teams know that Payne is available for a trade.”

The Commanders exercised the fifth-year option on Payne’s contract last season, which put his 2022 cap at $8.5 million.

The Commanders exercised the fifth-year option on Payne’s contract last season, which put his 2022 cap at $8.5 million.

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