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Cardinals Avoid Trade Deadline Frenzy

GM Steve Keim stands pat while others in NFC West make moves


Cardinals GM Steve Keim on his phone in the final hours before the trading deadline on Tuesday.

The Cardinals' divisional brethren made it look so easy on Monday.

In a span of a few hours, the Seahawks and 49ers made intriguing trades in advance of Tuesday's 1 p.m. deadline. Seattle acquired left tackle Duane Brown from the Texans to bolster their struggling offensive line, while San Francisco upgraded at quarterback by adding Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots.

But despite working the phones regularly the past few days, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim stood pat. The team's lone in-season trade of 2017 will be the acquisition of running back Adrian Peterson in mid-October.

"Really for a trade to come to fruition, there has to be so many different things that make sense, whether it's the finances, the compensation," Keim said Monday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7. "As often as you talk about trades – because there are a lot of conversations – very rarely do teams pull the trigger because of one thing or another."

Inaction tends to be the theme around the NFL deadline – compared to the more active ones in Major League Baseball and the NBA – but this year was different.

The 49ers made the big move for Garoppolo and later shipped cornerback Rashard Robinson to the Jets. The Bills acquired wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin from the Panthers. The Jaguars traded for Buffalo defensive tackle Marcel Dareus. The Eagles beefed up their running game with Miami's Jay Ajayi.

The flurry of activity had NFL fans buzzing with excitement, but at the Cardinals' facility, there was no special feel. While many of the team's big-name players were the subject of rumors – an old photo of Larry Fitzgerald at a Boston airport circulated on Twitter – the team practiced almost up to the early afternoon deadline and the players casually milled about the locker room as it passed.

"Honestly, I just figured out (Tuesday was the trading deadline) when I was sitting out there eating food," money linebacker Deone Bucannon said. "Congrats to whoever got traded, or not get traded. I don't know."

Arians was a part of the trade discussions when the Cardinals acquired Peterson earlier this month but said he wasn't paying attention to the league-wide moves the past few days.

"I couldn't tell you who the hell got traded," Arians said. "I'm too worried about who we got. That's Steve's job. He worries about all that stuff."

The trade that affects the Cardinals the most is San Francisco's acquisition of Garoppolo. The 49ers have plenty of cap room to sign him to an extension, which means he could be a fixture in the NFC West for years to come.

Garoppolo only has two career starts, but the first came in the regular season opener of 2016 against the Cardinals. He threw for 264 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots pulled the 23-21 upset, which helped build up his trade value as a possible franchise signal-caller.

"I was very impressed with him," Arians said. "Obviously he played extremely well. We gave him two (chunk-yardage completions), but he played and managed that game really well."

While Garoppolo will be on the sideline in Week 9, the 49ers are expected to stick with rookie C.J. Beathard at quarterback. He has struggled this season but it could be too much to ask for Garoppolo to start so soon. Arians said it doesn't matter who plays quarterback for San Francisco on Sunday.

"You get ready for the offense that's on film," Arians said. "That's probably the second time this has happened this year, and you get ready for their offense. You go back and look at Jimmy when he played against us, but whether they play him or Beathard, it doesn't really matter. Just have to get ready for their offense and stopping the run first of all, and then those explosive wide receivers."

Images of the Cardinals' top scorers through seven games

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