Image Credit: (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
As discussed earlier when QB Nick Mullens was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, many teams are trying to get their rosters from 85 to 80 players on the roster. It is hard to make tough decisions that could end careers. However the other way to get to the player limit is to make trades. Which is what teams should do in the back of their minds not only to get rid of a player that is not a part of the present or future of the team, but they get either players or draft picks to help build or bolster the team. That is what the Buffalo Bills decided to do as they have shipped offensive guard Cody Ford to the Arizona Cardinals. The details of the trade are down below.
Arizona Cardinals Acquire: OG Cody Ford
Buffalo Bills Acquire: 2023 5th Round Pick
Arizona Cardinals Side
Okay, let's be real, this is a move that the Arizona Cardinals had to make. Excluding Rodney Hudson (Who the Cardinals almost lost this offseason as he contemplated retirement) their offensive line is terrible and is on the older side. Honestly, this is probably one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL right now. Not the worst as they are not the Chicago Bears, but its definitely up there. The Cardinals need to give as much protection to Kyler Murray and I am not so confident that they have a lot of that with the current core they have. So why not trade a late round pick to get an offensive lineman that could be an upgrade to the current core that they have. It is also important to note that Cody Ford and Kyler Murray are close with each other during their college days at Oklahoma. Which means lockeroom wise he will easily fit in and hopefully with a change of scenery Ford will be able to perform well by getting this team to the playoffs again. If not then it is yet another blemish on Kingsbury’s tenure with the Cardinals.
Buffalo Bills Side
Talk about a difference a few years can make. Cody Ford was once one of the rising offensive line and the Bills even traded up in the 2019 NFL Draft in order to get him. However, due to injuries and consistency issues he has declined. But I was thinking that with a strong camp and him getting healthier that he would play like he did in his first few seasons in the league. But when the Bills brought in Rodger Saffold and Greg Van Roten during free agency, I knew Ford’s time with the Bills was done. Especially as the starter for the Bills due to the investments on the interior offensive line, Ford lost leverage in keeping his roster spot. Ford is in the last year of his contract and it is better to get something for him than losing him for nothing at the end of the season. So the Bills realizing that Ford was not going to be here long term the Bills looked into trading him. Lucky for the Bills they got a 5th round pick from the Arizona Cardinals to help bolster the team in the 2023 NFL Draft. To add onto it the Bills save around 1.52 million in cap space making this move which could help when the Bills buy during the trade deadline as it is Super Bowl or bust for the Buffalo Bills.
Grades for Cody Ford Trade
Arizona Cardinals B+
Buffalo Bills A
This is clearly a win-win trade for both teams. I thought about giving the same grade for both teams, but I decided to give the Bills the higher grade. They got rid of a player who clearly was not going to be a part of this team long term, saved cap space, and received a draft pick for a guy they were probably going to cut. The Cardinals don’t lose here either as they potentially get an upgrade on the interior offensive line and did not have to give up too much in order to get Ford. Plus they get bonus points as they get Kyler happy bringing in one of his teammates (Ford) to the locker room. Overall good move by Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane and Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim. Hopefully this deal will work out for both teams.