Free Agency and Trades: 49ers vs. Cardinals
Free agency is a great way for teams to inject experienced talent into their team. Each NFL team has different ideas on how to approach free agency.
And the Cardinals were very aggressive this offseason.
The Cardinals traded for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from Houston Texans, which doesn’t necessarily count in free agency. But given what Arizona gave up in return, it was essentially a low-cost free agency move and was an incredible one. The Cardinals were able to get one of the best receivers in the game and were able to unload running back David Johnson and his hefty contract. The Cardinals also did not give up a lot of draft capital to obtain Hopkins.
Arizona was able to get running back Kenyan Drake on a one-year transition tag deal. This is a good move after the Cardinals traded for Drake last season. Drake was a huge playmaker in the Arizona offense, too. His first game for the Cardinals was against the 49ers, and he played really well.
The 49ers have made some interesting moves this offseason in free agency. One of the 49ers’ biggest moves was trading Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and re-signing fellow defensive tackle Arik Armstead, a move which has been highly talked about and criticized. This move will not be able to be fully graded until the team sees how Buckner’s replacement, South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw, plays out.
San Fransico was also able to trade for left tackle Trent Williams. This would be huge with the retirement of franchise stalwart Joe Staley. While 49ers will forever appreciate the phenomenal play Staley had over his career with the 49ers, the ability to replace the play of Staley with Williams is phenomenal.
The Niners also traded running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, which were moves that made a lot of sense. The team was able to obtain more draft capital by trading these two players.
The Cardinals had the busier and more successful free agency period when factoring in the trade market. The trade for Hopkins has to go down as one of the best moves of the offseason. The Cardinals were able to pull off a phenomenal move with giving their young quarterback, Kyler Murray, one of the most dynamic receivers in the game.