The Arizona Cardinals are implementing a new offensive system. There is no better way to help that implementation than bringing in a player familiar with that system. On Wednesday night, the Cardinals and wide receiver Michael Crabtree agreed on a deal. The free-agent receiver had been brought in just a few weeks ago but had not been able to come to terms. Always looking to get better, the Cardinals also agreed to trade for Bruce Hector, a defensive lineman from Philadelphia.
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Crabtree played college football at Texas Tech. His coach at that time was Mike Leach, the current head man at Washington State. Crabtree’s new head coach is Kliff Kingsbury, one of Leach’s biggest disciple and former quarterback at Texas Tech. The two former Red Raiders missed each other by a few seasons, but come from the same offensive system. Crabtree has never quite lived up to his lofty expectations, but he is someone who can provide 50 or more receptions this season.
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The signing is more than adding someone familiar with the offensive system. Crabtree will be a tremendous help in the receiver room, but he is still a productive player. The veteran has averaged 63 reception a season, falling below 50 just twice. Both seasons below 50 receptions were due to injuries. Crabtree can be a reliable outlet for a young quarterback. He is still an above-average route runner with solid hands. Arizona now has two receivers who can move the chains over the middle.
On Thursday, the Cardinals agreed to a trade with the Eagles for some much needed defensive line help. Arizona agreed to send safety Rudy Ford, a special teams ace with tremendous speed, to Philadelphia in return for defensive lineman Bruce Hector. Ford was a cut candidate. The Cardinals currently have a starting defensive line of Rodney Gunter, Corey Peters, and Zach Allen. Arizona drafted Allen with the first pick in the third round, of the 2019 draft. Behind the starting three, the Cardinals are looking at Terrell McClain, Miles Brown, Michael Dogbe, Sterling Bailey, and Pasoni Tasini.
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Hector is a depth addition. He is a 6’2″, 296 lbs second-year lineman. As a rookie with the Eagles, Hector played in eight games and totaled a half-sack. Arizona needed the defensive line help after releasing Darius Philon, Robert Nkemdiche, and Vincent Valentine. All three were released within the last month, following issues with the law. The Cardinals hope that Hector can round out the group at defensive line. The final acceptance of the trade hinges on both Ford and Hector passing their physicals.