The Tennessee Titans desperately need a quarterback but might get shut out in the 2023 NFL Draft at pick No. 11. The Arizona Cardinals have the No. 3 pick where QBs like CJ Stroud will be available but need more talent across their roster, not a new signal-caller. This means a Titans-Cardinals trade for the third pick makes a ton of sense. Here is the perfect draft-day trade the Titans can offer the Cardinals to get a deal done.
Titans trade first-round picks and Ryan Tannehill to the Cardinals for the No. 3 pick
Kyler Murray is securely the franchise quarterback for the Cardinals moving forward due to his massive contract if nothing else. The problem is, the QB is still rehabbing his late-season knee injury, so there’s a good chance he won’t be ready for Week 1. His backup, Colt McCoy, also had postseason surgery, so he might not be able to go either.
While the QB position for the Cardinals is up in the air for early in the 2023 season, Murray’s massive $230 million contract doesn’t allow the team to take a young QB at No. 3. Plus, the roster is devoid of talent, especially if the team ends up trading DeAndre Hopkins and Budda Baker, as they’ve both requested.
The Cardinals need picks to bring in lots of talent more than they need a player like Will Anderson Jr. or Tyree Wilson at No. 3.
On the flip side, the Titans are one of the NFL teams right now with no chance of competing because they don’t have a franchise quarterback. Ryan Tannehill is no longer a viable, playoff-caliber starter, and Malik Willis showed no signs he’ll be ready to take the reigns in 2023 or maybe even beyond.
All this — along with plenty of rumors leading up to the 2023 NFL Draft – makes a Titans-Cardinals trade for the No. 3 pick a perfect match.
Right now, all we (likely) know is that the Carolina Panthers are going to take Alabama QB Bryce Young No. 1 overall. At No. 2, the Houston Texans are a major wild card. They desperately need a QB as well, but don’t seem to love any of the options. If they do pick a signal-caller with the second pick, though, it seems like Kentucky QB Will Levis would be the choice.
That means that Ohio State QB CJ Stroud would still be on the board when the Cardinals come on the clock at No. 3.
The rumors of a Titans-Cardinals trade all seem to stem from the fact that Mike Vrabel and new general manager Ran Carthon both like CJ Stroud.
Stroud is thought of as the safest signal-caller in this draft. His upside might not be the same as Levis’ of Florida’s Anthony Richardson’s, but the Titans need a Week 1 2023 starter, and Stroud is the closest to that after Young.
So, what’s the perfect trade for the Titans to offer the Cardinals for the third pick?
The Titans should offer pick No. 11 in the 2023 NFL Draft, their 2024 first-round pick, and Ryan Tannehill.
This is the best trade for the Cardinals because new head coach Jonathan Gannon and general managers Monti Ossenfort are in their first seasons and are in it for the long haul. If the team had to win games this season, picks 11, 41, and 72, plus a future mid-round pick might be better, but the new Arizona power structure can afford to wait on a more premium pick in next year’s draft.
Tannehill is the real sweetener here, though, which no other team can offer. Trading him saves the Titans a good chunk of change next season, and for the Cardinals, they get a one-year rental on a veteran who can both start the season and give the team a chance to win and mentor Kyler Murray.
When Tannehill’s contract runs out after 2023, the Cardinals can even bring him back on a much lower deal if things work out well with him and Murray next season.
As for the Titans, they get their guy in CJ Stroud. The team traded AJ Brown last season and drafted Treylon Burks, who showed some promise in 2022, to replace him. So Stroud will have a go-to young WR and, for now, Derrick Henry. Although, the All-Pro RB might be on the trade block as well.
The Titans-Cardinals trade rumors are heating up ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft for all the reasons mentioned above. Now all Tennessee has to do is put together this perfect trade package, and both franchises will get not just what they want but what they really need.
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