The NFC West may be widely regarded as the best division in football, but most of the teams competing to win it in 2021 could use help at the cornerback spot.
It is the Cardinals, though, who arguably have the greatest need at the position and undoubtedly the most capital with which to strike a trade, their three division rivals each having already mortgaged their futures with blockbuster deals.
The Cardinals ranked ninth in passing defense DVOA, per Football Outsiders, in 2020, but a projected starting cornerback pairing of Malcolm Butler and Robert Alford is not one to inspire confidence and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph would surely welcome the arrival of a talent like Howard.
Arizona’s hopes for their defense rest largely on the ability of veteran pass-rushers Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt to create disruption up front and present opportunities for the secondary to come away with takeaways.
Howard is a player who thrives on such chances and, should the Cardinals add him to a defensive backfield that already features All-Pro safety Budda Baker and talented nickel back Byron Murphy, they will be in a significantly better spot to make a third-year leap under a head coach Kliff Kingsbury.