Isaiah Simmons’ highly-publicized positional transition didn’t manage to hold steady until the end of the preseason in Arizona.
The Cardinals executed a significant move by trading the former first-round pick to the New York Giants in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round draft pick, a decision formally declared by the team on Thursday.
“Isaiah fulfilled all the expectations we had of him,” remarked Cardinals’ head coach Jonathan Gannon during a press briefing on Thursday. “Moving ahead, this approach represents the optimal way for us to compete against other teams on the field.”
Simmons’ storyline in Arizona revolved around the challenge of fitting into a specific role. The recipient of the 2019 ACC Defensive Player of the Year award, Simmons entered the NFL with a unique position straddling linebacker roles. However, his exceptional blend of size, speed, and athleticism left most scouting personnel excited about the potential that Simmons could bring to the table.
Former Cardinals general manager Steve Keim was the executive who embraced the gamble on Simmons’ untapped potential, selecting him at the No. 8 spot overall in the 2020 draft. Keim’s tenure didn’t extend long enough to acknowledge any missteps, but his successor, GM Monti Ossenfort, quickly acknowledged the team’s past miscalculation without needing to say a word.