The Cardinals traded former first-round pick Levi Brown to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, giving the offensive tackle an unceremonious end to his seven-year run in Arizona. Darren Urban of the Cardinals official team site shared that the general manager, Steve Keim, had been floating the idea of trading Brown for about a month now:
Keim: "Levi Brown was not living up to expectations on the field." Cards discussed making a Levi move as far back as Week 1.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 2, 2013
According to NFL.com, Pro Football Focus currently has Brown ranked as the 60th-best offensive tackle in the league, performance-wise, while he's also been plagued by false start and holding penalties through his career. That's not what you want from a top-5 pick who signed a five-year, $30-million deal in 2012.
Arizona ranks tied for 13th in sacks allowed this year with 10, but the run game has failed to produce consistently, ranking 26th at 78.8 yards per game. Now the Cardinals are ready to hand the job off to second-year man Bradley Sowell, according to KTAR 620's Paul Calvisi:
After Levi Brown trade, sources say Bradley Sowell will start at LT. On whether Sowell is an upgrade, source says: "No worse, more effort."— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) October 2, 2013
It's hard to see how an underperforming blindside tackle can help out an 0-4 team, but NFL.com's Ian Rapoport said it's a step in the right direction for the Steelers:
If you wondered if #Steelers would shift into rebuilding mode after starting 0-4… nope. Acquiring Levi Brown indicates wanting to win now— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 2, 2013
Brown's effort has been questioned throughout his career, but now he gets a fresh start in Pittsburgh, where quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is in need of some reinforcements for the 0-4 Steelers. Roethlisberger has already been sacked 15 times this year, and Brown is expected to take over the starting left tackle spot for Mike Adams, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It appears the Steelers were keen on acquiring a new left tackle after Adams gave up 2.5 sacks to Jared Allen last week in a 34-27 loss to Minnesota.