The Arizona Cardinals might wind up with four starters in a trade for a draft choice that could have given them a top quarterback they believe they don't really need.
And the San Diego Chargers, unwilling to gamble on leftovers, made that seemingly one-sided deal to have a chance to pick up the quarterback they desperately need."The bottom line is this was a deal we couldn't afford to pass up," Cardinals coach Vince Tobin said. "The big thing is that we strengthened our football team right now."
"We're not done yet," added Bob Ferguson, the team's vice president for player personnel.
By giving Arizona star punt returner Eric Metcalf and linebacker Patrick Sapp in a deal thrown together late Thursday, the Chargers moved up one spot in the April draft - to the second pick from third.
That puts them in position to snap up Tennessee's Peyton Manning or - if Indianapolis doesn't take him - Washington State's Ryan Leaf.
"Whichever one is there," Chargers general manager Bobby Beat-hard said.
Indianapolis, which traded quarterback Jim Harbaugh to Baltimore last month, has the first pick by virtue of finishing 3-13 last year.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, got a potential replacement for punt returner Kevin Williams, lost to free agency, plus San Diego's first- and second-round picks this year and a No. 1 pick in 1999, giving them two in the first round that year.
Besides shoring up the linebacker corps depleted by the free-agency loss of Eric Hill, the Cardinals also put themselves in position to grab Florida State All-America defensive end Andre Wadsworth, who has indicated he'd like to play for the Cardinals.