Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals

ARIZONA — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes just won his third Super Bowl since entering the league. The two-time MVP, who isn’t even 30 years old, has already cemented himself as one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever grace a football field.

And the Arizona Cardinals wanted him. Desperately.

Flashback to the 2017 NFL Draft, where the previous 7-8-1 Cardinals were picking just outside of the top ten in the first round, with their sights set on a certain quarterback.

There were rumors – major ones in fact – that Arizona coveted the Texas Tech star.

In Peter King’s latest Football Morning in America column, he dove into Mahomes’ draft process, which included speaking with former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians and what could have been with Mahomes being targeted in the desert.

“Arizona. Frothing for Mahomes,” wrote King before attaching what Arians said.

“Worked him out in Lubbock, wind blowing probably 35 miles an hour,” Arians told King. “He whistled that ball through the wind like it was the calmest day in the world. One of the best quarterback workouts I’ve seen in my life. Maybe only Andrew Luck’s was better.”

The Cardinals weren’t the only team who wanted No. 15 throwing the ball in their stadium, though King was very clear: “Mahomes was not getting past Arizona.

“In Arizona, the Cardinals had hope. They were three picks away from Mahomes.

“Then, over the tinny speaker in every team’s draft room, there was an announcement from draft HQ in New York: There’s been a trade. Kansas City is trading with Buffalo. The Chiefs have the 10th pick. The Chiefs are on the clock.”

Kansas City had moved all the way up from No. 27 to No. 10, jumping ahead of a handful of teams that surely would have snagged Mahomes to ensure their quarterback of the future landed at Arrowhead.

“I was stunned,” Arians said. “I figured they were a playoff team with a good quarterback in Alex Smith. I thought Pat was gonna fall to us.”

The Cardinals ultimately stuck in their spot and chose edge rusher Haason Reddick, who was wildly misused and thrived elsewhere after departing.

After swinging and missing with Josh Rosen at quarterback in 2018, Arizona snagged the No. 1 pick the following year and chose Kyler Murray, who is still in the desert after surviving a change in regimes.

It’s clear the Cardinals would have sprinted to the podium had Mahomes been available, though sitting on their hands while other teams opted to wheel-and-deal ultimately proved costly.

Almost, Arizona. Almost.