Arizona Cardinals Road Now Tougher with NFC West Deals

Jonathan Cullen@@jcullen71Senior Writer IMarch 11, 2013

The Seahawks added the dynamic Harvin.
The Seahawks added the dynamic Harvin.Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Within a couple of hours, the Arizona Cardinals road back in the NFC West just got much tougher, as two separate deals Monday afternoon greatly improved division rivals.

First, the Seattle Seahawks acquired Percy Harvin from the Minnesota Vikings for a package centered around draft picks. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer was the first to report the deal.

Harvin has been termed a headcase (sometimes quite literally, with a history of migraines) and a Prima donna during his tenure with the Vikings, but he is also a dynamic player when healthy and could easily help propel the Seahawks' offense to the next level.

The price for Harvin is steep, rumored to be a 2013 first-round pick, a seventh-round pick and a 2014 mid-round pick. It was a smart deal for the Vikings, even if the first-round pick is going to be lower in the round then you would like.

The second deal is the one that might sting a bit more for Arizona.

Anquan Boldin  will be back in the NFC West, but not with the Cardinals. The Baltimore Ravens traded him back inside the division, this time to the 49ers for the meager price of a sixth-round pick, first report by The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.

Talk about some brotherly love. This must be John Harbaugh's apology to his brother Jim for the non-call at the end of this year's Super Bowl.

Getting Boldin for a sixth-round pick is a steal, especially when it allows the 49ers to move on from Randy Moss and bring in a receiver with championship pedigree (two Super Bowl appearances) who provide another dimension to an already-complex 49ers offense.

Boldin could be the piece to push the 49ers over the top. Harvin, on the hand, may be the piece that could stop that from happening.

Wow. If you are a Cardinals fans, you have be shaking your head right now. The road back doesn't look easy. Arizona will now face their former-star receiver and Harvin, who has racked up 20 catches for 253  yards and two touchdowns in their four meetings with him, four times throughout the season.

The Cardinals have the misfortune of playing in the NFL's best division with two young teams that are likely to put a stranglehold on the NFC Championship for the next three to five years.

Right now, the 49ers and Seahawks are playing high-stakes poker while the Cards are still trying to figure out who their starting quarterback will be in 2013.

Making a couple smart personnel decisions may not be enough for Arizona; they will need to be almost flawless and bold in their dealings in order to compete within the division.

On the eve of free agency, the NFC West suddenly seems a lot tougher.