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Cardinals’ G.M. says Levi Brown was not living up to expectations

Carolina Panthers v Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Todd Heap #86, Levi Brown #75, Sione Fua #94, Jeff King #87, David Carter #79, Lyle Sendlein #63, Daryn Colledge #71 and Vonnie Holliday #91 of the Arizona Cardinals walk off the field before the NFL season opening game against the Carolina Panthers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Panthers 28-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Why did the Cardinals trade Levi Brown, a former No. 5 overall pick, for a conditional late-round pick? Because Brown isn’t playing like a No. 5 overall pick.

That’s the word from Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim, who said after the trade of Brown to Pittsburgh was finalized that the Cardinals simply weren’t getting any production out of Brown.

“Levi Brown was not living up to expectations on the field,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ website.

Brown has started all four games at left tackle for the Cardinals this season and has started a total of 79 games in his career, but Keim said the Cardinals have long known it was time to move on and have been discussing a trade all season.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians added that he doesn’t think Brown is as good now as he was before suffering a torn triceps in 2012, which caused him to miss the entire season. Arians said there’s no risk in trading Brown away from this point because the Cardinals couldn’t get any worse in pass protection than they have been in the first four games.

That’s harsh, but it’s not unfair: Brown was not playing well in Arizona. And Steelers fans shouldn’t get their hopes up that he can play well in Pittsburgh.