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Blogs

Breaking down the roster

Posted by Darren Urban on January 21, 2010 – 12:35 pm

Right now, the Cards are knee-deep in offseason meetings, meaning I haven’t had a chance to talk to general manager Rod Graves for a story. That will be coming. In the meantime, I have collected all the contract situations (at least, organizing what year each player is signed through, or their free agent status) in a file you can find right here. It doesn’t cover every single player on the roster but it has everyone I considered a contributor this season or someone who needed to be addressed.

Officially the Cards have 14 unrestricted free agents and 10 restricted (the numbers would have been 17 and 7, but Gabe Watson, Deuce Lutui and Jerheme Urban all are going to be hamstrung by the new rules when the NFL deals with an uncapped offseason). On offense, the Cards seem to be in good shape. Starters Dan Kreider (FB), Anthony Becht (TE), Sean Morey (special teams) and Mike Gandy (T) — along with Jeremy Bridges (G/T) are unrestricted. Bigger questions are on defense, where Karlos Dansby (LB) and Matt Ware (S) could walk away, and the Cards are in transition with veteran UFAs like Bryan Robinson, Chike Okeafor, Bertrand Berry, Ralph Brown and Monty Beisel.


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Posted in Blog | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “Breaking down the roster”

  1. By Ron on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I wish urban was an unrestricted free agent.

  2. By bigredfan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Jerheme Urban. Nuff said

  3. By cards fan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I would like to see Robinson back out of all the older guys. If Robinson goes, then I would think Watson has to stay? I’m sure they can get younger and more athletic than Berry. What has Okeafor ever done here? Beisel and Ware coming back would be nice at the right price. They need to bring in more help for the secondary and Brown probably needs to be gone. I will say that Rashaad Johnson has to be the biggest disappointment in the draft for quite sometime. Maybe since Darwin Walker? My question is if Dansby leaves… What happens then?

  4. By cards fan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Becht and Kreider were pretty valuable, it was nice to have a good blocking TE and FB. And when Kreider got hurt, they didn’t get the running game going quite as well. I feel like those positions need to be filled with smart players, instead of talented athletes. Bridges depth was solid, and hopefully he comes back. I feel like they have to bring back Lutui if Gandy leaves, because two changes on the line would seem to set them back to where they were. I know everyone is on Urban but you can’t expect much more from a 5th WR? Morey is great on special teams and I hope he comes back but I wonder at what point the Cards decide that they aren’t going to be able to keep a special teams only player, besides the long snapper.

  5. By Clayton on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Darren-
    With the uncapped year why is Rolle’s salary such a big issue other than him needing to be locked up longterm?

    Is it possible to frontload contracts to resign players/free agents to the uncapped year?

    What are the chances of moving Wilson to OLB-Rolle to SS and Johnson/Ware to FS? Other than Wilson getting washed out of power runs all year he is probably our best option as a pass rusher/coverage other than deep zones…

  6. By Yoli#11 on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    SHOW THEM THE $$$$$….PUT THE $$$ WHERE IT COUNTS! HOPE THE AZ CARDS understand that the investment in the office show in the field!!!!!! we wanna MOVE FORWARD, right???!!!!

  7. By Chris B on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Regarding a few of those on the list:

    Urban: Won’t be here. Unless Morey goes, there’s no reason for him to stay as Early has surpassed him as a receiver.

    Rackers: Who else is out there? Folk? Keep him, he’s a solid weapon when healthy.

    Graham: Duh.

    LBs: Haggans was the most impressive and consistent, with Hayes right behind him. Dansby is good but not as good as he thinks he is nor worht the money he wants.

    St Pierre: needs a place to give him a chance. Not sure if AZ is that place.

    It will be interesting to see what we do with all our receivers, especially if Warner retires. We have THE deepest set of receivers in the league by a long shot! But Leinart isn’t a 5 receiver set guy. He will do better with a stronger running game (Thank you Beanie!). It will be interesting as well to see what happens with the secondary as well.
    I hope our younger LBs set it up this year. We need a strong 4 to back up a great 3 in front.

  8. By darrenurban on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Cards fan —

    Way too early to write off Rashad Johnson. I am guessing they will look to the draft if Dansby goes. I am sure they have thought about it a lot — it’s not like his leaving would be a surprise.

  9. By darrenurban on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Clayton —

    The uncapped year doesn’t change it is $12 million. No player is worth $12 million in a year unless it is a front-loaded part of long-term deal. To pay him that for 2010 alone would be financially stupid. It is possible to front load contracts, but keep this in mind — with the possibility of no season in 2011 (and the resulting loss of income) teams are going to be very careful how they dole out their money in 2010. I know everyone keeps saying “The Cards should just pay everyone, since there is no cap” but none of this is happening in a vacuum. There are still budgets — and those budgets may be tighter than normal, given the economy and the looming labor problems.

    As for Adrian, he is a Pro Bowl safety. You’re not moving a Pro Bowl safety to linebacker. Period.

  10. By darrenurban on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Chris B —

    A quick note on Urban, to everyone commenting. Since he is restricted, and can be tendered for an amount (and cut before next season if they don’t need him without an financial penalty), I’d be surprised if they don’t just keep him around just in case over the summer. If there is a Boldin trade, or an injury, they might need him. I doubt they just jettison him.

  11. By Cameron on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I want Becht gone we need a tight end thats the only missing piece in our offense besides a left tackle we get them and our offense is unstoppable even with Lienart. On the defensive side we need to keep dansby maybe pick up another backer or two to replace okeafor and berry and we definately need another corner to help out drc he cant cover the whole field. And resing rolle hes a solid free saftey.

  12. By georgiebird on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    observations:
    1) Dansby is not an impact player( Green Bay game was a gift for him)
    2) very disappointed Will Davis wasn’t a force in the playoffs
    3) can’t believe McFadden wasn’t exposed sooner (shame on Whiz and Graves for this FA pickup)
    4) A-dub is a liability against smart QB’s
    5) Calais was a disappointment late in the season-before the thumb
    6) DRC has to get stronger
    7) Rolle is not a good safety- he can’t tackle
    8) time to bring in a vet QB like Cleveland’s Anderson
    9) either Watson or Branch has to step up next year
    10 MLB Hayes is very ordinary

  13. By Steve on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    But he doesn’t cover like a Pro-Bowl Safety.

  14. By darrenurban on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Georgie —

    Lotta negativity for a team that just won 10 games.

  15. By Patrick on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Wow. We’ll need as many as 8 new players who can play on Defense. Tall order, but that’s why Graves and Whiz get the big bucks.

    They need to kick Rashad’s b_tt to step up.

    Sure seems like we need a strong leader on D who starts. A-Dub has all my respect, but we need a leader @ LB too. I like Dansby but he’s gone and he’s not a big time leader. He did well just getting with the program.

    Reggie Wells needs to step back up. We was once noted as our most athletic OL, now the rap is he needs to get in line with the off-season conditioning program. Russ?

    Sure seems like we could resign Boldin. I know, I know. But he wants to be here and Whiz has never waivered when he says we’re better with him. We are.

    Fitz, Boldin, Wells, Breaston and Hightower as a group almost assure a solid QB (read Matt) will succeed, and that we will have a potent offense for the forseeable future.

    Get 3 LBs, 3 DBs and 2 DLs and we are ready for everything..

  16. By Brandon on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    I think Dansby is what really makes this defense dynamic. He is a very underrated player and i hope *they can get him and Dockett signed longterm. Otherwise our D will be in some trouble

  17. By John on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, a couple of questions,
    1. Do the cards invision Will Davis and Cody Brown as their OLB’s ? Brown is raw and missed the year and really didnt show much before the injury.
    A true Outside passrusher is needed, do you see them drafting a guy likeJerry Hughes, Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle, or Ricky Sapp in the first round? Especially now Berry retired and Okefer is a free agent and didnt play well.
    2. What do you think the Cards can get for Boldin? Seams like teams like Baltimore, Eagles, Jets or even Chargers (remember both Wr’s are free agents) would give up alot. He would have made a difference for each of those teams in the playoffs.
    3. Knowing the cards, with the 26th pick, is it;
    a. CB Patrick Robinson
    b. one of the OLB’s above
    c. A Tackle like Cambell or Buluga
    d. Or a QB like McCoy
    e. off the board, like NG or Earl Thomas at S.
    What is your early feel for this. I vote B but wouldnt be upset at A
    thanks

  18. By Brandon on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Oh and those dogging Ralph Brown, he has been very steady the last 2 years. Id much see him as a nickel option then Michael Adams. Toler might need to start over Mcfadden if he doesnt get his stuff together also..

  19. By Eazy E on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    We need an elite pass rusher at OLB in our 3-4. I like karlos but it seems like he wants the world, we gotta resign boldin and dockett and get a top tier corner opposite drc. Another thing i am so sick and tired of people criticizing a-wil. He’s a top 5 safety regardless of free or strong safety. He can blitz, stop the run, and COVER!!!!! He had 5 picks on the year and dropped a couple easy ones against minnesota and new york, what more do you want from the man???

  20. By darrenurban on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    John —

    I think they want both Brown and Davis to play roles next year. Whether it is as starter or not is TBA. Drafting 26th, I think it’s impossible to know what they will go for. If there is a great nose tackle there, you don’t pass that up to reach for a pass rusher. Way too early to make a guess at who the draft pick is. Honestly, as an NFL guy, I don’t learn much about the college guys until after the combine. I don’t know who any of those names are yet.

    As for Anquan, I’m not sure what “a lot” is. You’re not getting a first and a third. I’m not even sold you can get a first at this point.

  21. By Cards Fan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    On the positive side, the Cards won the NFC West 2 years in a row and made the playoffs twice. Usually, we are all well into mock drafts and free agency. Good thing it just started now. I guess that’s what happens when you are expected to win now.

  22. By Chris B on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    I like Urban overall and thinks he gets a bad rap too. I’d keep him to replace Morey for sure. I just wanted to say that. He doesn’t get enough snaps or balls to really see his value.

  23. By nor cal cards fan on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Darren- If Kurt retires, do you think the Cards will try to make a deal for Mcnabb?

  24. By TBru on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Dansby is vital, almost anyone else on the UFA list is expendable which would allow them to see who else is available. As I understand it it they can’t sign any new ones unless they lose some.

  25. By darrenurban on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    I would doubt it, but I never say never.

  26. By Bob on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Work a deal with KC for Urban. I love him, more importantly Haley loves him, and he’s never going to get enough touches here to get into any sort of rhythm.

  27. By Roy on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    Is Billy Davis on the hot seat. I think Pendergast did more with less last year and he got the boot. We couldn’t stop anyone at times this year and looked atrocious in the playoffs. (I know injuries played a small role) What are your thoughts on his performance as coordinator and his job safety.

  28. By cardinalconvert on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Darren:

    Why do you not like a McNabb trade if Warner is unavailable. And, why not Vick?

  29. By Will on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Darren-

    What is your assessment of Leinart at this point? If Warner retires, is Leinart ready to keep the Cardinals moving forward? I have doubts because he has been around this league and has studied (hopefully) under Warner (who is a defense reading machine), and Leinart’s read and recognition hasn’t seemed to improve much at all. Also, it doesn’t appear he has the arm to make all the throws. On the other hand, all we really have to judge him on is the Titans loss, a game in whhich he did actually play fairly well in that his team was leading with literally seconds left to play.

    Regarding Dansby, he is a great LB that will be greatly missed, if he does leave. He has consistently led the team in tackling, is strong enough to be a force in the middle of the field, is good for at least a few sacks a season, can occasionally make a game changing play (two against GB), anchors the entire defense emotinally, and is athletic enough to be useful in coverage. For instance, Dansby at least stayed with Reggie Bush in coverage and brought Bush to the ground twice, something no one else could apparently accomplish that day. If Dansby leaves, a large void will be left behind. And I will also have a useless jersey.

  30. By darrenurban on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Roy —

    Bill Davis isn’t going anywhere. The playoffs were terrible, yes. But the defense wasn’t bad the rest of the time when the starters played and the stats — especially points per game — improved. This team had the third-most sacks in team history, and that was without a star pass rusher. I’m sure he’d say he needs to get better but Davis isn’t going anywhere.

  31. By darrenurban on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Cardinalconvert —

    I think the Cards need to find out about Leinart rather than chase McNabb, who isn’t exactly young and is going to be demanding a new, expensive contract (plus you have to trade picks for him, picks you desperately need). As for Vick, there are too many reasons to count why he’s not a good fit. He’s not a good passer, he’s barely played for, what, three years, and he comes with way too much baggage IMO.

  32. By darrenurban on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Will —

    I think it is fair to have doubts about Leinart. I will say this: I’d like to see this new and improved Leinart (in terms of maturation) with the knowledge he is the starter, period. Then we can judge him. When he had the chance to be a starter, he wasn’t ready. If Warner retires, I am sure will write a ton of analysis on the subject.

    I don’t know if Dansby is great or just very good. but I agree Karlos leaving would create a huge void.

  33. By John on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I believe you wrote that Levi Brown might move to the left side and Brandon Keith would move into the right tackle. How do they feel about Herman Johnson? With Keith learning guard this year to make him more versitile, I was thinking it also was opening the door for moving Brown over and Johnson in at RT. I didnt see Johnson ever dressed or in, so whats the scoop on Johnson ?

  34. By darrenurban on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    John —

    I think Herman is still learning. If there is only one opening on the line next season, it’ll be Keith’s to lose and Johnson will likely be the main reserve, depending on Bridges’ status.

  35. By cardinalconvert on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Will

    Whatever Leinart’s shortcomings, he does have an arm. I am not worried about that.

  36. By Cards Fan on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    Am I the only person who thinks its weird that if Gandy goes, that Keith will be the guy to replace him after moving Brown over. I just find it weird because when Gandy got hurt how come it was Bridges replacing him and not the Brown move and Keith in move?

  37. By darrenurban on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    Cards fan —

    I think the thought process behind it would be that Keith would have a whole offseason (and Brown too) to make a switch. You don’t want to be changing 2 positions on the line during the season when you can do it with just one.

  38. By Michael Shepp on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    Hello fellas
    How many pro bowls has Dansby been too? His ego is only matched by his desire to be richer then he already is…………see ya!

    Broke down Boldin is bye bye too. For all you idiots who believe the cards will get a lot for him please put down the Kool-aid. A 3rd and a 5th maybe. But not in the same year.

    Robinson retire and become a coach. Didn’t you once tackle Jim Brown? Gandy you gotta go too

    Urban, get your head straight, you have talent!

    Becth, Ware, Watson, Krieder, Lutui, Bridges and Okefer (spelling) you may stay for a while longer.

    90 you truly deserve a raise and will get it.

    Fellas with all of these cuts and with Kurt retireing the cards will save over 30 million!!!!!!!.

    Now lets go free agent shopping!!!!!!!!!!

  39. By dave c on Jan 25, 2010 | Reply

    is next year it? we play the Saints and Cowboys at “home”
    If the Saint game is a blood game then look out. If not then
    then look down.

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