Inside some contract numbers

Posted by Darren Urban on March 31, 2010 – 4:32 pm

When the Cardinals signed their current crop of free agents — linebacker Joey Porter, quarterback Derek Anderson, linebacker Paris Lenon and guard Rex Hadnot — much was made about the size of their contracts. But, especially for Porter and Anderson, both are clearly set up to give the Cardinals some leeway after one season if the team goes in a different direction.

According to the NFL Players Association, Porter’s three-year contract — worth a reported $17.5 million — provides Porter with a $1.25 million salary in 2010 and $5.75 million salaries in 2011 and 2012. Assuming the $17.5 million is correct, that gave Porter $4.75 million in bonuses or other non-salary money. Even if all that money is up front, that’s $6 million for 2010, not an out-of-whack up-front commitment. (UPDATE: Hat tip to Mike Sando, who saw the post and let me know Porter’s signing bonus was $4 million with workout bonuses of $250,000 each season. Seeing Porter work out the first couple days, I am guessing he’ll collect that money, but it also means “just” $5.5 million in 2010.)

Anderson’s deal was worth a reported $7.25 million for two seasons. His salary for 2010 is just $650,000 (with approximately $2.7 million in bonus money) before jumping to $3.9 million in 2011. Again, a fair split for a quarterback, and also workable if the Cards decide to quickly go elsewhere at the position. Much has been made about how much Matt Leinart will make in 2011 if he stays under his current deal (north of $12 million for sure, and more if he plays really well) but the Cards are clearly trying to stay flexible at the position.

Lenon is schedule to make $900,000 in salary this season before $1.4 million salaries in 2011 and 2012, while Hadnot’s salaries on a three-year deal break down to $1 million this year and $1.5 million in 2011 and 2012.

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No charges for Porter

Posted by Darren Urban on March 31, 2010 – 1:13 pm

The ABC television affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif., is reporting that the local district attorney’s office will not file charges against linebacker Joey Porter for his arrest last weekend by the California Highway Patrol. Obviously, that is good news for Porter. I don’t know if the team will be commenting further on the subject, and it’s unknown if Porter faces any action from the league. But it’s fair to say that, if the law has decided not to pursue the issue, it makes it more unlikely anything else will be done to Porter.

UPDATE: Here is the official statement from Supervising Deputy District Attorney Mark Pafford: “Based upon the information that was provided to us by the CHP, we did not believe that there would be a reasonable likelihood that a jury would find Mr. Porter guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations. With this belief, we thought it was not appropriate for us to proceed.”

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Can you mock me?

Posted by Darren Urban on March 31, 2010 – 11:08 am

Let’s leave the headline rhetorical for now, shall we?

The Cardinals’ mock draft contest (presented by Chevron) has returned (you can go here for details) and a correct guess of the Cards’ first-round pick will win someone  a jersey of that player and the chance to attend that player’s introductory press conference (maybe I should have you take pictures for me). Deadline to enter is April 22, so prepare your ballot.

Speaking of the draft, I am thinking about having a live chat soon on the site to talk about draft and all things Cardinals. Let me know in the comments what you out there in the cyberworld think of the idea.

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Ware returns on one-year deal

Posted by Darren Urban on March 31, 2010 – 9:39 am

Safety Matt Ware is finally back in the fold. He’s agreed to a one-year contract (he isn’t expected to officially sign until later this week or early next week) but given how important he had become in letting Adrian Wilson do some of the things he is good at — with Ware in the secondary, A-Dub can have some freedom near the line of scrimmage —  it was important to bring Ware back. He’s also solid on special teams and good in the locker room. His signing whittles down the number of unrestricted free agents who still might return — kicker Neil Rackers, defensive tackle Bryan Robinson, quarterback Brian St. Pierre and fullback Dan Kreider. Guard Deuce Lutui, a restricted free agent, is still expected to eventually sign his tender offer.

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An impressive turnout and the preseason sked

Posted by Darren Urban on March 30, 2010 – 2:18 pm

The offseason workout program is only two days old and with 61 players officially on the roster, 57 of them have shown up for at least one of the two voluntary days (and most have been here both days). Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been in India, but he’s a guy who’ll show up as soon as he is back in town. And I am hearing that defensive tackle Darnell Dockett may also show up next week (the only others who have yet to make an appearance are tight end Anthony Becht and defensive tackle Alan Branch, but I am sure both will be here sooner rather than later). Obviously, that doesn’t include guard Deuce Lutui, the restricted free agent who cannot participate until he signs his tender offer.

On another subject, the NFL is set to announce the full preseason schedule tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon Arizona time. The regular schedule is still another couple weeks away as usual, but at least there will be a taste of what is to come (my bet: The Cards finish the preseason with a home game against the Broncos. I’m not going out on too far of a limb, am I?)

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Grimm makes his pitch

Posted by Darren Urban on March 30, 2010 – 10:02 am

I mentioned yesterday assistant head coach Russ Grimm would be throwing out the first pitch at an Angels’ spring training game, in an outing set to honor Grimm’s election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. So the office closed down for the afternoon and everyone went to see Grimm toss the baseball. Despite Grimm insisting he would have a hard time getting it to home plate, he of course made a fine pitch — caught by Angels’ starting pitcher Joe Saunders, who happened to grow up in Virginia rooting for the Redskins and Grimm (UPDATE: And here is the video of the pitch). Grimm also had a pre-game chat with Angels owner Arte Moreno and Royals special instructor George Brett (a baseball Hall of Famer and a football Hall of Famer hanging out!), including an inquiry by Brett of just why NFL coaches spend so many crazy hours in the office.

It’s a question I often wonder myself.

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On leaders and Leinart

Posted by Darren Urban on March 29, 2010 – 5:17 pm

Despite fear of starting up a whole new round of quarterback debate that is frankly getting tired when we haven’t even reached April …

One of the things that struck me Monday at the outset of voluntary work was some of the leadership talk when it came to new QB Matt Leinart. First came safety Adrian Wilson, who was asked about Leinart taking over at the position. Wilson, as he tends to be, was blunt in his assessment Leinart would have locker-room support. “We’re not trying to camouflage the whole Kurt (Warner) situation,” Wilson said. “It’s Matt’s team now and we’re all going to be behind him.”

Later, Leinart — who showed in the first group Monday morning — talked about how he liked being in the role of leader when he was at USC, as being a guy who would rally the troops (I am guessing there will be doubters on that, but it’s hard to argue, at least in college with a 37-2 record, he was successful at that). “I want to show I am ready to be the leader, that the guys can count on me,” he said. “And I am going to step into the role where I hold guys accountable as well. They need to know I am going to out here working, and they are too. A lot of eyes are on me and I get that.”

Then, moments later, Leinart had his first chance to exhibit his stance in the role. In a general question about the new faces around the team, Leinart brought up linebacker Joey Porter first and insisted Porter too would be a leader — knowing Porter didn’t exactly have a great weekend before showing up Monday himself.

“Obviously people will talk about some of the stuff off the field, and I don’t know him – I met him for the first time today – but I think he’ll be a great leader in this locker room,” Leinart said. “He’s going t be great for this team because he brings the passion for the game and you can tell.”

Leinart could have gone either way, but regardless of whether you agree with him, there’s no doubt having a teammate’s back publicly will make an impact.

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Beisel, RFAs re-sign

Posted by Darren Urban on March 29, 2010 – 12:00 pm

The Cardinals brought back middle linebacker Monty Beisel on a one-year contract Monday, something necessary to uphold a semblance of depth at the position. Four guys also signed their tender offers: wide receiver Steve Breaston, center Lyle Sendlein, defensive tackle Gabe Watson (all restricted free agents) and cornerback Michael Adams (who was an exclusive free agent). The Cards now have just one unsigned restricted free agent — guard Deuce Lutui. Again, the Cards also lost a free agent Monday when wide receiver Sean Morey signed with the Seahawks, a move that wasn’t surprising.

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Workouts commence

Posted by Darren Urban on March 29, 2010 – 11:11 am

Officially, the Cards’ offseason voluntary workout program started today (although a bunch of guys had already been showing up). We’ll have pictures up in a bit, and also a story. But it was impressive to see a good chunk of the roster show up on day one, including quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson, all the running backs, almost all of the offensive line, and the entire defensive back group. Linebacker Joey Porter was here, and there were restricted free agents who signed their tender offer (because they couldn’t work out until they signed), including wide receiver Steve Breaston.

Again, I’ll have more in a bit. This is a slightly different day because the organization is headed out to the ballpark — in honor of his impending Hall of Fame induction, assistant head coach Russ Grimm is throwing out the first pitch at the Angels-Royals spring training game, and we’re all invited.

The Cardinals did lose a player Monday. Special teamer Sean Morey officially signed with the Seahawks today, not a big surprise after the way that situation was headed.

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Porter arrested

Posted by Darren Urban on March 27, 2010 – 5:49 pm

The news is widespread by now: new Cardinals linebacker Joey Porter was arrested early Saturday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest in his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif. The Cards obviously learned about it quickly themselves. The team’s official statement:

“The team is aware of the incident. We are in the process of gathering all of the facts concerning it and won’t comment further until that’s completed.”

As you can imagine, that makes sense all the way around. No one knows how it will play out, nor what it will mean in terms of football.

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