This is the problem with long weekends. Stuff comes up, and in the end, it’s tough to not want to comment before going back to the office.
— The NFL says that, as of the end of last week, 37 restricted free agents remained unsigned to new contracts. One of those is, obviously, Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui. That’s still a lot of RFAs unsigned. We’ve broken down the Deuce thing before. At this point, I will be surprised if he signs before he has to, which is June 15. From the site NFLlabor.com:
“If the original qualifying offer is greater than 110 percent of the player’s 2009 base salary and the player does not sign that contract by June 15, the team can substitute the June 1 tender with a new June 15th tender of 110 percent of the RFA’s 2009 base salary and continue to retain exclusive rights to the player. If the player does not sign by Week 10, he cannot play in 2010.”
Lutui’s tender offer, which will be extended tomorrow I am sure, is greater than 110 percent. Meaning the Cards can substitute the offer for a lower one on June 15 if Deuce doesn’t sign. Again, he will. Well, I think he will. It would simply be stunning if he didn’t. I’m not positive the Cards would necessarily lower their tender offer, but I don’t understand why Deuce would take that chance.
— Buried deep in this ESPN.com notes column is a note that Cards officials are “concerned” about the bad back of LB Gerald Hayes. There are no quotes per se. All I know is that, when coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked about it recently — and that’s how it was framed, if Hayes’ back was a major concern — Whiz said “at this point, it’s not.” And I have talked to someone else about Hayes’ back and I was given the same vibe — that they expect Hayes to be OK. Things can change, of course, and any back problems for a player who has been around eight years does make you think. And given his long tenure, it’s probably about the time to be thinking about life after Hayes too, and grooming a possible replacement.
But Hayes hasn’t missed more than two games in a season since he blew out his knee in the preseason of 2005. If Hayes were to miss a bunch of training camp time, then I think you worry. But OTA time? It’s tough to get worked up in May/June. Caution is always the watchword. When in doubt, let a guy sit. No reason to push it.
Tags: Deuce Lutui, free agency, Gerald Hayes
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