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Blogs

With right deal, Levi will be back — and the QB thing

Posted by Darren Urban on February 23, 2012 – 11:46 am

I’ll have more in a story in a bit, but the biggest news coming from today’s media meet-up by coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves is that the Cards definitely want tackle Levi Brown back, and they want him back long-term. There is a lot that has to happen first, since Levi has a $16.9 million salary cap number and must have a new contract first — and he may choose to be cut and test the open market — but the acknowledgment they want him back is significant (if not somewhat expected, to be honest, as much as many fans were hoping otherwise.)

By all accounts, Brown played better over the last seven or eight games of the season. The Cards are hoping he turned a corner. Make no mistake, they have a value in mind for Brown and that’s what they are going to want to pay him. If he can get more elsewhere, then he’ll probably have to take it there. But Brown said he wants to come back, and the Cards want him back.

Graves also said it is a “priority” to re-sign cornerback Richard Marshall and that talks are ongoing with defensive end Calais Campbell and “I believe we will have a resolution at some point.”

As for the quarterbacks, Graves didn’t say anything new than what has been said before, that, based on the information today — which, reading between the lines is that Peyton Manning hasn’t been cut yet — the Cards have Kevin Kolb and John Skelton and that the team believes in their QBs. Things can always change, which is exactly what you’d expect them to say right now. No reason to say otherwise. As Graves said on a Sirius radio interview, “I don’t answer the phone before it rings.”


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Posted in Blog | 32 Comments »


32 Responses to “With right deal, Levi will be back — and the QB thing”

  1. By D on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    If they would resign Levi, the Martin kid from Stanford if there at 13 would be a better Right Tackle I believe to start out his career than Left Tackle, so that could work…

  2. By SteveG on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    I answer the phone before it rings all the time…..I really need to stop drinking……..

  3. By Chris on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren -

    I don’t think I really mind Levi coming back, as much as it may pain other fans, he seems to be solid at run blocking and average at pass blocking. He obviously is more of a RT than a LT but, he did play well at LT down the stretch. I think if he is willing to come to an agreement with Arizona, understanding his own value, and being humble about a contract.. I’d welcome him back.

    Let’s be honest, any Tackle that we can select in the draft will have some growing pains. Levi has shown that he can play the position at an average to sometimes above average level. I think the real question will be what moves the Cards make during free agency. Could project what type of selection we will make.

    Overall, I would like to see Levi back and maybe at RT. I don’t know if there are any upgrades at LT in free agency but there are some good Tackles available with durability concerns.

    Nevermind my ramblings. Thanks for the news Darren.

    Regards,
    Chris

  4. By John S on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    “The Cards are hoping he turned a corner.”
    It’s just beyond aggravating to read any of this stuff. I’m not even going to bother why I think this is so ridiculous because anything I say isn’t going to change what they do anyway. I think i’m just going to put this here so I can keep a link and refer back to it in November or December. The Cards this year will have the same terrible offensive line issues, the same QB issue with Kolb running away from pressure and sucking, and will finish behind the 49ers and the Rams and be 3rd in the division.

  5. By brad oneill on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    there are times when a fresh start is what is best for a player and a team. Levi has talent, but he has also giving up way too many sacks on a guy we are now paying 60 million dollars too. I can see this going either way but if I am Levi I think all things being equal i leave town and hope for a new start with new fans and a system i can thrive in.

    if i am the cards i forget all the money i have wasted on the past few seasons with this guy and ask myself one thing, what is it worth to have a serviceable player that still has upside? His production is replaceable of that there is no doubt, but too me there is very little value in the what if he could be the player we thought he was when we drafted him argument. he had time and didn’t prove it now I pay him what he is worth today and no more.

  6. By Peter on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, it has become abundantly clear that the Peyton Manning ship is steadily sailing away. I had assumed Demarco Sampson was quite a value pick but he seems to lack production. Have you heard anything about him being mentioned in terms of improvement? He was a boundary receiver in college so I kinda expected more.

  7. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Peter –

    RE: Sampson

    Kind of early to make those judgments. Let’s see what he does this offseason.

  8. By J.R. on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Please let him go! He’s Levi is the worst pass rush protectors in the league…Bidwell, cut bait!

  9. By Rich on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Glad they want Levi back. Anyone who has played football understands that the offensive line and qb and run game and receivers and field position, etc represent a holistic endeavor. Levi has always been a solid run blocker. He is very durable. His issues with pass protection have been about consistency. He was a pro bowl alternate once he got settled his last year at RT. He jelled last half of last year at LT. Its a good move.

  10. By Kurt on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Levi is a Pro with great character, let’s welcome him back

  11. By Dan M on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    We’d be silly to let Levi go without first securing a better replacement.. either through the draft (unknown) or free agency (nearly impossible)

    Who knows, there might be some surprising names cut once the roster bonuses start coming due.

  12. By georgiebird on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    Just like I’ve said all along. The OL is not the team’s problem. If our QBs got rid of the ball quicker and the game plans were better, the OL ratings would in turn go up. Levi is solid (not great), plays all the time but his contract does have to be reworked.
    Conversely, I would stay away from any of the Stanford OL guys. Luck’s ability to unload the ball quickly and the great game planning makes all his OL a lot better than they are. Especially in bringing Kolb back (which is a mistake), playing a rookie at OL could lead to another Kolb concussion and as much as I don’t want to see Kolb back, I don’t want to see him hurt for life.

  13. By John the draft guy on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    As I said before, LT is the #13 pick in the first round. Well, until FA.

    If we bring Levi back and sign, say a Barry Richardson (RT from KC), that changes everything.

    See, this is why I love this time of year. Speculation running wild. Now the Melvin Ingrams and Whitney Mercilus’ become a very real possibility.

    But there is speculation they like pass rusher Kam Wimbley. If they landed him, there is no need for a passrusher in round 1.

    So, maybe they go Decastro to play guard or Dre Kirkpatrick at CB or maybe give Mann… whoops Kolb another weapon with Kendall Wright at wr.

    Ahh , Love this time of year.

  14. By Mark in Chandler on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    If they can solidify their options at LT and RT then De Castro would a great RG pick. Normally I do not like to draft RG in the first round but for me DeCastro is the safest pick in the draft. He is more NFL ready than anyone else in the draft, and I include Luck. He simply has not shown a flaw in college. His base is incredible and he moves DL around routinely. Pass protection is great and the center of the pocket is essential. For me, Decastro is the most likely future probowler in the whole lot. Not a sexy pick but I would be comfortable with DeCastro in the 1st if they resign Levi.

  15. By cards62 on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    It is a great time of year as you try to fit all the pieces into the puzzle, but at the same time you are working on your puzzle 31 other teams are working on their puzzles and grabing the pieces that you need to make your puzzle complete.

    Levi is not a rookie anymore or even a second year player so why do many of you keep giving him a pass? Remember the words of Vince Lombardi. “Its not a sometime thing”

    I agree it will be difficult to replace 2 tackles in one year, but I think we have to try, and if not successful and if we can get Levi back for the right price lets bring him back, but he is a stop gap at tackle, but maybe a very good guard.

    I am glad we are not the Raiders. Much bigger cap issues than us.

    Go Cards and Rod Graves you are on the clock

  16. By Helldozer on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Ugh! I’m all for supporting our team, through the good times and the bad times. But, I’m not sure what to make of this. Did I understand correctly, that they want Brown and possibly Keith back???? I’m all for giving guys a chance, etc. But, I thought the OL got beat terribly on the outside edges. I wouldn’t put all the blame on the Tackles for that. I’ve seen Kolb drop back a little too deep a number of times. I’m sure that causes pain for the Tackles. But, I’d have to say that I haven’t been that impressed with the OT’s. Once again, I support out team. I call myself out for doing a poor job at work and I would expect to be let go if I didn’t live up to what I was being paid for.

    This is really weird to me. I’m no expert, but they appeared not to play very well this last year. I mean, the last four games Skelton was sacked 12 times! He was sacked 23 times over 8 games. Love our team and how Whisenhunt runs it….so, I’ll sit tight and see. :)

  17. By johnnybluenose on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    whisenhunt was supposedly incredulus when he was asked if there was going to be a fair competion for the quarterback position this year. maybe he forgets that lineart was given no chance to compete for his job two years ago when derek anderson was brought in. that worked out well for us, didn’t it? not that i’m a fan of lineart, who seemed more concerned about his completion rate, i.e., completing 5 of 6 passes for 9 yards than he was in throwing the ball downfield and actually getting first downs. but don’t ever think whisenhunt ever gave him a chance to start once kurt left. it was not going to happen.

  18. By Chuck 1 on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    I believe that fans will rue the day that Levi returns.

    He has several below average seasons and probably just turned it on over the last half of the season to get a better contract.

    Cynical??? You bet.

  19. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    @Cards62,

    “Levi is not a rookie anymore or even a second year player so why do many of you keep giving him a pass?”

    It’s the reality of the situation. Aside from getting Kalil (which isn’t going to happen), there isn’t a LT in the draft ready to start there from day 1. So, we can go through more growing pains at the position, or let him build on the second half of last season (1 sack in 6 games). Plus, he’s very good in the run game. As Georgie noted, as our QB’s learn the system better our OL will begin to look better. The only option in FA that would be an upgrade would be Gaither, but I really doubt SD will allow themselves to be outbid for him. If they release McNeill I guess we could look at that, but I’d really have to question the health of his neck if they do. Darren said it best awhile ago, guys like Joe Thomas aren’t available.

  20. By Keith on Feb 23, 2012 | Reply

    Even though realistically I understand replacing 2 tackles in one offseason and expecting quality is next to impossible…it still makes me grimace to hear the words “want” and “long term” associated with levi brown because the only right words would be that we “want” a “long term” replacement for levi brown. Besides the fact that he is arguably the worst starting left tackle (last 7 games included) in the NFL..Graves baffles me by saying he wants to lock him up long term and giving up leverage. Give him a 2 year “prove it” contract or let him walk. Meantime start looking for his replacement in case he lives up to his reputation as one push brown.

  21. By Chuck on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    Release him,sign the best LT you can afford!

  22. By RSabori on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    The Manning to Arizona scenario is intriguing, but lets not forget that it will probably take a full year for him to be comfortable in our offensive system. That is what it took Warner to get back to his pro bowl form. I think we give Kolb his chance and show the loyalty that is missing in today”s professional sports. He picked Arizona as his team of choice. Give the man a chance!

  23. By Jeff Gollin on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    Translation: “There isn’t much out there in free agency, so having a veteran (Levi) is better than having to rely on a raw rook to protect our QB’s blind side.

    But it doesn’t change the franchise’s historical pattern (in-place since the days of Luis Sharpe) of rationalizing away weakness in the Cardinal offensive line. It won’t matter whether we have Skelton, Kolb or Manning behind center if they’re spending most of their time on IR because their blockers don’t protect them.

    By all means welcome Levi back, if it’s best for the franchise, but simultaneously make rebuilding the entire offensive line a top priority.

  24. By We Missed Q on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    “R Sabori”, Kolb did not CHOOSE the cards as his team of choice. He was traded her and had no choice in the matter.

  25. By Brian on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    Maybe fans will stop hating on Levi when he’s no longer playing under #5 overall pick money. We drafted him and not Peterson, nothing we can do about that. It’s in the past. Why would we banish him just because he didn’t play like Peterson and Thomas did right away. He’s improved and still young. Look at it from what the team can do currently. Levi is a decent LT/RT. If management has him pegged at a certain salary and he takes it, I think we should be thrilled that we are bringing him back. Compared to other tackles out there, he might be the best option for us to improve our team overall without cutting out other areas of improvement.

  26. By Mr. Know It All on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    The Cards have some fresh talent but
    can these guys make the roster and upgrade the OL?
    D.J. Young, T 6-5 298 24 R Michigan State
    Chris Stewart, G 6-4 325 1 Notre Dame
    Ryan Bartholomew, C 6-1 310 23 R Syracuse

    May have got better late last year but reasonable deal should be worked out to save the team money and keep him.
    Brown, Levi T 6-6 324 27 5 Penn State

    Played OK but should play better in 2012
    Colledge, Daryn G 6-4 308 30 6 Boise State

    Played OK but should play better in 2012
    Sendlein, Lyle C 6-3 308 27 5 Texas

    Played OK but should play better in 2012
    Hadnot, Rex G/C 6-2 310 30 8 Houston

    Quality backup
    Bridges, Jeremy T 6-5 318 31 9 Southern Mississippi

    Will he retire or come back healthy ready to roll?
    One year left on contract was in Pro Bowl 2009.
    Floyd Womack, G 6-4 328 33 11 Mississippi State

    UFA’s

    Thanks for your time say good bye.
    Keith, Brandon T 6-5 335 27 4 Northern Iowa

    If he is focused bring back at reasonable price.
    Deuce Lutui, G 6-4 338 28 6 USC

    Maybe on the bubble.
    D’Anthony Batiste, T 6-4 314 29 6 Louisiana-Lafayette

    Cards should find OL help in the Draft and maybe even free agency. I predict the Cards OL is going to improve dramatically in 2012.

  27. By cardsalltheway on Feb 24, 2012 | Reply

    “As for the quarterbacks, Graves didn’t say anything new than what has been said before,… — the Cards have Kevin Kolb and John Skelton and that the team believes in their QBs.”

    Yes, the team believes K. Kolb and J. Skelton sometimes play like “Knuckleheads.”

  28. By Matt on Feb 25, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, Wasn’t Levi a Pro Bowl alternate at RT the year before he was moved to LT? Assuming someone trades up to the # 2 spot for RG3 what would it take for us to get up to #3 to grab Kalil? Since 1st round picks cost a whole lot less now, is it possible we could get that pick and still keep #13 by trading away some of our later picks this year and earlier 2013 picks? If we did that we could grab a receiver, ILB or a guard?

  29. By Brian on Feb 25, 2012 | Reply

    We Missed Q

    Kolb may not have had a choice but he did have a big say in the matter because no team was going to trade for him w/o him signing an extension. If he doesn’t agree to sign the extension then we don’t trade for him knowing we could just lose him after 1 season.

    I think what R Sabori is saying is that Kolb could easily just take the money and run but that he wants to compete and win the job to prove he can be a starter in this league and validate what the Cards did to bring him in. Give him this year and see how it turns out. If he falls on his face then the Kolb experiment fails and we cut him but at least we locked up Larry for the long term.

  30. By Darren Urban on Feb 25, 2012 | Reply

    Matt –

    RE: Levi/Tackle

    Brown was a RT Pro Bowl alternate one year yes. I believe it was the 2009 season. The Cards aren’t trading up to No. 3. Would cost them probably most of their draft picks. Next year’s picks aren’t worth as much. Not worth it.

  31. By RSabori on Feb 26, 2012 | Reply

    ” We Missed Q”, Do a little research and you will find that Kolb and Coach Reid sat down and discussed his future. He mentioned to Reid that AZ was his best option. So in reality he did choose his destination and the Eagles granted it.

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