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Blogs

Winning free agency

Posted by Darren Urban on March 12, 2013 – 5:40 pm

The first afternoon of free agency is winding down. Twitter and the constant flow of information around the league is pushed everyone to the edge, it seems. To this I’m just making the point — it’s just March, and it’s just the first few hours.

(Here’s a post that’s sure to get everyone riled up at the end of the day.)

“Winning” March doesn’t mean you will win later. Can it help? Sure. But there’s no way to know now and certainly no reason to grade it out, good or bad, right now. Other than a couple of spots — like say, quarterback — what players will be the main ones talked about at the outset of camp? The ones who will have the heaviest influence on the season? Patrick Peterson. Larry Fitzgerald. Calais Campbell. Daryl Washington. The team’s best players, and the ones who are already here.

Every single player on the market has flaws. That’s why they are on the market. That too often seems to get lost in this discussion. I’m happy for Greg Toler if the reports are true he got $15 million for three years. He went to tiny Saint Paul’s, he worked a JC Penney’s for a while, for goodness sake. Today’s payday is the American dream on HGH. But with all due respect to Greg, a good person and a hard worker, did I see him as a $5M a year cornerback? No. And when Peterson’s deal has to be extended in a year or so, if Toler is making $5M, what would Peterson need to get?

The ebb and flow of emotions about this player and that player seem to happen in a vacuum too often. These are intricate puzzles being put together with talent, personalities, money and age all factored in. Every team must do it. They have to do it in the way they think is best. I have no idea how the team of Steve Keim and Bruce Arians will fare putting together this team. I’m not saying the Cards — like every team — haven’t made mistakes. But goodness, we are, as of this writing, less than five hours into free agency, weeks before the draft, and some insist Keim is a terrible GM. After, what, 63 days on the job? Not sure how you make that leap.

Heck, I’m writing this at 5:30 and by 7, there could be all kinds of news breaking about the Cards agreeing to deals. Who knows. If the Cards win in the fall, no one will remember or care about March. If they lose, no one will talk about March either. There will be other pressing business.


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Posted in Blog | 82 Comments »


82 Responses to “Winning free agency”

  1. By DuaneS on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    I like you putting it in perspective like that…thanks Darren

  2. By Clarke on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Great write up… Lets all step off the ledge…

  3. By kauaicardsfan on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Great perspective Darren! I Mahalo for dealing with all our Drama!

  4. By birdnerd58 on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Agreed…seldom see a team that wins the first day of free agency (when salaries are inflated, which creates salary cap issues down the road) being great teams in the fall. Can we say Philadelphia’s “dream team”…remember that term being thrown about…how did that work out. Wait till things calm down and fill a few holes, and then get down in the draft.

  5. By aaron on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    The hysteria coming out of fans right now is hilarious. Free agency is for contending teams to add the one missing piece. Keim’s job right now is to clear cap room and get younger. The Cardinals focus should be the draft, not overpaying for cast aways.

  6. By andystandsup on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    It would seem to me that if the Cards haven’t got the player that they have deemed “the guy” by now, it would behoove everyone to take a breath, see what’s gone, what’s left, build another board and go from there.
    The “splash” is done and now comes the wading in the shallow waters period.

  7. By sqhead on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Remember when the Eagles “won” in FA two years ago, how did that turn out, and they are doing it again? I have no problem with the job Keim and Arians are doing, they have made all the right cuts, and they know way more than I do about available players. Darren, I for one will not get your blood up with any of my posts, thanks again for keeping us informed.

  8. By cardsalltheway on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    “HGH,” Human Growth Hormones? Yes, the NFL needs to wake up and start testing!

    If we sign R. Mendenhall we’ll have two RB’s that have had major knee surgery not too long ago. Our main man will be the perfectly healthy William Powell but could he go unnoticed like last year because of all the irrational hype behind the 2nd round draft pick Ryan Williams and the newly acquired Mendenhall(who knows BA) as they both poke and limp along? I sure hope not!

  9. By Erik on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Well said Darren for the people who dont know the true meaning of March Free Agency

  10. By nodavis2000 on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    I completely agree. I’ve read some fans comments on our site and am shaking my head. People are idiots, that’s for sure. Free Agency isn’t a place where you build, that’s thru the draft. All the players you named above are prime examples. I shake my head at people saying we are not making moves or that our franchise is heading in the same direction. It’s annoying as a fan to read, I’m sure you have your own thoughts about these comments that you CAN’T write out, cuz you’d be fired. LOL

    Other fans, please remember this…

    Kevin Kolb: came as a FA. Is he the answer???
    Philadelphia Eagles “Dream Team”: A lot of big name acquisitions, look at them now…
    Toler: Hated to see him go … but good for him that he got his pay day. Don’t feel bad that he got paid, sucks as a fan that he left. I really liked him. Hope he does will in Indy.

    What big names did we miss out on??? We can’t have any other #1 WRs, too much money. No big name or consistent name as a QB. We can’t afford a guy like Ellerbe (ILB), too much money in other areas.

    As for O-lineme, why in blazes should we go after them when there’s a DRAFT coming up that is HEAVY at the position??? Which means, there are a lot of solid Tackles and Guards in this year’s draft.

    Patience people. Go Cards!!!

  11. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    thats right remember duane starks and freddie jones top 2 free agents of 01″

  12. By kenton crews on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    thanks for the level headed approach to fre agency. I think Toler will be missed but I have to think their is a master plan and give Arians and Keim a chance. I have been a cardinals fan since 1974. Jim hart, Jom Otis, Mel Gray and the gang.

  13. By azfaninwa on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    A dose of sanity. Always appreciated. The emotional reactions are just that. A true fan cares about their team. It’s not rational but it’s the way it is.

  14. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Rey Maualuga is on his way to ARIZONA FOR A VISIT HE JUST TWEETED

  15. By lg on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    i agree with you darren he’s not worth that much.

  16. By Mark in Chandler on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    We live in a fruit-flies world where 140 characters or less seems like reality and news cycles now have a 5 min shelf life. Fans see a twitter about the Cards being interested in this or that player and we start to assume that player is as good as on the roster and then we start to complain about that player’s flaws, when all along all that happened was the Cards called and asked what the player was looking for in contract #s. Agents tweet it out and fans now are upset when it doesn’t happen even when they didn’t want the player in the first place. It never was going to happen, we just didn’t know because, despite what the tweeter world says, we don’t really know what is going on.

    Don’t pay a lot for a RB in FA when a decent one can be found on the 3rd day of the draft. Don’t over pay for interior linemen (after all haven’t we already seen that movie) when the draft is loaded with quality linemen that will be around for a while and at a better price. My guess is Keim et al. have a conservative number they are willing to pay a CB because the draft is loaded with quality secondary. Now when you only have 7 picks in the draft and only 60ish players under contract then you have to fill the holes with FA, but not at a premium price. Recent history should remind us that such an approach just doesn’t work. But then again, we tend to have short memories like fruit flies.

  17. By Patrick on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, what is the difference of inside linebacker positions when you say Dansby plays the same position as Washington versus a Paris Lenon/ Maualuga?

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    I agree with the , winning in March thing you said above. Not going after a lot of these guys people are mentioning is wise.

    Toler is not worth 5 million. Not even close.

    Sean Smith gave up more first downs and TDs than any CB in football last year. Why do I overpay for him?

    Jake Long has gone out the last two years and isn’t the same Jake Long. Can’t over pay for that.

    I’m on board.

    The problem is the guys he is looking at. Josh Cribbs and Alexander are special teams guys and that wasnt a need. Powell is a good enough KO returner for us. If we were the Patriots or Seahawks, and that is the one place to push us over, OK. But we are not…….

    Then you have Mendenhal and Powers, who are injury issues. Just like Kolb, you don’t get healthier the more years you play. If you have been out 3 years in a row, I dont want you.

    Do more cuts and draft well. Cut Colledge. heck he is not a 7 million dollar guard is he? Save a million this year and 7 mil next. Cut Dockett. He is not a 3-4 guy and at 7.7 million, he isnt earning his keep. Sure it cost us 1.5 this year more by cutting him , but big saving next.

  19. By Patrick on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    We could be talking about March in the fall, we certainly keep talking about July a few years ago when Cardinals signed Kolb, Heap, Bradley, Colledge among others.

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Oh and Kolb is on the books for way too much money, cutting kolb givrs us 6 million of dead money but frees up 7.5 million this year and 13 million next year. (if the website I am looking at is correct.)

  21. By Tucson Card on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    I agree Darren. Good teams are built through the draft. I’d like to see some depth added through free agency, but I’m not going to get too high or low on whether or not we sign Mendenhall or Bush. We’ll see how it plays out.

    As a side note, and as a U of A fan, I’d like to see the Cards draft Matt Scott. He plays with grit and has got some raw talent.

  22. By Christo on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Fair enough Darren.

    Can you blame fans who want to see the new GM / HC make a move?

    We’ve watched every team in our Division get better, we’ve watched all 3 of those GM / HC combos (All new as well) make bold moves.

    Alot of us realize that we are crippled by the previous regimes decisions. Alot of realize that the perennial power houses aren’t making moves right now, nor do they traditionally. However at this particular time the Cardinals should probably be acting more like the Miami Dolphins to re-energize a fan base that is sick and tired of pathetic football, both on the field and in the Front Office.

  23. By Dave the former season ticket holder on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Darren-

    The lack of winning in March and the Fall, yet bounty of excuses seem to be a constant theme in either occasion. I will support the team, but not financially. I checked in today just to see if I need to revisit my stance. Nope, apparently not.

    P.S. It’s 7pm. Are you hearing crickets?

    Don’t get me wrong I support the team, you’d think we’d be used to all the disappointment by now.

  24. By Bill L on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    For the Cards and the situation(mess) they are in……..about the best they can and should do in FA THIS YEAR is try to cover the voids so they can field a full team next year…….the Cards have a D, Spec Teams……..but NO O…….The Best LT out there in FA is injury prone, will cost a fortune and will be too OLD by the time the Cards can compete………say 5 years……so no stars for the Cards in FA.

    IMO it will take this draft and the top 1 and/or 2 next year just to bring the O talent up to the D……from there they can try to move the Franchise forward…….if that is really the plan. In 3 or 4 years the may have straightened out this Mess…….with a GREAT O and a Good ENOUGH D. Then a Big Time FA might help put them over the top……..and would make sense. Until then Just keep the team together as much as possible…….and RESTRUCTURE and REORGANIZE. JMO.

    So, I am not disappointed with the start of FA………I HOPE I can say the same after the draft. The days of worthless Picks, thrown away picks, and picks based on BillBoards rather than building a team are supposed to be Over…..AGAIN………….First/Second day of this draft will CLEARLY Disclose if that is true or not…………Get Used to Same Ol’ Same Ol’…..or a new era for the Cards………..COMMING SOON to a Draft Near You.

  25. By Sesai on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    hey darren, why is it when i get into the azcardinals website i get a pop up that i am a lucky survey winner and they ask me how often i visit azcardinals. the survey offers me a bunch of money and gift cards. its been happening to a lot of my friends also, this website has nothing to do with it right? im just trying to make sure im not getting hacked by this site since its also happened to my dad and cousin. let me know thanks.

  26. By JosEPh on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    So very true Mr Urban, so very True.

    Because I have a Yahoo.com EM I can’t register on the community board, but some of the stuff going on in that forum just makes you say Wow!

    Been a Cardinal fan since 1970 when I was growing up 50 miles outside of St. Louis. Watched Jim Bakken kick 5 FGs against Green Bay from the uppermost row of seats on a cold fall day. Just one of many St.Louis memories. But I didn’t turn my back on the Cards when they Moved to AZ.

    Anyway, good post Mr Urban. Thank you.

    JosEPh :)

  27. By armand on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    I fInd it highly amusing there arent any over reactive cardinal fans comments.

    we were roughly at 8-9 mil of cap space, with all the free agents they are intending to sign they would still have to make more room for incoming rookie pool, correct?

  28. By fred on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    yes we are only a day into FA.But compared to the other teams we arent doing great. Every one is comparing not looking at their watch.

  29. By SeeingRed on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    I know its early but every year its the same slow-as-molasses strategy the Cards seem to implement…I know u dont just throw money at names but jeez one year it would be great to see the Cards do something out of character. Every year its “wait, its still early” “Nobody gets better in free agency” “people are on the market for a reason” that’s all true to a point but how has not being aggressive in FA helped the Cards? I’ve seen a bunch of mediocre pickups that get cut after a season or two (Gay, Mcfadden) and the names associated with the Cards..As much as I can’t stand them, SF has done a great job recently at doing both-draft and good FA pickups…what a concept huh? and All OL through draft? really? For once there are some good OL FA’s and not strongly consider it? The Cards cant keep preaching patience and having the failed results…Lame.

  30. By Smitty on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Both Stanton and Mendenhal due in AZ tomorrow….hopefully we bag them both.

  31. By rufus on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. Let the dolphins and browns overpay for players.

  32. By Adam on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Often times too I feel like the value of the cuts are overlooked as well. I think all the Cardinals cuts have been great moves aside from Adrian Wilson, but maybe that is because I have too much emotional stock in Adrian. Right now with the new CBA it has lowered the need to be overly aggressive in FA because many of the needs can be met in the draft at a fraction of the cost. Right now most of the good FA’s are looking for a big payday or have a lot of mileage and are on the tail end of their careers. I would love to see the Cards go after Sean Smith or Jake Long or both from Miami because I think they could make an instant impact. But either way I am more interested to see how the new coaching staff does in the draft rather than in FA.

  33. By Dynosoar on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    I hear all over the place that we aren’t doing anything. Is this true, I’m not camped out in Steve or Bruces offices. I can’t say if they are doing anything or doing nothing.

    I believe what has been preached time and time again. Build through the draft and fill holes with Free Agency.

    Too bad the draft doesn’t come first so teams know what holes they truly need filled, but some teams build through FA and fill holes with the draft. Not Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, other winning organizations. How have the Patriots FA compared to their drafted players. The FA are playing for other teams, the drafted ones are winning year after year.

    I’m just not ready to condemn what I can’t see (inaction?) and I’m not ready to hang everything on FA. Rhodes, Lennon exceptions and there are other exceptions. What about when we did lots of FA signings, McFadden, Gay, Porter, yeah FA is all that.

    Free Agency is like the draft and just because a “big name” is attached (A. Haynesworth ring a bell) doesn’t mean SPLASH!

    I’m enjoying the ride and am really looking forward to see what players my Cardinals put on the field next season.

    Think of William Powell behind Chance Womack. Now that has to bring a smile to your face.

  34. By Mr Robles on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Wishful thinking Dansby & DRC back to Az baby!

  35. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Patrick –

    RE: ILB positions

    One is the playmaker. The other is the run-stopper, the rock. Not sure if Dansby, who has been the DWash guy, would want to change.

  36. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    John the draft guy –

    RE: Cuts/picks

    You need ST guys when you let Adams/Hyphen walk away. As for Colledge, you can’t cut everyone. And Colledge was probably your bet lineman, for what that’s worth.

  37. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Sesai –

    RE: pop up

    That’s not us. You might have a virus.

  38. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Armand –

    RE: space

    Yes, but they could free more if needed. Some will be saved on Kolb regardless of what happens.

  39. By Brian on Mar 12, 2013 | Reply

    Bravo Darren! Couldn’t agree with you more. When was the last time the winner in March was the winner in February? Not the Ravens last year…not the Giants, Packers, Saints or Steelers. Unless a once in a lifetime player like Peyton Manning comes along, it’s not worth spending big in FA. Fill a couple needs and draft the future. Unfortunately for us, neither FA or the draft has a sure fire fix at QB but I think Stanton or Hoyer can bridge the gap to the draft next year. If they play well and we win games, bonus. If not then most likely we are picking at the top of the draft again with a better QB class coming out next year…

  40. By cobra on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Bill L.

    Dot, Dot, Dash, Dash? What? Just say what’s on your mind.

    I do agree, draft well and do not spend money on FA for a has been, or a maybe when you cut players on the roster who could “maybe as good, or has been better”.

  41. By theuglitruth on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren…you’ve gotten good at defending the pathetic Cardinals…I guess years of practice.

  42. By Jason Marcus aka red bird of death!, on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    We need to get rid of corn on the KOlb, release him please, then Stanon and hopefully Geno are our guys moving forward, I trust in BA, good luck Cardinals, by the way please keep Q Groves he is a beast, howbout it John the draft guy ?Are you into it?

  43. By Eazy E on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    I’m all about a player getting their money but I’m not upset either way. Greg got what he could get and we passed which was a good decision, now it’s time for us to make some great signings because our division already was heads, shoulders, knees and toes better than us and all have made HUGE moves with the signings of Harvin to SEA, Boldin to SF and Cook to STL. If we’re not careful, we could possibly be the worst team in the league if we don’t play our cards right?!(no pun intended).

  44. By Cbus cardsfan on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Free agency can no doubt help a team and this article is pure propoganda for the Cards approach and why they are terrible when it comes to free agency. If free agency is such a waste of time and, how the come you were singing the praises of the Cards when they signed stiffs like Stewart Bradley, Darryn Colledge, Joey Porter, Adam Snyder, and the like, over the years. Just because the Cards stink at the free agent process doesn’t mean it is not a useful way to supplement your team and acquire starting caliber talent.

    It’s easy, and short-sighted, to say look at Philly and see how they failed. Why not cite a team like the Giants who use the free agent process well and signed key players like Rolle, Chris Canty, Deon Grant, Rocky Bernard, and Michael Boley as free agents and helped them to another SB tilte. You don’t have to sign big name players but solid starters can be had.

  45. By William Nielsen on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    I think that the Cardinals has a very bad FA this year. Why did they sign R. Johnson? Why not use the money for Toler? I believe that he is a better player overall, so I would rather see Johnson let go.

    Now we lost Quentin Groves to the traitor Ray Horton in Cleveland. The Cardinals haven’t even signed a player yet, and all the key players like Reggie Bush are thought to sign elsewhere.

    Come on guys, you can do better at rebuilding our team…

  46. By jeffgollin on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry, Darren. I get that we have to keep free agency in perspective. But – when you take a step back and watch the ebb and flow of the 32 teams – it’s like 31 teams are getting things done, while the Cardinals are standing still. Equally depressing – in the one-on-one battles with other teams trying to land a specific free agent – we seem to be somewhere around 0 & 6. Other owners trot out the corporate jets and pre-empt our visits by squeezing in earlier interviews. You get the feeling that we’re being used by agents and players to “set the market” for serious negotiations with other teams.

    The impression (reinforced by national media body language) is that Cardinal management is “over its head.”

    For these reasons, your 5:30 am piece comes across more as a “company song” than it does a voice for reason. As a Cardinal die-hard, I hope you’re right and I’m wrong.

  47. By johnnybluenose on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    @nodavis2000. i don’t know why you would refer to people as ”idiots”. and you call yourself a fan and i will accept your word about that. but, it strikes me that a real fan would know that kevin kolb did not become a cardinal as a free agent. we traded for him.

  48. By Corgon on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    I can’t believe the Cards don’t want the Hyphen back. Instead of him Cribbs is a bad joke.

  49. By Eric G on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Sad to see that Fozzy Whitaker was cut.

  50. By cardsalltheway on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Bill L,
    “.the Cards have a D, Spec Teams……..but NO O…….”

    Our Spec Teams sucked last year with the exception of our punter and we had zero punt or kick-off returns. If we sign J. Cribbs you can forget about a kick-off return for the 2nd year in a row, or would that be the third? Leon Washington(Seahawks) would be better than J. Cribbs.

  51. By shannon robinson on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    This is overwhelmingly a buyer’s market. Hold on to your cash, the best deals in 10 years of cap restrictions are about to hit the market. The Rashad Johnson signing was our number one responsibility so celebrate and be patient. This CBA is stripping teams of some of their most valuable & experienced players who will have to sign for the minimum or not play. We’ve never seen this extreme value change before. A major “market correction” is happening now. The August one year deals will be surprising.

  52. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    To say everybody in FA are “castoffs” is hilarious. There are (were) a lot of players hitting FA because their teams didn’t have the cap space to accomodate paying them. To have some proven veterans on the team provides some maturity and stability in the locker room, as well as, sells tickets. If fans want to see a bunch of college kids play ball they can go to ASU games much cheaper and have a football experience that is more about the game and less of a Hollywood movie. So far, I haven’t seen our “new regime” do anything but clean house of all the players they could who were associated with Whisenhunt/Graves creating more holes than we can possibly fill even if we do cut Kolb. The “must have” list focused on “tweeking” the offense, has gone out the window and fans are suppose to believe the Cards are going to “turn things around” behind a bunch of college kids going up against some acclaimed seasoned professionals and probowlers overnight. I know some teams like to build through the draft but I like having a balance of veterans and rookies, building gradually and chosing wisely, having a plan and sticking to it. Part of the reason the Cardinals can’t get out of the cellar is the lack of consistency on the part of the organization, changing coaching staff every few years and, in turn, throwing out valued players in an attempt to accomodate that HC coach/GMs philosophy creating hamster and wheel effect. The philosophy that an aggressive pursuit of talent will lead to over spending need not be the case if there is a plan, goals set (long-term and short-term) and players researched. I like the way Elway has handled the Broncos draft (although I’ve bever been a fan of either the man or the team) in that he doesn’t release a player until he has their replacement signed. Getting rid of LaRod was foolish, missing Toler was very telling and is going to hurt us, Lorenzo Alexander is a big talent but not on our “must have” list..more or a luxury item. Fans need to remember that BAs contract is up in four years and the next guy will probably have a different philosophy and wish list.

  53. By Jeremy Woolard on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    I was wondering Darren if the cardinals have considered Ahmad Bradshaw as a possible signing?? i mean hes a big physical player and can get us tough yardage and 1st downs? and what of Kevin Kolb?? he Played pretty well last season before the injury. i mean he had 8 Touchdowns with only 3 picks with 83 passer rating and had over 1,000 yards in just 4 games. He performed last season, the stats and winning record(4,0) proves he was doing something right.

  54. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    …also players can be picked up off the waiver wire at any time throughout the year which, IF there is anybody there who fills the bill.

  55. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Come on now.First, I didnt say cut everyone. Just the way over priced ones. Lets be fair now. Replacing Colledge, Kolb and Dockett, is not everyone. ( I did mention King on another blog) So 3-4 guys is everyone?

    As for our FAs, Do we really want to pay for a gunner on the other side of Bethel and a KO returner? Josh Cribbs is our guy instead of a late round guy who tries to make the team in these roles. (ala Bethel) Alexander is not a gunner or returner, so how does he fill the role of departed Hyphen or Adams??
    Would Cribbs do punts because Arians says he wants PP to get the ball in his hands as much as possible?
    So you bring in one guy who will take the punts away from PP and that is a good move? Or do you sign one of the best returners in Josh Cribbs and not have him take punts? And this makes sense to you??
    Mendenhal and powers have been hurt multiple years. Havent we learned our lesson?

    As for our top Olineman, Colledge IS THE FIFTH HIGHEST PAID PLAYER (cap hit for 2013) on the team. He is our big splash two years ago.

    Lets look at the Cards top 5 cap hits.
    Kolb – 13.5 million with 6 mil of dead money. That frees up 7.5 million if released.
    Larry Fitz – 10.25 mil with 18 mil dead money. worth every penny.
    Campbell- 8.25 cap hit with 25 mil dead money. rising start
    Dockett – 7.7 mil cap hit with 9 million dead money. Not a true 3-4 guy, production on decline and 33 years old.
    Colledge – 7.25 cap hit, 6.8 in dead money. Is he one of the top guards in the league?? Cuz he is paid like one.

    Really, you cant see something wrong with this picture. cutting Kolb, colledge and Dockett frees up 6.8 million in cap space this year and 28 million next year. Now we have 16 million for FAs this year and closer to 35 million next year. Lets get out of Cap Hell.

    Replacing Colledge with a guard in the draft, while Potter, brown, synder or Kelemente or a second draft pick plays the other guard, makes more sense to me than overpaying a guy who hasnt been productive.

    Really, is this the best we can do? Keep overpaid, unproductive players and bring in FAs who are always hurt or dont fill a big need??

    And you wonder why we have 3 out 24 years where we were higher than .500.

  56. By aaron on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    An exception could spread the cap hit out and free up around 11 mil this year. Kolb is getting cut.

  57. By Campbells on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    No deals yesterday. We still some good options available. Maybe second day means better value for the $.
    Bush is quick, but not a power back. We need a guy that can get a yard when everyone knows we’re going to run it. If Mendenhall is healthy, maybe he’s that guy.
    Some dynamic players visiting us today. Hope we can lock-up some assets this week. We have too many gaps to fill in the draft.

  58. By Campbells on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Fitzpatrick looked sharp against us. His accuracy only seems to suffer when the pocket collapses. Anyone know if the FO/coaching staff likes him at all?

  59. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Nodavis2000

    Kolb was not a free agent. I cant believe you forgot the trade sending DRC and a second rounder to Eagles for Kolb.

  60. By sezme on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Take a few deep breathes, grasshoppers, and remember: it’s Survival of the Fittest, not the fastest. And we have the fittest coach around! Who else could have won Coach-of-the-Year while just an assistant!! Give the man some Breathing room and let’s get GungHo behind him, till at least about 8 games in.
    And don’t forget: slowmotion gets ya there faster. thanx, Darren

    “slowmotion gets ya there faster.”

  61. By Mike G on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is good!– I’m with you on this free agent frenzy–you can’t make a final judgement until your teams final roster is put together. Emotions always run high at the beginning of free agency. Espn is a total circus this week! There is no move the Card’s made that has surprised me. As for Toler you just can’t pay him 5mil a year! You can find his equal or better as a player through the draft or later in free agency. The NFL is a business and you must be smart in determining your roster in today’s NFL. Hey Darren– With Beanie released and Ryan Williams health somewhat in question–Do you see the Card’s drafting a Vic Ballard type of player say in rounds 3-4????? I think they need a dependable back!!!

  62. By Chris Lewis on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    I’m really trying to be patient, but how long is Keim going to wait before he makes any moves? Top players are already being snatched up by other teams. This is an ongoing theme with Arizona, we let all the elite players go to other teams, then we get the leftovers. I thought things would be different with a new regime, and maybe I’m jumping the gun, but I see lots of other teams being aggressive while we sit pat. We have lots of holes to fill, as many of our core players have been cut, so Keim better get busy right away replacing those voids. I hope we don’t sign Mendenhall, as he’s a typical leftover player Arizona usually settles for. We have some money to spend, so why not at least pick up one elite player. We fans deserve better than what we had to endure last season.

  63. By Jahstone on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    It’s not about winning in March, however…does BA think he can just throw rookies at our problems? I agree it’s a tough off-season for talent and given our cap space, we can’t do much, but we can do something. Not dealing with Kolb’s salary before Tuesday? Letting Groves go to Cleveland on the cheap? We need a starting ILB and another CB, as well as another OLB, RB, and of course QB. We cannnot just plug the postions with back-ups and rely on 5th and 6th round picks as starters this year. Besdides, SF, SEA, and STL all have done something
    We should be looking at the top, and not just trying to be “competitive”..

  64. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    theugli –

    RE: Defending

    I’m not as much defending the team as much as exasperated by those out there who freak out on a daily basis. I just can’t do it.

    Maybe it’ll be good when I go to a weekly mailbag and not get caught up in the daily comments so much.

  65. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    jeff –

    RE: Company song

    No one has said one word to me here. That was written because of the constant harping — prematurely — of the fans. That’s fine. It’s their right.

    But I’ll be honest, I’ve never been closer to signing off — at least in the comments — with the interaction. I’m not sure it’s worth it.

  66. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, you do a great job and we appreciate the way you operate your column but no job is worth being miserable in and, as obvious as this sounds, no job is perfect, there will always be ups and downs. I think most people would consider you fortunate to be in the position you are in,with the job you have. Good consumer relations is what sometimes determines whether a company succeeds or goes under and your “taking one for the team” probably is more valuable to the Cards than you realize…lol, consider yourself an off season defensive player. Fans are just letting off pent up frustration that has been building since before your time. Hope you can compartmentalize and take a deep breath..don’t personalize fan comments. Would it be possible to keep some kind of running board of who has left, who has signed and positions to fill?

  67. By georgiebird on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    Your comments on Toler and free agency are right on. The Cardinals’ current condition is not going to turn on FA acquisitions or keeping average talent for big bucks- somewhat similar to the Dansby situation.
    However, I do feel that Arians- with his supposed good eye for talent- should be uncovering a gem here and there.
    But about 90% of our destiny is going to be tied up in the draft A couple of solid drafts and the Cards will be back in the hunt. Also, there are about 10 young players on the team like DWash, PP, Acho, CC, RJ, Housler, Massie etc- that have to keep progressing and not level off as so many have done in the past. Hopefully, better coaching will make a difference.

  68. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    classylssy –

    RE: Running board

    I have this one for the Cardinals, if that is what you are asking:

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/free-agency.html

    If you are talking about a league-wide one, I’d guess there probably is one like that at NFL.com.

  69. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Signing off;

    Im a little lost.

    Fans have endured sitting on hard cement benches in 110 degree weather to watch the cards go 4-12 for many years. Listen to other fans taunt you or out number you in the stands. With always the hope that next year will be different.

    We finally get our stadium and a promise to build a winning team, and we were given that ! 2008 was a magical season. 2009 was great too.

    But many of us long time fans see the team moving backwards the last 3 years. We have gone back to the same issues we had back in those sun devil days. No QB, bad Oline, back to the cellar.

    In the meantime, San Fran, Seattle and even the Rams are building long lasting programs with good young QBs , solid olines, great defenses. We have watched them build through the draft and now are adding those finishing touches.

    So, yes fans get upset and daily send in suggestions to fix the team. Some good, some not so good.(you can rate my anyway you want). Yes, sometimes you get the same question asked 100 times or you have someone yelling Kolb should be released 100 times (sorry), but all it is is fans being passionate about their team. Maybe you get someone pointing the finger at you. Well Darren, you are the only person working for the cards anyone can reach and get a reply.

    After all, we have had 3 winning seasons in 24 years. So fans enjoy coming here to debate about how to get #4 winning season. Fans enjoyed the thumbs up thing to rate each other. But most of all, many like to come and vent their frustrations as I am asked to pay 1400.00 a ticket for next season (just got it in the mail a week or so ago)

    This is our hometown team. We dont want to root for the Patriots or who ever. All any of us want is a winning team anyway we can get there.

    I’m really not sure why you are upset or surprised by the fan reactions ?

  70. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    PLEASE, NO weekly mailbag or “signing off”!!!
    Your blogs are well thought out and informative regardless of what the Twerps write.
    What is the saying? Non carborundum illigitimus (or something like that)?

  71. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: Mailbag

    We’ll see. Lot of push from elsewhere on the mailbag. We need more website hits. It’s still a business.

    As for Non carborundum illigitimus, that’s an lol from me. I can’t say I know that one.

  72. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    John the draft guy –

    RE: Reaction

    You should know me well enough by now to know I understand most of it. Not all of it. Hell, I pay money for a season ticket myself.

    But I am also human. Yes, I am the link to the fans, and if they were all like you, I’d be fine with it. But they are not. And from my seat, I don’t get to pick and choose. I just get weary of the ridiculous reactions. The accusations. The ones saying Keim is a clown the day before free agency even begins because the Niners and Seahawks make a trade. Over the last 48 hours, it’s a constant barrage of mostly overreaction. They don’t even play a game for months.

    It was pretty clear with the way Arians was talking about youth, etc., that there was going to be an overhaul. It may mean hard times in 2013. I’m not denying that. Heck, I’m not saying you can’t keep venting the exact same way. But, in a twist to your question, I’m really not sure why you’d be upset or surprised by my reaction?

  73. By nodavis2000 on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    @johnnybluenose,

    You’re right, Kolb was traded for. I guess I was thinking too much on draft vs free agency and skipped that. Pretty big error, I was typing too fast and not thinking clearly. Thanks for pointing that out.

    As for the “idiots” comment, I’m more frustrated at fans and their consistent complaining. I don’t comment on everything Darren posts and I only do when I feel strongly about something. But I read every article and blog on hear and just about all the comments. The past week has been very annoying with people saying the Cards aren’t doing anything or should do this or that. And I don’t mind what people say, but a lot of these “comments” come from people that I’ve never read before. It’s like people only come on here, read a blog, say something stupid, and never appear again. If they do that, they are just complaining. Which, to me and I only speak for myself, is idiotic. Don’t come somewhere and vent, just to leave.

    If you read above, even Darren is getting fed up with some of these comments. I’m just speaking my piece, like they are speaking theirs. Does it mean I’m right??? Heaven’s no, just the humble opinion of one Cardinals fan.

  74. By nodavis2000 on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    @John The Draft Guy,

    I can’t believe I forgot it either. And then I went and TALKED ABOUT the freaking Eagles to boot. I was just so focused on that the higher ups wanted Kolb and brought him in and didn’t think of how(trade). I was going more for a free agency vs draft building up the roster and didn’t think it thru. Spoke (or typed in this case) before I thought it out. Obviously, right???

    But, we could name countless FA signings for the Cards and other teams that didn’t really work out. I know Bill Polian says it’s 50/50 on if a FA signing is good. (I think I read that on NFL.com) in comparison to the draft. I’m more of a build thru the draft mentality than thru FA. And I think that the past few years of the draft have been better for us than free agency. The last big impact for us in FA was Kurt Warner. The draft however has given us Peterson, Campbell, D Washington, Massie (who I think will be A LOT better this year), Acho, Housler, etc.

  75. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Darren…I was talking about the Cardinals. I have the one for the league but it is time consuming to pick through (although very informative). Again, your efforts are appreciated during this difficult time of year.

  76. By CardsChick on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Getting rid of Dockett is a bad idea. He was not being utilized in his strong position last year, and we need some veterans to teach the younger guys how to be patient and stick with a team when things are not going well. Wilson was that guy; I wish we would have kept him.

    It wasn’t too long ago that the NFC West was the NFL’s running joke with ALL 4 teams. It has taken years for SF to re-right the ship that sunk after their glory days. When was the last time that the Rams were in serious playoff contention? The Seahawks were even an afterthought until a couple of years ago when they got their strong RB and now are contenders because of surprise QB play from a rookie. Patience, people.

  77. By ored on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    maybe there should be another site for juveniles,set an age limit for responses and comments,but then again i seriously doubt if all the “mature”commentators always act their age or react in an adult fashion.i know from reading enough comments it’s real easy to think a large number of comments are from 12 yr.olds or somebody sauced up.after awhile the constant negative and childlike nature just wears rather than entertains,it’s always good to switch to a different feed,get real entertaining and constructive views once in awhile.urban,you should be very careful,there could be long term consequences from being constantly subjected to “fan”overload,much like being concussed was never really thought of being long term damage.

    maybe there should be a seperate section for positive/constructive comments and another for whining and negativity,wonder which side would be more popular,probably depends if you’re writing or reading,lol.bottom line,all the ridiculous commenting gets brain fragging,can only take so much at a time,you should have therapy included with your position.

  78. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Non illigitimus carborundum: “Don’t let the bastards wear you down” (an imperfect translation)

    Sorry for the language (but, if the shoe fits for some fans, so be it)

  79. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Touche. (if that is spelled right). I would just Hate to see it go weekly or not at all.

    I do enjoy arguing with people. :)

  80. By sezme on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    to “ored” and Darren,
    Yeah, Darren’s job should come with therapy. Also, with “Hazzardous Doodee pay”!!
    And I think the Latin phrase is, “Illigitimi (pl.) non carborundum.” (“Don’t let the B_st_rds wear you down.”)
    Thanx for being one of the best at what you do, and “keep on keeping on.”

  81. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2013 | Reply

    sezme,

    Thanks.
    I never was any good at Latin. :)

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