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The left tackle market and Veldheer

Posted by Darren Urban on March 9, 2014 – 6:51 pm

The “soft” opening of free agency this weekend has provided plenty in the way of speculation and prediction, especially when it comes to the hot left tackle market. While much was discussed over the last few weeks with the Cards possibly looking at Chiefs free-agent-to-be Branden Albert. But late Saturday night/Sunday morning the idea the Cardinals might instead look at Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer picked up steam. By Sunday afternoon, a report out of Baltimore — where the Ravens are trying to bring back their own left tackle Eugene Monroe — handicapped the landing spots for all the premium left tackles about to be available. Multiple sources (which usually is a euphemism for “agents”) pegged Veldheer as a Cardinal once free agency began this week. Albert is apparently headed for Miami.

Again, during this “pre” period of free agency — which takes teams up until the official opening Tuesday at 1 p.m. Arizona time — teams can speak to agents of players but not the players themselves. And while parameters of contracts can be discussed, no contract can be executed until Tuesday. So we’re still a couple days away from knowing for sure on any of this (and physicals still have to be passed for all these players on all these teams.)

As for Veldheer specifically, he does make sense on multiple fronts. He’s young — just 27, younger than Albert — and he’s protected Carson Palmer previously. That means he could get info about the Cards from Palmer, and it means Palmer will have a comfort level with an otherwise new tackle. He did miss 11 games last season with a tricep injury, but he’s otherwise been durable. And it sounds like he’ll come just a tad cheaper than a couple other of those tackles. (Here is an article from overthecap.com from late last season estimating Veldheer’s next deal.)

Many were surprised the Raiders didn’t use a franchise tag on Veldheer, and it is interesting they’d let go someone they know and presumably saw play well like this, especially now that the Rams’ Rodger Saffold is definitely leaving St. Louis and the assumption is he will be going to Oakland. But most reports had the Raiders trying hard to re-sign Veldheer but he wanted to see his worth. We’ll see if it is the Cardinals that end up finding him worthy.

Carson Palmer; Jared Veldheer


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Posted in Blog | 54 Comments »


54 Responses to “The left tackle market and Veldheer”

  1. By azjam on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    I like him and hope that the Cards can sign him. However,there are so many rumors out there that we really won’t know who goes where until free agency starts this Tuesday afternoon. We do know that teams can and will sign their own free agents now. Since they have a good feel what other teams are going to offer, they can outbid them. Hope that doesn’t happen with Veldheer and the Raiders.

  2. By Rich on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    I’ve wanted Veldheer over Albert all along.

  3. By Cody Zarr on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    I was skeptical about this guy until I looked at his PFF grade for 2011 and 2012. He was pretty awful in his limited play during 2013 but the two years before he was exceptional. It makes me wonder how much of that play can be attributed to the QB last year, or lack there of I should say.

    In any case, he appears to be a solid starter and if we get him at a discount, great!

  4. By Ricardo cortes on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    My best case scenario for this years offense after off season:
    QB-Carson Palmer
    RB-Ellington
    LT-valdheer (via free agency)
    LG-Cooper
    C-Sendlien
    RG-Earl Watford
    RT-Massie
    TE-Austin Sefarian Jenkins
    WR #1-Mr.Fitz
    WR #2-Floyd
    WR slot-Lance moore(via free agency maybe on 2 year contract)

  5. By ored on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    seeing as how veldheer and palmer were team mates,it does make sense…but at times like this there is a lot of nonsense going around.get this done without mortgaging our future and fans will have reason to wig out. still lots to do,but this has been a nemesis for too long,i guess you could say that LT could be a game changing position for us.

    next fix a weakness on our defense with someone to cover TEs’,i know i’m preaching to the choir,keim knows what we need,but still hard to not put my 2 cents worth in.

  6. By rod on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Didn’t Palmer get sacked quite a bit while he was in Oakland?

  7. By Coach K on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    We need to strongly consider Eugene Monroe and get him into the mix for leverage. We need to be in the game with two players, not one. We get a top left tackle, then we need to get that power inside running back with speed. In the draft, it’s got to be big time receiver, defensive line, corner and strong safety. We have got to get deeper on the D-line. Offense will be fine with a few more key additions. A big time deep receiver added to Fitz and Floyd would be impossible to defend.

  8. By Jsoully on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Rod-
    The offense as a whole was terrible, Jared Veldheer is a pro bowl ballet for every year except for last year. A major upgrade from Bradley Sowell, for sure if they weren’t done with upgrading the offensive line, they would do the following
    Step 1 – Sign Jared Veldheer and Geoff Schwartz.
    Step 2 – Draft Cameron Fleming from Stanford in 2nd Round.

    LT – 1. Jared Veldheer 2. Bradley Sowell
    LG – 1. Jonathan Cooper 2. Paul Fanaika
    C – 1. Lyle Sendlein
    RG – 1. Earl Watford 2. Geoff Schwartz
    RT – 1. Cameron Fleming 2. Bobby Massie

  9. By steve on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Signing Veldheer would be a terrific start to free agency, provided he is over his triceps injury and passes his physical.

  10. By Eazy E on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Naw Arizona! He ain’t bad from when I’ve checked him out from afar but Albert is a much better choice. Don’t do it, please don’t do it- Drake ”Headlines”

  11. By Marcelof on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    in every scenario we do have cardinals signing a LT which means the position will finally be improved leading cardinals to a whole new level of contender. The Entire west is a tough battlefield where another winning record team will miss the playoffs…

    With Veldheer and Cooper in, a hell speedy receiver, a running wall at Tigh End and a spooky RB duo, Cards won’t be this team to miss the playoffs.

  12. By Rocco on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Cody —

    He missed 10 games last season missed practically all of the preseason too no player misses about 13-14 weeks of football and comes back to full form and he wasn’t aweful last year by no means once he came back the raiders line improved drastically just shows his worth when healthy this guy can be the best tackle in the game but can’t judge him last year coming off an injury and missing all that time

  13. By Rocco on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Rod —

    Yeah not veldheer fault though I’m a raiders fan this guy is a very very good and a top tackle in football from 2011 to now he only let up 15.5 sacks and not to mention he has played most of the best DE in football in those 3 years

  14. By Rocco on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Eazy —

    He comes younger and cheaper then Monroe plus Monroe is really not that much better then him if even at all better then him how could you not want him? Younger cheaper and just as good beggars can’t be choosers and veldheer is top 10 tackle in the league if he is 10 monroe is like 7 really not much difference

  15. By br on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Watford is not ready to start. If cards are smart they would resign Winston at RT then draft Martin/notre dame plug him at RG for a couple yrs then he becomes RT cornerstone after Watford is ready to start

  16. By br on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Rocco. Thanks for the info sounds like perfect fit for my Cards! Curious as to why Raiders let him get this far into FA process why didnt they try to lock him up long term after 2012 season or as desperation move franchise tag this year? Everything i have read on this guy has top ten LT written all over him!! Im just happy as a “pig in poop” that the Cards seem to be out of the running for Albert who i think is over the hill, overrated, and about to be overpaid!!!

  17. By djjackson81 on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Let’s be real
    This dude if Cardinals can get him on paper is a big upgrade at LT period. Line him up with Cooper the left side of the line is fixed. Now the OL needs to turn attention on RT. The team does not have faith in Massie not an Arians guy. I hope the hell they don’t put Sowell over there cause that won’t help crap. If Watford is RG AZ is going to need a vet RT. At this point keep Winston in mind bottom line. Very risky having a rookie Watford in at RG and drop a rookie RT in there at the same time.

  18. By br on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren
    Totally off subject but have a question….any chance Cards bring in Darren Sproles?? Or at least make a run at him, i think he is perfect fit for Ariens offense (or any offense for that matter) plus he has a studly first name!!!! LOL!!

  19. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    BR —

    RE; Sproles

    The Cards already have that guy. His name is Andre Ellington.

  20. By br on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Djjackson
    My comment above to resign Winston and draft Martin/Notre Dame to plug in at RG for couple of yrs until Watford is ready then move Martin to RT is based on same premise as yours dont want to hang basically 2 rookies out on the right side to get tortured all year. The only way Martin stays at guard is if he dominates and becomes pro bowl material or rates out top 5 or 10 RG’s in nfl if that happens then i say he becomes a fixture at RG and we find another RT in a future draft. I just hope Martin is still on the board at#20 and the CARDS snatch him off board!!!

  21. By br on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Have to respectfully disagree with you on that one sir…Ellington may be same type but he is not in same league as Sproles he may be one day but not even close right now. Plus i believe Sproles has proven he can be an effective every down back. Though his age may prevent him from being that every down back. Still love your insight and expertise but cant agree all the time! GO CARDS!!!

  22. By RedSeaSailor on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Do you think we will get to see what Ryan Williams can do this year Darren? I’ve been amped to watch him perform since drafting him. I hope we don’t trade him. I think he is better than Stephan Taylor. When he is healthy and confident dude can “cut”and”book”!

  23. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    RedSea —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    I think he’ll get a chance this offseason. We’ll see how it turns out.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Aww, just got back from Aruba. Flip on the card news and this comes up.

    If you go back to last offseason, this is a guy I had on my radar. I suggested a trade last year after the raiders drafted Menelik Watson. But with seeing the raiders cap space, I thought they would keep Veldheer and make them bookends. Looks like the raiders will do that with Safford now.

    As for Veldheer, he will be the first legit LT the cards have had since Lomas Brown. (and Brown was older when he came). To see this team actually land a true LT is amazing for us long time fans. Let’s hope Tuesday brings great news.

    To think, we had the worst offensive line two years in a row and it could be turned around this year.

    Veldheer at LT
    Cooper back at LG
    Sendlin at C
    Watford at RG
    Massie / Winston at RT

    I said last year that Watford, physically, is a very good player. But he was so inconsistent from play to play. Most of that was mental and technique. I would think, with his talent, and a year of coaching and studying the playbook, this guy will be ready to go.

    With Palmer, a real NFL QB, behind this line, and with Fitz, Floyd and the TE’s John Carlson and whoever that second guy is, whether it be Housler or someone else and a WR who can stretch the field, this can become a very good offense.

    With the 20th pick, I am leaning defense. I think the Safety Calvin Pryor or if Anthony Barr falls (which I see happening) . I really liked Justin Gilbert, but he is going top 10.
    Also, I still like Brandin Cooks. Very exciting player.

  25. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    I also still believe in the tandem of Taylor and Eillington at RB.
    I am not interested at all in Williams. I would look at a late draft pick or 3rd tier vet as a backup to these two.

  26. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Aruba

    There’s no internet in Aruba?

  27. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Oh there is internet. But for some reason, I found other things to do than be on a computer.:)

  28. By Coach K on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    If we sign a solid left tackle, I say we go either deep threat receiver or dominating defensive tackle/end in round one. Best athlete available at pick #20. With so many highly rated receives in this deep draft, I cannot see the Cardinals passing up a day one starter at receiver to combine with Fitz and Floyd. If we get a legitimate deep threat blue chip prospect, can you imagine the kind of numbers Palmer is going to put up. It will be the second coming of the greatest show on turf.

  29. By Big Ken on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Sproles is too old, used up, nothin left in the tank.

  30. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Can I throw out another FA name? Brandon Pettigrew.

    Big TE who can block and catch the ball. Seems to fit into what BA likes to do. With him and John Carlson, teams will have to stay in their base defenses to stop the run and that puts defenses into zone coverages a lot.

    Could be that guy who can help Ellington get the edge on run plays. If the money is right, might be a guy you kick the tires on.

  31. By joe holst on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    ex Oakland raiders are working well for the cards, palmer, shaunessy and now this bro

  32. By Jsoully on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Oh man I almost forgot about that Joe Holst, your right, both Shaughnessy and Palmer worked out for us, you would think that the signing of Jared Veldheer would be another quality pickup for the Cardinals all thanks to the Raiders. I know it sounds bias, but I think with all the free agents out there this year, Darius Heyward-Bey fits what Arians wants (Speed Receiver, spreads the field) and previously played for Chuck Pagano, this would be a quality pickup for the Cardinals.
    Darren,
    I know that you probably don’t know, but since both Shaughnessy and Karlos Dansby plays very well in this base defense, do you think that they would take a lower pay grade to stay put? (Dansby: $6M or 6.5M, Shaughnessy: $3M or $4M?)

  33. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    jsoully —

    RE: Taking less

    We’re going to find out. If someone offers them considerably more — or for a much longer deal — no. Money talks.

  34. By Ghouse602 on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    br —

    How is it that you arent a GM or HC in the NFL? I mean you obviously know muuuuch more than BA and Keim to totally contradict what they’ve said with out any reliable proof. Hey, guys we’ve got the second comming of Bill Parcells here!

  35. By Andy Kw on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Release Ryan Williams already. This guy needs to retire just like Rashard Mendenhall. It is time to move on from the NFL and pursue other dreams. Rashard Mendenhall played well in his career at least, Williams has no chance of surviving in the NFL. You’re a good guy but we all know that you have nothing to offer but fumbles in our future.

  36. By Dre on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    If the reports are mildly accurate, this is very exciting news but also very nerve racking. Love that the Cards are knocking on multiple free agent LT doors to get the best player for us, don’t forget to look behind the Eugene Monroe door as well. The new Cardinals are heading in the right direction and will be a force to be reckoned with. Go Git ‘um Cards.

  37. By E Dog on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Hey, John the Draft Guy: I’ve watched about 75% of Lions games since they drafted Pettigrew in the first round…he may have the worst hands of any TE I’ve ever seen in the pros. Don’t want to see him as a Cardinal!!

  38. By rod on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Rocco-

    I looked up the stats…even with other guys playing LT he was sacked way less than this last season. I was basing it off of reports I had heard years ago. The stats and your comment makes me hopeful.
    :-)

  39. By rod on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Jsoully-

    Thanks man, I’m more informed now and am on board.
    :-)

  40. By ored on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    we’ll know soon enough how the tackle position works out,does’nt appear it’s going to very long or drawn out.next big question is…who drops to #20,because once the tackle spot is taken,pretty sure bpa is gonna be looked at in earnest,and that could lead to some interesting choices,excitement starts tomorrow.we may not even stay put at 20,especially if we lose some of our own players,then we may be looking to add more picks.

  41. By Scott H on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    I like it! Imagine….landing a top level free agent….at a key position of need….being aggressive and active as soon as FA begins….WOW!!!

    During the previous regime, these things appeared to be right up there with big foot and the loch ness monster – I had never seen them but supposedly, they were out there somewhere.

    Please let this be a reality.

  42. By Credit Card on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    Does or have your heard Valdheer has / having quick feet?

  43. By Credit Card on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    Do you think Knowshown Moreno will be affordable and whether the Cards might seek him? Also, Wesley Woodward (he can cover tight ends) can he be found affordable as well? Lastly, Champ Bailey same question and whether the Cards will look for those ex-Broncos? Each of those players are great situational players — and can provide decent depth

  44. By br on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Ghouse —

    Nope no second coming of Parcells here im to dang good looking!!! More like second comng of Brad Pitt! I was undwr the impression that discussion boards like these are made for people to give there opinion then have discussions and either agree or disagree with said opinions, seems i was wrong (not the first time and wont be the last time i’ve been wrong) but thank you for enlightening me that it is also a forum for pea-brain morons to make stupid comments that have nothing to do with the discussion at hand!!

  45. By Dr. G. on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Ghouse – Did you have something to offer here or just a little rant? The Saints do know what they’re doing with Sproles though… competent reporters have concerns going forward… At this point Ellington is better and young.

    Just got back from the Intn’l Space Station – NASA doesn’t permit recreational net usage…. so I just saw this OT blog… I am not really enamored with what will be the exorbitant cost of a FA OT…. but if that is the only solution… do it Mr. Keim…. I would like to hang on until the draft and get one of the top 5 OT’s there. We need a young, ambitious, trainable player that will be with the Cards for a bunch of years, not just 1 – 3 …. Arians is not fearful of using rookies…. And use the $$$$ to help our team in other positions… Be well…

  46. By Dr. G. on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Cards Fans – Do not panic or be disappointed if the rumors of Veldheer do not come to fruition. Keim wants to be sure this man is fit and free of other potential injury. He is a load, and could be a good addition, but not the only answer. Keim has been thinking about this for about 14 months now! He won’t act impulsively.

  47. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Veldheer

    I don’t know a lot of specifics about him.

  48. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    CRedit —

    RE: FA Broncos

    Haven’t heard any of those names. Would be shocked at Moreno or Bailey, unless Bailey came very cheap.

  49. By Eazy E on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Rocco-

    I actually said Albert but yeah Monroe is better too. Their both good and I’m not saying Veldheer is bad but younger is ok, but cheaper ain’t always good of course! Also, he ain’t no top 10 tackle yet. Stop it!

  50. By br on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Another pretty good veteran TE on the market. Texans have cut Owen Daniels. Quite a few very interesting veteran cuts out there on the market for the Cardinals to possibly consider and likely quite a few more as the day progresses. Any whispers on Cardinals interest in Daniels…if we could lure him to Arizona suddenly a position of weakness would be looking pretty dang stout! Housler, Ballard, Carlson, and Daniels…looking pretty good at TE,at least on paper!

  51. By Dr. G. on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I’ve always wondered what Free Agency would look like if it were scheduled “after” the Draft or even simultaneously… The Draft could be held in April. The ambitious agents would balk and the Union would have a stroke in the pandemonium! Much of the teams’ guessing would have been resolved by FA then…

    Just thinking out loud….

  52. By Matt11 on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Man with free agency frenzy is in the horizon we seriously need to pickup some players like Jared Veldheer and Brandon Albert to help our OL. But let’s hope we choose the right man.

  53. By Darren Urban on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: FA after draft

    That did happen. In 2011, because of the lockout.

  54. By br on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Can i throw out another name to ponder…Toby Gerhart as the veteran RB his style of running would fit in well he was excellent filling in for AP up in Minny and pretty sure Cards could get him on the cheap or at least not break the bank to sign him.,

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