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Cards sign three more, plus Shaughnessy

Posted by Darren Urban on March 12, 2014 – 6:35 pm

Here’s how the news trickled out during the day Wednesday as the Cardinals tried to make sure they still had a beefy linebacker to play the role that Matt Shaughnessy did last year. First was the national report that the Cards were still very interested in free agent DE/LB Mike Neal of the Packers, who is built similarly to Shaughnessy. Then came the news Shaughnessy was visiting the Patriots today. Then Neal tweeted out he was staying with the Packers — which could have ended up being bad news for the Cardinals, until Kent Somers broke the news Wednesday afternoon that Shaughnessy will be re-signing with the Cardinals too, also for two years.

It’s very important for the Cards. Shaughnessy worked under the radar (he’s not much of a talker, so you won’t see him a lot in interviews) but he was solid in Todd Bowles defense last season, especially against the run. It’s a big deal they were able to keep him. Nothing is officially announced yet, but it’s coming.

– The Cardinals brought in two more free agents Wednesday night, signing running back Jonathan Dwyer to a one-year contract and guard/center Ted Larsen to a two-year contract. Both are expected to be depth signings. The Cards also re-signed outside linebacker Marcus Benard to a one-year deal.

Arians promised more offensive linemen were coming “shortly.” Here’s one. Larsen started in two of his four seasons in Tampa and the Cards have long been searching for a solid backup center. If he can swing on all the interior line spots, and Bradley Sowell could be the backup right and left tackle, the Cards could be in good shape there. Dwyer (pictured below) comes from Pittsburgh, where he spent two seasons with Bruce Arians. The Cards needed a back with the departure of Rashard Mendenhall. Andre Ellington will start. Dwyer can battle Stepfan Taylor for No. 2.

– The Cardinals were supposed to get a Friday free-agent visit from Steelers defensive lineman Al Woods, who could have provided depth. But he never made it past his Tennessee visit Wednesday, and agreed to a deal with the Titans.

– Ex-Card Karlos Dansby was on the Burns and Gambo Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 Wednesday. He said he was “definitely surprised” and “I didn’t expect” at how large contract was that the Browns offered. He said the reports of a two-year, $10M to $12M offer from the Cards was incorrect (he did not clarify what it was) but he said he was not disrespected by whatever it was the Cards offered.

– Speaking of Dansby, Arians wasn’t fazed by his leaving, which wasn’t surprising. “We’ll have young players, and we have enough leadership on defense,” Arians said. “Kevin Minter, we drafted for a reason. We love him. He should assume that role. We’ll still look through free agency who is available.”

Lorenzo Alexander can play inside as well, Arians added. “We wish Karlos all the best. He gave us a fantastic year last year. At his age, to get that contract, God bless him. We wish him all the well. He did a great job. We’re moving on.”

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Posted in Blog | 38 Comments »


38 Responses to “Cards sign three more, plus Shaughnessy”

  1. By Jsoully on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I love the signing of Jon Dwyer because he is a guy who is tough in between the tackles, another solid signing. I also think that the Ted Larsen signing is a quality pickup, (like Bradley Sowell) who will maybe be able to fill in for Sendlein in foreseeable future. I really like that Captain Munnerlyn & Kendrick Lewis is going to make it to day 3, meaning for maybe a cheaper contract, quality help, maybe both or one or the other.

  2. By Andy Kw on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I am happy with the signings:
    -I am glad they are bringing back LB Marcus Benard
    -My favorite FA signing was OG Ted Larsen. This guy is young and will provide a lot of needed depth at the OL position.
    -I do not know if I am a big fan of the Jonathan Dwyer signing, but he does provide some stability to the back field. I hope this team considers signing another Free Agent RB to compete with Dwyer for the backup role.

  3. By Dr. G. on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    When I look at the FA’s on the Cards roster, there remains only a few that Keim would want to re-sign… amazing how quickly he has cleaned up this list. Now he can concentrate on those few; then on to prep for the draft and perhaps be aware of someone special that might surface.

    Darren, Have you seen a FA list clean up this quickly? Unbelievable….

  4. By ored on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    i think everyone is surprised at the contracts being offered everywhere,makes up for last year,and now we are getting a real good idea what patricks worth will be. hope that we just pick up from last year and all the new addittions play up to expectations.just thinking that once all the excitement of FA dies down,we get to start all over for the draft.

  5. By Coach K on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Great news Darren. Dwyer is a good running back that many in Pittsburgh called “the mini-Bus” in reference to Jerome Bettis. Dwyer will definately bring a power inside running style which is perfect in combination with Ellington. He will also give Taylor great competition. Dwyer has deceptive quickness and good power. He is not a speed guy.

  6. By Coach K on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I’m still hoping we can land Emmanuel Sanders, 5-11, 180 with 4.40 speed. He is visiting Jacksonville tomorrow and I hope he adds the Cardinals to his visit list. I think he would be perfect in the slot. I also think we should draft another tall deep threat receiver in the draft as well. Sanders is also an outstanding return man.

  7. By K-DUB on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Funny how all of Dwyers highlights are from college…memory serves me, he fumbled A LOT in Pitt. Still love this pickup wanted him last offseason.

  8. By georgiebird on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Cards seem to be making the right moves- but it will be difficult to improve on last year’s 10-6 record.
    Letting Dansby go was the best move the Cards made.

  9. By Chuck 1 on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Where are Dinosaur, Mike Ellingboe and Sarah?
    I miss their insightful comments.

  10. By LG on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t no which team is the funniest the raiders or the browns. both pay big money in FA’s every year and get little results every year lol. IT’s BIRDGANG FOR LIFE!!!

  11. By lolo on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Little anoyed how we haven’t addressed a cover safety for we don’t get blown up by Tight Ends AGAIN

  12. By Sergio on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    Do you have any idea whether or not the Cardinals intend to bring back Ryan Williams?

  13. By rick on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I think most of us would love to Ryan Williams stay healthy and breakout this year with the Cards

  14. By Eazy E on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I really have like Shaughnessy since him being in Oakland. We had to sign him back after painfully losing Dansby. Larsen I’ve barely if ever heard from, so I guess it’s a good move for depth inside at C and G. Benard is another one that took Moch’s snaps once he got going. It should be interesting who gets those snaps next year or maybe both get PT. Dwyer, I think is ok. He has skills but we’ll see with Stepfan and Ryan he’ll be competing against. He’s no Chris Johnson though lol…

  15. By dangelo on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    cardinals we should get steve smith and draft zach meetenberger or get michael vick

  16. By ored on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    keims presence is showing every where,the quality of the players signed and not just for needs sake,but their ability to play different positions,the speed of events taking place once targeted,and always moving forward,following the plan,keeping contracts in line for future flexibility,churning,churning,churning…keep that lineup moving(hummed to the beat of rawhide).

  17. By Rich on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Real happy with all the signings so far, Really like the Larson signing. And also keeping Shaughnessy and Rucker. These are critical depth guys.

  18. By Rich on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Just like last year, Keim is “filling holes” in free agency, so the draft approach can be “best player available”.

  19. By Eric G on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Wait, so Ellington is the starter, Dwyer will battle Taylor for #2 back. Okay, so then what the heck is Ryan Williams?
    I know I have been an outspoken critic of keeping him on the roster given his injuries, but this is just confusing at this point. Darren, can you shed any light on Williams’ status?

  20. By Tucson Card on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Solid depth signings. Glad Shaughnessy is back.

  21. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I see where Sproles went to the stink’n Eagles which REALLY worries me since we have to play them and they are the team who kept us out of the playoffs last year. With Mendy gone, I think our run game will suffer and we are going to need a big pounder to replace him. Last season our run game was the meat and potatoes of our offense and I don’t see us having the depth or the experience in that very critical pieces of our game just relying on Stephan Taylor or Ellington, both who are good at what they do but lack the size and experience that Mendy had,although Dwyer seems to have been his backup his entire professional career. BA seems to be holding to the pattern that Whisenhunt was criticized so viciously for in bringing Steeler castoffs to the Cards and while this practice had a margin of success in the past, I still think we could have made our running game stronger with a Sproles. Time will tel, l and I hope BA/Keim don’t suffer the same sophmore slump as we see so often in the NFL. In many ways this is the year that is really going to count! GO CARDS!

  22. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Sergio, Eric G. —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    It doesn’t look promising.

  23. By mdcards4life on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, with the market now slowing down going into day 3 what do you think of possibly bringing in CB Captain Munnerlyn and or DRC to complement PP21 on the other side? i think we can get one below market value, maybe one or 2 yr contract.. if not them who you think the Cards are eying on? thanks Darren for all that you do :-)

  24. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    md —

    RE: FA market

    The market will slow a bit, but it’s not going to slow like that until at least next week.

  25. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t understand why some fans continue to criticize Keim for not chasing and signing some of the big name AND VERY EXPENSIVE FAs.
    He has said several times that he wants to build the roster through the DRAFT and bring the Cards’ cap under control.

  26. By LG on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    lolo we do need a safety that can cover tight ends. more than likely we will draft one but I’m old school i like champ bailey or Charles woodson at safety. champ bailey said he would play safety for another team. but that don’t mean its the right move that’s just what I like.

  27. By Matt11 on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    DUDE!!!! Get Ryan William OUTTA HERE >:(
    He’s Garbage and He can’t stay healthy

  28. By Steve Daniels on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    We are in big trouble with LB’s. That’s the only thing I’m worried about. If Washington ends up missing games or the season due to legal issues we are screwed.

  29. By erik m. on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Everyone that wanted Sproles,

    He is 31 and he only carried the ball 53 time last year, or something close to that. Ellington is a better, younger version. The run game will be fine.

  30. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I am going to miss TE Jim Dray

  31. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I think right now, it is time to break the bang and sign SS Major Wright.

  32. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Yes, Jim Dray will be missed, especially since we don’t have much at TE to fill the bill. LOL…wonder if Jeremy Shockey is interested in coming out of retirement? Now that was a TE who could stop a train and might even fit into Bidwill’s budget!
    Building through the draft is nice in theory however, there is a learning curve and usually a maturity factor that sometimes prevents the college hotshots from translating their joe college personna into success in the NFL. Over the last ten years, of the Heisman trophy winners, three aren’t even in the NFL (Leiner, Troy Smith, Tim Tebow,) while Bradshaw has struggled and only RGIII & Cam Newton have delivered as advertised while Mark Ingram and Reggie Bush, the only RBs are just now turning a corner… and these were the college “elite”. Of our six draftees last year only Ellington & the Honey Badger were starters, and can be counted as team contributors,,,it’s a long, long process and having experienced veterans in the locker room helps these kids transition into productive men and professional players. Fans who want big name proven players mostly are those who have been waiting for decades to get anywhere near a SB and the only time we did was with a QB who had been put out to pasture and beat out the kid with the Heisman for the job!

  33. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy,

    How much learning curve did Honey Badger have?

  34. By fightingbird on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I say keep Ryan Williams through the pre season and see what hes got but work him hard. Players are going to get hurt ,hes just had a bad patch of luck ,.I mean what if Cooper gets hurt and out again would you want to get rid of him . Just saying.

  35. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy,

    From your postings it’s obvious that you’re a glass half-empty fan.

    Keim said that it would take three years to mold the roster to what he wanted.
    We still have two drafts and one more FA period (plus the remainder of this one) before we can judge whether he achieved what he set as a goal.

    I believe that, in 2015, the Cards will be a strong competitor for the NFC West
    Championship unless the team suffers significant injuries.

  36. By clssylssy on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Chuck…read again…I specifically said that only Honey Badger and Ellington were starting contributiors from our last draft class. Tyrann was an exceptional rookie, kinda like we see perhaps once or twice a season IF we are very lucky. The Badger is a truly gifted individual with scary football smarts who just needed a good place to mature and grow. Sure glad we got him and can’t wait till he is 100% again and ready to get back out there kick’n it!. Excited to see what Minter will do this year as those LSU boys are usually pretty talented and come from an exceptional football program!

  37. By Chuck 1 on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy,

    OOPS.
    Sorry about that.

    When I read …”Building through the draft is nice in theory however, there is a learning curve and usually a maturity factor that sometimes prevents the college hotshots from translating their joe college personna into success in the NFL. Over the last ten years, of the Heisman trophy winners, three aren’t even in the NFL (Leiner, Troy Smith, Tim Tebow,) while Bradshaw has struggled and only RGIII & Cam Newton have delivered as advertised while Mark Ingram and Reggie Bush, the only RBs are just now turning a corner… and these were the college “elite”.”, that was enough to cause me to comment about H.B.

    I should have read the whole post.

    I think that if Dansby wouldn’t have been there, Minter also would have started sooner rather than later.

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