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With Fitzgerald done, next on to-do list

Posted by Darren Urban on February 18, 2015 – 2:10 pm

The first thing the Cardinals needed to get done was re-doing Larry Fitzgerald’s contract. That’s done. Cap space has been cleared. But the Cardinals probably will look for more.

GM Steve Keim said today he will be talking to DT Darnell Dockett about his contract, which has one year left and a cap number of $9.8 million. That’s lofty anyway, but especially for an older player who is coming off major knee surgery. Ted Ginn, who sunk to the fifth receiver by year’s end, is another player who seems likely to be looked at, contract-wise. There are other veterans with higher cap numbers who could get a look from Keim. But there are lines to walk; CB Jerraud Powers is due more than $4 million in salary this season, for example, but if Antonio Cromartie leaves in free agency, you have to make sure you have the depth you want. A total of 13 Cardinals carry cap numbers of more than $3 million for 2015, including Powers ($5.3M), C Lyle Sendlein ($4.3M), Ginn ($4M), and QB Drew Stanton ($3.9M).

Keim’s point that the Cardinals, with Fitz’s new contract, will allow the Cards to be active in free agency is crucial. There is little doubt the Cardinals need to upgrade, but what will the market bear? I could see the Cardinals looking heavily at running back, at linebacker (both inside and outside), perhaps interior offensive line. If Cromartie doesn’t return, they could look at cornerback. And one of the quieter stories of the offseason is the potential loss of nose tackle Dan Williams and what the Cards do if Williams does not return.

Fixing the Fitz situation was important. But it wasn’t the only thing in front of Keim that needs tending.

“There are some additional tough decisions we will have to make,” Keim said.

Steve Keim


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Posted in Blog | 27 Comments »


27 Responses to “With Fitzgerald done, next on to-do list”

  1. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    If Dan Williams leaves and Eddie Goldman is there at our pick I think they take him. The guy is a stud!

  2. By D on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    I still see more cap relief from Docket, Ginn and Alexander
    (they will keep Powers, Sendlein and Stanton as is)

    Possible Cap friendly free agents for the Cards to look to sign:

    (names as of today–there will be more cuts from now/after 3-10
    that could be late summer signings)

    RB: D. McFadden, S. Vereen
    G: J. Carpenter, W. Colon
    DT: T. Kelly, K. Ellis,
    OLB: J. Abraham, D. Skuta
    ILB: L. Foote, J. Durant (can play both outside and inside)
    CB: P. Cox, B. Maxwell

    My 1 difference maker for the Cards to sign the first few days would
    be Pernell McPhee. If AZ could sign him along with another LB, most
    likely an inside LB at #24 in the draft, then this defense would be improved
    on the front 7.

  3. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    … the new Fitz deal marks the end of the “bad deals hanging over our heads for years” syndrome for Cards… bravo! Cards no longer have to over pay to get or keep talent…new SB era beings..

    Lombardi Trophy or nothing at all!😉
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Lombardi_Trophy

  4. By Travis on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Ted Ginn Jr?! There’s 4mil right there.
    No brainer

  5. By D on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Fans need to remember how S. Keim operates and what BA has said recently about last years injuries. If the players on IR were healthy, the Cards would be even better.
    You add that plus the way S. Keim makes smart free agency additions, then our fans shouldn’t be thinking they will sign high dollar players like, D. Murray, Iupati, Worilds etc….it’s not like AZ now has 20 or 30 mil to spend like TB or the Jets.

    Cards will most likely only add one playmaker with the rest of the signings as complementary players.. They won’t nor should they over pay for a RB, Guard or a Nose Tackle.

  6. By GEO on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    When will FItz pic go back up on this website, cause he is the face of the franchise!

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Travis,

    Ginn;

    Yes , but it isn’t a savings of 4 million. It is a savings of 2.5 million, which is still a no brainer.

    To anyone interested;

    For a complete list of 2015 salaries, cap hits and dead money, use this link.

    http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/arizona-cardinals/cap/

    Cap Hit minus dead money = cap savings.
    For instance, Ted Ginn;
    Cap hit is 4 mil – dead money of 1.5 mil = 2.5 cap savings

  8. By Andy Kw on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    D-
    If we can’t afford Cromartie do you really think we can afford Byron Maxwell?

  9. By Dr. G. on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    For the sake of good business acumen, let’s pretend that we just brought in one of the best WRs in the NFL for $11Mil per year.

    This signing would make sense only if we intend to use him for what he does best, run out routes and fight for jump balls, especially in the Red Zone to help our team make the 2nd season…!

    I am surprised at this generous offering, and happy to have him remaining. His role needs to regain the respect once acknowledged… and his production can reignite the WR Core… I am hopeful that BA finally gets it…. be well Cards Fans… a good day…

  10. By Andy Kw on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    -I love Lyle Sendlein but I think it is time to upgrade the Center position. Cut C Lyle Sendlein, WR Ted Ginn Jr, TE John Carlson, LB Lorenzo Alexander.
    -Let’s give QB Drew Stanton and CB Jerraud Powers deals that will help our 2015 cap.
    -We must restructure Darnell Dockett’s deal. Maybe give him a 2yr $10M deal, much smaller than his current deal which will add cap.
    -Must restructure ILB Daryl Washington’s deal as well. Maybe a 2yr $12M prove it deal.

  11. By georgiebird on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Fitz signing is a good 1st step for Keim. This signing has a lot to do with Larry’s feeling that Palmer will be back healthy for the next two years.
    This is the bottom line with the Cards:
    They were an 11-5 team with big time injuries to the QBs. The other injuries were no more or less than any NFL team had last season. There were also no dominant victories, except maybe one in ’14.
    To contend against Seattle and not be an on-the-road WC team, the Cards need young players to get to the “star” level, Coop, Minter, Stinson, Niklas, Martin, the Browns, Bethel and many, many others need to step up.
    Keim’s two year draft grade is “incomplete” bordering on disappointing. We need more young talent to beat the Seahawks. This draft is going to be very important for Keim. He has been a good negotiator especially on the FA front. But the big question will remain “Can Keim draft players to get the Cards to the next level?”

  12. By Canadian Redbird on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Great work with Fitz signing. He is the face of this franchise, and a player that everyone looks up to. He’ll be a Hall of Famer no question. Its too bad we can’t look at PP reducing his over inflated salary, and to be perfectly honest, I truly believe that we over paid Palmer, especially considering his age and length of contract.
    Not sure how I feel about Dockett given the type of injury he had last year. It sure would be nice to add DE Houston from KC or someone of his level to bolster the pass rush. Whatever happens, happens, this was an exciting year of football.

  13. By Dynosoar on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    He chortled in his joy.

  14. By Dynosoar on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Patrick Hoog aka Don’t Take Losses,

    I like the way you think.

    The Lombardi or nothing at all! (Because we don’t take losses,)

    PS. The Jaberwock was slain (Fitzgerald’s Cap hit that is.)

  15. By cards62 on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    I for one am very happy that Fitz will be a Cardinal the next 2 years. Yankees do not let Derek Jeter leave and we should never let Larry Fitzgerald, the Captain of Football leave, If Carson Palmer is healthy and we can keep him healthy I think Larry will put up nice numbers the next two years. I am more worried about Michael Floyd production than Larry’s right now.

    DD is another story because he is a weird dude, but guys and gals he has worn Cardinal red his entire career and usually has been healthy and played very strong for us. DD is a warrior and I think our guys feed off of his passion and play better because of him.DD should now be our top priority and he needs to return.I think it sends the right message if we bring back   our leaders and Cardinal Warriors.

    Iwould love to see Cromartie back with us next year, Darren what do you think the chances are of Cromartie returning?

    Go Cards 

  16. By Eric G on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Every single day since Michael Bidwill became team president in 2007 has been a great day to be a Cardinals fan. Every day since Keim took over as GM has been an awesome day to be a Cardinals fan. The Fitz deal is just another form of proof of that.

  17. By Cody Zarr on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    If and when you get a chance, thank Mr. Keim for me. With Fitz re-signed I don’t have to worry about my wife thinking less of me when she sees me crying in front of the TV on Sunday while watching him play in purple or yellow and black.

  18. By joe67 on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Georgie,
    I mostly agree with what you said. Regarding Keim and the draft, he doesn’t make those decisions totally on his own. He has to rely on the scouting staff. If we have another questionable draft, then I think maybe we need to take a long hard look at our scouting staff.
    Minter could have been a real key piece (2nd rounder) to everything right now if he had been what they thought. That one has hurt a lot.

  19. By D on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    If S. Keim can create more cap space in the next week or so, I would try to resign T. Kelly to a one year deal. I am sure the closer we get to free agency, many of these players will just want to wait to see, but I see bringing him back as important with the loss of Dan. Williams. (who will get money whipped-maybe by TN)
    Cards won’t draft a NT at #24 and won’t have the cap space to spend large amounts on that spot, need Kelly back, probably to rotate with A. Taa’mu.

    I also would try and work out a long term contract with J. Bethel since it’s time for him to play CB this year with the loss of CRO.

    As to today, appears 10.6 mil cap space which includes the rollover. Will need more since the draft picks will eat up around 4.6 mil.

    I know everyone is saying to cut Lyle, but outside of the QB, the Center is probably the second most important spot on offense. The only way I see him being cut is if there was a very good chance on signing the Center from Oak,
    doubtful.

  20. By Dr. G. on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    That Peterson now leads the team on the payroll chart is preposterous, ludicrous, farcical, foolish, etc… reminds me of Joey the lawyer in a Seinfeld skit…!

    Darren…are we correct to figure this $47+millions guarantee ((cap)) places the team obligation through the 2017 season?

    He really needs to step it up with near flawless performance to earn the reasonable expectations of that deal. I am still mystified…be well

  21. By hminus on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Need to get DD to take a sizeable pay cut or cut him,same for Ginn…think Larsen & Carlson should stay…TRY TO GET DAN WILLIAMS TO STAY!!!…think Cromartie will be too expensive to keep though…

  22. By graetschinger on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Hei Darren,

    do you think the Cards could go for Glennon?
    I think the price would be an 4th-round-pick. He is two years on an cap-friendly rookie-contract and i think he is an talented guy with big upside.
    With the injury history of Carson, we should carry 4 good qbs through the offseason. Then we could start with Stanton, Glennon and Palmer, if Carson isn’t ready for the start of the season. Or we could cut/trade Stanton and safe some money, if Carson is ready to go.
    Drew is a great guy, but i love the idea with Palmer, Glennon, Thomas on the depth chart.

    (Thank you Darren for your great work! I’m from Germany and your blog is the best way for me to keep up with my favorite team)

  23. By Darren Urban on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Graet —

    RE: Glennon

    I do not know if they go for Glennon, but given the current situation, I doubt it.

    I know this, I do not think they keep four QBs. Can’t afford it with 53-man roster.

  24. By Scott H on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Where DD is concerned, I wish we could know how well his knee will be able to hold up over the course of the coming season. If he is able to play at the same level he has over the years, we know what a force he can be. Didn’t he play at close to the most defensive snaps on the team in 2013? Same as with Fitz, I would like to see him continue on as a Cardinal while the team appears capable of being a contender. And as with Fitz, I guess we will find out just how receptive he is to taking less to stay here.

    With Ginn….my lord, is there even a question here???? What did he bring to this team in 2014 that mattered worth a damn? Good riddance. For me, this is an easy one. We move on.

    With Stanton….well, how valuable was he when Palmer went down? Even more important, how valuable did he seem after we had to fall back on Ryan Lindley??? I say we absolutely NEED Stanton here for at least one more year. Before last year, I didn’t really worry about Palmer and injuries. But after he missed time TWICE last year, it concerns me a whole lot more going forward. With Stanton, we know this team can remain very competitive. And we know that with Ryan Lindley, we had not a snowball’s chance in hell. I can’t even consider Logan Thomas a viable option because we know nothing about him – EXCEPT that even with Ryan Lindley playing as God-awfully as he did, the team wouldn’t give Thomas a chance.

    We have Stanton under contract for one more season, then we keep him. Because if we lose Palmer again, Stanton’s $3.9 million might be some of the best money this team spent for 2015. Who would you rather spend $4 million for for next season – Drew Stanton or Tedd Ginn? Please.

    Sendlein is one of those guys you just love to root for because you get the feeling he has to work real hard for everything. He’s never been considered among the Top 10 centers in the league….just a solid, hard-working guy. He’s OK as long as the rest of the line is above average. Getting up there in years by this point. Not someone we can’t do without, but not someone who would be a liability if we went into 2015 with him, either.

    Sure seems like we should consider Cromartie gone. Dang it, as good as he was in 2014, doesn’t it seem like we should be saving a bunch of cap space if we lose HIM???

    I swear, if I could get some money back from ANYONE, it would be Patrick Peterson! Shame to see such great vets / true warriors for this team like Fitz and DD being asked to take pay cuts while PP is being completely over-paid.

  25. By hminus on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Could get Glennon & drop Lindley like a hot potato…instant upgrade,(+ there are a few free-agent qb’s available who have the stats were looking for…60%completions & 1&1/2 to 1 td-int ratio…MUCH better than our current roster albatross RL…)

  26. By hminus on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Before 2014 season started,i was saying we needed a decent #3 qb just in case #1 & #2 went down…i think now that advice should be heeded & a decent #3 should be obtained to take Lindleys spot while Thomas developes…

  27. By Darren Urban on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    hminus —

    RE: “decent 3”

    If Palmer and Stanton are healthy going into 2015, there will be no spot for another guy if you are keeping those two and Logan. The Cards won’t have 4 QBs.

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