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Sendlein fought to be Cards’ anchor

Posted by Darren Urban on March 12, 2015 – 6:31 pm

I covered Lyle Sendlein in high school.

It was only one game, a championship game he played in with Scottsdale Chaparral, and I mostly knew of him because of his older brother Austin, who had dominated as a sophomore at the school in my last full year covering high school sports. I paid attention that Lyle Sendlein went to Texas, playing for a national championship, and by the time he reached the NFL I had been covering the Cardinals for a few years. By the time he reported for his first training camp in Flagstaff, I was now doing the same job, but for the team site.

You never know how each undrafted rookie class will sort itself out. There are almost always a couple of guys who come out of “nowhere” to make the team, and it didn’t take much to find out that Sendlein had won over offensive line coach Russ Grimm. After his rookie year — and after Al Johnson’s career was derailed with injuries — Sendlein took over at center for good.

It soothed some of the hurt of never being drafted, although it never totally went away. Not that Sendlein was a complainer. He preferred to be quiet and plug along, often his body beat up without anyone knowing. He ended up as an offensive captain on four different teams, a designation that both underscored the respect he had earned in the locker room and that made him a team spokesman. Sendlein wasn’t going to fill the notebook but he knew it came with the job, and in those years where the Cards didn’t have success, he would stand there week after week trying to supply answers that weren’t easy to come by.

He didn’t play as well as he wanted to last season, and apparently, the Cardinals decision makers noticed the same thing. When A.Q. Shipley was signed Wednesday, after Ted Larsen did fine at center when Sendlein was hurt during 2014 training camp — and with Sendlein’s big 2014 salary — things for Sendlein were headed in the wrong direction. Then Sendlein was released Thursday.

It’s early enough in free agency that he should be able to hook on somewhere. But he’ll be missed in the locker room. He’ll be missed by the community arm of the team, since Sendlein was a mainstay in those events all year.

And truth be told, I always had a kinship with Sendlein because, like him, I graduated (much, much earlier) from Chaparral and that was an easy way for us to delve into a working relationship. There are plenty of good guys who have come through that locker room downstairs, and Sendlein was unquestionably one of them.

LyleGoodbyeblog


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Posted in Blog | 78 Comments »


78 Responses to “Sendlein fought to be Cards’ anchor”

  1. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Lyle, we got all you had.

  2. By Steve . on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    First class individual on and off the field, not sure he will be back because he can still help someones O-line.

  3. By Coach K on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    You did it the hard way. Thanks for your service Lyle.

  4. By Andy Kw on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Whoever claims him off waivers will have a serious leader in the locker-room.

  5. By azdesertrat1953 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    It was good times and there were bad times but Lyle was always there, no matter what.

    Thanks for All you gave to this Cardinals Team and I for one feel it was Every Thing you had Every Game you played.

    GO CARDS!!!

  6. By Birdwatcher on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Best of luck 63.

  7. By Chuck 1 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    An excellent story, Dareen, about an obviously good guy.
    Too bad that he’s a casualty.

  8. By Tucson Card on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Good luck Lyle, it’s too bad to see a true professional go. I’ll be rooting for you wherever you land.

  9. By clssylssy on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Hate to see Sandlein go, the intangibles he brought were invaluable and his time with the Cards will be remembered warmly. Too often guys like Lyle are under appreciated because they are always there plugging away quietly and are the real solid leaders who inspire a real work ethic in the younger guys. Many of our fans underestimate the importance of a good center; the comfortable chemistry and timing with the QB doesn’t happen over night. As our Superbowl team players are
    lost, they hold a special status with fans who were here then and will be remembered with much appreciation and fondness. Good Luck to Lyle Sandlein and thank you for the memories!

  10. By Gary on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Good luck to Sendlein wherever he goes. Darren do you now see us signing Stephen Wisnewski to be our center? It looks like he is the only good center left on the market. I think signing him would complete our line.

  11. By Dynosoar on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Of all the releases and players leaving in free agency over the last few years, this is one I wish wouldn’t have happened (right there with Adrian Wilson).

    Here’s hoping he comes back in a few weeks with a new contract (Like Levi, but that he stays). One can hope.

  12. By Lg on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    If Brian Orakpo want’s to play for a loser let his a** stay in Tennessee we’re winners over here and we only want players who want to win BIRDGANG 4 LIFE!!!

  13. By A. Siquieros on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    I am really going to miss seeing him down here on the gila river Indian community!!! He was the only card to come down to our annual parade every year no matter the temp outside he was with big red signing autographs.. Not only myself but I’m sure our gila river community will miss him.. Thank you Lyle much respect from Gila River!!!

  14. By Steve on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    I notice a singular “thumbs down” on every single comment…there must be a “Chaparral Hater” trolling your site today. Any school would be proud to have you both as alums.
    Good luck, Lyle! You are a testament of what hard work and determination can do. You took what God gave you and excelled at the highest level! You’re a class act.

  15. By Eazy E on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    I also dislike us releasing Lyle. I know he had a decent salary and all, but you have to pay good players. The Offensive Line as a whole last year was good in pass protecting and in run blocking was inconsistent, but the injuries at RB didn’t help. We better get the Wilfork’, Orakpo’, Peterson’, etc. with this new cap space!

  16. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Apparently we lost out on OLB Brian Orakpo but we can still address other areas of concern. RB, ILB, CB
    First,, we should have more than enough cap to re-sign some of our players: OLB Sam Acho, DT Tommy Kelly
    For the ILB position, Nate Irving (DEN) should be another target this team can sign as well. How about Brandon Spikes?
    -For the RB position, we have options of CJ Spiller, Knowshon Moreno, Ahmad Bradshaw, Steven Jackson, DuJuan Harris, Reggie Bush. The problem is that all of these RBs have an injury history.
    -As for CB position, there is Tramon Williams, Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox, Tarell Brown, Rashean Mathis, Alan Ball. We still have some options in the market if we want Bethel to compete with someone.

  17. By jason on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    With Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan signing with the Titans that pretty much ends the edge rusher market. Greg Hardy is available but there hasn’t been much interest in him; maybe he’ll get some now, I just don’t see the Cardinals going down that road. Cromartie (Jets) and Culliver (Redskins) kind of ends the cornerback market as well. The only other FA that I’d want to pursue at the moment would be Wisniewski, if only to keep him from Seattle. From what I’ve seen so far it looks like AQ Shipley is the guy, but Arians was high on Stanton until we traded for Palmer.

    A guy that I think we should look at is George Johnson from Detroit. He is a RFA but he has the lowest tender and wouldn’t cost us a draft pick if signed. He is an edge defender who had 6 sacks last season in a limited role.

    If not I think you can see who we will be targeting in the upcoming draft. Edge defenders, cornerbacks and running backs look to be at the top of our list.

  18. By Eric G on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Lyle was a true underdog all the way that showed the experts don’t really know anything when drafting some players. He went undrafted to starting center. We will miss you Lyle. God luck to you and the lucky team that signs you.

  19. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Okay Adrian Peterson continues to say that the Arizona Cardinals is his #1 destination. Restructure that contract of your to $6M a year or less and you got a deal.

  20. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Guys, Saints are shopping DE Cameron Jordan. We should trade a 3rd Rd pick for him

  21. By The Chris B on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Agreed. He was a good guy who did his job. Hope he finds future success.

  22. By D on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Cards have two main holes to fill and it appears a Pass Rusher and probably RB can be filled in the draft.

    Available free agent RB’s as of today:

    C.J. Spiller (not a big back)
    Steven Ridley (injured)
    Reggie Bush (often injured)
    Pierre Thomas
    Ahamad Bradshaw
    The rest are “done” Rb’s like S. Jackson, D. Wiliams and K Moreno

    I would rather have the Cards take a RB in the second round that can run North and South like D. Johnson from N. Iowa or J. Langford from Michigan State

    Even less available 3-4 OLB’s in free agency–Abraham? Freeney? J. Harrison? I would resign Benard and maybe Acho and see who is the best pass rusher available in Round 1 at #24:
    Names:
    A. Dupree
    E. Harold
    O. Odighizuwa

    I think the Cards should sign another TE, BA likes for them to block first, T. Moeaki would fill the job.
    Maybe sign a cheap Kick returner..S. Johnson…or see if Crabtree has his mind right.

  23. By Bruce on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Who gave Andy a thumbs down? What’s wrong with you? I did like Sendlein. He was our Beirdo. In all seriousness, he is a good player, and more importantly a great person. Good luck buddy.

  24. By Mike G on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Yo Darren–Hope all is cool! Nice write up on Lyle–he definitely was a good player for the Card’s as well as a class act. To me Lyle exhibits what a true pro should be–overachieving player, smart, under-rated, plays-hurt, quiet-leader. Also–he developed into a high-quality center–he will be missed as you said–especially in the locker room.

  25. By Coach K on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    D

    I agree that RB can be easily covered in the draft. However, outside pass rusher is the question mark. I doubt the four elite pass rushers will be available. That includes Dupree at pick #24. So, I think we may have to target RB in round one and hope a decent pass rusher is on the board later.

    It might go something like this: 1. Todd Gurley, 2. Michael Bennett, 3. B.J. Finney, 4. Markus Golden, 5. Justin Cox, 6. Sean Mannion, 7. Shaquille Riddick

    Riddick is a very interesting player. A transfer to West Virginia from a small school. He is 6’6″, 240, and is a high pressure pass rusher off the edge. This guy could be a steal if he lasts until round 7 where he is currently graded.

  26. By Dr. G. on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Gonna miss #63…always the mainstay with all the QB changes…never a complaint from any of them…kinda take a guy like LS for granted. Difficult to cut one of your captains…Our best to you Lyle….

  27. By Bruce on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-

    So how much cap space do we have left? Do you think Keim is saving up to land AP? The Cowgirls just signed McFadden, so i would think they are out of it. Gore went to the Colts. That leaves the Cards as the last remaining teams per AP’s dad.

  28. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Bruce —

    RE: Cap space

    Don’t know right now.

  29. By Harry Phelps on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, I am Lyle’s grandpa and want to thank you for your kind words about Lyle.
    Needless to say, our whole family is so very proud of Lyle. Not just because of his many accomplishments while playing football, but because he is a kind, generous and considerate person who has never spoken an unkind word about anyone. We don’t know whether Lyle will continue to play football or if he will undertake another endeavor, but whatever he does I am certain that he will give it his all.

  30. By Bruce on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-

    Hey I get it….wink wink…nudge…nudge. Can’t show our Cards. Like the pun? lol Here’s hopin.

  31. By D on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    AP–would he restructure for a 2 yr guarantee 12.5mil each year and MN take a 4th round draft pick plus throw in Stephen Taylor?

    Imagine how this town would go nuts if he was on the team for 2015..

    (dreaming is free)

  32. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    You covered Lyle in HS.
    Did you know he was something special then?
    Not many people outside of coaches and their parents watch Lineman in HS.

    Well I guess his brother told you about him, but could you tell back then?

  33. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Sendlein

    Truthfully, I didn’t notice him much. Also, he played linebacker in high school.

  34. By Dr. G. on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    D – – Yeah, dreaming…. AP

    But, 3 years // $24 MIL with “”incentives”” to earn more…no more than $16 MIL guaranteed…insured to protect the investment…. The recent silence is deafening, huh? later

  35. By georgiebird on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Lyle was a credit to the game. Better RBs would have made his performance grade a lot better.

  36. By Eric G on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    With the Cowboys signing McFadden, I’m hoping that the rumors about Peterson choosing between Arizona and Dallas are true.

    Go Cards.

  37. By Chuck 1 on Mar 13, 2015 | Reply

    Peterson is about over the hill.
    Let’s get younger.
    Draft a young bruiser for the between-the-Tackles job.

  38. By Steve Weston on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Great story, D. Very sad to see Sendlein go, but I am glad he go a big payday with another team. I definitely wish him all the best.

  39. By William Barry on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Lyle is truly a great player, on and off the field….He is a class act, and we will miss you. Best of Luck…from all Cardinal fans!!!!!!

  40. By Scott H on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    A nice guy and a solid player. Never among the better centers in the league but a guy who obviously worked VERY hard to be as good as he was capable of being. He had a good long run here and it was during the course of that run that this team had some real success. So, for that I thank him and I will always remember him fondly.

    I’m sure he’ll catch on somewhere and he’ll be a solid addition.

  41. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Sad to see Lyle go, he has been the anchor of Arizona’s O-Line for many years!! Many more years than most people thought he would!!
    I cant see any reason that the Cardinals Ring of Honor shouldnt at least consider hanging jersey #63 up in the Ring!! Afterall isnt the ROH different from the HOF, Cardinals ROH doesnt go solely on football stats, LS was a fixture off the field in the local community all those years!! He gave a ton of time, effort, and money for worthy causes in the local community!! I for one would have no issue with #63 being in the ROH one day! !
    To Lyle’s Grandfather- You and your whole family should be very proud of Lyle, not just because he was an anchor on the football field, but he was/is an anchor off the field as well, he is a natural leader, the kind that leads from the front, you should be very proud of the fact that he was voted Offensive Captain numerous years, thrown to the “media wolves” (sorry Darren! LOL!) and never complained or talked bad of any teammate, he was always a team first player!! I for one still hold out hope he will somehow resign with our Beloved Cardinals!! If not, I will still be a fan and wish him nothing but success, I only wish the Cardinals could have given Lyle a SuperBowl Champions Ring!!
    Having served in the Marine Corps for 22Years and counting, I can assure you that Lyle is the type of leader that Marines would seek out and would follow barefooted to the Northpole, without question, leaders like your grandson dont come along very often, best wishes for not only Lyle, but the entire family!!! BIRDANG#63 FOR LIFE!!!

  42. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Test…test!!
    Havent been able to login the past 3 DAMN days, now I finally get on and doesnt look like my post are showing up!!!
    You guys tired of me already?? Havent been back but six or so weeks, and really havent had time to post near as much as I would like!! I thought you guys were my friends!! LOL!!
    Hope this starts showing my posts, I still have to post my mock draft and my small school draft prospects by position!!! Sure everyone is looking forward to that!! LOL!

  43. By Coach K on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    ELITE PASS RUSHER COULD FALL TO THE CARDINALS AT PICK #24

    There is a scenario that could deliver an elite edge rusher to the Cardinals. The KEY is with SD, Houston and a few other teams that need running backs and wide receivers as a priority.

    San Diego now has a definite need to draft a running back along with Houston. There are at least 5 teams in desperate need of elite receivers. Then, you have the Mariotta factor. If Mariotta falls and if the wide receivers start coming off the board quickly in the first 20 picks, I believe the Cardinals are going to have an opportunity to get an elite edge rusher to fall to them.

    Beasley, Ray, DuPree or Gregory. One of them could be available. Dante Fowler will not fall. He will be gone in the first four picks. It all depends on how many teams make a move for one of the talented wide receivers. If five or more receivers go in the top 23 picks, then one of the above edge rushers could be a Cardinal.

  44. By Sean D on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-
    This just seems like a bone head move. why get rid of Lyle when hes a hometown player whose smart and consistent?

    I thought “Team is what it takes” but how can you have a team when you do business like this? Im truely sick after hearing this news. Is loyalty dead?

  45. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Sean D —

    RE: Sendlein

    They didn’t feel he was playing well enough, and definitely not for a $4M cap hit.

    Loyalty doesn’t exist between players and teams. Teams want to win and will make any moves they need to to help that, and sometimes that includes salary cap decisions. Players will chase the money during their short careers, as they should. Fans want loyalty but it isn’t realistic.

  46. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Finally, looks to be working!!

    Noticed some posters are concerned that we haven’t addressed all the positions in free agency, but don’t fret, should leave some areas for the draft. Most teams that sign numerous free agents don’t do so well the following season, have to have the delicate balance between FA and Draft.
    I think it is clear that the Cardinals have their eye on a RB in the draft, and with the depth in the draft at RB, in my opinion, that is the way to go, a RB in the draft gives us a stud (even if we trade out of 1st for extra 2nd and 3rd or even very early 4th round picks, which Im pushing hard for that route, here’s hoping SK/BA read social media and at least send a wink my way! Can’t seem to get Darren to deliver a copy of my posts detailing the trade!! Three copies Darren, thats all it takes, one on each desk, MB/SK/BA, or slip it to them the next time you are over at their homes for dinner!! Kidding of course!!) but the mix of free agents and the draft is essential, the way I’m seeing it sure looks good!! May be wrong, but I just dont see a true game changer at #24, that we couldnt get in the 2nd round, there i
    s quite a bit of depth again this year, Cardinals can pick up a RB and Edge Rush both in 2nd round ( only exception I can see is if any of the top 3 ILB’s are still available at #24, then I believe that if I were
    making the picks [thank god for everyone’s sake I’m not!!] Stephone Anthony would warrant staying at #24, because of the depth issue again this year in the draft at ILB!! Anthony is intriguing, he is in all the experts top 5, anywhere from #1 – #5, depending on the expert and the day he wrote the article!! But he is always there, as well, he has the prototype body and size, and after the top 3-5 ILB’s, it seems to be a huge talent drop that occurs very quickly!! Two more exceptions: if either are still around at #24, Cardinals stay put and pick, Vic Beasley/Clemson/Edge Rusher, Melvin Gordon/Wisconsin/RB, there are quite a few more who any team would stay put late 1st round to pick, but they have Zero chance of still being on the board at #24, so I wont waste time or space. If we trade out we can get our choice of RB’s and Edge Rushers. I think a guy to keep an eye on in the 3rd (think he sneaks thru until 3rd, he is 2nd round talent!!) Bednarick McCinney (no I cant spell)/ILB/MISS
    ST, only if we traded out of 1st and didnt draft Stephone Anthony.
    Someone please help me out on this next one, looking like he could be had in round 4-5, kid finished first in natin in sacks (19) and second in TFL (25). 1st team unanimous All American selection by numerous sources!! KIKAHA/WASHINGTON/OLB/EDGE RUSH/6-3 250. Have to admit East Coast Bias, did see him play in 2013 against my beloved ILLINI, solid, nothing eye popping in that game, realize only one game!! Never hear much about Left Coast football, PAC12 gets a little press coverage herein NC, but not much, and if you are in one of the smaller conferences, forget it, no coverage whatsoever!!! But this kid sounds like a damn machine, absolute beast!!! Whats his story?? On paper sure fire first round pick!!! Im looking at him as a major steal if we draft him round 4-5? ? Any input on him or any of the “sleepers/steals” I have listed in this post would be welcome fellow Cardinal fanatics!! Another player havent heard much on, and

    I think he would be there

    in 3rd, maybe early 4th, which would be a J. Brown type steal if we got him in the 4th, take a gander at LORENZO

    MAULDIN/LOUISVILLE/OLB/DE/6-5 250Lbs, most are saying he can play either OLB or DE, could stay on the field playing DE in running situations, transitioning to OLB/EDGE RUSH in passing.

  47. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    br —

    RE: Posts

    Keep in mind I have to review/approve every comment. So there will be times when your comment will not show for awhile. Especially on a weekend/evening.

  48. By Andy Kw on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K,
    I hope an Elite Pass Rusher falls to us at 24 but let’s look at each team:
    -TB: Clear favorite to draft QB Jameis Winston, and it’s their top need.
    -Tennessee, they signed Orakpo and re-signed Morgan. No need for a pass rusher. I think they will draft QB Marcus Mariota. Surprise😀
    -Jax: They released Red Bryant and need a serious upgrade in DL and Leonard Williams is best available.
    -OAK: They drafted their pass rusher last year in Khalil Mack. Also, the signing of Malcolm Smith & Curtis Lofton relieved the need of a LB. I think they will go for a go to target in WR Kevin White for Derek Carr.
    -(1)WAS: They let Orakpo walk for a reason. This is where one of the pass rushers fall off the board. Dante Fowler goes off the board.
    -NYJ: They have Demario Davis, re-signed David Harris, have Quintin Coples but have an aging Calvin Pace. I think they will look to upgrade their OL because they allowed a high in sacks. Capable guards like Zack Martin proves OL can make big difference to a team. With recent signings of Cromartie & Revis, their Defensive is not a big concern for them. Protection is a must. Brandon Scherff goes to them.
    -(2)CHI: This is where another pass rusher will go off the board. With the departure of Lance Briggs and upproven pass rusher in Shea McClelian, This team will opt to draft the next best pass rusher in Randy Gregory.
    -ATL: This team signed 3 OLBs in Brooks Reed, Justin Durant and O’Brien Schofield. Because they lost out in signing CB Byron Maxwell, I think this team will look to upgrade their secondary. CB or SS? Trae Waynes or Landin Collins? I think Landin Collins size at his position makes him perfect for Quinn.
    -NYG: To be honest, they need help in every position other than WR & RB. They have a terrible OL so I think they draft OT La’el Collins from LSU to protect Manning.
    -STL: They do not need a pass rusher. Ogletree, Laurinaitis, Lonn-Dunbar and recent signee Akeem Ayers. They’re set on LBs. They have Gaines and Jenkins at CB so they’re set. I think they will try to find a go to target. Tavon Austin is built for the slot and re-signed WR Kenny Britt can play #1 or #2 but they need a true wideout. WR Amari Cooper to them.
    -MIN: They already have Anthony Barr so I really doubt another pass rusher leaves the board here. I’m really not sure what they need. Umm, they traded for Mike Wallace but this will not stop them from giving Bridgewater more weapons. WR Davante Parker goes to them.
    -CLE: They have a terrible DL. Phil Taylor and Rubin are not consistent the run defense sucks. NT Danny Shelton to them.
    -NO: They had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season. They are looking to address that. CB Trae Waynes to them. They are rumored to be putting Keenan Lewis on the trade block and they signed Browner to upgrade so Waynes is still a logical option. They have holes everywhere to be honest.
    -(3) MIA: There is a reason to why they released Phillip Wheeler. They are probably going to sign a pass rusher. But at the same time, they need a WR & OL but there aren’t any that are truly worthy to draft this early. DE Shane Ray goes to them.
    -SF: They lost almost everybody in Willis, Justin Smith, Lupati, Gore, Skuta, Culliver and many more. But let’s be reasonable, the guy that’s available that is best suited for the 49ers scheme is DT Arik Armstead. He goes to them.
    -HOU;They are not giving up on Clowney, let’s get that straighten out. They might have let Brooks Reed walk but I they have a glaring need not in the pass rush LB position but at CB. CB Jalen Collins goes to them.
    -SD: They need an RB and surprise, an NFL team actually drafts one in the 1st RD. Todd Gurley to them
    -KC: I think they might trade up to land one of the top 3 WRs with the loss of Bowe. But at this position, they need to draft for the future at the ILB positon. ILB Benardrick McKinney to them. They have Houston and Hali at OLB.
    -CLE: They lost Jordan Cameron to the Dolphins. I see them addressing a dire need at the position with TE Maxx Williams.
    -PHI: They might trade up for Mariota, they might trade down for more picks. I don’t know, this is the most unpredictable team. They have no serious need at LB so im not quite sure what they need. Maybe a WR in Jaelen Strong.
    -CIN: They have returning OT Eric Winston but I think they will be looking for the future at that position in OT Andrus Peat.
    -(4)PIT: It will be Vic Beasley or Bud Dupree. As much as I want Beasley more than I do Dupree, I think they will draft him unless with trade up.
    -DET: They lost Suh and Fairley so I think the draft DT/NT Malcolm Brown.
    -ARI: We get Alvin Bud Dupree or Vic Beasley.

  49. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Dr G
    You make a great point, the Center to QB snap exchange is huge!! Usually taken for granted unless it goes bad, alot like the long snapper, we have one of the best in the NFL, very rarely if ever does Leach mess up a long snap, but when it does happen fans usually go for the jugular!! Very quietly Leach’s resigning is one of the best and most important Free Agent signing the Cardinals made, and make every time his contract is up, hard to believe 16 years in the league!!
    Sendelin has been through numerous QB’s (or players who claim to be a QB! LOL!) 4 last season alone, and I dont recall to many exchanges that didnt go off smoothly!! Going to miss #63!!

  50. By DaveP on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Darren I don’t buy that nonsense about loyalty at all. Maybe it is realistic and maybe fans need to realize it. Because if that’s the case, how about when i hear Arians every week saying lets go red sea we need you, how about fans not be loyal to players who aren’t loyal and not make show up and make noise, buy tickets and merchandise to pay their salaries. I guess it doesn’t go both ways huh?

  51. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    DaveP —

    RE: Loyalty

    At some point, to me, fans have to decide what loyalty is. To me, loyalty to the fans from a team is to put out a product that can win, or make decisions along those lines to create a winner. If that means letting an older player go because you don’t think he can help you as much any more, that’s what it is. The Cards could keep all the fan favorites forever. And then if the team loses, the fans will complain about that. As for players, again, fans can sit back and complain they shouldn’t leave even if a situation is better for them elsewhere, but almost in every circumstance, a fan would do the same thing if in the same situation.

  52. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    It would seem to me that with all of this “re-structuring ” of contracts, it could mean only one thing….. AP is coming to the Cards……

    Until now I would rate the current free agent crop a C/C+ at best….. Due to the loss of Dockett, Cro. Sendlein. Getting AP would rate this year’s FA class an A+.

    Darren- Do you think other than Tom Kelly, any of the Cards FA’s will be resigned?

  53. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: FAs

    I doubt it. Depends. And even now, after Redding and Peters, I don’t know if Kelly comes back.

  54. By Big Ken on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    I can see a possible trade back with Dallas or New Orleans. New Orleans owns the 31st pick acquired from a trade with Seattle, Dallas of course picks at the 27th. Dallas covets Gurley or Gordon. The Saints, well they were our friends last year. haha

  55. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Vikings relaesed Greg Jennins tody, not sure what the plan is that the Vikings are implementing, but I will let Viking fans worry about that!! I have a question looking for some help, it shows my ignorance, but never claimed to know it all, just most!! LOL!

    I dont get the “designated June 1st cut and how that saves the Vikings so much more money.
    They save something like $5mil cutting Jennings, but ot says they save $9mil if they designate him a June1st cut. This seems to be the case for alot of players, if a team saves so much more why dont they designate every player a June 1st cut? I have to be missing something, there has to be some kind of catch or some negative consequences? Anyone care to help clear up my ignorance, thanks in advance!

  56. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    br —

    RE: June 1 cut

    You can only designate 2 players a June 1 cut per offseason.

    There are two drawbacks. One, if you do that, you push half his cap hit into next year. If you don’t have the player, you’d rather not be having him cost you dead money for two seasons if avoidable.

    Also, you must carry his full cap hit until June 1, so it doesn’t help in free agency. Just heading into the season.

  57. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Andy kw
    Props on a very detailed post, you been doing some homework NFL wide, that is for sure, I definitely hit you with a big fat thumbs up, but, (and you know there is always a but!!) I have a few differences, but that is what makes it exciting and interesting, right! Want to clarify, awesome post, detailed and an outstanding outlook

    First, I would differ with the teams you say already have their OLB/EDGE RUSH/DE however you choose to label them, but 1 or 2 on your roster is not enough in the PASS RUSH category, can never have enough of those guys, at least that is my opinion, and I think if a team picking 15-20 comes up and there sits Vic Beasley, I think he is gone, whether or not the team has bigger holes to fill, Beasely is one of three players that In my opinion the Cardinals actually keep their 1st round pick (Beasely, Anthony, or Gordon) are about it, unless somehow a stud top 10 prospect somehow falls in our lap, which I dont see happening in my wildest dreams!! And Stephone Anthony in the 1st round is only because ILB is very thin in the draf again, after the first 3-4 Inside Linebackers the talent level falls off drastically! ! As far as Gordon goes, I dont think he will be there for us to pick at #24, I think San Diego takes him, only because I have been reading where Gurley wont be ready until mid-season at the earliest.
    The other questionable one in my peabrain anyway, is Bednarick McKinney (sp) I have been seeing him dropping like a rock on draft boards, as well as Marcus Peters/CB. Both have dropped double digits on the big board, and that is from more than one so called experts!! Could be nothing, or there could be a red flag, but as we all know, draft is a hit or miss affair, very, very few are sure fire hits. That is all that comes to mind, but again, I commend you on a well thought out, intelligent post, that hopefully will get some banter going!!
    Thanks Andy kw

  58. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Andy kw
    One point I forgot tomake, I think if AP is still a Viking on draft day (s) keep a close eye on who they draft, I would venture to say if the Vikes draft Gordon/RB/WISC, then I think you can color AP gone, and if the Cardinals havent made anymore free agent moves I think it comes down to Arizona and Tampa Bay, as the front runners, AP says Arizona is his #1 choice, but tend to believe if Tampa Bay offers a better trade package, as well as more money/years to AP then he takes the money and runs to the Florida sunshine instead of the Arizona sunshine!! Now if trade packages are equal, but Tampa offers more money and years to AP, it will be interesting to see if he truly values a Championship over the money, I think its fair to say, his chances for a Championship are much better in Arizona then TB! I think there will be quite a bit of fingernail biting awaiting Vikings pick!!

  59. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Darren
    Thanks for the info on the June 1st cut designation, I figured there was some drawback to it, just didnt know what it was.

    I didnt realize you had to screen each post (you poor soul, you must truly love what you do!!) I need to stop posting at all the weird hours!!!
    I would say however, some of the problem is operator ignorance on my end!! LOL! I wasnt even able to get on the site for a couple days, which was probably a blessing for some posters on here!! HAHA!
    And now there is another bar on my screen that sometimes pops up and requires me to login dont know if this is some kind of upgrade you put in while I was gone, or if it is something I accidentally installed, (again…computer/phone ignorance on my part!) Oh well, I will eventually figure the crap out!!
    Thanks for your dedication to our Cardinals, and to your job and of course to this awesome top flight site!!

  60. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K
    I would hold my breath until draft day if I knew there was any possible way that either Beasley or Gregory would fall to #24, especially Beasley!! At one time wasnt he a top 10 pick?? He had an awesome combine, running a 4.5 in the 40, also did 35 reps on bench press, he tends to have problems with downhill runners coming directly at him, he can be worn down defending the run. I have also heard he has some character issues and he didnt do all that well with the team interviews. But in my opinion the positives far outweigh the negatives, very versatile, can play OLB/EDGE RUSHER/ DE in 3-4/and can even play ILB, have seen some comparisons to Dee Ford and Rober Mathis.
    GREGORY is light, will need to add weight, same as Beasley, his positives/upside far out weighs any weaknesses/negatives! Supposedly he has off field issues and character issues (seems to be the norm in today’s age!! ) Injury prone, concussion(s) and knee surgury last year, at 6-5/235 he would have to add weight in order to fit as DE/EDGE RUSHER and even OLB, if he cant add weight/strength, where would Arizona play him, right now seems OLB in 4-3 defense would be best fit unless he adds weight!!! Great non-stop motor, can wear down though with head on, downhill power runners (same as VB), seemed like he could have pitched a tent in the opponents backfield he was there so much

  61. By brinnc on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw
    Not positive it was you that was talking CB in the draft, but wanted to put this info out for everyone anyway on this kid out of Florida Atlantic.
    DJOUN SMITH/CB/FLORIDA ATLANTIC/4.35 is lowest time in the 40
    Standout at the Senior Bowl, he was a relative unkown because he played for a 3-9 team out of CUSA. Doesnt have ideal size at 5-11 and only 190, but scouts were impressed with how physical DJoun actually was, he knocked 2 WR’s flat on their backs. Had a down Senior year after an outstanding Junior year with 20 passes defended and 7 INT’s!! (Thats impressive!!) Was pretty much overlooked out of High school in the Miami area, (sounding familar, does his story remind you of anyone??) always got the your to small runaround, passed up by major DivI schools…John Brown, aka Smokey!! Looks like this kid wont make it out of the 2nd round!! He also is a very impressive KR!! May be a little early for the Cardinals to take a CB in this draft (we have more pressing needs IMHO) but if he is somehow there for the taking in Rd 3, then maybe the
    Cardinals snag him. If (and this is a huge IF) against all odds Smith is still on the board come round 4, he would look even better in a Cardinals Uniform!!! Im not saying throw him in from day1 at CB, I have a gut feeling that Bethel is going to raise eyesbrows and accept the challenge of starting opposite PP!! But DJoun could solve our KR/PR hole while learning the ropes of NFL CB! One draft analyst has him as the #9 overall CB, and #4 Senior CB.

  62. By Andy Kw on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    brinnc—
    Everything you said was exactly what I was thinking. To be honest, I think Vic Beasley is the best OLB in the draft but if a guy would fall this far down, would we dare to trade up for him? Alvin Bud Dupree is fast and athletic but his resume shows that he is not the elite pass rusher many people think he can be. Is there a reason to why he skipped the bench press at the combine? The passion is there but his overall college play was decent at best which is why I contemplate whether the Cardinals will trade down for more picks to prepare for the trade for AP. Dont be surprised if Shane Ray (top 10 pick) falls to us. Stephone Anthony is a guy I have been raving about for so long but I truly think the better known LBs of McKinney, Kendricks, Dawson, Perryman will drop him down to the 2nd RD and this is here I speculate the AP trade. As much as I want AP in Arizona, we could draft a guy in the 2nd RD that could truly impact our future positively with Stephone Anthony. For the Vikings to draft Melvin Gordon that high is a big reach and in the 2nd might be too late for them as the Chargers might draft him early. I think the Cardinals might still be willing to trade a 2nd depending on who is available at the time. If Gurley falls to MIN in the 2nd, Cardinals will likely make a move but no signs of a restructure has been made for AP yet. TB has more cap then us and have high draft picks to offer so our chances of getting AP is at 40%

  63. By Andy Kw on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    How active will the Cardinals be in free agency now?Any chance we are considering Vince Wilfork? Sam Acho? John Abraham?

  64. By Darren Urban on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: FA

    We’ll see.

  65. By Andy Kw on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    Why Nate Irving? How about Brandon Spikes?

  66. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    OK, Our latest AP news;

    Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cardinals are prepared to offer a high-round draft pick for Peterson. AP has not officially hit the trade block, so to speak, but he has reportedly informed the Vikings that he is still not happy.

    Robinson believes the Cardinals would offer a second-round draft pick for Peterson, which may not be enough. While we all know what Peterson is capable of, we also know he will turn 30 next season and is still owed a ton of money.

  67. By Scott H on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Thanks for that AP up-date. I suddenly find myself hoping that AP is going to end up here. Hate to keep harping on it but the Seahawks pulled a blockbuster by trading for Jimmy Graham. That gave their offense a lethal weapon and the Cardinals were ALREADY having a hard enough time stopping that offense. I like the moves the Cardinals have made, but….they have not made a WOW move that equates with Seattle getting Graham. Finding a way to bring AP here would be the type of blockbuster that would put the Cardinals right back in the fight! I really do hope it happens.

  68. By Andy Kw on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    Our LB position was upgraded a bit but we are still not fixed for both the inside and OLB positions. With the $10M or so cap we have left for FAs, I suggest we do this:
    -Cut Lorenzo Alexander
    -Sign ILB Nate Irving: He had a pretty good season before injuring his MCL. He is very good against the run and can improve on pass coverage. A 3yr $8M deal sounds good.
    -Sign CB Tarell Brown (OAK): He had a solid 2014 season and we should have him compete with Justin Bethel for the starting CB spot.
    A one year deal like Woodley’s deal should be nice.
    -Sign RB LaMichael James (MIA): We could have him compete for a backup role. Probably just a camp body. Sign to a cheap 1yr deal. I have a feeling Steve Keim will pull the trigger on AP.
    -Re-Sign OLB Sam Acho to a 2yr $4M deal. Doesn’t look like he is getting any attention in FA.
    -Re-Sign OLB John Abraham to a 1yr deal depending on health.

  69. By Chuck 1 on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    I’m still not in favor of giving up one or more players and/or one or more draft picks for AP (and, paying him an exorbitant salary).
    RBs haven’t been that popular of a draft pick in recent drafts with DLs, WRs, DBs and OLs going early and often.
    I would think that Keim should be able to draft a between-the-tackles “bruiser” that can do the job and still keep his draft choices and players.

  70. By Chuck 1 on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    How about asking the new DC what his plans are to solve the problems that TEs have caused the Cards over the last few years.
    (I doubt that he’ll give us a useful answer)

  71. By Dr. G. on Mar 15, 2015 | Reply

    CoachK…. Your post for a pass rusher is very probable…but, elite may yet to be the term we use until we see one on the field against our o-line in camp.

    jtdg….AP? The press sells its rumors very well. I would not sell the farm for AP. I would still like to see what we have now; BA did not give our current RBs much chance to prove themselves except for Taylor. ??Hughes, Grice, Kerwyn??

    Still AP stands as a guarantee if he is healthy. This camp will be an eye opener. Loving the possibilities…! Keim is proving his ability, but he needs to ask BA how a guy will be used before committing ((a la Ellington)). BA thought he had Bo Jackson in there. Ells showed incredible class taking BA’s orders even when injured.

    I do not see much else for us in FA, but Keim has a knack for pulling something out of his bag last minute… We shall see….

  72. By brinnc on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H

    I think the Cardinals can make their WOW statement in the draft. By trading out of the first round we will have 2 second round picks, should have our choice of RB’s (minus Gordon) to compliment Ellington, the way BA talks he wants a between the tackles downhill runner that can be the “co-main event” along with Ellington, AP is north of 30, he has stated he would accept a 3yr deal but he has stated that $25mil needs to be garaunteed, that is just to much money to pay a 30year old (although surely proven, and future HOFer) to be a co-star with Ellington. Johnson/UNI, Gurley/GA, should be there in round 2, or Cobb/Minnesota, in round 3, all should eclipse 1000 yards easily, all serve the purpose of downhill power runner and all are very early 20’s, so we also build for the future. Gurley may not be an option for 2 reasons, first, he may not be ready when the season starts, and second, he may be gone in the first round, there are teams that love this kid (and they should, he is a monster, I have been watching him shred defenses since he was a freshman in highschool and tearing up varsity defenses!) Some teams can afford to draft him late first round and just let him heal completely, they may have a RB who is more than capable of getting done what that team wants but they just arent going to pay the veteran the year after next (2016-2017 season) he is just that good, talk was top 5 to 10 before the injury. Unfortunately, Cardinals need at RB is now, we have a very short window to win it all, some will rip me for this but I believe our best shot at a title is with Carson Palmer at QB, there may be better QB’s in the league, but Im a firm believer that there is no better QB for Arizona, and no other QB could run BA’s offense better (with the exception of Andrew Luck, which obviously isnt an option for the Cardinals!) but once Carson retires, our Superbowl window slams shut for at least a season or two, it is going to take Logan Thomas a minimum of 1 season to build chemistry and get BA’s offense running on all “Thomas” cylinders!! (Yes, Im a Logan Thomas fanatic!! I harped and whined daily on here and other sites for the Cardinals to draft Thomas, he is just an Athfreak, and in my humble opinion, he is our Franchise QB for the next 10 years! ! And yes, since I have been all in on Logan, im prepared to stuff my face full of “crow” for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if for some reason he doesnt work out!!!) Now if the Cardinals dont give him a chance and cut him in the next 2years, I will hold off on the crow to wait and see Logan Thomas in another teams uniform tearing up the league, then I can at least say to everyone…”I told you so!!” LOL!! But back to RB, this draft is the deepest it has been in years at RB. There are multiple stars just waiting to get rolling in the NFL, Ijust hope one of them is drafted by our beloved Cardinals, Johnson out of Norther Iowa myself, but any I have listed would do just fine in the Cardinals offense, with our upgraded O-Line, it wouldnt shock me uf our rookie RB, (whichever one it ends up being) ends up with 1200-1400 yards!!! If BA gives them the carries and mixes in Ellington to thrive in certain situations, we will go from worstcto first in the run game!! (Maybe not all the way to thectop, but top 8-10 in rushing shouldnt be a problem) my biggest issue with AP (besides large amounts of MONEY) is AP is going to expect to be the feature back, option #1, #1A, and #2, Ellington sits and rots?? That is not BA’s vision if I remember right. I just think that if we trade out of first and draft a RB and an OLB/EDGE RUSHER with the two 2nd round picks we will also have an extra pick in 3rd or 4th for trading out of first. That leaves 7 picks by my count that Cardinals can pick for need or pick best player available, and that is a great position to be in!! Please note that if there is a stud top ten pick that for some reason falls to #24, say Vic Beasely, then of course we keep our pick snag Beasely, and still can get a RB in round two (I just dont see a true game changer at #24 that we cant get in the second round, the only position that has a huge drop in talent and not alot of depth is ILB again this year there are a few studs then the talent drops drastically, the other scenario that I think Cardinals dont trade their first round pick is if they decide ILB has not been strengthened enough in Free Agency, only ILB that I feel comfortable using a 1st round pick is Stephone Anthony/Clemson (no im not a Clemson fan, they just happen to have to future stars that play positions that the Cardinals need! LOL!) Anthony is in everyones top5 ILB’s and most he is near the top if not the top option, we could get Bednarick McKinney/Miss St in second or maybe 3rd round, he has been moving down most draft boards lately, dropping almost as fast as Marcus Peters/CB is falling!! But I think McKinney would be a solid 3rd round pick (especially if we have two 3rd round picks), enough for now, hopefully I was able to make my point, bottomline, I dont hate AP, just think RB thru draft fits all the needs (money, age, complimentary role, future secured). Later.

  73. By brinnc on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw
    The $10mil salary cap figure you have, is that after the rookie money has been set aside??
    If not, we dont have much money left, might be best served to go after Nate Irving//ILB for a cheap 2yr deal, put all his garaunteed money up front this year, then we could cut him next season without taking a hit on the cap, and we could use one of our high round draft picks in 2016 draft for a Stud Inside Linebacker, afterall you know we can pretty much count on a few college teams always having a stable of players that are drafted year after year, havent looked a whole lot into next years prospects but you cn count on the Alabama’s, Oklahoma’s, and USC, UCLA’s of the world to put solid ILB’s out every year!! And of course there is always the sleepers who come out of the woodwork to star their last year or two and steadily move up the draft board!!
    So we could go OLB/EDGE RUSHER with 1 of our 2 2nd round picks (assuming we trade out of first!)
    Then next season use a first or second round pick on a stud 3 down ILB!! Or sign a solid veteran ILB Next year, pretty sure there will be a big name top tier Inside Linebacker in next years free agents, we could go that route

  74. By brinnc on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    Chucl 1
    Im with you on the AP issue!! It just makes more sense to draft a RB!! We get a choice of quite a few studs, Johnson out of Northern Iowa, they are all at least 8yrs younger than AP, Johnson out of Northern Iowa, we have a team friendly contract for 5 or so years! Johnson out of Northern Iowa, any of the top backs can and will rush for well over 1000 yards (im predicting 1200-1400) and that is sharing the spotlight with Ellington!! With our improved O-Line, Johnson out of Northern Iowa, we can go from the bottom of the heap to top 10 in rushing yards in the league!! AP is not a complimentary back to anyone, Johnson out of Northern Iowa, and AP shouldnt be a co-star or share carries with anyone, he is a one man show and has earned it!! Im sure the Cardinals are flattered that the best RB In theNFL has us at the top of his list of teams he wants to be traded to, or wants to play for the chance to Win it all, but Money is huge, I have heard he wants min 3year contract and $25mil of that as garaunteed money!!! We can draft a RB much cheaper Johnson out of Northern Iowa, and he will get the tough yards and put our running game near the top, just do it much cheaper, and for many more years than AP would!!
    By the way, I prefer Johnson/UNI, we can get him in the 2nd round no problem!! (Maybe even 3rd round, but the way he has been climbing the draft board, I think he is gone very early 3rd! Whch if we trade out of first we may have an extra 3rd rd pick, but if im the Cardinals I use the extra 2nd round pick we would have by trading out of first!!!

  75. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    We “could” go into season with this set of OL:
    Starters: Veldheer, Iupati, Shipley, Cooper, Massie
    + Watford, Steen, Sowell
    + drafted C?
    Better ideas?

  76. By D on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    Second Week free agent names to watch for AZ
    (costs dropping by the day)

    Blocking TE: Tony Moeaki
    Kick returner: Brandon Tate
    Vet CB: Tramon Williams
    Inside LB: J. Lattimore

    Use draft for pass rusher and running back.

  77. By Chuck 1 on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    DTL,

    I agree except for Massie.
    Keim has to find a replacement for that turnstile.

  78. By Scott H on Mar 16, 2015 | Reply

    brinnc –
    Wow, thanks for all that feedback! Yeah, I agree – short of pulling off a trade for AP, it would seem that the RB position will clearly be addressed in the draft. And I’m OK with that AS LONG AS RB IS THE TOP PRIORITY! As long as they get the RIGHT RB in the draft, I’d rather go that route than giving a 30-year old player ( albeit a great one, to be sure ) a ton of money.

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