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Seeking the bargain “name”

Posted by Darren Urban on April 9, 2015 – 9:40 am

At some point, it figures, Steve Keim will find a “name” veteran who figures out he isn’t going to get the money he had planned on making in free agency and is willing to come to Arizona on a (likely) one-year deal. In 2013, that was Karlos Dansby and then, right before training camp, Eric Winston and John Abraham (although Abraham ended up signing a two-year contract.) Last year, the guy was Antonio Cromartie and, to a lesser extent, Larry Foote.

This year? We’ll see. If it doesn’t come before the draft — Dansby was post-draft, for instance — so be it.

“The second and third wave comes when guys come to their senses and realize they aren’t going to get the dollars or the type of long-term or guaranteed deals they expected,” Keim said. “We’ll pounce if the numbers are right. Right now if we went into the draft and didn’t address another position, I feel good with where we are at.”

Who could such a player be? The list of available players at this point don’t have any names that significantly stand out. Here’s a look at some potential pickups based merely on who is still out there and possible fit (although this is strictly speculation — at this point, I will be surprised if anything happens before the draft, and then the Cardinals will sort it out from there):

— TE Jermaine Gresham. Coming off a back injury and right now, I don’t see them chasing a guy like this. Troy Niklas is the one they have high hopes about, they like what Darren Fells could be as a blocker and I’ll be surprised at this point if John Carlson doesn’t remain part of the 2015 plan. Bruce Arians said he was looking for an H-back type if anyone. Gresham isn’t that guy.

— TE James Casey. OK, he’s not really a “name” but he is an H-back-type who still hasn’t signed anywhere since talking to the Cards a month ago. Could he be a late add?

— LB Brandon Spikes. The Cardinals already added LaMarr Woodley on the one-year, prove-it deal, so maybe that’s their Dansby/Foote linebacker choice for 2015. Besides, Spikes is the two-down run-stopper, and that’s why you have Kevin Minter.

— C Stefen Wisniewski. Still unsigned, he is reportedly coming off shoulder surgery after the Cards were linked to him pre-free agency. Now, with the addition of A.Q. Shipley, it’s hard to believe the Cardinals would bring Wisniewski in, unless it turned into a real bargain sign.

— Pass rusher Dwight Freeney. Perhaps Freeney makes the most sense, given his status in the league. In some ways, he is like Abraham. His sack totals haven’t been the same (3.5 last season) although he had a team-best 40 quarterback hurries playing for the Chargers. Plus, the 35-year-old was with the Colts when Arians was there.

Again, much of this is wait-and-see, a door open for the Cards to move “if the numbers are right.” Always, if the numbers are right.

Bruce Arians, Dwight Freeney


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Posted in Blog | 22 Comments »


22 Responses to “Seeking the bargain “name””

  1. By Andy Kw on Apr 9, 2015 | Reply

    I’ll take James Casey and Dwight Freeney

  2. By azdesertrat1953 on Apr 9, 2015 | Reply

    Dwight Freeney? No way!

    But wait, he already knows BA, knows how BA is and the past two years in AZ as the HC.
    21 wins.

    If Freeny has any gas left to do one more year or two, and is not signed before the draft, I could very well see him come to AZ just to see if he can help BA win a SB as a HC.
    That scenario would not surprise me at all.

    GO CARDS!!!

  3. By Andy Kw on Apr 9, 2015 | Reply

    Casey is an upgrade over Carlson due to his ability to block. Carlson has speed but can’t seem to catch passes even when wide open. I’ll take Casey on a cheaper deal than Carlsons

  4. By georgiebird on Apr 9, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,
    Once again, the story sounds good but it doesn’t fit the Cards’ situation. The Cards’ are an 11-5 team trying to beat out the best team in football (forget the SB fluke). To make it more difficult, the Cards are an 11-5 team with no dominant victories-e.g Dallas game without Romo.
    SK needs thoroughbreds to get the job done. These one year bargain pickups are good for a middle of the pack team trying to go from 7-9 to 9-7.
    This is why the Cards need to gamble on a RB in the draft at #1 (if no AP).
    It’s time for SK to shine on draft day. SK’s “bargain store” purchases have been impressive but can SK shop at Tiffanys?

  5. By shannon robinson on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    Stefen Wisniewski to fill our hand at Center. Patience will reward us.

  6. By Big Ken on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    When the Cardinals played the Chargers last year Freeney looked pretty good, played at a high level. I don’t know if his performance tapered of towards the end of the season like Foote and Kelly’s did.

  7. By hminus on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    Its not either-or here,you CAN do the bargain deals & get the Melvin Gordons too…(after all,this IS Keim were talking about here,…the astute/award winning GM,)i believe he knows how to do both…

  8. By hminus on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    Would be happy to get Freeney on a one year deal,(if for no other reason than for all that pressure…40 hurries is significant!)…& Spikes is a run stopper,so he should get a look too!…

  9. By Andy Kw on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    I think signing MLB Brandon Spikes is a great idea. Signing him to a cheap 2yr deal would be nice until Daryl Washington returns.
    Lorenzo Alexander has not brought the impact we have sought from him so signing Dwight Freeney and having him compete with him for a spot on the team would be nice. 1yr deal should suffice.
    I really like the talent I see in Ifeanyi Momah but James Casey brings a nice balance of pass and run protection, and can contribute in the passing game. Sign him too.

  10. By sbrown on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    this was on March 30, 2015…

    Center Stefen Wisniewski played part of last season with a torn labrum and had surgery on the injured shoulder during the offseason, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    that and he is asking for 6 – 8 mil a year reason not to have a contract.
    He has visited Sea/Tenn/NE/Jax/TB/Chi , but no contract offer.

  11. By Rooster on Apr 10, 2015 | Reply

    Dwight Freeney!
    If possible with contract/money will only add a presence on the field and looker room but if both the Cards Defense and He can make it work would be amazing if only for a year if not a couple. Proven Allstar player and Community supporter, can add depth and much more that we don’t know..

  12. By Coach K on Apr 11, 2015 | Reply

    How about a bargain pick. Zack Zenner could be the biggest late round steal in the draft. 5-11, 230 lbs, 4.50 speed

  13. By brinnc on Apr 12, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K
    Im with you on Zenner, if he is around for rounds6-7 he turns out to be the steal of the draft!!!

    Anyone know if Dansby has garaunteed money coming to him from the Browns this upcoming season? I seem to remember that he did get a 4 year deal, of which 2 seasons were garaunteed money. Any fellow bird ganger’s intrigued by the idea of Los coming back to the Cardinals if the Browns cut him? If DWash gets reinstated, the Cards could bring Dansby back and reunite if not the best duo of ILB’s in the NFL, one of the very best duo’s!! Of course that was awhile back and DWash has a ton of rust (or should have!) to knock off, just thinking it may be easier on DWash if he had his trusty running mate by his side while he polish’s his game!

    I really dont think the Cardinals sign any “name” veteran free agents until after the draft and after they sign their group of undrafted rookie free agents, would make the most sense to wait, lets just say we get a OLB/EDGE RUSHER high in the draft, like round #2. (Yes, I still hope and think it is the best move for the Cardinals to trade out of 1st round for extra picks in 2nd and 3rd rounds!!!) So lets say they get the OLB and RB with the two 2nd round picks, still have two 3rd round picks, prefer ILB and CB, then what if going on the clock in 4th or 5th there sits an EDGE RUSHER/OLB that has fallen (yes it can happen, remember Dockett!) we get a round 1-2 talent that far down plus the higher round picks do we really need to bring in a “name veteran” like Freeney?? Could use that money for a “named veteran” at another position, depending on who and what positions we pickup in the draft and UDFA’s. I really believe that if we trade out of 1st round, with the extra picks we will have, SK/BA will be drafting BPA regardless of position (other than QB) from round 4 on.

    Even if the Cards dont seem to go best player available, I think it is awesome that Michael Bidwill and Company has put is in position to do so if they wanted to!!! It has been many, many years that our beloved Cardinals have even had a strong enough roster and a minimal amount of holes that need to be filled, that they could even think of drafting solely using the BPA philosophy, as a Cardinal fan it just sends chills down my back just to know that we dont have to draft a position of need in the 7th round like we used to have to do for many years!!

  14. By brinnc on Apr 12, 2015 | Reply

    Georgiebird
    No dominant wins?? Afraid you have lost it sir!! (By the way, welcome to my world!! LOL!)
    How can you say no dominate wins, Cowboys had the leading rusher in the NFL who had rushed for over 100 yards every single game, with one of the best O-Line’s in the NFL, our defense held him under 100! Cowboys made the playoffs.
    Eagles, leading the NFC East for quite a chunk of the season, I would have to say that was dominate.
    Chiefs, Chargers, Lions, all wins over dominate teams, or dominate wins over very good teams, however you want to say it.

  15. By brinnc on Apr 12, 2015 | Reply

    Rando thought… (yes I’m losing my mind!!) I was browsing theu articles from last season/free agency/draft and it hit me like a ton of bricks, albeit almost a year later!!! LOL! Ijust never put two and two together!! But in exchange for the Cardinals moving down in our trade with the Saints, we got Bucannon and J. Brown!! I would say we ripped off the Saints, except the Crooks kid had a heck of a season for them if im not mistaken! It isnt often that trading up for a specific player works out that well, that quick, and to work out well for both teams, barely ever see that!!! Hopefully SK/BA remember how well trading down (actually need to trade out of 1st round this year!) Worked for our Cardinals last year, and they can take the extra 2nd and 3rd round picks and get two more starters out of those picks, to go along with two starters from our own 2nd and 3rd round picks, I would have to say if we do trade out and get 4 starters or key contributors out of our first four picks would have to be considered a huge success!!!

  16. By brinnc on Apr 12, 2015 | Reply

    **Corrections from above**
    Should read:
    Random thoughts

    browsing through

    Sorry folks, typing to fast!

  17. By Scott H on Apr 13, 2015 | Reply

    I think the win over the Lions was pretty dominant, seeing as the Cards held them to only 6 points. With guys like Stafford, Reggie Bush, and ( ESPECIALLY ) Calvin Johnson, that is an offense that is RARELY shut down like that.

    That said, I agree with the general premise that most of the wins were solid, not dominant. Even the wins against bad teams like the Redskins and Raiders were not the sure-thing wins I was expecting.

    And THAT said, regardless of whether the wins were dominant or not, it sure was cool having records like 9-1 and 11-2! 🙂

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