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Cardinals to sign Freeney

Posted by Darren Urban on October 12, 2015 – 11:53 am

Nothing official yet — until the ink is on the contract, it rarely is — but it looks like the Cardinals will be signing veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney to a one-year contract to bolster the pass rush. Given the history both Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator James Bettcher have with Freeney (they coached him in Indianapolis) it fits, and after Alex Okafor hurt his calf Sunday and figures to miss time, they need more help out there to go with LaMarr Woodley, Kareem Martin and rookies Markus Golden and Shaq Riddick.

(UPDATE: It’s official now.)

Freeney had 3.5 sacks last season for San Diego before he was released in the spring. He was generally regarded as a player who consistently got pressure on the quarterback in a limited pass rushing role. How quickly he can add to the Cardinals remains to be seen, since he didn’t have an offseason with a team or a training camp. But it is reportedly another of GM Steve Keim’s minimum-salary deals with incentives, so the upside remains greater than the downside, which is how this team has been built.

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36 Responses to “Cardinals to sign Freeney”

  1. By jerrytown on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Keim is an incredible GM. Great signing.

  2. By rod on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Keim is a machine! Love that guy!

  3. By William on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    I understand it might be the dollars, but why not bring back Darnell? He knows the defense and was in a camp this off season, just wondering.

  4. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    From what I heard elsewhere, Freeney was prepared to retire if the right offer ( from the right team ) never came along. But apparently, hearing from the Cardinals was enough to get him up off the couch.

    I wonder how soon he will really be able to offer something here. But, yet again, there is nothing to lose. The up-side is considerable. The down-side is non-existent.

    Heck, the way this team is playing, why hasn’t Foote asked for a uniform yet???

    It certainly under-scores how the Cardinals are now being perceived. It brought CJ here, and that is paying off in spades. If Freeney is able to crank it up for one more season, it’s gravy.

  5. By Marlin on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    great decision. no downside.

  6. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Great Pick Up. Plug and Play. Freeney will make an impact on a limited basis until the LB core gets healthy. A tad bit on the older side but if they use him correctly as I think they will, he will make an impact. Great sign !!!!

    I’m excited about the choice.

  7. By jeffcardinalfan on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    hopefully he has kept in shape…I can see him playing 12-15 snaps with one thing in mind…get pressure…I too wudnt mind to see docket in uni but it appears he burnt that bridge already and the last thing we need is discontent in locker room

  8. By John Staszkiewicz on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    I am a Cardinal fan from St. Louis and this team has really got me excited. It has been really great to see a GM like Keim come in and invest in the offensive line. The running game is ranked 3rd in NFL and is averaging 5 yards a carry. When was the last time we could say this after 5 games. The Cardinals have not had an offensive like this since the days of Don Coryell and Jim Hanifan in St. Louis. What a terrific balanced attack

  9. By Jonathan on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Yes! Let it be signed, let it be done!

  10. By cards62 on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Darren do you know if Cardinals brought him in for a workout before signing him ?

    Either way I love the move as all others have said great upside with little to no downside, Cardinals would have never tried to do this 10-20 years ago or players would not come if offered. Love our Cardinals really trying to win it all in 2015. The whole organization has completely changed for the better. My compliments to the Bidwill’s, and will love to see Bill Bidwill hold up the Super Bowl Trophy this season, and fans I used to hate that man in the bow tie years ago but like I said everything including my feelings have completely changed, except for my love of our Cardinals.

    Darren couple of others brought up Darnell Dockett and I think it is a very interesting subject. I must admit I did not watch him play in the preseason and 49ers defense is not exactly striking fear in the hearts of offenses this year and they cut him even with guaranteed money. Do you think Cardinals would bring him in for a workout or do they just not want the drama? Really like DD and all he did for our team over the years, but I do not know how good is health is now.

    Go Cardinals beat Pittsburgh

  11. By Credit Card on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    Obviously each player is different, how long do you think it might take Dwight Freeney to get into football shape? Would you expect him to play on a limited basis this coming Sunday?

    Hopefully, Okafor will not be out for the entire season. Demmons injury appears season ending — is that the case?

  12. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Signing

    I’d expect anyone who would sign to be asked to play some quickly. But we will see. That may not be possible.

  13. By Red Dead Redemption on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    It is a great signing. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there is an injury on the defensive line that Dockett is resigned too if the price is right.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    OK, Hard to project numbers over a whole year after 5 games, but;

    Palmer is on pace to throw for 4200 yards and 42 TDs

    CJ is on pace to rush for 1300 yards

    Fitz is on pace to catch 112 passes for 1560 yards and 19 TDs

    David Johnson is on pace to score 19 TDs between rushing , catching and KO returns.

    Rashad Johnson is on pace to pick off 9 passes.

    Amazing.

    But on a negative side,
    we have a total of 8 sacks on the year. Okafor, our leader with 2, is out for 2-4 weeks. No one else has more than 1. We are on pace to have 25 sacks for the season.

    That will be our lowest total since 2003. ( You all remember 2000-2003, when the cards got rid of Simeon Rice in 2000 and then couldn’t sack the QB- Topped off in 2001, when the great Fred Wakefield lead the team with 2 1/2 sacks, before being converted to TE) UHHGG Those were dark days.

    Take in to consideration, that we have had big leads in several games where our defenders could pin their ears back knowing the other team will pass.
    Yet 8 sacks.

    With Okafor and his 2 sacks gone for a while, this could be the worst pass rushing team in AZ Cardinal history.

    Thus, the signing of Dwight Freeney. Freeney was in the top 5 in the NFL last year in hurries. With these DBs, they will give him that extra half second he needed. Here’s to hoping we found our next John Abraham.

  15. By PeoriaCardsFan on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    William, Dockett is an interior line man and that is not the position we need to fill right now so it makes no sense to bring him back. Not to mention I think the coaches (and me too) felt like he burnt that bridge with his statements when he left.

  16. By Dr H on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Excellent pick up. Keim should be GM of the year. Always liked Freeney from his days as a Colt.

  17. By Jason Wolfe on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    HiS getting sacks would be nice,but i think they got him to create pressure & hurry the QB…so the “no fly zone”can feast on their mistakes…

  18. By Jason Wolfe on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Hurries & pressure to create turnovers…

  19. By Coach K on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Freeney is a good intelligent signing. I have said many times our weakness is our edge rushing. We do not have a dominating edge rusher with size and blazing speed. So this makes sense to bring in this guy. Keim is a master!

  20. By Big Ken on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Watching Monday Night Football, I think its time we carve the Steelers out of the heard.

  21. By Richard S on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    RANK TEAM* RATING Win margin on neutral field Homefield 3 point advantage Won by
    1 NE(5) 101.73 8.89 5.89
    2 GBAY(1) 99.81 13.03 16.03
    3 ARIZ.(13) 98.4 3.45 0.45
    4 DENVER(4) 97.26 12.62 9.62
    5 SEATTLE(2) 96.83 5.01 8.01
    6 PHIL(7) 95.19 4.41 7.41
    7 CINCY(14) 95.03 2.54 -0.46
    8 PITT(9) 94.95 -3.45 -0.45
    9 ATL(21) 93.07 4.15 1.15
    10 INDY(3) 92.84 -8.89 -5.89
    11 BUFF(15) 92.49 -2.54 0.46
    12 BALT(8) 92.12 8.58 5.58
    13 CAROLINA(17) 91.82 -5.01 -8.01
    14 DALLAS(6) 91.78
    15 KC(10) 91.3 2.49 -0.51
    16 JETS(24) 90.96 4.9 7.9
    17 GIANTS(19) 90.78 -4.41 -7.41
    18 NO(12) 88.92 -4.15 -1.15
    19 MINN(23) 88.81 -2.49 0.51
    20 RAMS(22) 88.36
    21 MIA(11) 87.77 3.23 0.23
    22 HOUSTON(16) 86.83 4.92 1.92
    23 SD(20) 86.78 -13.03 -16.03
    24 DETROIT(18) 86.56 2.98 5.98
    25 WASH(28) 86.06 -4.9 -7.9
    26 CLEVELAND(27) 84.64 -12.62 -9.62
    27 TENNESEE(31) 84.54 -3.23 -0.23
    28 CHICAGO(26) 83.58 -2.98 -5.98
    29 SANFRAN(25) 83.54 -8.58 -5.58
    30 OAK(32) 83.34
    31 JAX(30) 81.91 -4.92 -1.92
    32 TAMPA(29) 81.65
    Only winners picked wrong in wk. 5 were in the Chicago-KC
    and the Cleveland Balt games. Week 6 picks 14 games
    After week 5, 53/77 68.83%
    Initial ESPN power rank in parenthesis after team name.
    For week 6 the games I am least confident that the system will pick correctly are the Dolphin – Tennessee game and the Cincinnati – Buffalo game as Cincy looks really good and my son is a Dolphin fan so I’ve watched their games on DirecTV and they look really bad. Byes Dallas, Rams, Oak and Tampa.

  22. By dan on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Feel bad for Kenny Demens………I knew it was bad as soon as I saw him holding his leg, leg looked awkward.

  23. By Chuck 1 on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    Re: Edge rusher
    A college player to consider in next year’s draft; Carl Nassib of Penn State
    He might be leading the Big Ten in sack at this point.
    A very high motor.

  24. By TucsonTim on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    70 pass attempts and one sack….that will be a problem if we don’t fix it. Less we get a separated shoulder patting ourselves on the back; we have only beat 4 of the worst teams in the NFL and we have lost AT HOME to a very good but not great team.

    I want to go to another Super Bowl and I love my Cardinals, but we have a lot of unfinished business. Kudos to Keim for going out and getting someone to help; however, every team in the league is looking for that pass rusher. Kind of wonder why he was still there.

    I hope it pays off, but I’m not holding my breath. Why not trade a high draft pick for a younger proven player…the future is now. Think about how many first round picks are duds, but when you hear the NFL gods talk about a “first round pick” you would think they are guarenteed super human stand outs…wrong.

    Trade a high pick or two for a real pass rusher. There are lots of desperate teams out there right now with no chance of making the playoffs this year. Like Houston…hint hint

  25. By sbrown on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    on sports radio this afternoon, was a story that Freeney has a home here in the Valley and has been staying in shape, just waiting for the call. If so, he might be good to go for 20 – 25 plays in Pittsburgh. With the Cards rotation on the D-line, he should be able to get in and maybe make a play or two
    ( especially going against an older Vick ).
    Good Luck in Pitt and bring back a big W this week !

  26. By Chuck 1 on Oct 12, 2015 | Reply

    OOPS!!!
    I didn’t give Carl Nassib, the Penn State edge rusher, enough credit for his sacks.
    He leads the NATION with 10 sacks.
    Steve, K., are you watching?

  27. By Eazy E on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    I think Freeney was surprisingly like 3rd in hurries. I think it can be a good move, but I hate it for my dude Alex because he was going to have a big season and started well, but slowed a bit. We are dry at OLB with young guys that are mostly unproven and Woodley who is doing ok.

  28. By D on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    Man, if Vick plays against AZ like he did last night, Cards should have 4-6 more picks and continue to set more records….clearly the game plan is to shut down that RB and make Vick pass…did you all notice how little confidence Haley has in him…

  29. By Lynn on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    Some dark clouds, if not outright rain on the Dwight Freeney parade. Read the press release., 3.5 sacks, released in the spring, all 32 teams taking a pass, pun intended, and no training camp. He’ll be lucky to hit the field before Okafor returns. The best part about this move is the realization of the need to draft an edge rusher in 2016. While we’re at it, we’d better get a center also, especially if no one we have can or will be converted.

  30. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    Lynn,

    Absolutely agree about pass rush in the next draft. Last year, I argued with everyone (including Darren) that Keim missed an opportunity by not moving up a space and grabbing Shane Ray. Instead , opting for DJ Humphries.
    Ray has two sacks in limited time behind Ware and Miller in Denver.

    I also agree that center is a must, when thinking of the draft.

    But I do disagree with you regarding Freeney. Being in the top 5 in hurries last year, means he is putting pressure on the QB and forcing to throw before they are ready. That leads to incompletions and turnovers. The chargers didn’t have the best DBs, so we will see how he does with this group of DBs.

    You are right, that is nothing else, it shows we need pass rushers. But we have known that for years.

  31. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    For those who think sacks are not important;

    1. Denver – 22 sacks – 5 – 0
    2. Packers – 20 sacks – 5-0
    3. Rams – 19 sacks – 2-3
    4. Patriots – 16 sacks – 4-0
    5. Steelers – 16 sacks – 3-2
    6. Bengals – 15 sacks – 5-0

    Top 6 teams combine for a 24 and 5 record.

    The cards are at 23rd in the NFL in sacks. On pace to have 25 sacks , their lowest total since 2003. The teams below them have a record of 21-21. That is with the 5-0 Falcons.

    Can you win without sacks?? Of course, the Cards (4-1) , Falcons (5-0) and Jets (3-1) are showing you can. and the ravens and rams are showing you can lose with sacks. But you can’t deny the 24-5 record verses the 21-21 record.

    Funny, I don’t think a single fan has not thought we needed a pass rusher each year for a long time. Abraham was a pleasant surprise.

    So, what would I do? Can’t go back to the draft and trade up for Shane Ray and the next one isn’t till May. Signing Freeney is smart. Maybe that is all we need.

    But I also would look at Cameron Wake. Wake is with the dolphins and is having a terrible season behind one of the worst defensive cordinators . His cap hit is 10 million but would drop to 2.9 million if cut or traded. At 33, and the team in shambles, That is why the dolphins might move him.
    Wake has 63 sacks in 6 years including 11.5 last year. Could you trade a late round pick to get him? I think so.
    That is a big salary to take on, so the cards would really need to feel they need that guy off the edge.
    Woodley looks done and the young guys are trying but not explosive. 8 sacks in 5 games. Can’t overlook that just because we are winning.
    Freeney and Wake would look good coming off the edges after Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship.

  32. By Dynosoar on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    I will first acknowledge we lost to the Rams and our opponents have losing records.

    I will now say what I like. First, our pass rush may not be producing sacks and that would be even more demoralizing to opponents to combine our ball-hawking secondary with a fierce pass rush. But I’m good with it the way it is (now if Freeney explodes onto the scene, I’ll like that as it’ll only encourage errant passes and more interceptions.)

    I like our schedule, it’s easiest right now and we are learning to win and getting used to it. The toughest part of our schedule will come after we are very used to winning and will prepare us for the hardest portion of our schedule (if we get there, the playoffs will be tougher than any other part of the schedule.)

    Lastly, year after year I see teams win against bad teams. The good teams however, blow those bad teams out of the water with college football type scores. We are blowing apart our competition. (Except for the Rams, of course.)

    We’ve been being told regularly this team is built to win. We’re seeing this and I believe we are built to win.

    Go Cardinals!

    (The Seahawks didn’t blow away the Lions, the Packers didn’t blow away the Rams, though they did better than us. The 49ers lost to the Packers by 14 points, we beat them by 40. We’re not just winning, we’re putting up serious points and not looking back. That’s what the best teams do, look at the Patriots.)

  33. By Scott H on Oct 13, 2015 | Reply

    Again, I think this business with the teams we’re beating having losing records is over-done. The Pats have beaten some bad teams, too. They just got a free pass against a Cowboys team with no Romo, no Bryant, and Brandon Weeden at QB. And guess what? It still went in the win column and most are still ranking them as the #1 team in the league.

    Are the Packers beating a winning team every week? No. They played the Bears, too. And they get the Lions twice. In fact, their whole division is weak. And they get 6 games against those weak teams.

    The Broncos? Barely got by the Raiders on Sunday. But a win is a win.

    The Falcons? Barely got by the Redskins. But everybody is raving about them being un-beaten and already casting their votes for Quinn as coach of the year. They also get 4 games against weak division opponents.

    Meanwhile, the Cardinals play in the toughest division in the NFL. Don’t worry, folks, we will have our share of tough games. We will be tested. In the mean-time, let’s enjoy the wins for what they are. Because this team is playing some DAMN fine football right now.

    All door swing both ways.

    Finally, consider this – I recently saw a VERY interesting strength of schedule ranking based on the collective odds of the every teams opponents for making the Super Bowl. Based on THAT, the Seahawks had the toughest schedule this year. Right behind them at #2 were the Cardinals. The Rams were only a few more spots behind them.. Gee…might that be because they all play in the toughest division in football and they all have to play each other twice?

    Shoot, let the Cardinals play in just about any other division in the league, THEN I’ll listen to how their schedule is helping them.

  34. By cards62 on Oct 14, 2015 | Reply

    To John the Draft Guy – I really like your idea about C. Wake with the Dolphins. I wish he was younger but that can not be helped. I own no Cardinal Super Bowl Champion Shirts and I really want one, so I would give up a 5th to 7th rounder for him, and I think we all know we need pass rushers. Our secondary is awesome so lets add a few pass rushers. What do you think of Markus Golden so far this year. I believe you were not high on him when we drafted him, and I was also very concerned on this selection, but he seems to be flashing when I watch us play last few games.

    To all fans – What do you think of our run defense?
    Pittsburgh is on a short week so will not be as fresh, but they have one of the best running games and I worry about our run defense so I think this will be a great test for our run defense. Looking forward most to this match-up but hoping our offense/special teams get us up two scores early so Pittsburgh has to pass more.

    Go Cards beat Pittsburg

  35. By Scott H on Oct 14, 2015 | Reply

    cards 62 –

    After what Gurley did against us 2 weeks ago, yes, I am interested in seeing how we fare against a stud like Bell. But keep in mind, the Rams were ahead the whole time and that lent itself to them continuing to run the ball. With Bell? Even if you’re behind, you really can’t go away from him because he is just so good. But game flow will be a factor. If this game gets forced into Vick’s hands, the Steelers are in BIG trouble.

    The Steelers passing game ( among the best in the league with Big Ben at QB ) will be as limited by Vick as it will be by our secondary.

  36. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 14, 2015 | Reply

    cards62,

    Marcus Golden;

    He has been a pleasant surprise. He is not the guy who will come off an edge like Ware or Miller or even Justin Houston, but he does give you everything he has out there and that has been pretty good so far.

    I compared him to Michael Sam because they both have the exact same measurements, bench press, speed, ext. But Golden has more “want to”. I still think we need to draft a top pass rusher. Shane Ray would have been the ticket, so to speak. But Golden is a solid player and is not that bust I feared.

    Run Defense;

    The negative to having 5 or 6 DBs on the field at anytime is that you are small. Teams can run on you with big backs. The good news is Badger, Bucannon, Jefferson, Johnson are all good tacklers. But when a team goes with a spread, and has the 4 above along with Peterson and Powers, we now have 4 lineman and one LB. That is small.

    The defense is build for leads. If the offense puts up the points it has so far, and the other team is behind and has to throw, this defense is good. But if it is close and the other team can pound their back (like Gurley and the rams), that small line up gets warn down.

    Look at the games. 3 blow outs, the game against the saints (who only ran it in a close game 20 times) and rams. The rams stuck with the run, kept the game close, and wore down the defense in the 4th quarter with Gurley.

    The steelers want to do the same thing. The problem will be, can the steeler defense slow down the offense? If not, look for a blow out again. But if they can keep it close, and it comes to the 4th quarter, I think we will see a similar game plan of pounding their big back.

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