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The market — and future — of Calais Campbell

Posted by Darren Urban on January 19, 2017 – 11:46 am

In a few weeks, Calais Campbell will be a free agent. And in many ways, he’s the most intriguing of all the Cardinals’ free agents-to-be. He’s a very good player coming off a very good season, and it won’t be a surprise to see more articles like this one come out, saying the Denver Broncos should chase the big defensive lineman to shore up some of that team’s defensive weaknesses. It makes some sense — Campbell is from Denver, that’s a team primed to keep winning (assuming they can get some consistent quarterback play), and DeMarcus Ware might be done.

But buried lower in the column is the point that Campbell wouldn’t get a big contract from the Broncos, that he’d have to come for the chance to a) come home and b) play for a winner. That’s where this gets sideways in my eyes. The Cardinals want Campbell back. No, they don’t figure to offer him the biggest contract. But if the Cardinals and, say, the Broncos are both offering similar “lesser” deals, I’d guess Campbell would stay right here. And home, for Campbell, is Arizona. It’s not Denver anymore. So there is that.

With the money that will be available overall in free agency, Calais is going to have a chance to go elsewhere and make a nice chunk of change. I don’t doubt that. He will have options to go other places, and probably multiple options. How far the Cards are willing to go for a player who will be 31 in September will be the ultimate question. It’s something the organization — and Campbell — have been considering for months. We’re just coming to the end of the story.

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55 Responses to “The market — and future — of Calais Campbell”

  1. By Eazy E on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    I think we need to let Calais test the market because while Calais is dominant at times, he isn’t consistently dominant. Put it like this, if Jason Pierre-Paul who the Cardinals were hot after last offseason and Calais Campbell have similar money offers from the Cardinals, get JPP who just turned 28 yet he probably hasn’t even hit his prime yet and is probably more consistent when healthy even if it’s at the 5 technique which he would likely play if we were able to nab him. I like Calais don’t get me wrong, but we’ll see about the money between he, JPP, and others like that.

  2. By Big Ken on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    I think it will be some team, not Denver or Arizona that will sign Campbell. He’s had a great year which will spike his value. My observation the year prior to this last one he looked heavy and slow.

  3. By D on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    3rd contracts for players over 30 is risky.

    If CC can not be retained, then Mr. Keim will need to lock up
    T. Jefferson, J. Gresham to go along with Franchising C. Jones.

    CB and ILB would also need possible depth, depending on the draft
    outcome.

    I would also think if CC is gone and with Gunter and Nkeimdiche as the top Interior DLineman, I would assume another Veteran DL would be brought in.. Bring back Frosty or go with a FA…some names:

    Kawann Short 28 yrs Panthers (pricey)
    Chris I. Baker 29 yrs Redskins
    Abry Jones 25 yrs Jaguars
    Stacy McGee 27 yrs Raiders
    Lawrence Guy 27 yrs Ravens
    Brandon J. Williams 28yrs Ravens
    Stephen Paea 29yrs Browns
    Mike Pennel 26yrs Packers

  4. By krehbieo14 on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Calais should not make the mistake that Dansby did. IMO, my legacy would be more important than a top offer on an average team. Maybe Oakland will want him.and that might be a good option. But If I was Campbell at this point in my career, I’d take a lesser offer in Arizona to preserve my legacy with the Cardinals.

  5. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Aloha Darren,

    Just curious, is there anyone under contract at the moment that they could restructure their deal to free up more cap space or have they crossed that bridge already and it is what it is at this point?

    Mahalo as always for keeping us informed!

  6. By Darren Urban on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Restructures

    There are always possibilities but if you do that, you are just kicking the problem down the road. Keim and Co. would rather avoid that if possible.

    With Campbell, it’s not about cap space. It’s the willingness to pay him X amount of dollars at age 31, compared to what you might get from him the next three or four years, compared to what someone else might be willing to pay him.

  7. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Hope he’s back. Slightly disappointed his performance peaked in contract year… which suggest he’s better in incentive based contract, i.e. hit performance metrics get paid more… Certain that’s not an original idea to Cards brass, but wonder if he’ll play ball…
    Also wonder if Gunter or Nke will step up…

  8. By Marlin on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Top FA priorities should be Jones and Jefferson.

  9. By Robert on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,
    In theory could they not FT him, if CJones gets signed first? Then, he gets his coin and the Cardinals aren’t locked in long term so if his play declines rapidly they could move on after a year (or even 2). I believe they could us the FT 2 years on the same player, right? I’d like to keep him, more than the cost it’s the contract length that would scare me and anything beyond 2 years with a team option 3rd is too long, IMO.

  10. By Darren Urban on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Robert —

    RE: Franchise tag

    Yes, if Jones gets a deal done, in theory they could tag him.

    1) I do not expect a Jones deal to get done.
    2) Even if it did, I doubt they would tag Campbell. Again, it’d be for more money — even for one year — than they want to spend on Campbell.

  11. By Bill Thompson on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Calais Campbell is a solid, solid person on and off the field. I am tired of hearing (much of it from BA) that he is not consistent. Balony! He is consistent and he stays healthy. Yes, I know that he is getting up there in years for his position, but there hasn’t been anybody better than him for the Cardinals in a long, long time. Pay the man! Make him a Cardinal for life!

  12. By Scott H on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve just never understood why so many people are so…..under-whelmed with Campbell. The man is on the field for a lot of plays, year in / year out, and he plays hard. Maybe he doesn’t live up to some people’s expectations, but…hey, maybe the problem is with those expectations and not with Campbell.

    One point I would make is this – Campbell has never come out and declared himself the best player at his position and demanded to be the highest paid player at his position, like Patrick Peterson did. And don’t get me wrong, I love me some PP. BUT after HE declared himself the best player at his position and HE demanded to be the highest paid player at his position, I HAVE found myself dis-appointed in how he has played at times since then. He has had great games / stretches and he’s had games / stretches where he was not so great. I think you could say the exact same for Campbell but it seems to me that Campbell gets a lot more criticism directed his way when he is not as highly rated at his position as PP is at his.

    Anyway….on a sentimental note, he is a career Cardinal that I have loved during his time here and it’s the same thing for me as it is with Fitz – I would just love to see a SB happen with him here. That could still happen. But it could also happen that BOTH of them have already played the last game they will ever play in a Cardinals uniform. The thought of that is just SO damn sad for me.

    Life would go on for me without Campbell. But I feel like life is on hold until we get a decision from Fitz about what he is doing.

  13. By Greg Daragona on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Why cant they sign Jones and franchise C.C.
    to see if they can make 1 more push?

  14. By Richard S on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    If that picture was taken this year, he sure looks in great shape. I just saw a funny ad that Jerry Rice did for Popeye’s chicken. I really liked the napkin shirt he wore, something that I can relate to. Some people didn’t like the ad who think it’s racist implying that blacks like chicken. I didn’t see it that way. I like chicken too and I’m not black.

  15. By joe holst on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    I wouldn’t necessary call Denver home for Calais just because he was born there I would consider Arizona and Miami “Home” before Denver besides Denver is not going to b any good anytime soon. It comes down too do you can #93 or maybe 2 of the following, Swearinger, Jefferson and Minter.

  16. By Eazy E on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    The concerns on Calais being consistently dominant are warranted when he’s put in the same class as a J.J. Watt, Muhammad Wilkerson, etc.

  17. By jeffcardinalfan on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    of course we need to keep our best players or replace them with equal talent guys depending on how the money works out…it seems that no one realizes that IF NOT FOR THE MULTITUDE OF INJURIUES AT NEARLY EVERY POSITION WE WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE PLAYOFFS AND A STRONG CONTENDER FOR THE SUPER BOWL.sure its “next man up” but when u r forced to play 4th stringers, practice squad guys or guys u sign off the street there is gonna b a drop off in play!!!! our draft depends on fitz’s decision and whether we decide to pay cc and cj as well as the players we resign at safety. this wont happen of course but I would b very happy with the exact same opening day roster that we had for 2016-if we could stay healthy!! my guess is that fitz comes back, we resign swearinger, franchise tag cj, let tj leave, slighty overpay cc. also its time to trade ellington-we just don’t use him and we need to give dj a little rest with one of our rbs who is more physical than elington. I know carson loves Gresham but overall Gresham drops passes and commits dumb penalties so he should b gone. the roster moves and draft aside THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE MUST DO IN 2017 IS PROTECT CARSON!!!!! of course that is just my opinion and that plus a buck will still buy u a soda in some places.

  18. By JTDG on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    I have seen you write a few times, including above, that you do not believe a Chandler Jones deal will get done and he most likely will be franchised.

    Obviously, the two sides must be far apart. Can you discuss that?

    I have written a couple times on here that Olivier Vernon is a good measure of the contract Jones would push for if I was his agent. That puts him at 17+ million a year. According to cap sites, Jones is being viewed as a 14 million a year guy.

    That is a huge gap of 3 million a year. Seems like it may be a big gap to overcome, especially when the cards can franchise him and it would be 14-15 million for 1 year.

    Would you say this is the issue of why Jones has not been, and will not be signed to a long term deal anytime soon?

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Jones

    I do not know particulars. But it stands to reason if there was going to be a deal done, it’d be done by now — they’ve been discussing for months. And I don’t think it was random that Arians noted that Jones would be tagged.

    I don’t know if what you propose is the problem. But the bottom line is, 99 percent of the time a deal isn’t done, it’s because (duh) the team isn’t offering as much money as the player wants.

  20. By pastamyprime on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    All great careers come to an end at some point… Unfortunately the Cardinals are stuck between a rock and a hard place… The smart business decision is a two-year deal but he’s going to get better offers and more money from other teams… No athlete is going to leave seven figures on the table for a hometown discount haircut…The plan was to have Nkemdiche step up that would allow Campbell to leave as a free agent.. get over it fan base it happens with every player on every team… Money would be best spent on finding a in this order … ILB, G, CB, QB, WR, K

  21. By clssylssy on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    Personally, I have not been that impressed with Chandler Jones as it seems he didn’t get “hot” until the end was drawing near, almost as if he was feeling overly secure that the team would give him a big contract or franchise him; always thought he might be one of the players Arians was referring to as being “selfish” (or THE player). Jones has learned the Arians system but, reminds me of another Dansby–good when he wants to be with a big ego and looking more for the payday than the SB ring. IMO, Golden is far more superior to Jones as a player and the kind of guy that can be counted upon, and, I would rather see us keep Calais, and find a cheaper version of Jones in the draft. Calais has been a monster up front and we need his size and veteran leadership; even at 31, he still helps with the intimidation factor and I think Keim could work something out that wouldn’t be insulting and good for both parties.
    I love incentive based contracts and believe we would be a better team if we didn’t lock up players in cushy longterm contracts, so as to keep things fresh and avoid getting strapped with a bunch of dead money when things don’t work out as hoped.
    Seems BA has already decided that Jones will be with us, no matter how it effects the rest of the team. I don’t see Nkemdiche as being ready to take the place of Calais Campbell.

  22. By JTDG on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    Follow up question.

    OK, they franchise Jones and he goes out and puts up 12.5 sacks and plays solid.

    Well, he is a FA again in 2018. The likelihood of the price tag for pass rushers would seem to go up, especially when Khilil Mack will be up for a new contract in 2018 (final year of his rookie deal).

    If I am Jones, I hope the raiders make Mack a 20-22 million dollar a year guy, and then push towards 18-19 million a year.

    It just makes sense that tomorrows price tag will be for more.

    Big gamble. Of course, if he isn’t an impact player in 2017, you don’t have that huge number around your neck.

    Seems to me, it just depends on how you view Jones in the future. So, the question is, do you take that risk?

  23. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Jones

    They are going to have a number they are comfortable with Jones. If he insists on a lot more than that, he may not be here long term.

  24. By JTDG on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    pastanyprime,

    Agree with you that before 2016 season and draft, the plan was to let Campbell walk at the end of the year.

    I see it the same way the Panthers see Kawann Short. He is getting big money this offseason so they drafted Vernon Butler in 2016 to take his place.

    Every team does it and it makes sense to rid big contracts at times. The problem is, Nkemdichi and Gunter did not step up. That makes it scary to go into a season hoping they will.

    I think if Nkemdichi showed something at all last year, fans would be more accepting to let Campbell go get rich (well richer).

    But with the fact that both DEs are FA, and the back ups were less then stellar, there is a fear covering card fans about Campbell leaving.

  25. By D on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    SF running out of GM options.
    Darren, should we have concern that they may turn back to Terry M for the GM job? Guessing if he were to get that job, his knowledge of AZ’s players and the cap space of SF may lead to CC and or T. Jefferson, etc looking for real estate in the Bay area..

  26. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: McDonough

    Guys get promotions/other jobs. I’m not sure him getting that job or not would, for instance, make it any more likely Campbell or Jefferson would leave. I don’t know if Campbell goes to the Niners. They have two players already who are similar to him, plus they are nowhere near contending.

  27. By clssylssy on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    jeffcardinalfan….
    Perhaps if our GM would have spent some of the 4.4M we have in money to rollover on replacement players, we wouldn’t have had to play 4th stringers and guys off the street and would have had the season that we were promised with all the “All or Nothing” hype. Instead we finished under .500, and since we had the resources obviously for replacements, it would seem that it was all a matter of poor management or not everybody being on the same page and committed to the “win now” as we were led to believe.

  28. By Brett in Colorado on Jan 20, 2017 | Reply

    I really hope CC stays with Arizona, he is the Fitz of the defense he has always been a stand up person, and to put it into perspective of great year he had this year it is because offense were focusing on Golden and Jones. CC has always been a threat to offenses that is why he has been doubled teamed, plus living in Denver if he came here I would not hear the end of it from the donkey “fans”.

  29. By dan on Jan 21, 2017 | Reply

    Campbell is overrated. Plays good against weak competition, disappears against good opponents. Decent player but not worth the money.

  30. By mitchaz on Jan 21, 2017 | Reply

    Wolf and Calvisi recently conducted a lengthy interview with Cardinals’ DC James Bettcher. Here are my takeaways:

    * Bettcher’s passion is clear. He takes a highly detailed approach (writes copious notes on a daily basis). Very articulate, much like Steve Keim.
    * Wolf kind of fawned over him and really didn’t ask any tough questions like why the defense gave up so many scores on the first possession of the second half—or why—Bettcher thought he could defend Drew Brees and Sean Payton’s offense with a steady diet of soft zone coverages.
    * Wolf kept gushing about the Cardinals’ being the #2 defense and #1 in sacks—yet those of us who watched every game know how frequently disappointing the defense was, especially in close games. We also know that in the games that mattered the most in November and early December, the Cardinals’ pass rush was stale and unproductive. And how, unlike last year, the defense didn’t close out close games with key drive-stopping sacks.
    * Bettcher’s player assessments, imo, were very revealing (and hinted toward which players will be re-signed).
    * Chandler Jones—Bettch said that Jones’ presence created one-on-one rush opportunities for the rest of the defensive line. When Jones was getting chipped and double teamed they moved him inside on occasion. Said that in practice Jones made a couple of stunning interceptions when dropped back into coverage. Said “this is why i love BA” when Wolf mentioned how BA has already told the media that Jones will be f-tagged at the very least.
    * Markus Golden—Bettch said that Golden did what the coaches hope all 2nd year players do which is to make a big jump to the next level. Bettch credited LB coach Bob Sanders for helping to develop Golden’s game. (Bettch’s reference to Sanders was his only reference to any of his assistants).
    * Tony Jefferson—Bettch didn’t elaborate on Jefferson’s performance other that to say twice that he was one of the team’s defensive MVPs and that he had a great year.
    * Calais Campbell—same. Bettch acknowledged his impressive season but did not expound further.
    * D.J. Swearinger—conversely Bettch had numerous things to say about Swearinger—how impressed he was with how good a communicator he became for the secondary and how no one studied more tape.
    * Kevin Minter—got the same kind of rave review as Swearinger—how Minter did an outstanding job of quarterbacking the defense.
    * Tyrann Mathieu—removed all doubt about where HB will play next year: “in the box, blitzing, forcing the run and covering TEs and slot WRs.” Said that HB will be totally dedicated to getting back to the player he was before the injury and that all he ever wants to do is make a big contribution.
    * Justin Bethel—feels like he may have found his niche as nickel CB.
    * Josh Mauro—love his versatility and how hard he plays the game. Said the guy loves to play the game.
    * Robert Nkemdiche—said he had to learn how to budget his time on a daily basis and what it takes to become a pro.
    * Olsen Pierre and Xavier Williams—said they were kept all year because they are very promising young players they did not want to lose.
    * Tyvon Branch—said how much he appreciated how Branch and HB tried to play injured.
    * Cory Peters—likes his versatility.
    * Deone Bucannon—said that of all the players on the defense, he thinks Deone will have the biggest year next year.
    * Patrick Peterson—said that determining the #1 matchup in coverage for Pat P. was the first order of planning each week.

    If I were to guess—based on Bettcher’s comments—what the off-season is going to look like, I would guess that there will be quite a push to re-sign Swearinger and Minter.

    I think re-sgning Swearinger is smart because he can play both safety spots, whereas Jefferson is mostly a SS and is not as good in space as DJ. I think they would love to keep Jefferson too—but the speculation is that he is looking at $7-8M a year, which on top of HB’s salary may be too expensive.

    As for Minter—I get the communication thing—but i thought Sio Moore looked much more athletic and quick on his feet—and no Cardinal ILB has defensed Russell Wilson better. Moore is better in coverage too. If Minter is re-signed, hopefully they will sub in a nickel LB. keeping him on the field all three downs was a mistake, as Minter had a very difficult time covering RBs.

  31. By Pete on Jan 21, 2017 | Reply

    All offers created equal, I think Calais Campbell remains in Arizona. Heading into next season, I don’t know of any team out there that can offer Campbell the same realistic opportunity to win a championship as the Card’s can. They are still contenders, better than a lot of other teams, and I think it will be harder for them to repeat some of the same mistakes that were almost fluke-like than it will be to get them right the next go-around. So, the issue is how sweet of an offer will there be to pry him away from Arizona. He’s seen other fellow teammates, like Dansby, have great seasons, get a great offer from a not-so-great team, and then… nothing. If he really wants to go out on top, as a champ, then I doubt he leaves; other teams on the cusp of greatness already have multiple highly paid players on their teams, thus limiting their ability to woo him away with bigger bucks than what the Card’s will likely offer.

  32. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 21, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz great summary, thx

  33. By Tryder on Jan 21, 2017 | Reply

    @clssylssy
    Have you ever stopped to think that the reason Campbell and Golden had such good years is because of Chandler Jones and the amount of attention that he drew from blockers. And that the reason Jones got better at the end of the year is due to the fact that Golden was drawing attention from blockers. I think the Cards should do whatever they reasonably can to keep those two pass rushers together. After years of not having a pass rush it’s nice to finally have an effective one without constantly having to blitz. I’m sorry but I can’t ignore the fact that the Cards were the top sacking defense the same year they got Jones.

  34. By D on Jan 21, 2017 | Reply

    I would cap a deal for CC at 9.5 mil per year, which is a lot but there are teams with enough space that could offer him 10 mil per yr or more. I believe if Keim has to Franchise Jones and losses CC in free agency, don’t be shocked if AZ uses the 13th draft pick on a Pass Rusher.

    I think Tony Jefferson is believing he is worth than more than 6 mil per, which is high for a safety but my limit for him if I were the GM. Should be able to sign DJ at the most for 4 mil per year who can cover better than Tony. I also believe that AQ needs to be resigned.

  35. By mitchaz on Jan 22, 2017 | Reply

    I hope that Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Bruce Arians all return for one last hurrah—and put all their eggs into the 2017 season. Come on men, you can do it! To quote Tennyson (from “Ulysses’):

    “Come, my friends,
    ‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
    Push off, and sitting well in order smite
    The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
    To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
    Of all the western stars, until I die.
    It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
    It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

  36. By mitchaz on Jan 22, 2017 | Reply

    Takeaways from Bickley’s article on BA’s “Rough off-Season”

    * When Larry Fitzgerald hugged BA on the sidelines after winning the last two games, he inadvertently tore BA’s rotator cuff in two—BA is playing golf at his home in Georgia but keeping his arm low.
    * BA is waiting to hear from Carson Palmer and Fitz as to whether they are returning—BA thinks both will get the itch to return fairly quickly.
    * BA appears to be somewhat amenable to lessening Fitz’s blocking load—one solution he mentions is adding another big, tough slot WR.
    * BA vows that next year’s team will “tackle better.”
    * BA conceded that going soft in training camp in order to keep the team healthy was, in retrospect, a mistake.
    * BA claims that the team was super confident heading into the Patriots’ game and that losing 2 of the first 3 games at home, with a heavy slate of away games later “took the swag” out of the team.
    * BA says he still thinks Robert Nkemdiche can be a great player.
    * Bickley believes that the Cardinals are an imminent playoff contender if Palmer and Fitz returns.
    * Bickley cites the Seahawks’ “petulance” as a cause for their demise.

    Some reactions:

    * I hope that Palmer, Fitz and BA give it one more year—one last supreme bid for a championship.

    * But in order for them to be successful, some timely adjustments might be—

    * Palmer makes ball security his highest priority.
    * Accordingly, BA make pass protection a priority—chip DEs whenever possible and keep an extra blocker in the backfield 95% of the time.
    * Protect Fitz’s legs and physical well-being by lessening his role as an interior blocker—BA’s answer to Bickley was to add another big, strong slot WR, fine—but the best thing BA can do, despite his original stubbornness, is to insert a blocking fullback to iso on the linebackers and thereby not have to send Fitz after the linebackers.
    * Moreover, a blocking fullback would could provide added protection to the team’s most prolific asset, RB David Johnson.

    * Let’s be real—because BA refuses to play a FB, Fitz has been the team’s FB the last two years. Fitz. No wonder he is contemplating retirement. And to Fitz’s credit, he has given it his all, day in, day out, game in, game out.

    * BA has vowed that the team’s tackling will be better. Will this apply to Patrick Peterson? Peterson’s reluctance to tackle and to return punts is at the crux of what is keeping the Cardinals from realizing their greatest potential. Perhaps knowing that this season will be Palmer’s, Fitz’s and BA’s last hurrah will provide some urgency, responsibility and leadership to Peterson’s game. Perhaps his All-Pro snubbing will provide added motivation.

    *Imagine how good the Cardinals could be if Peterson goes all in, starts making good, solid tackles and shows as he did in 2011 that he is the most gifted punt returner on the planet.

    * Fitz was a little contact shy his first few years—but Todd Haley challenged Fitz and changed all of that. This is what BA can do for Peterson. Thus far, BA has enabled Peterson to shy away from contact—just as BA and Amos Jones enabled Ted Ginn to play shy.

    * BA conceded that he went soft on the team in pre-season—this time around, every player has to step up. No enabling. No double standards. No false swag.

  37. By Wild Blue Yonder on Jan 22, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz,

    I’ll believe that BA will change when I see it. He’s too stubborn.
    There are several other things that BA needs to change also.
    Not to mention the things that Keim needs to change.

  38. By Wild Blue Yonder on Jan 22, 2017 | Reply

    Headline before the AFC Championship game: “Floyd inactive for Pats, Green for Steelers”
    Jan. 22, 2017 5:38 PM EST

    If all Floyd needed was a change of scenery, it apparently hasn’t helped him crack the lineup for the Pats.
    After all, he was a first round draft pick.

  39. By Wild Blue Yonder on Jan 22, 2017 | Reply

    Did anyone notice the praise, given by the announcers, to the OLines of the Falcons and Patriots?
    We can only wish that they’d say the same about the Cards’ OLine.
    Palmer probably wishes that also. 🙂

  40. By Cactus jeff on Jan 22, 2017 | Reply

    Obvious the key to football is the QB that plays the best wins.

    So her are the blueprints

    1 make your QB look awesome
    Patriots with (throw over the middle 10yards) Brady/Colts with.(duck throwing) Manning/Saints with Drew Brees… System QBs with great OLs and great weapons, average defenses.

    2 make their QB look awful
    Giants, Seahawks and broncos. Great secondary with a pass rush that collapses pocket while rushing only 4 along with an average offense with an average QB.

    Stud RBs and stud QBs do not win superbowls see Farve Elway in his prime, Andrew Luck and Arod. Ok Farve and Arod each have one without the adequate blueprints and Elway came close but that’s it. Adrian Peterson never came close. Neither did Walter Payton in his prime or Barry Sanders. Elway won 2 using blueprint 1

    Right now cards are moving in the direction of 2…they had a great blueprint 1 with Q and Fitz and they never added to it, they let it fall away. If they lose CC and Jones they will be cooked along with blueprint 2. I see a new GM and coach after next year, they lack direction. What kind of team do they want to be?

  41. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Some thoughts on the playoffs:

    Unbelievably poor coaching by the Steelers. No wonder Tom Brady has 19 TD and 0 ints versus them the last few times he’s played them, when they continue to play zone coverage. Chris Hogan was wide open all night. Wide open. He burned the Cardinals too when they tried to play zone, even with Garopollo as QB. The Pats can beat zones blindfolded. No one stretches or overloads a zone better, possibly ever. Even without Gronk.

    What a signing Chris Hogan was for them. 3 years @ $12M. Bills didn’t make a push to keep him. Just as the Browns cut WR Taylor Gabriel, who is having a fantastic year in ATL. Gabriel torched the Cardinals in ATL.

    Only one good, close game the whole playoffs—GB/DAL. Poor football quality.

    The Super Bowl should be a good matchup between the 2 best QBs in the NFL this year, Ryan and Brady. Interesting too that Dan Quinn, ATL HC, will now be coaching in his 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years—and that he should be very familiar with how to prepare for the Patriots, as he did as SEA DC two years ago.

    What a story line it would be if Boston College QB Matt Ryan finds a way to beat Brady and the Pats.

  42. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Wild BlueYonder—

    * BA remains somewhat of an enigma because he has shown a willingness to alter his philosophy from time to time.

    * For example, when he arrived 4 years ago he said all he wanted from his RBs was to be able to run and pass protect. He even went as far as to say that if they could do those 2 things well, he didn’t care if they could catch. Well, using david Johnson in the passing game has changed all of that, hasn’t it?

    * Example #2. BA expressed disdain for teams that employed the Wildcat. Well, when he saw how good K. Williams was running it on the scout team, he added it to his offense.

    * Thus, it would not completely surprise me if BA makes use of a FB this year. In fact, there is a FB at his alma mater Virginia Tech, Sam Rogers, who became quite a legend among the Hokie fans for his high-effort, super tough rushing, blocking, pass catching and STs play. I could see BA wanting to get his hands on him.

  43. By Wild Blue Yonder on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    How many times have the Cards scored on their first possession?

  44. By Darren Urban on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Wild Blue —

    RE: First possession

    I do not know. It was down this year compared to 2015.

  45. By clssylssy on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz…
    Always enjoy your very well thought out and insightful posts, don’t always agree 100% but mostly do. I do not think Fitz will be back, and from what I’ve read recently about BA now waiting to hear from Carson Palmer for a firm commitment, am beginning to have some doubts about Carson also. I certainly don’t look for BA to become less stubborn in years to come! Lip service is one thing but expecting change is a bit unrealistic at this stage of the game. Unfortunately, I think we missed our window of opportunity this year and are going to be in rebuilding mode again.
    JTDG…
    I’m not that impressed with Kizer either, because of his inaccuracy (something I’ve always been told was very hard to fix, especially now with the restrictions of the CBA) but he DOES fit the TYPE, BA likes…big and physical like Andrew Luck . I think that will get him farther in the draft than actual skill, just hope we don’t get “taken” believing we are better than we really are at developing talent.
    Other passers (which is what I think BA/SK would want) are Iowa’s CJ Beathard,
    Pitsburg’s Nate Peterman and Davis Webb from Cal, What are your thoughts on these guys? I think our priorities should be a top receiver like Williams and a Corner like LSU’s TreDaviours White, Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis or Iowa’s Desmond King but, believe we will end up drafting a QB just because. As I’ve said previously, I believe we would be better served picking up somebody like McCarron, (or somebody along those lines) and using our picks to fill out our positions of need or for trade.
    Watching the Championship Games yesterday, it was clear that we have to improve on our basic skills (like tackling, blocking, and making solid catches) as well as being able to win on the road and in strange time zones. For all the whoop-la made about Green Bay and Aaron Rogers the past couple of weeks, they just weren’t able to hold up on the road in a hostile environment like Atlanta (or as we have seen in Arizona) and then the same thing happened to the Steelers in Foxboro. And, defenses DO win Championships, hope we were taking notes!

  46. By Wild Blue Yonder on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff,
    Nice to see someone else coming on board re: “I see a new GM and coach after next year:.
    I posted several weeks ago that Keim and BA might be gone after next season, but definitely after 2018, when they either miss the playoffs or are eliminated when they lose the first game.
    Michael Bidwill wants a RING and won’t tolerate an inability to adapt (see Keim’s failure to draft well and BA;s unwillingness to change his offensive philosophy).
    He’ll say “YOU’RE FIRED”!!!

  47. By JTDG on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    clssylssy,

    McCarron;

    He could become a hot item this off season. I think he is a starter in this league.
    So, what are you willing to give up for him? How high and much draft picks?

    Cinncy will not let him go for nothing. They need a solid back up for 2017.

    Also, he sits behind Palmer this year, and then is a free agent. Are you comfortable giving him a big contract with the games you have seen him play so far?

    It makes sense for the Browns to trade for him. He could start day one. He knows the system, as Hue Jackson coached him in Cinncy. They also have tons and tons of cap space.

    But as good as it sounds for the cards to make a trade like that, it makes no sense if Palmer comes back for questions I listed above.

  48. By JTDG on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Clssylssy,

    Kizer;

    It is not that I am not impressed with him, it is he is very raw. If he wasn’t at Notre Dame, I think he would be a late 2 early 3.

    At this point, I compare him to Jacoby Brisett, who I think can become a starter at some point.

    Kizer would be a great QB to take a chance on in round 2. But for the 13th overall pick, well I don’t see that.

  49. By JTDG on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff,

    There is no doubt that when we had Warner rolling or Palmer doing his thing in 2015, that it was the main reason for our success.

    When you look at Cam vs Palmer in 2015 (top candidates for MVP that year), or Aaron Rodgers vs Matt Ryan, or Big Ben vs Brady, it is obvious, you need a good QB.

    Every now and then, you get a defense like ’15 Broncos, 85 bears or 2000 Ravens, but not often.

    Not to take away from Prescott, but giving him the best line in football, a great running game, and big time receivers, sure made life a lot easier for him.

    Matt Ryan made the jump when the Falcons concentrated on the Oline, adding Levitre, Mack, signing their own RT and drafting Mathews. With a solid oline, and two rbs, they weren’t done. They added receivers in Sanu and the kid from Cleveland to go with Jones.

    We watched Ryan try and do it with make shift olines and one receiver and it wasn’t good enough. We watch Andrew Luck go through the same thing. Heck, we watched Palmer this year have the same issues.

    The cards will win again if the follow the Falcons path. Give Palmer more weapons, and build an oline to protect him. A couple Olineman and another big time receiver is all it takes to get us back in the dance on offense. Build around Palmer in 2017,
    And Let’s Make the Cardinals Great Again. (sorry it was too easy)

  50. By mitchaz on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    classy—

    * Thanks for the feedback. I enjoy reading your posts as well and appreciate your knowledge and passion for our beloved Cardinals.

    * If Palmer and Fitz do not return, as is your premonition, what will SK and BA do? I’d be interested your thoughts and everyone’s thoughts on that. I am trying to come up with a Plan B myself.

    * I saw that you mentioned QBs Beathard, Peterman and Webb and having watched game tapes of all three, I can see the upside of each one. Of the three I like Peterman the best—the only question i have is whether they have enough of an “it” factor and arm strength to one day be a starter. I think they are all potentially solid #2 QBs.

    * It’s just not a great year for QB in the draft or FA. Thus, I am curious about the possible trade scenarios involving Garopollo and McCarron.

    JTDG—

    * Do you think Carson palmer would be willing to take a $5M base salary cut in order for the Cardinals to build up his line? That would reduce his 2017 cap number from $24.5M to $19.5M.

    * I am wondering whether SK and BA asked CP about taking a pay cut during their exit interview with him, which is why he is now contemplating his retirement, when he seemed pretty sure he was returning after the LA game.

    * What do you think of QB Jerod Evans of VA Tech? I saw him play a few times this year and I was very impressed with his size, delivery, arm strength, competitiveness and escapability. He is one of the few QBs I’ve seen the last couple years to carve up BC’s defense. Yes, at times he appears a little green, but the talent is intriguing. Way better prospect, imo, than Logan Thomas.

  51. By Cactus jeff on Jan 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG
    I am fine with blue print 1….go all in on the offensive side of the ball, make Carson Palmer into a MVP candidate if fitz returns They need a C, RG, a change up RB with a burst and a Sanu type WR in free agency. In the draft go best available in 1st round and then DBs.

  52. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz,

    Palmer; no, I think he has the cards where he wants them. No other options, so why take a cut. If Palmer is not the QB in 2017, we have zero chance and everyone knows it.

    Jared Evans ;

    To be honest, not sure he gets drafted. Saw the bowl game and not impressed. He can run, but inconsistent with throws. Just not NFL caliber.

  53. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2017 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff,

    I think they have to protect Palmer or plan on another 8-8 season.
    But I think the biggest difference in 2015 vs 2016 was receivers. John Brown was never healthy and Floyd was a mess.

    Cards must get another weapon at receiver in 2017. If Fitz leaves, they need two.

    An interesting FA at receiver is Terrence Williams. Big, fast, and decent hands. Could be a real nice signing.

  54. By Cactus jeff on Jan 24, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG
    I agree. Sanu or Jones would have been huge last year. Look at the improvement of QB play for both Stafford and Ryan, resulting in good years for both teams and a super bowl run.

    Therefore i like your direction but not in love with Williams. How about one of the WRs out of Denver. They may be in panic mode after not making playoffs.

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