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Age is but a number, as free agency moves on

Posted by Darren Urban on March 10, 2017 – 4:25 pm

Yes, the Cardinals have gotten older. There are caveats to that, though. Phil Dawson, at 42, is way older than Chandler Catanzaro, but then again, that’s one of the reasons the Cards have swapped Dawson for Cat Man, because they wanted someone proven in tough situations. Dawson has shown that (and the fact Dawson wanted to come to Arizona means something too.) Karlos Dansby is going to be 36 in November, but my guess is that Dansby is a bridge for an inside linebacker coming in the draft. (Besides, Dansby played pretty well last year in Cincy, and the Cards obviously felt strongly enough to swap him out for Kevin Minter.)

No, Antoine Bethea’s age doesn’t help in comparison to Tony Jefferson, but Jefferson was leaving regardless. And this is a deep draft in the secondary. I’m sure that has played a role in this too. But age was always going to be a big part of this season, with Carson Palmer (37 in December) and Larry Fitzgerald (34 in August) knowing they are nearing the end.

Said Dansby, when asked what it meant adding that age to the roster, “wisdom.”

— On a personal level, one press conference with Los reminds me how much fun it is to have him around.

— The Cardinals carve out some cap room not only by extending Chandler Jones but also by getting safety Tyvon Branch to take a paycut from $4 million to $2 million this season.

— Dawson comes to the Cardinals, while Catanzaro signed with the Jets and coach Todd Bowles Friday.

— I would still expect a free-agent guard at some point, but I don’t know if it will be soon. I haven’t heard anything, and it’s possible they are going to let the market settle some. The Cards under Steve Keim have usually added some key free agents after the first wave. I don’t see why it would be different this year. We’re barely a day in.


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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »


19 Responses to “Age is but a number, as free agency moves on”

  1. By joe holst on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    they should get several 3rd round compensatory picks next year so I think they should trade a future 3rd for DE now,

  2. By Scott H on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    So, Branch is making $2 million……is that one million for each time he was put on IR last year?

    Look, at some point, Dansby is finally going to look his age. I just hope it’s not this year. Hey, he always seems to play well in a Cardinals uniform, so…why not? Maybe he’ll do what he always does – he’ll have a great season here and he’ll cash it in for more money somewhere else next year!

    But until we see otherwise, we KNOW Dansby can play.

  3. By mal on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    Darren-

    Who stole Lisa’s box? Come on — get the poor girl a box to stand on when she’s reporting next to you. She looks like she’s standing in a hole.

  4. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: Lisa

    I can’t help if she’s vertically challenged.

  5. By Tom brady on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    No chance of Minter returning?

  6. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    Tom —

    RE: Minter

    Looking that way.

  7. By Jonathan on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    KARLOS KARLOS KARLOS KARLOS!!!!!!
    #DirtyBird
    #ThatsHugeMan
    #ThirdTimesTheCharm
    This is the biggest thing since “Dansby: Episode 2”
    How excited are you Darren?!?

  8. By shooter28 on Mar 10, 2017 | Reply

    Excellent signing !!!! Especially being AZ likely got a discount being he is 35!!! He is an upgrade over Minter though & will excel in AZs aggressive defense getting after the QB !!!! Dans by paired up with excellent top 10 ILB Deone Bucannon give the AZ Cardinals a very solid ILB Duo up the middle of their D. Bethea and Mathieu are both elite run stopping hard hitting safeties as well, run D won’t suffer with Jefferson/Calais gone.

  9. By Marlin on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    I met Darren one time, briefly at a game…… felt like I was standing in a hole too.

  10. By clssylssy on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    Bethea “elite”…dude, get a dictionary.
    While, I value veteran leadership and believe much of our failure last season was a result of loss of leadership on the defensive side of the ball, age doesn’t always equate with wisdom and leadership. Dansby, while being a good player is no Dwight Freeney and I think, while the damage was done last season, Keim’s going to have to do a whole lot better. Dansby has never been a “team first” kind of guy so I find his signing curious. Players want to go to a winning team and coming here is not as appealing as it once was (perhaps our rep for throwing players under the bus damaged our credibility factor).
    Even the Browns could give Keim a tutorial on FA dealing (once believed to be his strong point) and with the moves so far everybody BUT the Cards have gotten better, which leaves the draft which is usually even more painful than FA!
    Even the Redskins did better than the Cards who were officially a “loser” on NFL.com.

  11. By mitchaz on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    Day 2 FA Thoughts:

    Defections:

    K Chandler Catanzaro—very happy to see him get his next opportunity with the Jets. Despite his struggles the past couple of years, Catman battled through them and showed that he could persevere. He has a strong leg and a hunger to succeed. Sure hope he helps Todd Bowles win games, although with what’s going on with the Jets, Bowles is in a very tough position having to try to rebuild in year 3, amongst the clamoring of a rabid fan base and a daily media frenzy.

    Additions:

    OLB/DE Chandler Jones—5/$83M/$53Mg, which averages $16.6M a year…counting $11M versus the 2017 cap (adding $5M to this year’s cap space) and $18M in 2018 and beyond. Interestingly, the Patriots who did not want to pony up that kind of money to Jones, have invested similar money in CB Stephon Gilmore and traded yesterday for DE Kony Ealy, player similar to Chandler Jones (6-5, 276), but one who has underachieved in 3 seasons with Carolina (averaging 14 tackles and 4.8 sacks per season). If and when the Cardinals add a #2 CB, it will be interesting to compare Jones and that CB with Gilmore and Ealy.

    S Tyvon Branch—accepts a $2M salary cut to reduce his cap figure to $2M. This is a good move by the Cardinals and by Branch, who can improve his market with a good, bounce-back season. If you look at his career, this has been his pattern. He needs to start applying his speed and athleticism and a greater eagerness to tackle. Last year he looked sluggish and tentative.

    Grade: A-

    Steve Keim created $7M in additional cap room and while Jones’ contract is a hefty one, especially in terms of guaranteed money, Keim and Jones no longer have to field questions about Jones’ long-term future. I think that Jones can take his game to a higher level if the Cardinals move him around to exploit blocking mismatches inside and outside. Plus, Keim needs to add edge pass rushing depth, so that Jones can be used as an interior rusher from time to time and so that Jones can take some breathers in order to say fresh for the 4th quarter.

    As for Tyvon Branch, with Jefferson moving on, it is a golden opportunity for him to be the key matchup guy on TEs. Brach has the speed, length and athleticism to thrive in that role. Accepting the pay cut show that he recognizes how important this opportunity is, not just for the team but for his next contract.

  12. By dobie on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    seem to me that BA favors players that he as work with in the past and doesn’t look for other prospects the AARP team is in full bloom but I must say some of this older guys do play very so time will tell

  13. By jasonc on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    I think the moves they made are fine. I love Campbell and Jefferson and I’m happy that they were able to get the contracts they did, however, neither player is what I’d consider a “core” player. We have two double digit sack guys who I believe will be better this year (Golden is going into his 3rd year the normal breakout year and Jones will have a full year of experience in the defense) and a lockdown corner in Peterson so the cornerstones are there. I am most concerned about safety which is why bringing in a veteran who knows the system already is smart. Dansby is an upgrade to Minter who seemingly maxed out at a “solid” player. We have Gunter, Nkemdiche, Maruo, and Peters so there isn’t a void of talent on the d-line. I would think we still want to sign a veteran corner and an interior offensive lineman, but wait until free agency settles in and who is left still standing. I don’t think the o-line is a huge deal because we are returning 4/5 starters from last year and Boehm looked solid at the end of the year plus we tendered Wetzel who was solid in his backup role. This is a great draft for secondary players and wide receivers so I expect we will fill some of those deficiencies in the draft.

    We have the money positions filled (QB, CB1, LT, OLB) we just need to fill in some of the cracks and we will be fine. Special teams, o-line injuries, and dropped passes are what prevented us from being a playoff team last year…we are going to be fine.

  14. By CardsNation on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    Next year is gonna be an interesting year. Carson Palmer is probably gonna retire and he has a $20,625,000 cap hit in 2018 and a $24,125,000 this year. Larry has a $15,850,000 cap hit this year and he will retire as well. Plus the Cardinals lost many free agents for big money, as a result, they will also gain some draft picks as compensation. Next year’s free agency could be interesting with the amount of cap space we’ll have.

    This year’s draft is solid and loaded with talents, I want the Cardinals to trade down in the first round, perhaps the Texans. So we’ll have more early round draft picks. Guys like Hanson Reddick, Reuben Foster, Obi Melifonwu, Mike Williams, Corey Davis are all good fits for the Cardinals.

  15. By Jametruis Judge on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    We let Rashard Johnson and Jerrad Powers go last season, to only go and sign 3 old veterans this season. We need to bring back those guys. For one reason….our secondary was solid and consistent.

  16. By Big Ken on Mar 11, 2017 | Reply

    The Saint’s make interesting trade back partners. The Cardinals 13th pick for the Saints 32nd and 42nd picks plus something next year.

  17. By KMART on Mar 13, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    If Carson Palmer and Fitz retire next year, what amount of their 2018 cap hit will still count against the cap? Does the team get any cap relief when a player retires?

  18. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2017 | Reply

    KMart —

    RE: Palmer/Fitz

    If a player retires and he has years remaining on his contract (in this case, Palmer but not Fitz, who is signed only through this year), his salary obviously goes away. But I believe in both cases there will be some remaining cap hit for each. I’d have to look.

  19. By Scott H on Mar 14, 2017 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    RE: The Cards as a “loser” so far

    Hate to say it, but….I’d have to agree with anyone placing the Cardinals in the category of a loser so far this off-season. With the moves that have transpired so far…..yeah, I think they are one of the losers. And “lose” is the operative word here. I think they are one of the losers simply because they have lost more than they have gained. That’s a pretty simple concept.

    Having Fitz and Palmer get back on board really got this off-season off on the right foot for me. I was psyched. But the loss of THREE key defensive players right out of the gate has thrown a wet blanket over that pretty quick. No, I’m not bailing out on my hopes for a big 2017. And, no, I’m not predicting a losing season or a .500 season as some have. But….

    with where it stands right now? I find it hard to be as psyched as I want to be. I guess I’m hoping for that “wow” move like the trade for Jones was last year ( when it seemed like FA was pretty blah for the Cardinals up to that point ). Getting Fitz and Palmer back on board had me in WOW mode. FA – so far – has brought it back down to earth.

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