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Across from Patrick Peterson, a revolving door

Posted by Darren Urban on June 16, 2017 – 10:05 am

It’s the dead time between the end of minicamp and training camp, and again, there is the question: Who will be the cornerback starting across from Patrick Peterson? As it stands, Justin Bethel is the leader in the clubhouse, although he was that at this time last year (despite a foot injury) and he never started a game. As we talked about in the latest Cardinals Underground podcast, Bethel has looked better than he had. Health helps. But until the pads come on and the games count, it’s impossible to know for sure.

But it got me to thinking about the position since Patrick Peterson arrived. Peterson, the fifth overall pick in 2011, had a learning curve himself when he was drafted. He wasn’t a great cornerback as a rookie, but he was solid. And he started all 16 games. His cohort opposite? It has not been the same player two years in a row, and that’s a trend that will continue this season regardless of whether it is Bethel or a veteran who might sign before camp or whoever.

2011 — Richard Marshall 9 starts/A.J. Jefferson 7 starts: Jefferson actually was the starter coming out of camp, but he faded quickly and was replaced by the veteran Marshall. Marshall was OK. He was probably better known as one of the better punt return blockers that got Peterson loose for his spectacular rookie year as a return man.

2012 — William Gay 15/Greg Toler 1: Gay signed as a free agent but was up and down. He immediately went back to Pittsburgh, where he was better suited and still starts. Then again, 2012 wasn’t good for any of the Cardinals. Remember 4-0 that year?

2013 — Jerraud Powers 16: One of the first free agents signed after Steve Keim and Bruce Arians took over. Powers was steady, although he was probably better suited in the slot. The Cardinals had Tyrann Mathieu plans there, so Powers dutifully worked the outside, and he was fine.

2014 — Antonio Cromartie 16: Cro was the ultimate Keim blue light special. Came in, was mostly good (although there were a few high-profile hiccups, especially later in the season when the team struggled) and made the Pro Bowl. But he wasn’t going to re-sign for cheap again, the Jets made him a big offer, and Cromartie started showing his age in New York.

2015 — Powers 13/Justin Bethel 3: Powers was disappointed but a team player when the Cards upgraded to Cromartie, and stepped back in the breech as the only two-time Peterson companion (Bethel’s starts came during Powers’ injuries.) Again, he was solid for a team that made the NFC Championship. But the Cardinals wanted to upgrade, there was belief Bethel could take a step forward, and Powers was allowed to leave in free agency when the sides couldn’t match up on the money it would take to keep him around.

2016 — Marcus Cooper 13/Brandon Williams 3: We know the story by now. Bethel was the pick, but was hurt. Mike Jenkins was the likely starter before blowing out his knee in preseason. The veteran Cooper was the late trade before the season, and got the spot after the rookie Williams showed he was clearly not ready after being the early choice. Cooper left as a free agent, getting a surprisingly nice deal in Chicago. And here we are again.


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Posted in Blog | 46 Comments »


46 Responses to “Across from Patrick Peterson, a revolving door”

  1. By Matt on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Darren has Harlan Miller been working as a corner and if so is he a major threat to take the No. 2 spot from Bethel?

  2. By Darren Urban on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: Miller

    Miller is a safety.

  3. By Scott H on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, HERE WE ARE AGAIN. And THAT is the on-going problem. Nothing has sustained on the other side. And how we managed to get through this off-season with virtually nothing being done to address the CB position on the other side is just mind boggling.

    Let’s face it, we have nothing but hope that Justin Bethel will suddenly become something he has never been – an effective CB. Really, that’s what we have here right now. And it’s great that he has looked good in shorts, during OTA’s. But as Darren correctly points out, we can’t gauge anything from that.

    The scary truth is that by the time we actually know for sure whether Bethel can handle this or not, it may be too late. I mean, what can we really do about it at that point? Hope that another Marcus Cooper – who really wasn’t the answer, anyway – falls into our laps??

    Sorry, but after we were promised an aggressive off-season, I was expecting better than this.

  4. By Darren Urban on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Aggressive

    I’m sorry, I’ve finally got to say something about this.

    Scott, you’re not the only one to say it, many others here have too. But …

    The Cardinals say they will be aggressive every year in the offseason. Every single year. And every single team does. Look around. Look back. It’s true.

    Your definition of aggressive and their definition might not be the same. They traded up in the draft for Baker. They grabbed Bethea when he became available, and signed a few free agents right away. For a group planning on a certain offseason, they saw that as aggressive. The departures of Campbell/Jefferson and even Cooper might have been painful for the fans, but the club had a good idea what they would get paid and were never going to bring them back at those prices. So that was never a surprise internally.

    Again, this isn’t about just you Scott, but the word “aggressive” to fans means signing two or three big names. It means jumping on some guy who is suddenly cut (who usually has warts, which is why he is suddenly cut). That’s not how many front office types see it. Yes, I know the Patriots, for one, did jump on guys. But if this team traded away Chandler Jones and/or Jamie Collins, there would be an uprising. But that was aggressive, to say the least.

    Finally, I’m not saying what the Cards have done is right or wrong. We will see in September.

  5. By Tradersbrain on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    This is what makes me wonder why move up to draft Baker, basically a Honey Badger clone, when there were a number of solid cornerbacks available. Is he insurance against another Mathieu season ending injury? I understand now why Mathieu has been “all business” because it is obvious that the organization paid a premium to draft his replacement.

  6. By Darren Urban on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Traders —

    RE: Baker

    Insurance is possible. I think they also loved him a lot — more than the “solid” cornerbacks available.

  7. By cardcor on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Just my opinion, but even if we’d drafted the best CB available at #13, that player would not beat out Bethel for the upcoming season across from PP.

    For what it’s worth, also IMO, most of the gyrations could have been avoided just by keeping Gregg Toler.

    Never going to be able to afford TWO PP’s.

  8. By Darren Urban on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Cardcor —

    RE: Toler

    Good guy, but he had trouble staying healthy and he’s had his issues playing elsewhere.

  9. By D on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    What is the saying, hind sight is 20-15?

    Top 3 Rounds of AZ draft since Mr. Peterson has been here:

    2012- 1–Floyd
    2– none
    3– Fleming CB
    2013- 1–Cooper G
    2– Minter LB
    3–HoneyBadger CB
    2014- 1– Dbuc S/LB
    2– Niklas TE
    3– Brown WR
    2015– 1–Humphries OT
    2– Golden OLB
    3– Johnson RB
    2016– 1– Nkemdiche DE
    2– none
    3–Williams CB
    2017 1–Reddick LB
    2- Baker S
    3– Williams WR

    16 draft picks, 3 CB’s drafted. Easy to say they should have drafted more CB’s but the draft is a crap shoot and needs differ every year.

    My idea of aggressive would be to use one or two of the extra draft picks in 2018 to attempt to facilitate a trade…for a J. Shaw or D. Dennard from Cincy….I know it takes 2 to tango…

  10. By creditcard on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    The reason why the Denver Broncos have shown great CB success has stemmed from their defense’s ability to provide a quality up the middle internal pass rush / pressure. Timing routes, vision, and an ability / inability to step toward the line of scrimmage all contribute to the success / failure of a completion.

    My opinion (plus a couple of dollars buys a cup of coffee), is that the CB2 position is more visible as to its’ success / failure than than a poor middle / internal pass rush. Pass rush pressure from the corner is important, but those teams that can generate a quality internal pass rush — seems like always have successful CBs.

  11. By cardcor on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Anybody that wants to disagree with me, that’s fine, but here it is, Teams avoid throwing into PP’s coverage like the plague. WHOEVER is on the other side is gonna get tested to the MAX, time after time. If you think a rookie is standing up to that? You’re nuts. If Bethel can’t hold up against the onslaught, the only other team option is the CF kid. Other than that it would take an experienced FA.

    Our pass rush is what will be critical to whoever plays across from PP, and to PP himself.

  12. By steve on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: How much, in your opinion, does economics play in the decision by Cards brass to not truly upgrade the other CB spot opposite PP? Peterson is a Pro-Bowler and among the highest paid at his position so it would seem that the Cards do not want to throw a lot more money at the position but have chosen the band-aid approach instead. Cards fans deserve better.

  13. By Darren Urban on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: CB/economics

    When you say “economics” is that code for being cheap? Because at this point, arguing the Cardinals are cheap, IMO, is a tired narrative.

    Now, if “economics” is, they aren’t willing to pay for another PP-type cornerback, no they are not. They have two well-paid DBs — Pat P and Tyrann. They aren’t going to pay big money to another cornerback. It would leave a hole somewhere. The best FA CBs get paid that kind of dough. Those left over after — for instance, the Cro-in-2014 types — have to play for a certain amount if they want to come here. The Cards have a philosophy, both in how they analyze players and in how much they are willing to pay older guys/FAs.

    You can argue they should’ve used a high pick on a cornerback. But they have decided to go with their BPA look at least for their early picks, and that’s translated into no CBs before the third round. (Williams was a risk, and we will see if that ends up being a mistake or not).

    Finally, when it comes to fans “deserve better.” Obviously, the team wants to win and that’s in part for the fans. But football people have to do things the way they think is the right way. It’s one thing to do it like that, have it not work, and lose your job. If you start doing your job just to please the fans and then you lose your job, I’m guessing most would think that’s pretty dumb.

  14. By Matt on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Despite us needing a cb2 really badly, I think a QB is much more important because we’ve seen what this team did without a serviceable QB in 2014 and Drew Stanton has regressed a lot since then. Obviously Gabbert isn’t the option. WR is also an option that I’m sure we would have addressed had Mike Williams or Corey Davis been available. Especially if we don’t decide to keep Smokey and Fitz retires (hopefully not), this is a major need. I’m hoping that Brandon Williams progresses and he could be a good corner. Not that optimistic about Bethel. If we’re gonna trade those compensatory picks which Arians and Keim would probably do cause no risk it, no biscuit, we should use them to get a high first round pick to get one of those guys.

  15. By Matt M on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    (It’s not letting me reply, but this is for Matt ^)
    Call me crazy, but I actually feel that Blaine Gabbert would be a somewhat effective starter once palmer retires. He was drafted 13th overall back in 2013, so he has the physical tools to be a quality QB. I think that the reason that he’s struggled so much in past years is that he’s had horrible offensive schemes and supporting casts to work with in Jacksonville and San Francisco. Also Bruce arians would find a way to utilize his mobility (quarterback option plays would be effective with defenses watching johnson all the time). I’m not saying that he’s our franchise quarterback for the forseeable future, but I think he can be a good stop-gap quarterback until we find someone new in the draft.

  16. By Scott H on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    OK, thanks for all that. Yeah, I’ve been harping on the “aggressive thing….but I stand by it.

    Look, this whole thing we do here, the blog, is about opinions. And in my humble opinion, this off-season did not fit a reasonable definition of aggressive. BUT in response to your point, I will re-phrase – it did not fit MY definition of aggressive. And as you say – no, I am not the only one who felt that way. More on this at the end.

    No, I don’t think for a minute the organization told the fans they intended to be aggressive and then went out and played it cheap. I am quite sure when Keim said they were going to be aggressive, he intended to do so.

    But….for a team that believes it is a legit contender right now? And for a team that had a gaping hole at CB? No, I think they came up short. Despite any EFFORTS they made, that need does not appear to have been addressed. As you say, we have to wait to see how this plays out

    And BTW, I never said they had to sign big names. Simply adding big names doesn’t assure anything. IMHO, the Cardinals could have done SOMETHING to up-grade at CB without breaking the bank or adding a “big” name. When I saw the trade for Brandon Carr, who I consider to be a solid CB but certainly not a household name, my reaction was….yeah, THAT is the kind of guy we need on the other side. THAT is a guy who can hold his own ( and then some ) over there. But I saw no efforts being made to address an obvious need with ANY player who was a clear up-grade over the question mark that is Justin Bethel.

    The departures you mentioned – Campbell and Jefferson – were probably in-evitable. I have acknowledged that with both players. I have expressed concerns about the EXTENT of the departures on defense but have not criticized the team for losing either of those players. But i find it interesting that you don’t mention Swearinger’s name. Because I saw him a player ( and a play maker ) that we did NOT have to lose. I’ve said we may very well regret that one. So, for me, some of this is also about good, solid players we lost that seemed quite retainable but they are now gone.

    My closing point is this – my definition of aggressive comes from this very same organization and what I saw them do last year. They ended 2014 with a glaring need for a pass rusher and they ACTED. Big time. They did what they needed to do to get a bona fide up-grade to address the need. THAT was aggressive.

    IMHO, I believe they ended the 2016 season with a glaring need at CB. Do you blame me for seeing it that way?? Based on the efforts I saw THEM make just a year before to address a glaring need, I was hoping to see something along the same lines. When they said they were gonna be aggressive…..why was I wrong for expecting them to be as aggressive as I’ve seen them be in the past?

  17. By Darren Urban on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Blame

    I don’t blame you for seeing anything any way.

    But as I’ve said before, like you all have opinions, so do I. I just needed to respond on that one.

  18. By steve on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: When I said “economics” I meant the salary cap in particular. I never said ownership was “cheap” but you naturally made that assumption. The Cards after having given extensions to PP and HB don’t appear to have given the opposite CB position much priority. The BPA theory the Cards take I feel, is more the philosophy of taking the “best available player at a position we think we need.” I get the feeling BA and Keim are happy with the CB situation and could have very well bypassed higher rated players who play CB early in the draft because that’s not the direction that they want to go. We all know that the Cards defense is designed to blitz the majority of the time and leave their corners alone on an island, so you better have 2 damn good one’s who can cover, not just one. The position has become somewhat of a consistently revolving door and black hole characterized by mediocrity and below average play so no I don’t think it’s “pretty dumb” for Cards fans to want to see upgrades made there, which you apparently disagree with.

  19. By Darren Urban on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Dumb

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Re-read what I wrote. I never said it was dumb for Cards fans to want upgrades.

  20. By shooter28 on Jun 16, 2017 | Reply

    I think fans are being far to overly emotional about the CB Depth. For one Arizona could still pick someone up just like they did last season, and it is pretty much a guarantee that AZ will sign 1-2 free agents who are still on the market.
    AZ also has pretty solid CB depth , the secondary is ranked as a top 5 unit and will be one of the best in the league , especially given the caliber of pass rush AZ has up front.
    Once his foot healed up last year, it was night & day w/ Justin Bethel on the field once he was healthy. Bethel was greatly, greatly improved on the field once he was healthy & has worked on his game all off season. CB Brandon Williams made great strides, he was a lot better by the end of the year & two has worked on his game all off season. Elie Bouka at 6″1/205pds with 4.3spd has elite measurables/athleticism, and the team is very high on him, we will see what he looks like in TC Camp…

    The starting secondary right now looks very good, very, very few teams have more secondary talent & EVERY team practically has secondary questions, so I fail to see what fans are crying about when u look at the level of talent in AZs secondary, they can’t all be super stars.

    AZs #1 All-Pro CB Patrick Peterson, he is the best CB in the NFL. All-Pro ST & #2CB Justin Bethel healthy will be an above-avi #2CB. In the slot AZ has arguably the best FS/CB in the NFL in All-Pro FS/CB Tyrann Mathieu now 100% healthy and back to form, and in AZs nickel defense (which they are in the vast majority of the time) top rookie prospect 5″10/200pd beast FS/CB Budda Baker & Pro-Bowl 5″11/209pd SS Antoine Bethea will all be on the field at the same time w/ 6″1/210pd Tyvon Branch in a rotational role. In back-up roles AZ will likely have 6″! Brandon Williams, 6″1 Ellie Bouka, Box SS/CB 6ft Rudy ford 5″11 FS Harlan Miller with Sojourn Shelton very likely on the PS. Book also could be a candidate for the Practice Squad. The point is that Arizona has an extremely talented secondary, and the roster isn’t a finished product , its a work in progress with more talent yet to be added.

  21. By Scott H on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    OK, I guess we’re done! And that’s fine. There was another point I thought of after my previous response that I will include now because it’s totally valid to the discussion. The whole point of this article was to illustrate how, since the arrival of PP, there has been a failure to plant an effective player on the other side of the field in the other CB spot. Yes? Now, if you don’t like the use of the word failure…..OK. But regardless of how it’s stated, the end result is the same.

    So, really, this isn’t about what didn’t get done THIS off-season – this is a continuation of a need that hasn’t been effectively addressed for the last SIX off-seasons. Based on that, I respectfully submit that my frustration seems reasonable.

    And given that this organization HAS shown true aggressiveness in the recent past in addressing their needs, it was disappointing that we just didn’t seem to see it this time around.

  22. By steve on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: Fair enough, but please don’t put words in my mouth either. I never said ownership was cheap or that Mgmt should cater solely to the whims of what the fans want. We have two corners vying for the starting CB position opposite PP, both have very limited experience playing the position and both have not played very well up to this point. Bethel last season was called by BA “a failure in progress.” I’m not suggesting the team go out and money whip a high ticket free agent or even spend their first rd pick on a corner but I feel Keim and BA could do a better job of creating better competition at a position that once again looks to be our weak link on defense.

  23. By Big Ken on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    RE: Miller Towards the end of the season he was looking good. He had gotten into some games. Quiet all season I had wondered if he was still on the team.

  24. By shannon robinson on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    Shooter28: good analysis of the CB room. I have a couple to add: Ryan Lewis is very fast and clocked a 4.4 40 at his pro day. He’s intriguing because of our ties to the Pittsburgh scene. They must have noticed him while they were scouting Dorian Johnson. I don’t want to waive Gump Hayes until he gets on the field in pads. It’s important to support home industries like ASU.We were emphatic in signing Sojourn Shelton, offering him $25,000 for an undrafted rookie free agent contract – a guy we were going to draft in the 7th if we hadn’t needed the pick to choose Rudy . Ford. The coolest move last year for me was stashing Elie Bouka on the Injured Reserve after he’d gone through some training camp. Ronald Zamort was on our roster at the tag end of last year and looked good on special teams, so I owe him some loyalty. And finally we added a 4 year veteran who is more than a camp body on a Steve Keim prove it deal who nobody

  25. By Scott H on Jun 17, 2017 | Reply

    shooter28 & steve –

    I am making a combined response to both of your positions. Shooter, you call our defensive backfield an “extremely talented secondary.” Well….respectfully, I have to say I think you are a bit too far down the road with that. Look, we know PP is an elite CB and we know that The Honey Badger has extraordinary ability. But we haven’t seen that extraordinary ability since late 2015. Beyond that? There is just nothing there that is proven enough to be referred to as “extremely” talented. I can’t go there with you. Yet. I hope to join you soon, though!

    BUT, your point about how it is a work in progress cannot be ignored, either. Yes, we have yet to see what a healthy Bethel can do. A lot hinges on him.

    steve, you seem to share my concern for the question marks that lie beyond PP and a HEALTHY Honey Badger. We have no idea if he is ALL THE WAY back to being the player we have seen before OR how long he will stay that way. Nothing / no one beyond them is proven in the least. With the un-knowns that exist here, it IS fair to consider our secondary a potential weak link.

    The reality, most likely, falls somewhere between Shooter’s confidence and steve’s skepticism. And mine, too.

  26. By mitchaz on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    Darren—

    I don’t know if you realize this or mean this, but some of your rants to the fans on this board (like your most recent one) come off sounding resoundingly condescending and didactic.

    The fans on this board are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate Cardinals’ fans on the planet, which is why I am one of the many who read your blogs every day.

    Mike Sando of ESPN has been very critical of the Cardinals’ moves (or lack of moves) this off-season — he and a host of others.

    Steve Keim did assure the fans while interviewed at the Combine that he was going to be “aggressive” in FA — he said “I owe it to the fans to put the most competitive team possible on the field.” “I will never use the term rebuild.”

    There is just no way that anyone can apply the term “aggressive” with regard to what the Cardinals did in free agency. What Keim did was “passive aggressive” at best.

    Had Keim said that he was going to take a more conservative approach this off-season by adding 3-4 low-budget veterans and infusing the roster with youth through the draft and UDFAs—then fans wouldn’t be scratching their heads.

  27. By Darren Urban on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz —

    RE: Comments

    All I can say is the same thing I said to Scott — you post your opinions, I post mine.

    I don’t necessarily feel the need to respond to most comments. Sometimes I feel strongly enough to do so. I don’t know why, since many here clearly feel strongly about a subject when they post and write as such, I cannot be as strong. I will say that how I answer comments is no different than I have for the last 10 years or so.

    Again, my point with the “aggressive” thing is the Cardinals (and most teams) say that every single year. Why? Because what else are they going to say?

  28. By Big Ken on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    Happy Father’s Day Mr. Urban and all bloggers that are Dad’s.

  29. By mitchaz on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    Fair enough, Darren. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into your work and it is a joy to visit your blog everyday.

    With the Cardinals the words and the music don’t always match, so at times it gets a little confusing when you hear one thing and get another.

    Like Kent Somers has been saying recently, “this time of you we need to put an asterisk next to everything BA says.”

  30. By Richard S on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    ESPN has a good Father’s Day Story about A.Q. Shipley and his dad going golfing every year. A.Q. made a vow to take his father golfing every year it said after he was drafted in the 7th round. I wonder how many 7th rounder stick around that long to do such a thing.

  31. By faster on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    powers, chromartie, bethel, cooper, i don`t see them as busts. and williams is for me the future, the question is, how long will he need, to start?

    and, cbs are not released early, so i`m waiting, before the season starts with the roster cutdown, there will be solid cbs on the market, and maybe we will see a “aggressive” move then.

    now, i`m relaxed and waiting.

    remember, the big problem last season was special teams, and imo thats fixed (at last at the paper). that means nine wins and a playoff spot.

    and then …. ha, dreamin … i want my dream bowl from last year with brady vs pp, frostee and karlos, and palmer and fitz vs. butler and hightower….

  32. By Scott H on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: the Cardinals ( and most teams ) say that every single year. Why? Because what else are they going to say?

    I get that. But….then what? We, as fans, are supposed to HEAR that and then not EXPECT it? No, I’m sorry, that is not realistic. IMHO, you say you are going to be aggressive and then not expect your fans to have a gripe if what you do does not appear that way. That’s just not the real world. Um….especially when your team just moved into the top spot on the list of pro sports teams on planet earth that have gone the longest without winning a championship. Thank you, Chicago Cubs.

    This fan base is hungry. And when people are hungry, you can’t promise food and then not make it happen. Yeah, that may be an extreme analogy, but….you get the point.

    I do get what you are saying…..an NFL GM could hardly come out and say we’re not gonna be aggressive in trying to improve right now, maybe next year, we’ll have to see how it plays out. THAT would cause rioting in the streets. But by the same token, teams have to be just as careful of vowing to be aggressive ( or anything else )and then not really achieving it. As a fan, at that point, I can’t just shrug it off as, well, they had to tell us that. What else were they going to say?

    So, in response to the question of what else are they going to say….I don’t see where they are “trapped” into saying we are going to be aggressive. Hey, maybe words need just to be chosen more carefully.

  33. By Darren Urban on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: One more on “aggressive”

    I’ll conclude my thoughts on this by saying again, with how they see things, they may see what they have done as aggressive. It just may not match up with others.

  34. By Joe Cardea on Jun 18, 2017 | Reply

    What did we lose in the secondary this off season? Tony Jefferson, undrafted free agent, DJ Swearinger, cast off reject on his last chance team. Marcus Cooper, training camp trade for a seventh rounder. There is talent out there and we may have and are going to aggressively pursue it. It doesn’t mean splashy high priced free agents. If you count signing C Jones we were aggressive at LB, got a top safety, signed a very good tight end, moved up in the draft for a young safety. Who knows what unexpected stars will emerge ala David Johnson etc We are legit nfc west contenders, if not favorites, and I’ll take that. And we are very well positioned for next years draft with the comp picks. And our cap is in great shape. We should be contenders for the nfc west as far as the eye can see. I’ll take that too.

  35. By Marlin on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    “Aggressive” also means signing Chandler Jones to a HUGE contract and keeping him a Cardinal. “Aggressive” also means grabbing a Gabbert as a 3rd QB option. “Aggressive” also means picking up Bucannon’s 5th year even though he is hurt. “Aggressive” also means resigning Gresham to a multi-year deal. I thought that, considering cap limitations, the Cards were pretty aggressive this offseason….. as Keim has always been.

  36. By Scott H on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    As I find to be just about always the case, you are right on with what I am thinking.

    Yes, I have noted plenty of opinion among the media about the exodus of players from the Cardinals this off-season and it being openly questioned as to whether the Cardinals ARE still a legit contender as a result. That IS out there. So…it’s not just me / us. And it’s not that I have concern because I hear the media expressing concern. I have my own concerns FIRST, on my own. When I hear it being echoed among the media, then I take at least SOME validation from that.

    Bottom line – MY OPINION – the Cardinals do remain a very talented team and I believe they should be a legit contender in the NFC, where there is no other team that appears poised to be un-touchable.

    And, yes, we agree that we – as fans – had every right to expect aggressiveness in FA because we heard the GM say that was the plan.

    You have my utmost respect and regard because you are as passionate as they come when it comes to being a fan of this team. BUT you are also able to question / criticize / have concerns AND appreciate that others do as well. I live and die with this team every week. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother having all of the opinions I do.

  37. By clssylssy on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    As usual, I find Scott, Mitchaz, and a few others echoing my thoughts so I feel us “oldtimers” aren’t getting soft in the head but have the advantage of history on our side . “Actions speak louder than words” whether we’re talking being “aggressive” or financial matters and it seems that while Keim was able to find a middle ground a few years ago in signing those one year gems, we all knew it was a stop gap to get us to a place where we had some wiggle room. Was there no longterm plan that included winning (and therefore being at the end of the draft)? It’s obvious that the front office churns out a lot of useless white noise and it’s going to take something short of a miracle to get us where we think we should be this season. All of these lists that come out this time of year that we all hate (unless we are ranked) have the Cardinals mention only one time,as having the #1 Linebacker Room with Honorable mention for the safeties (*IF Tyrann Mathieu returns to his previous form)–no mention of CBs, WRs, D-line, which I find bothersome even unthinkable!
    Yes, we have talented young players but to get to that next level we need playmakers, strong players with some grit and physicality, and we need a FO that does more than talk the talk, they need to walk the walk and stay in the present. Even the Titans signed Eric Decker and, have been getting some very favorable press by the national news.
    If I had to bet, I would say Tony Jefferson has a better chance at a SB ring than Fitz does…very sad.

  38. By Scott H on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    Joe –

    RE: What did we lose….?

    Well, it’s just as valid to ask what did we gain? But I hear ya. Yes, we did gain Bethea…..remains to be seen.

    But I object to your dismissal of players like Jefferson and Swearinger. You want to dismiss Jefferson as an UFA and Swearinger as a “cast off reject on his last chance team.” Please. That is too easy AND not fair to either player. TJ was a very solid player for this team. I don’t care that he was un-drafted. And Swearinger was a play-making machine for us last year. I don’t care what you say he was before he was a Cardinal, let’s look at what he gave us after he got here. THAT is the player we lost.

    Look, I don’t care if the guy who fixed my car and did it right is a certified mechanic or not. If he can do the job, he can do the job, and that’s the guy I want.

  39. By mitchaz on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    Scott–

    What is significant about the Cardinals’ FA approach this year is that no multi-year commitments were made to signing players (from other teams) who are entering their primes, as in entering year 5. The Cardinals made such signings in the past with Veldheer and Iupati,

    Instead, SK signed aging veterans to assume leadership roles…signed a couple of prove-it deals (1 year) to Jarvis Jones and Blaine Gabbert…and devoted the rest of his attention to the draft.

    The one “aggressive” thing Keim did do was go practically all-out to accumulate 2018 compensatory draft picks. Which signals to me — and maybe I am missing something (Darren please advise) — that this off-season plan smacks as a rebuild.

    Which is fine if the GM and the HC concur that they are 2-3 years away from being legit SB contenders.

    The problem is though that the GM and HC want the fans to believe in a different narrative — and as Darren points out, they are not going to say anything other than they are being aggressive in their pursuit of a championship, particularly since Fitz and Carson are still in the house.

    What’s interesting is that BA and his staff do not like to play rookies — but this year because of the lack of FA additions, BA and his staff have no other choice. The question is whether BA and his staff can get playoff caliber play from young and old in all 3 phases.

  40. By JTDG on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    Well Darren, you took on the most controversial topic the cards have for 2017. Then you even through in your opinion !! Hats off to you.

    I agree with Mitch, Scott and others comments, but I will also take Steve Keim’s side a little to be fair.

    I look at 2016. The cards almost got to the superbowl but fell short. We were sold, it was all or nothing, find those players, that CB, and win this thing for the fans finally !!!! After all, we are the team with the longest streak of not winning a championship.
    This is where I really feel Keim fell flat and missed an opportunity. There were 3 moves I thought Keim at the time could have made, to help us over the hump.

    -One, either restructure Campbell or trade him – His 15 million dollar cap had to be reduced. A restructure may have kept him here and reduced his cap #.
    -Two, add offensive lineman – two guys who I wanted (who combined 2016 cap hit was around 10 million) was Alex Mack and Alex Boone.
    -Three – signing that CB2 – I wanted to sign Casey Hayward.

    Instead, he kept Campbell at a 15 million hit and then lost him to FA. Signed Mathis and Shipley who were huge down grades to the guys I wanted and drafted a RB who had one year at CB ever under his belt as day one starter. This was inexcusable to me and combining this with the absolute fiasco in the kicking game at kicker and punter, to me called for Keim to be fired. Terrible job.

    So, as we enter 2017, and we still have the same question at CB2, after experiencing the best CB draft since I can remember, not to mention questions at several other spots, I have lost hope that Keim will get us a team that can win it all. I have my season tickets, and I will root for my home team, but superbowl? What do we do when the Falcons, Packers, Giants, Panthers and all their firepower on offense are in our way? Not to mention Seahawks and the mystery team Tampa. Not sure we did anything to get past these teams? Seriously, what did we do to improve ? Bethea over Jefferson ? Yeah Ozzie Newsome pays guys big bucks because they are bad. Well, we got rid of our kickers. Yep, that is about it.
    So, When the Giants are in our way, If Pat P takes OBJ, do you think Bethel can handle Brandon Marshall ?

    The cards went to the Superbowl in 2008, and then got close in 2015. But they have 6 winning seasons in 29 years in the valley. With a losing one in 2016. Take that how ever you want. To me, you have to win a championship to change that perception.

    So, was it an aggressive offseason? Did they do what they needed to do to win. Are they a superbowl team, filling the holes they needed to with proven players that can get them over the top?

    You tell me?

  41. By JTDG on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    Whoops, I had some things in to show the previous drafts (13-15) really gave Keim little opportunity to get a solid CB2, but took it out because it was too long.

    So the comment;
    I agree with Mitch, Scott and others comments, but I will also take Steve Keim’s side a little to be fair.
    Really doesn’t make sense.

  42. By Scott H on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    Glad you’re back! Seemed like you were off the grid for a bit.

    I find no arguement to what you are saying. But….at this point, I can’t think of anything new to say about it. I’m getting tired of my own rants! So….onward.

    Nkemdiche is such a key to this season. IF he is really ready to go and can really give us a presence this year, the loss of Campbell is minimized. That seems like a lot to ask. But….I hope for it just the same.

    A healthy Badger AND a healthy Bethel AND a healthy Branch AND a Bethea that has enough left in the tank to be effective will go a long way toward making the secondary fine. But…again, a lot to ask. Look, give me back the Honey Badger of 2015 ( before the injury ) and a decent Bethel and I’ll be happy. Unless Bethea picks this year to just hit the wall, I have to think he will be solid. Give me those things, and whatever we get from everyone else will be gravy.

    Fact is, I do not think this team is going to win a SB with their defense. They don’t even seem capable of being that good. If this team going to win a SB, it is going to be with a solid D and an offense riding the arm of Carson Palmer playing pretty much at his best and an MVP caliber season from DJ. The good news is, DJ DOES seem capable of that kind of season and Palmer was definitely on the up-swing over the last month of the season.

    But perhaps our biggest need is for the O-line to stay healthy. We got slammed by injuries early on last year and it was too much to overcome. Palmer just isn’t good under too much pressure. But when protected, he can be every bit as good as we need him to be.

    We need the offense to be great. We need the defense to be solid. We need the ST’s to not suck.

  43. By Joe C. on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H., my point is that those three players were not considered “aggressive” acquisitions. Nor was David Johnson. So when people say the Cardinals have not been aggressive, first while I would not say they have been very aggressive, I wouldn’t say they haven’t been aggressive for the reasons I listed above. Second, we have a lot of pieces. A couple surprise performers and we’re really good. We’re already good enough to win the nfc west and that’s a damn good start. If we had Seattle’s team we’d have a lousy o-line, no running back, medium receivers, and an aging secondary. Perspective.

  44. By CARDS62 on Jun 19, 2017 | Reply

    I made my points on this on several other posts but short and sweet.
    – I am not happy with our CB or OL moves this off season.
    – There is still time for Steve Keim to work his magic and we have cap room so I will stay positive.
    – Our Super Bowl window is closing fast we have to strike now.
    – I guarantee you with our CBs currently on the roster we will not win a Super Bowl.

    This is easy to spot but so was having Money Mike in our backfield and how long did that go on? We are knowledgeable fans, but Keim and BA are our guys now and they have to see what we see even clearer so I remain hopeful.

    GO Cards!

  45. By Scott H on Jun 22, 2017 | Reply

    Joe –

    I previously posted a reply to you but for some reason, I’m not seeing it. But the bottom line was, I appreciated your thoughts and the idea of perspective.

    I also have no idea why that post is getting nothing but thumbs downs. I think it makes a very valid point. Go figure, huh?

  46. By Joe Cardea on Jun 24, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks Scott. I tink we have a solid team. With all the surprises from year to year I think if we put a solid team out there we can catch lightning in a bottle. The biggest thing is not to mortgage the future. If we don’t draft a qb we may need $20M a year for a FA.

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