Washington has released this statement: “This is a legal matter and I am limited in what I can say other than that my lawyer and I will continue to cooperate with investigators and welcome the opportunity for all the facts to be presented. I regret that the situation has brought this kind of attention to my family and my team. I look forward to resolving it as soon as possible.”
As I mentioned before, this is early in the process. Police have seen a reason to investigate further. I know people want to know what will happen to Washington regarding the football field, but we are probably a long way from resolving that and it will likely be tied to however this legal situation resolves itself.
Tags: Daryl Washington
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The trade earlier this week for cornerback Javier Arenas provided the Cardinals their 10th cornerback on the roster. That isn’t a surprise, but when seven of them have NFL experience already, the numbers alone will make for a very interesting battle heading into training camp. It doesn’t matter who the coaches have been that I have covered over the years, every single one — when asked about a situation like this — likes to say, “You can never have too many cornerbacks.” True, but you can’t keep too many cornerbacks either.
The quick lineup, aside from Arenas: Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Jamell Fleming, Justin Bethel, Bryan McCann and three UDFAs in Josh Hill, Prentiss Waggner and Ronnie Yell.
(And as a quick aside: I think the Cards didn’t mind adding another corner, but realize that they were going to get rid of fullback Anthony Sherman regardless, and if the only option coming back was a corner like Arenas, it’s better than just cutting Sherman loose.)
Here are the facts thus far when it comes to this cornerback situation:
– In minicamp, Powers was with the first unit opposite Peterson. Now, Cason seemed to be nursing some kind of leg injury that may have limited him, but again, it was Powers who signed the three-year contract. He might be getting the first shot there.
– Bethel was told he’d be playing corner rather than safety when the coaches first got a chance to talk to him. But who knows, given the cornerback/safety situation (the Cards have seven safeties and much less experience there) maybe Bethel ends up a swing guy again.
– This math of course counts Tyrann Mathieu as a safety because that’s what Bruce Arians said he’d be at first, but Mathieu also could be a nickel corner.
– Arenas’ size (5-9) seems to dictate he’d be a slot cover guy only.
– The numbers and influx of guys will make the second offseason for Fleming very, very interesting and very important. Third-round picks usually are locks to stay a second season. But with a new staff, you never know.
– Usually, teams keep nine or 10 defensive backs. With nine, you could see four cornerbacks and five safeties or, given this roster, probably five and four.
– It does open up trade possibilities, like when the Cards dealt A.J. Jefferson at the end of the preseason last year given their glut at the position.
Tags: Antoine Cason, Bryan McCann, Jamell Fleming, Javier Arenas, Jerraud Powers, Josh Hill, Justin Bethel, Patrick Peterson, Prentiss Waggner, Ronnie Yell, trade, Tyrann Mathieu
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The Cardinals have a handful of coaching interns on hand to help them through the offseason and training camp. One of the faces is very familiar — former Cards running back Marcel Shipp.
“It’s weird,” Shipp said after a recent workout. “Just being out here, it felt like I’m hurt and just not practicing.”
It’s been a while since he’s practiced as a Cardinal. Shipp made the team back in 2001 as an undrafted rookie out of UMass. He outplayed Thomas Jones early on, and just when Jones was dumped and Shipp thought he was going to get his chance, Emmitt Smith was signed. Then after 2003, when Smith was hurt all year and Shipp played pretty well, Denny Green came in in 2004 and dropped the post-offseason work bomb on Shipp that — despite Shipp running first team all offseason — Smith was indeed the starter. Oh, and to add injury to insult, Shipp suffered his ugly broken ankle/leg during the Red-White Scrimmage in training camp, ending his season. (I still have the photo of Shipp lying in pain with teammates trying to help him, his foot at an angle it should never be for a human being.)
That’s ancient history now, though. Shipp actually stayed with the Cardinals through training camp of 2008 before being released, and after a brief camp stop with the Houston Texans, moved on to an effective stint in the UFL from 2009-2011 with the Las Vegas franchise. In 2012, he was the running backs coach for Vegas until the UFL finally went under. But it gave Shipp the coaching bug.
“I always thought about it,” said Shipp, who often works youth football camps, including some through the Cardinals. “The opportunity on the professional level, though, you can’t put that into words.”
There was a small connection with Bruce Arians too, since both Arians and Shipp were born in Paterson, N.J. With the Cards, he’s working with the wide receivers.
“I’m just blessed to be back in, especially with the Cardinals,” Shipp said.
With Shipp around in coaching (for now), Josh Scobey working in the team’s personnel department and Damien Anderson the team’s Alumni Relations Manager, it’s like the Cards are getting the running backs room, circa 2004, back together. No word on whether Emmitt is on the way.
Tags: coaching staff, Marcel Shipp
Posted in Blog | 32 Comments »
The news came out this morning that linebacker Daryl Washington is being investigated in a domestic dispute from Wednesday night. It’s very early in the process — no arrests have been made — and until/unless something else happens, it’s tough to know exactly what direction this will take. In 2010, linebacker Joey Porter was arrested right after he signed with the Cardinals, and that ended up going no further because there wasn’t a case.
“These are serious accusations that we are closely monitoring,” the Cardinals said in a statement. “Until all the facts are determined, and out of respect for the process, we will decline any further comment at this point.”
Washington was just suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. More legal issues could further impact Washington’s playing time, but again, it is way too early to know if that’s how it is going to play out.
Tags: Daryl Washington
Posted in Blog | 57 Comments »
So Anthony Sherman is gone, a victim of a regime change more than anything else, with his trade to K.C. today in exchange for cornerback Javier Arenas. This is what happens when new coaches come in (and obviously, both the Chiefs and Cards have new coaches) and existing players are deemed expendable. In Sherman’s case, he plays a position that isn’t used in Bruce Arians’ offense. In Arenas’ case, the Chiefs had brought on a bunch of cornerbacks and he was looking to be moved, although he comes to a team with a ton of potential cornerbacks as well — in addition to a safety (Tyrann Mathieu) who could end up playing slot receivers like Arenas is best suited for. Arenas came into the league in the 2010 draft.
ESPN scout Matt Williamson tweeted this about Arenas: “Pure slot CB-Size hurts him, but fiesty & big time asset on special teams.” It’s a crowded secondary now. Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Justin Bethel, Jamell Fleming and Bryan McCann all have experience in the league and now Arenas comes aboard. Someone isn’t making it to September (unless the Cards end up sliding Bethel back to safety to ease the logjam.)
More importantly, it’s yet another move as General Manager Steve Keim continues to overhaul the roster with Arians’ vision of what he needs. The Cardinals currently have 88 players on the roster and 45 of them are new. Now, 25 of them are rookies so they were going to be new regardless. But the number of veterans — veterans that played large roles on the team last year — that have been cut or traded continues to move up. The transactions list has a ton of action, and May just started. I count 31 moves where the Cards either made a trade, signed a veteran from outside the team or released a player.
(And to think, when Arenas lined up against Larry Fitzgerald during the Cards-Chiefs joint practice last August, you think either one contemplated being teammates?)
Tags: Anthony Sherman, Antoine Cason, Bryan McCann, Jamell Fleming, Javier Arenas, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Roster, Steve Keim, trade, Tyrann Mathieu
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The Cardinals have a couple of players now that know very well who Tyrann Mathieu is — former and new teammates Patrick Peterson and Kevin Minter. But another man who knows Mathieu pretty well talked Tuesday about how much he believes in the kid: LSU coach Les Miles.
During an interview with Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620, Miles was plain in his Honey Badger backing: “He’s a guy who is really meant to play football,” Miles said, adding, “the key is to make sure he keeps his focus on the things important to him. As long as he doesn’t allow a social life to draw him into things, he’ll be a tremendous player for Arizona for years.”
Miles said that Mathieu actually was very good following team rules and coaching direction. His issues, the coach said, came off the field and away from the team. Miles called Mathieu a “pleaser,” which gets him into trouble when he can’t say no to the wrong people. Now he’s got Peterson and Minter to help him along.
“I think he’ll fall right into those two guys and the opportunity to make great decisions can be made routinely there,” Miles said. “Now it’s time for him to realize his dream.”
Miles also said Peterson wouldn’t have wanted to bring Mathieu in if he was a bad teammate. This much is true, the Cardinals got intel from Peterson while vetting Mathieu and there would have been plenty of chances for Peterson to steer the team away from such a possibility. Miles isn’t naive, of course. “You need to surround him with the right structure and the right style of guys, but like I said, I’d bet on him.”
“They got a guy who sees himself as the biggest, baddest dude on the field,” Miles said. “He anticipates big plays. He’s a team guy. He’ll accept the coaches culture and fit in. He will be a tremendous contributor.”
Now, would I expect Miles to say differently? Perhaps not, although we are talking about a coach who had to be disappointed Mathieu got himself into the bad position and was forced to kick the guy off his team. But he could’ve declined the interview in the first place. He’s clearly a believer. The Cardinals clearly are too.
Tags: Kevin Minter, Les Miles, Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu
Posted in Blog | 32 Comments »
Sometimes, a blog post is just simple. We all remember Justin Bethel’s video box jump coming to light when he was drafted last year. Well, it was apparently time to get a new jump in at the Cardinals’ facility. Sorry, no video, but there are pictures. Click the image below to see it much larger. That’s Jamell Fleming (who is 5-foot-11) holding the extra pad to increase the height. And Scott Wedige off to the side.
It actually looks a little like Adrian Wilson this way.
Tags: Jamell Fleming, Justin Bethel
Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »
I know everyone has been waiting, so here are the Cardinals’ undrafted rookie agreements for 2013:
– WR Jaron Brown, Clemson
– WR Dan Buckner, Arizona
– T Joe Caprioglio, Colorado State
– ILB Kenny Demens, Michigan
– OLB Dan Giordano, Cincinnati
– S Javon Harris, Oklahoma
– CB Josh Hill, California
– S Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma (pictured below)
– T Jamaal Johnson-Webb, Alabama A&M
– ILB Korey Jones, Wyoming
– WR Javone Lawson, Louisiana-Lafayette
– WR Michael Rios, Marist
– NT Padric Scott, Florida A&M
– WR Tyler Shaw, NW Missouri State
– CB Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee
– CB Ronnie Yell, San Jose State
Tags: Dan Buckner, Dan Giordano, Jamaal Johnson-Webb, Jaron Brown, Javon Harris, Javone Lawson, Joe Caprioglio, Josh Hill, Kenny Demens, Korey Jones, Michael Rios, Padric Scott, Prentiss Waggner, Ronnie Yell, Tony Jefferson, Tyler Shaw, undrafted rookie free agents
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Good information (and not altogether surprising) info from Peter King this morning about third-round pick Tyrann Mathieu. There has been much said about the risk the Cards have taken to draft him after his drug problems. Even GM Steve Keim acknowledged to King “It’s uncharacteristic of our organization to take chances on guys with troubled pasts.” But King makes a great point, and one that should be repeated: In the NFC West, teams like the Rams and the Seahawks seem to not care as much about character concerns when it comes to stockpiling talent. Maybe that’s the price of doing business in what can honestly be called the NFL’s toughest division.
King also reports that Mathieu will receive random drug tests, as many as one a week (which is exactly what Mathieu said would probably happen, which he understood) and that the Cards will include no guaranteed money in his contract. Instead, his money will be delivered with a series of bonuses for sticking around and staying clean, which is the right way to go with a player who has had as many issues as Mathieu has had. If he washes out, it won’t save the loss of a draft pick. But it won’t hamstring the team either on the salary cap or with actual wasted dollars either.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport reports that Mathieu’s agent — who happens to be Patrick Peterson’s agent — expects the Cards to try and protect themselves in the contract but that he won’t do a deal with no guaranteed money.
UPDATE II: On a Sirius interview Tuesday, Steve Keim said the Cardinals and Mathieu’s agent “are on the same page” with how the contract needs to be done.
Tags: Rams, Seahawks, Steve Keim, Tyrann Mathieu
Posted in Blog | 49 Comments »
Some quick wrap-up notes after the draft, before I take my neglected sons to dinner:
– The Cardinals, obviously, did not take a quarterback. Keim admitted he had talked long about about subscribing to the theory he wanted to draft a QB every year. “I really still believe in that,” Keim said. So what happened?
“The difference is that our two draft choices came through free agency with Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton,” Keim said. “So we didn’t feel like that was a necessary move that we needed to make. Quite frankly, the way the board shook out, the quarterback at no point was the top player on our board. So it made the decision quite easy.”
That means Brian Hoyer and his potential $2 million salary is safe for now. I’d think a trade might still be possible for the Cards, but post-draft, it’d be tough. Of course, if the Cards were to sign an interesting undrafted rookie QB, that could change.
– Speaking of the undrafted rookies, that list will grow into the evening and names will leak. (I won’t be keeping constant watch; the official list will likely be released Monday.) Already, Oklahoma safeties Javon Harris and Tony Jefferson have tweeted out they are coming to the Cardinals. San Jose State cornerback Ronnie Yell tweeted the same as did Florida A&M defensive lineman Padric Scott. Tony Pauline reports the Cards also got Arizona receiver Dan Buckner. Keim said he expected to sign 15 undrafted rookies.
– The Cardinals want to get another nose tackle/defensive tackle. That didn’t present itself in the draft, so Keim said the Cards will not only look at it among the undrafted rookies but also with veteran free agents and possible cap casualties as we head toward training camp.
– The weekend gave the Cards some options at return men. They have Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Andre Ellington and maybe Stepfan Taylor.
– As for the overall haul Saturday? It’s always wait-and-see for me. I can’t get very emotional because it’s impossible to know. On the surface, I like getting the speed receiver Ryan Swope assuming he can stay healthy. I like adding fresh bodies to the running back room. I definitely like the possibilities of interviewing tight end D.C. Jefferson, assuming he can prove he can play. I hope Okafor can do some things as a pass rusher because that’s still a segment of the Cards’ defense that leaves some question marks. But that’s enough for now. We have a whole offseason to analyze.
Tags: Brian Hoyer, D.C. Jefferson, Dan Buckner, draft, Javon Harris, Padric Scott, quarterbacks, Ronnie Yell, Ryan Swope, Steve Keim, Tony Jefferson
Posted in Blog | 91 Comments »