A quiet day, finally, around the Cardinals. I know many were hoping for Antonio Cromartie free agent news but there isn’t any. Until he signs somewhere though, I wouldn’t rule out the Cardinals. Again, if he comes, it’ll be on the Cards’ terms. Beyond that, I think the Cards will keep looking at options but the market is going to be a buyer’s market now. That’s right up Steve Keim’s alley.
– The Cardinals have about $11 million in cap space. I don’t know if that yet includes Ted Ginn’s deal. It’s definitely not going to count the new contract for LB Matt Shaughnessy, since Shaughnessy hasn’t actually signed yet, and there might be a couple other lesser deals yet to be counted. That will come soon. Still, it’s plenty of room to work. It doesn’t hurt the space that Jared Veldheer’s cap number in the first season is just $2.5M and Ginn will be a mere $1.75M.
– Overthecap.com, which broke down the Ginn deal, notes that $2 million of Ginn’s $3.25M salary for 2015 is guaranteed if he is on the roster on the third day of the league year next year. In other words, if the Cards decide to release him it will be right around the time free agency begins.
– The Cardinals exercised the option bonus they needed to pay linebacker Daryl Washington this week. Washington’s assault case is still ongoing — his next court date is scheduled for April 23 — but he’s a cornerstone of this defense and isn’t going anywhere. There is still a chance he is suspended depending on the outcome of the court case, but the Cards will deal with it.
– It was a fruitful and smart start to free agency for the Cardinals. Get a left tackle, get a speed receiver/return man, get some interior OL depth, get running back depth. Re-sign a key linebacker like Shaughnessy, and as much as they wanted Karlos Dansby back, let him walk when the money got crazy. I also think, the way Keim operates, that from this point forward is even more important for the Cards. They have an excellent sales pitch right now and two guys in Keim and Bruce Arians who know how to sell it. There will be another Dansby-Abraham-Winston or two this offseason.
– As I pointed out on Twitter last night (@cardschatter, if you want more immediate updates from yours truly), we will have a video on azcardinals.com soon about Fitzgerald’s trip up in an F-16. Until there, here’s a taste of Fitz in the cockpit.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Daryl Washington, free agency, Jared Veldheer, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Shaughnessy, salary cap, Ted Ginn
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It’s been well reported by now former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is visiting the Cardinals. Kent Somers reported Cromartie will stay until Friday, which was the original plan. Negotiations are ongoing. Will he sign? I don’t know. I’m guessing there is a chance the Cards have at last set parameters about what they want to offer, and Cromartie has to decide if that is good enough. GM Steve Keim and his group spend a lot of time breaking down their free agent targets and what they are worth. They go into every negotiation with a player with a number in mind. I don’t see why Cromartie is any different.
The Cardinals need and want to add a cornerback. Cromartie might be at or near the top of the list, but I’m sure he’s not the only one on the list. As Keim has said a few times, they will extend offers they think make sense. If the player decides it doesn’t work, the Cards move on. Sometimes it can be revisited — I think Karlos Dansby was in that boat last offseason — but the Cards and Keim won’t be rash and they won’t panic into spending more than they should or want to.
If he did sign, you’d think he’d drop right into the other starting spot with Patrick Peterson. Reserves would be Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Bethel and Jerraud Powers, and there is still the draft and guys you could look at later in free agency. If he doesn’t sign, there are others on Keim’s board. (No, other than the much speculated upon Mike Jenkins, I have not heard any names.) Cromartie would be a nice addition, but it’ll be on the Cards’ terms if it happens.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, free agency, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Mike Jenkins, Patrick Peterson, Steve Keim, Tyrann Mathieu
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, free agency, NFL, Ted Ginn
Posted in Since1898 | 11 Comments »
Free agency churns on today with the news — confirmed by General Manager Steve Keim on Sirius XM NFL radio — that wide receiver Ted Ginn is visiting the Cardinals today. Ginn makes a ton of sense for the Cards, assuming Keim gets his price. He is fast, he can stretch the field and he is an expert kickoff return man. You aren’t adding Calvin Johnson or even Mike Wallace, but Ginn would serve a need and seems to have improved on the drops that have plagued him from time to time.
(Free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who still is playing pretty well, is also visiting the Cards. The Cards need a cornerback with Antoine Cason and Javier Arenas both free agents. Cromartie would be an interesting upgrade at the position and could really make this FA period impressive for Keim. Again.)
Ginn’s visit got me thinking about asking Bruce Arians at the Scouting combine about what he is looking for in that much-discussed speed receiver. The coach has never made any bones about his desire to have a pass catcher that can take the top off a defense.
“A 40 time is a good measuring stick but sometimes a guy runs a 4.3 in shorts and then plays like a 4.6,” Arians said. “I want a guy who plays the game fast. A guy who runs 4.3 and plays the game 4.3, then you have something special.”
Ginn, when I have seen him, plays 4.3. His hands just haven’t always cooperated. But again, he’d fit a role in two key areas, and that’s important. This could be a big day in Tempe. UPDATE: The Cards signed Ginn to a three-year deal.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Bruce Arians, free agency, Steve Keim, Ted Ginn
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, free agency, Jared Veldheer, NFL
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, free agency, Jake Ballard, NFL
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No, nothing is official. Free agent left tackle Jared Veldheer is not officially signed, instead headed here for an visit that will allow the Cardinals medical staff to check him out and for General Manager Steve Keim, team president Michael Bidwill and coach Bruce Arians — among others — to talk to the guy face to face. But multiple reports not only have Veldheer agreeing to a contract with the Cardinals but also details of a five-year deal. The main numbers are $17 million guaranteed and a $6.5 million bonus, and if true (and assuming Veldheer is the solid left tackle everyone expects) Keim once again weaved his magic for a reasonable deal that would be cheaper than the other top tackles on the market. All for a 6-foot-8, 320-pound behemoth who turns 27 in June.
Here is a contract breakdown (already) of Veldheer’s deal, courtesy of overthecap.com.
I don’t think there is any question quarterback Carson Palmer — who played with and was protected by Veldheer in Oakland — endorsed his former teammate. Bruce Arians has said the Cards get input on players from players once in a while. And there is no question Veldheer was an intriguing possibility because of his age and price tag. If all goes right in the visit (and there is no reason it shouldn’t) Veldheer should be holding a press conference sometime Wednesday. Certainly Veldheer is confident. Not only did he tweet a goodbye to Raider fans, but he also changed his Twitter description and avatar:
– In case you missed it, wide receiver Andre Roberts is headed to Washington on a four-year deal that reportedly has $8 million guaranteed. The wide receiver market hasn’t exactly opened with a bang like the tackle or defensive back positions have, so Roberts looks like he came out way ahead. Good for him. He’ll get a better opportunity to catch passes in Washington than he would have here behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
Tags: Andre Roberts, Carson Palmer, free agency, Jared Veldheer, Raiders, Redskins
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Tags: Arizona Cardinals, AZ Cardinals, AZ Cards, free agency, Frostee Rucker, NFL
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The thing is, Karlos Dansby wasn’t even supposed to be a Cardinal last season.
The veteran linebacker signed late. His price tag was too rich for the Cardinals when he was first released by the Dolphins. They were interested, but not in breaking the bank. That’s what you think of today, with free agency officially starting, Dansby hitting the open market after his one-year Arizona return and a mega-deal apparently already waiting for him in Cleveland. The Cardinals had offered a two-year contract to Dansby reportedly for no more than $12 million. The Browns are signing Dansby — who will be 33 in November, which is why the Cards weren’t going beyond a two-year deal –to a four-year contract. Kent Somers reported the deal would be worth $24 million with an astonishing $14 million guaranteed. In other words, more guaranteed money than the Cards’ deal would have been worth total.
Will Dansby be performing at a high level when he is 36? The statistics say probably not, which is why the Cards didn’t want to go beyond two years. If anyone is paying attention to GM Steve Keim, he’s made it clear he wants to work with a clean salary cap as much as possible. That’s the only way to have sustained success, Keim believes, and so dead money needs to be kept low.
You absolutely cannot blame Dansby. He thought he played at a level worth a big contract last year, so he got one. That’s why many guys were willing to sign one-year contracts last year — to parlay a good season into a bigger, longer contract. Dansby is the poster child for that.
But again, he wasn’t going to be here. The Cards signed Jasper Brinkley and drafted Kevin Minter and went into the offseason thinking that would be the options next to Daryl Washington. Dansby didn’t show up until the market had humbled him and he figured out the money wasn’t there. He admitted as such. And he gave the Cardinals a great season for a NFL-bargain of $2.25 million. The Cards were prepared not to have him until they had him. Now, Minter gets his chance. The Cardinals set a free-agent board not only with players from other teams but their own, ranking such. Dansby I would guess was near the top of their list but they have a backup plan (no, I don’t know what right now.)
Regardless, for a second time, Karlos Dansby leaves the Cardinals as a free agent, again after an AFC team showered him with money he couldn’t get in Arizona. Like last time, there is disappointment there wasn’t a way for him to stay. Like last time (with Daryl Washington) there is a young player just drafted precisely because this could happen. It’s the business.
Tags: free agency, Karlos Dansby
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Free agency arrives soon — 1 p.m. Arizona time Tuesday. So here area few thoughts on Monday night:
– It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with Karlos Dansby. Kent Somers reported there is a two-year deal on the table worth between $10 million and $12 million — which is right around the APY that D’Qwell Jackson got from the Colts. I’m sure Dansby would like a longer deal. I’m sure the Cardinals, looking at a player who will turn 33 this season, aren’t going to go longer. Is there another team willing to pony up more? And is that enough to sway Dansby? No matter what happens, I expect Dansby’s decision to come quickly this week.
UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting Dansby likely going to Cleveland. They would money-whip him. It wasn’t going to happen in Arizona.
– There wasn’t much new percolating Monday about tackle Jared Veldheer, whom the Cards are expected to make a pitch to when free agency starts. Whoever the Cards chase at left tackle, that too figures to come together quickly. GM Steve Keim said that even with the early free-agent talks, the Cards want to talk to a potential signee (and check him out medically). So I’d guess this year’s free agency has a good chance to be like last year’s — quickly moving, but still nothing official until Wednesday at the earliest. Will the Cards add five players in the first two days, like last year? Probably not that many. But I’m thinking there will be some additions.
– Kicker Jay Feely re-upped with the Cards Monday (nothing officially announced yet.) There’s a possibility the Cardinals can re-sign a couple of other guys before they hit the market. The move to release Daryn Colledge is coming Tuesday too.
– Aside from a left tackle, linebacker and defensive back are other potential positional free agent targets. Mike Jurecki tweeted Monday night the Cards could look at veteran CB Mike Jenkins. Again, the Cards should move quickly this week. The idea in free agency isn’t to collect a bunch of starters necessarily as much as round out the roster so the Cardinals have a lot of flexibility come draft day.
Tags: Daryn Colledge, free agency, Jared Veldheer, Jay Feely, Karlos Dansby, Mike Jenkins
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