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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The Cardinals brought in 16 players for tryouts this past rookie minicamp weekend. They decided to keep around four of them, including running back Javarris James. The other three were kicker/punter Ricky Schmitt, safety Eddie Elder and cornerback Larry Parker.
James, of course, is the cousin of former Cardinals running back Edgerrin James. Javarris played in 10 games for the Colts as a rookie in 2010, scoring six touchdowns, but was out of the league last year. With top running backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams on the mend from surgeries, the Cards needed another running back for offseason work. It will be interesting if James can perform well enough to make it to training camp.
Schmitt was actually with the Cards as an undrafted rookie back in 2007 before getting cut in training camp. He has since spent time with five other teams, including a pair of stints with the 49ers. Elder, from Arizona State, and Parker, from San Diego State, are both rookies.
The signings bring the Cards’ roster to a total of 89 now, with one spot left to get to 90. Certainly, the roster is not set in stone, and further player possibilities could mean that any of these players — or others already on the roster — could get released before the Cards even get to camp. For players on the fringe of the roster, this is always a fluid situation.
Tags: Eddie Elder, Javarris James, Larry Parker, Ricky Schmitt, Roster, undrafted rookie free agents
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There was plenty of pre-draft talk about Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict and where he might land (and for those who don’t know, Burfict was the one-time first-round candidate who ended up going undrafted and signing with the Bengals.) But for all of Burfict’s hype, many thought he wasn’t even the best linebacker at ASU. That nod usually went to Colin Parker, who was one of 17 undrafted rookie free agents the Cards came to terms with:
- WR Stanley Arukwe, Troy
- LB Broderick Binns, Iowa
- WR LaRon Byrd, Miami
- G Braeden Clayson, Idaho State
- FB Jared Crank, Purdue
- G Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech
- DE Tevita Finau, Utah
- S Blake Gideon, Texas
- WR Tre Gray, Richmond
- LB Marcus McGraw, Houston
- LB Zach Nash, Sacramento State
- CB James Nixon, California (Pa.)
- DE Conrad Obi, Colorado
- LB Paul Vassallo, Arizona
- C Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois
- WR Marc Wilson, St. Anselm
And, of course, Parker from ASU.
The list is heavy on linebackers, not a shock after the team did not draft one this past weekend. The number brings the roster total to
85 86 (since apparently I can’t add 69 and 17), leaving five four spots still open for additions, whether they are veterans or otherwise. Because of the rookie minicamp in two weeks, the Cards will also be bringing in a handful of other young players for tryouts, making sure they have enough bodies to run the practices and taking a looksee at some guys.
Tags: Blake DeChristopher, Blake Gideon, Braeden Clayson, Broderick Binns, Colin Parker, Conrad Obi, draft, James Nixon, Jared Crank, LaRon Byrd, Marc Wilson, Marcus McGraw, Paul Vassallo, Scott Wedige, Stanley Arukwe, Tevita Finau, Tre Gray, undrafted rookie free agents, Zach Nash
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As mentioned the other day, Cards president and pilot Michael Bidwill gave a ride to former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev from Phoenix to New York Sunday after Gorbachev gave a speech at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Not only did Gorbachev get a ride, but Bidwill gave him a Cardinals shirt — which makes sense, its color being red and all. Picture below.
“I was honored to be able to do it,” Bidwill said. “I told him how grateful my generation of Americans are for all that he did to advance world peace and to improve relations between our countries. It was an incredible experience.”
Meanwhile, the Cards have started to collect undrafted free agents. To see some of the guys coming in as reported around Twitter, just check out my timeline. The Cards won’t announce their list until it is completed, and it won’t be completed until all the guys sign their contracts. Sometimes a player will agree to play for a team and then change at the last second, not yet having signed anything. So teams are reluctant to say anything until they know for sure.
One other thing about names floating out there: The Cards will bring in a few extra rookies for their rookie minicamp May 12, but they will be in on a tryout basis rather than signing official contracts. One report has Miami quarterback Jacory Harris as one of those guys.
Tags: Michael Bidwill, undrafted rookie free agents
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Undrafted rookie outside linebacker Duke Lemmens, a Florida product, may have an uphill battle making the team given his position on the depth chart — “There are a lot of good players and not too many spots,” he said — but it’s safe to say he won’t be forgotten. Well, kind of.
While Duke seems like a pretty unique moniker, Lemmens isn’t being called Duke. Thanks to his look — seen below, No. 39 — he’s being called “Kenny G.”
“Yeah, they call me ‘Kenny G,’ and sometimes the coaches don’t even put the ‘G’ on and just call me Kenny,” Lemmens said. “And they’re surprised when I don’t respond when they ask me to do something, but it’s not my natural name. I’m like, ‘I don’t know what you guys are talking about.’ “
But, Lemmens admits, “as long as they remember me somehow, I don’t care.”
“I’m just trying to get noticed any way I can,” he said. “The strength coach (John Lott) the first day called me ‘Carrot Top’ and I thought that was going to stick, but it seems like ‘Kenny G’ has been the winner lately. Some guys have been trying to call me ‘Weird Al’ lately.”
At practice last week, defensive coordinator Ray Horton bellowed for “Kenny G” to move somewhere during a walk-through, and did so without the hint of a smile. Lemmens might has well officially change his name, at least as a Cardinal in Flagstaff. He won’t be changing his look, though, as long as he’s in the NFL.
“It’s my last shot before the real world,” Lemmens said. “I don’t know when that will happen and I’ll never be able to grow out my hair again, so ideally I’d like to grow it out for many more years and not care about anything. We’ll see.
“All I can control is my reps and my effort,” Lemmens added. “I pride myself on two things I can control: How hard I go and how tough I am.”
Not exactly words you’d ever expect Kenny G to utter.
Tags: Duke Lemmens, Ray Horton, undrafted rookie free agents
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The draft comes in a matter of days — 5 p.m. Thursday night in Arizona — and every year, hundreds of draft hopefuls wait to get a phone call. This year, because of the current lockout and the uncertainty of when it will be resolved, there might be a little more stress come Saturday in those last couple of rounds.
Everything during the draft will be normal, generally. Players will be picked, players will be interviewed. Assuming a player is still game, a first-rounder will still do some sort of press conference. Once Mr. Irrelevant is selected, however, and the draft ends, all the players drafted fall into the same spot as all the current NFL players, and contact with teams ends until a new labor agreement is reached. That has, of course, included new contracts (which is why free agency hasn’t begun). That means no rookies can sign a contract either. That doesn’t mean much for draftees — I mean, they already know what teams they will play for.
The post-draft stampede for undrafted rookies, however, won’t be happening. At least for now.
Last year, the Cards ended up keeping a bunch of their undrafted signees. Think of all the guys who made the team in one way or another last season who were undrafted: receivers Stephen Williams and Max Komar, cornerbacks A.J. Jefferson and Marshay Green and quarterback Max Hall. All left big enough marks in the offseason work to gain a foothold for training camp. Will such guys get that chance this offseason? They won’t even know what team they are playing for for the time being.
“Once the draft is over, that’s when it becomes very strange,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. “Not signing guys, not being able to coach these guys, having them in for OTAs, getting them accustomed to the playbook, that will hurt all these rookies and all these teams counting on these rookies contributing. The undrafted free agents, not even being able to sign those guys until it is over … it hurts the percentages of those players coming in and making an impact.”
Again, we don’t know what the summer will hold, or when things are resolved. If a labor agreement is reached soon enough, things might not end up that different, other than adjusting what month things happen. In the meantime, this year’s Stephen Williams, whomever it may be, will have to wait and see. That can’t be easy.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, draft, Marshay Green, Max Hall, Max Komar, Stephen Williams, undrafted rookie free agents
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