How will the open market treat Dansby?

Posted by Darren Urban on March 3, 2010 – 11:58 am

As time ticks closer to free agency, Karlos Dansby is that much closer to — as he said last offseason when the contract extension he seemed close to with the Cards suddenly wasn’t — “making a splash.” The question is how splashy will it be? Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post breaks down his pros and cons about paying Dansby big money. In the piece, Brandt talks about the scheme being important to Dansby, and while Karlos is versatile, obviously that will make an impact.

Then again, if a team ponies up big money for a guy, I think they do it with the idea that the scheme will fit and the team will even make the extra effort to make sure the scheme fits. The key line: “With sources telling me that three teams are making aggressive plays for Dansby and that the Cardinals are still in the picture, he could possibly eclipse the markers set by (Calvin) Pace and (Bart) Scott.”

Now, who chases Dansby? Is it the Dolphins? The Redskins? The Giants? The Cards haven’t shut the door, but judging by what Dansby looks like he’ll get on the open market, I don’t expect the Cards to stay in that bidding war. It’s funny too, the Dolphins are mentioned for every Cardinal who might be available (Antrel Rolle and Anquan Boldin too), even though each wants big money — which is why they are available in the first place. Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland acknowledged his team needs linebackers (not that he specifically said Dansby) and also said the team was counting on safety Gibril Wilson to play better this season (which would seem to eliminate a chase for Rolle).

But in the end, I still think someone will give ‘Los the contract he has been waiting so long to get.

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29 Responses to “How will the open market treat Dansby?”

  1. By Kevin on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Good luck KD, you better earn your new contract! I don’t want to read in 2 years that you stole that contract and then went in to the “don’t want to get hurt” tank. I think you are a very good, not great LB and I wish you well. Thanks for finally figuring it out–even if it had to be in contract years– and for helping get the Cards to the SB!!

    Now Coach W, retool and stay competative! In Whiz I trust!

  2. By nor cal cards fan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Darren- I’m curious to know what the largest contract a veteran player has ever recieved on the free agent market without ever having been to a single pro bowl in their career.Whatever that contract was, i’m sure Karlos is about to pass it up. Let him walk. This is a guy who used to miss practice if he had a hang nail.

  3. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply


    Less than two hours ago, you posted a laundry list of reasons why the FA money won’t likely be the bonanza as it has in past years (see below). But you also simultaneously stated , “So too will linebacker Karlos Dansby, who is unlikely to return to Arizona given the possible suitors expected to money-whip him once he becomes available.” So what’s it going to be starting March 5 – responsible spending or money whipping (i.e. 30 million minimum guaranteed for Karlos)? You seem to have been contradicting yourself all post-season regarding free agent spending when it comes to Karlos.

    From your article posted today, “Free Agency’s New Look. Lack of new CBA affects available talent, spending habits.”:

    …On the surface, it could have been seen as a bonanza for free agents, now that teams didn’t have financial restrictions. But circumstances such as the lagging economy and a possible work stoppage have changed things, as has the rule that players must have six years of service before becoming unrestricted.

    …All teams are wary of the fact any new CBA could include, if not a cap some sort of cost control mechanism, meaning any exorbitant deals handed out now could hurt that franchise in the future.

    …But few organizations want to dole out money when they might not get anything back for it if there is no football in 2011.

    …“Teams are concerned of things like the economy and the uncertain labor agreement, and teams are looking to prepare for that,” Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said. “I don’t think there’s going to be wide-spread spending.”

  4. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Ottis —

    Am I allowed to say both?

    Here’s the thing: Overall, I think spending will be reserved. Maybe not as much because it has to be but because there will be few players for whom to spend it.

    But for a select few — five players, maybe, maybe less — the “rules” won’t apply. That’s why Peppers will still get a contract that he always would have gotten, and why I think Dansby will too. I don’t think I am contradicting myself because in Karlos’ circumstance, there will be one or two teams that force the market up. Remember, that’s all it takes is one team.

  5. By Cardianl RED on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply


    Do me a favor and tell the cardinals to let go of Dansby and go Hard for another cornerback. I think Antonio Cromartie would be the perfect fit. For all reasons. He’s young, everyone thinks he is not as good as he once was so maybe we can get him for cheap money, which i know the cardinals love, which is smart. Than with that 1st round pick we pick up someone like a Brandon Spikes or if still availoable Rolonado Mcclain. And another player i think we need to go hard for is Shawn Merriman another young guy who people may think doesnt have it anymore because of injury. SO yea tell the cards for me to go hard for Antonio cromartie and Shawn merriman even maybe a demco ryans. Spread the word Darren lol what do you think

  6. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Cardinal Red —

    I will tell you what I have always said: The Chargers are trying to trade a young, former Pro Bowl cornerback. That alone should raise all kinds of red flags for everyone, including fans. Remember, you have to trade for him. You giving up your first-round pick? What are you giving up? And why would he want cheap money on his new contract (not sure how long he is currently signed for)? He’s going to say I was a Pro Bowler and I am young — pay up.

  7. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    I agree more with National Football Post’s [url=]Andrew Brandt[/url] regarding the money Karlos will get in 2010 FA:

    “Dansby, by all accounts, has good character and solid football instincts. Moreover – and this is a key factor in judging whether to pay big money to a player – he has shown good durability, with 46 consecutive starts. He also appears to be the right age, not turning 29 until November, and is blessed with good size for lasting a while.

    Having said all of that, I would be hesitant to commit money similar to what was described above to an inside linebacker without an eye-popping stat line (Dansby only had one sack and one interception in 2009) for two reasons: (1) the position is not a high-impact position like offensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback, etc., and (2) inside linebackers tend to be very dependent on scheme to be effective. The scheme of the Cardinals seemed to fit Dansby well; it’s not certain that a new scheme will do the same.”

  8. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    Well if you take both positions of an argument, you can’t be incorrect, now can you? 😉

    The $$$s Karlos is demanding will make him one of the top-3 paid linebackers in the NFL if he gets it. Is a team going to place as much value ($*) on Karlos as James Harrison, Ray Lewis, or Terrell Suggs, or will the relative market for NFL LBs determine Karlos’ worth? Stated that way, I still don’t see it happening. Do you?

    Look at is this way, you were very successful in explaining to me all the concerns and possible pitfalls NFL owners will have heading into FA 2010. However, you’ve been equally less successful in convincing me that Karlos is going to get money whipped like he plans to (minimum 30 million guaranteed).

    *Link to 2009 NFL player salaries, sortable by position:

  9. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Ottis —

    We’ll see. Either way, I don’t think it means Karlos returns. And trust me, if Karlos ends up with $25M guaranteed instead of $30, I don’t think he’s going to be crying in his Cheerios. Who knows? Maybe the price will hold just low enough that the Cards stay in play.

  10. By 949cardsfan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Looks to me like the Cards have a lot of money. Warners not under contract, Berry’s gone, Dansby got paid huge money last year, and blackjack isn’t gonna get that big bonus money. we need a LB bad, why not pony up and make a statement, bring back Dansby! if they could afford him under the franchise contract the last 2 yrs, they can afford him now. his yearly salary would be virtually the same as they paid him last year. KEEP THE CORE PLAYERS together Mr. Bidwell!

  11. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    949 —

    This isn’t necessarily a question of being able to afford. If you give Karlos what he wants, what do you give Dockett then? Calais Campbell when he comes up? What do you tell Wilson, who has been to three Pro Bowls, why the guy who has never been a Pro Bowl alternate is killing him on payday?

  12. By Mike"Pay Q" on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Some people just do not understand that the Cardinals NEVER pursue players with character issues, and off the field problems. That means Cromartie will NOT EVEN BE CONSIDERED. And of course they will DEFINITELY not even think about Shawn Merriman with his issues of domestic abuse, steroid use, and history on injuries as well as a HUGE decline in production(since off the “juice”).

  13. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    If statistics are important in salary negotiations, then Karlos better hope his franchise tag (i.e. contract year) stats (below) aren’t compared to guys like Harrison and Lewis to determine a market price.

    Karlos Dansby:

    Yr/GS/Tackles/Sck/ PDef / Int /FF/Pro Bowl


    I would be thrilled to see Karlos eventually end up staying with the Cards, but not for 30 million. As you said earlier, if the Cards had already offered Karlos what Karlos thought he was worth, Karlos would have already signed. Karlos might not cry if he “only” gets $25 million guaranteed, but he’ll be disappointed that he didn’t get the MINIMUM $30 million he is demanding.

    Bring on Friday!!!

  14. By DHALL on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply


    With Kurt going into retirement and the list of high dollar players(Los, Rolle and maybe Q) probably leaving we should have a large sum of capital to grab some key players to fill those spots or even get two players for the cost of one deal? I watched the talent of DB’s at the combine and feel that we need to grab one if not two of them….. Any news on Gandy yet and from what you saw with the BIG BABY(I know he was hurt towards the end) is he ready to be a lineman in the NFL?

  15. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Dhall —

    Gandy is going to look at the free agent market first. I don’t expect him to sign, wherever it is, for a few weeks. We will see on Herman. It’s early.

  16. By 949cardsfan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply


    Who are some alternative LB’s to Dansby on the FA market? I agree with Otis, I don’t see anybody throwing 30 mill at Karlos, do you? Do you know what the Cards are willing to pay him?

  17. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    949 —

    The most logical move is for Larry Foote, who played with Whiz in Pittsburgh and is an inside guy in the 3-4. I don’t know exacts on what the Cards would give, but my guess is somewhere between Tatupu and Bart Scott.

  18. By Scott H on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Question – if Karlos is ready to make his big splash as a free agent, then what do we call what he’s been paid for the past few years with the franchise tag? Let’s just say he probably didn’t meet the criteria for food stamps, OK? Gimme a break. He might be a heck of a player but he’s not one worth breaking the bank for. It’s just not cool when pro athletes are just so blatantly and outwardly all about the money. It seems to me that if you’re worth it, you don’t have to remind us every day. I think that WHERE he ends up will be very telling. If it’s a team that is going nowhere for the next few years, I guess we’ll know that money mattered a lot more than winning. And IF that turns out to be the case, then I won’t mind that he’s no longer a Cardinal. In the meantime, should we get him an application for rental assistance?

  19. By CardsRep928 on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    I LOVE the idea of Larry Foote and Joey Porter both wearing red….2010 Enter the era of Cardinals Smashmouth

  20. By cards62 on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Ottis Anderson fan thanks for the link to the salaries.
    Strange as they do not list Levi Brown as earning any salary in 2009.
    Interesting that it said the Cardinals spent a lot more on salaries in 2009 than the free spending Redskins and Cowboys plus most other teams. I think the formula is complicated with signing bonuses and all that, but the cards are spending the money.
    Darn NFL show on ESPN keep talking about Dansby and Rolle being free agent hot items. Like I said earlier I expect a roller coaster for us Cardinal fans this offseason so I will be patient and trust in the front office to keep our playoff run going. Go Cards !!!

  21. By Derek on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply


    This is related to team restructuring.

    What position would AZ look to fill if they traded Anquan Boldin? What teams would be the most willing to pay up? (besides Miami, of course)

  22. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Derek —

    I assume you mean what would they be looking for in a trade for Boldin. I would think draft picks. As for what team, your guess is as good as mine. A team a) would need a WR, b) would be willing to deal and c) would be willing to give Q a new contract.

  23. By Eazy E on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    The chargers want a rb for cromartie(i.e. tim hightower) or a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick. I would definitely do that for DRC’s cousin. Karlos is a playmaking LB and can play, so all of you saying he’s been to no pro bowls and yada yada. Well London Fletcher just got to his first and he didnt even get in as a starter or reserve, he got in when a couple injuries occured and guys pulled out. Dunta Robinson hasn’t been to a pro bowl also, but he’s one of the best in the league when healthy at his position. My beef with karlos is the money. He wants more than he’s worth. It’s hard to justify giving an ILB 10 mil+, even if his name is patrick willis.

  24. By darrenurban on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Eazy —

    And that’s the key. Not even being a Pro Bowl alternate ever, it gives you pause on giving up that kind of cash.

  25. By Former Steeler Fan on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    If Dansby and Rolle want to break the bank, LET THEM WALK. Look at what A.J. Hawk and other rookies did last year.

    Re: acquiring players with character issues i.e. Cromartie, Merriman etc., let me remind you of what Whiz did when Richie Anderson tried to hire a prostitute soon after Whiz was hired. Richie was IMMEDIATELY GONE!!!

  26. By Darthcard on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Why does everyone want the steelers sloppy seconds? Larry foote,Joey porter geesh why not see if Greg Lloyd has got something left? Thank you karlos and good luck to whoever gives you the contract you wish for. Kurt retires. Berry retires. Karlos leaves. Gandy is gone. Rolle good as gone. Trading Q for a 3rd. Am I the only one who thinks the cards have lost it?

  27. By dylan on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    yeah im pretty sure deathcard your the only one that thinks that hmm wonder if you ever thought about were good players come from oh yeah they start off as rookies and we have a bunch of good rookies on this team this team will be great

  28. By John on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Why Joey Porter? He is a proven passrusher with 26.5 sacks the last 2 years. Our roster doesnt have and proven passrushers and we cant afford to “Hope” A rookie and Davis and Brown get it.Prove it first.
    Not a fan of Foote, but not much else out there in FA. He is more of a guy to fill in till a rookie takes over. If we draft Wetherspoon or Bowman, I wouldn’t even bother with Foote.
    As for guys leaving, thats what happens. Guys become FA’s and leave. Good teams retool. The steelers let Porter go after drafting Woodley, Parker is being replaced by Mendenhall. Ect, Ect. .
    We saw Antonio Smith get replaced by Cambell, Breaston has stepped up to replace Boldin and Doucet is stepping into that 3rd spot. Johnson and Brown were suppose to replace Rolle and Berry. The jury is still out. The Cards drafted H.Johnson to give depth and eventually start at RT.
    Thats why the draft is the single most important thing to a teams success. Draft picks have to develop and replace aging or high dollar guys. Its just business.

  29. By Darthcard on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    I’m not saying I do not respect porter or the former steelers just don’t understand why it’s always ex steelers. I constantly get harassed by my steeler friends. I believe in rod n whiz but we just lost a ton of playmakers and most of all leadership. I love the cards but I can’t stop thinking 6 wins is the most this team can obtain. I would love nothing more than to be absolutely wrong.

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