A number of options

Posted by Darren Urban on March 23, 2010 – 4:10 pm

Monday, second-year linebacker Reggie Walker — a one-time undrafted guy, although a player who earned time last season as a rookie — was working out when I asked perhaps the most important question … at least right now, given that on-field work is still weeks away, and given that the Cardinals just signed free-agent linebacker Joey Porter.

“Are you keeping 55?” I asked, as in the jersey number he currently wears and the jersey number Porter has had his whole career. “I hope so,” Walker said, before pausing and acknowledging, “I hope I get something.”

Officially, Porter hasn’t been issued a jersey number. I asked Clark Haggans, a good friend of Porter’s, and he just shook his head and said, “I’m staying out of that one.” My guess is that, eventually, Porter and Walker will come to a meeting of the minds and Porter will end up with 55, but you never know. Already, Paris Lenon started as 51 and got 53 got 51 from fellow newcomer Stevie Baggs, who is now 57. I’m expecting possible flip-flops in the secondary too, now that Antrel Rolle (21) is gone, newcomer Kerry Rhodes (currently 21) is on the lookout for the 25 he had in New York and last year’s 25, Bryant McFadden, suddenly may have the shot at his Steelers’ number (20) assuming Ralph Brown doesn’t return.

It matters. I mean, I remember Cardinals safety Ifeanyi Ohalete dealing with courtrooms back in 2005 when he sued former teammate Clinton Portis, who got 26 from Ohalete when Portis arrived in Washington and then didn’t pay off the deal after Ohalete was cut from the Redskins. It’s about more than a number. It’s about an identity. Just ask 9-0, er, Darnell Dockett.

That doesn’t mean a guy like Walker won’t have to carve out a different identity, though. Only one guy is going to be able to drive 55 in the Cards’ locker room.

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46 Responses to “A number of options”

  1. By Chris M on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    What do you mean when you write that Lenon started out with 51, then got 53 from Baggs when he took 57? If Lenon wears 53, what is Haggans going to wear?

  2. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Chris M —

    Whoops. My mistake. There never should have been 53 in my equation.

  3. By David Corcoran on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    *wonders how much his limited edition Reggie Walker #55 will garner on ebay..

    I think two zeroes added to the number in question will make Reggie feel much less attached to it somehow.

  4. By on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    I remember a punter or a kicker on the Giants few years back that changed his number like 2 or 3 times after a rookie came in and I think Plaxico came in as a FA…anyways he got like 2 all paid trip to the bahamas or something for him and his family…haha hopefuly for Walker he is smart and gets something out of it.

    Anyone else rememer this story?

  5. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Pay9-0 —

    Jeff Feagles is the punter of whom you are thinking.

  6. By "Q" on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Numbers are important, ever see the movie “The Fan” with Wesley Snipes????What of Toler??? Does he like #32?? I think he might via for a 21 or something

  7. By EdwardB on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    I can’t drive…55… anyways, the vet, Porter, earned his 55.

  8. By 98CardsFan on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    I was also wondering about all the jersey number possibilities. It would make complete sense to do that what was described in the post. I believe Plaxico gave Feagles an outdoor misting system and new BBQ. If there’s one thing about the numbering system that bugs me if that there is no regard to the numbering system adopted 30+ years ago. Why do the receivers get to wear numbers in the teens? Fitzgerald for starters, I always thought he’d adopt Cris Carter’s #80. I guess it’s not the number you wear but what you do on the field. By the way, what’s the deal with Devin Hester? Shouldn’t he have to report to the officials every time he lines up at wideout as an ineligible number playing an eligible position? Or do they consider him a RB? Just food for thought with all the tight assed ruled the league frets over. Thanks.

  9. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    98Cards —

    The league changed the rule a few years ago to allow WRs to be in the teens. As for Hester, he came into the league as a defensive back, and his number was grandfathered in when they moved him to receiver.

  10. By Bobf on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    does this all come down to player-to-player agreements or do coaches, front office or even contracts have anything to say about it?

  11. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Bobf —

    It’s all player to player, at least most of the time. When the Cards signed Emmitt Smith, Duane Starks was basically told he was definitely giving up No. 22. But Walker sounded like he’d be OK working something out, and usually, it’s not a huge thing. I am sure McFadden would have liked to keep 20 last year but Ralph Brown wasn’t going to change as a long-time vet.

  12. By 98CardsFan on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks, I just thought it was overlooked by the League. I remember always wondering what number Fitz would get during his rookie year in preseason. On the grandfathered in part: wouldn’t you have to be in the league prior to the rule change? And do you believe Leinart will get to start more than four games to prove he should be the starter? Keep up the great blog because my wife says i drive her crazy with all these kinds of questions. Go Cards…

  13. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    98Cards —

    Well, “grandfathered” is a relative term for Hester. I just meant he wasn’t forced to change even though he changed positions. As for Leinart, I think he’ll start as long as he doesn’t melt down. I don’t think that will happen in the preseason. We’ll see in the regular season. But I think he’ll be fine.

  14. By RedBird1 on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Paris was 53 at the Rams.

  15. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    RedBird —

    Maybe that’s how it got in my head.

  16. By CMacyn on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply


    I’ve looked at some of Stevie Baggs’s highlights and noticed he is very fast. Would him being placed into the starting line up move 9-0 back to DT?

  17. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    CMacyn —
    No. Dockett plays on the line. Baggs will be a linebacker.

  18. By CMacyn on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    O thats strange for some reason I thought he would be a DE. In that case who do you see in the starting LB core.

  19. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    CMacyn —

    As of today: Porter, Hayes, Lenon, Haggans.

  20. By Tbru on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Porter is the vet and should get his number. he also has a big contract and should pay for it.


    regarding the new overtime sudden death rules for the playoffs. Sudden death for a TD, change of possession on a field goal and sudden death again if both teams get a field goal. Did any one at the NFL factor in if the defense somehow forces a safety?

  21. By darrenurban on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Tbru —

    If the defense forces a safety the game is over.

  22. By Javy on Mar 23, 2010 | Reply

    Oh no this is not happening JOEY PORTER is getting 55 not Reggie !!!

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

    Reggie Walker go ahead and give #55 up, he’ll give you a little money for it probably. Paris is 51 so he good. Kerry should get #25 because that’s his number. B-MAC should get #20 back if ralph doesn’t resign.

  24. By nor cal cards fan on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    We’re playing Seattle Week 1 on Monday Night Football. Matty vs. his old coach should be very interesting.

  25. By darrenurban on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    That’s been speculation, but it isn’t fact, and from what I have heard, it seems unlikely.

  26. By Dan on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Porter should give about 20K to Reggie Walker for his number. Walker is making peanuts compared to Porter, give the guy poor a chunk.

  27. By Todd on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, since the middle linebacker talent in this draft is thin, if McClain, Weatherspoon are not available, could you see the Cardinals going after speedster Kyle Wilson CB from Boise State instead to shore that position up? McFadden and Adams were really exposed all season at CB. Toler is coming on but I believe we need another stud CB and also a decent pass rush to stop teams passing games once and for all. Also I think after McClain and Weatherspoon, we could still pick up a decent middle linebacker in the second round rather than wasting a 1st round pick on it if those two were not available.

  28. By darrenurban on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Todd —

    Anything is possible.

  29. By Todd on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Dan, the minimum salary for an NFL second year player is $360,000 a year. I don’t know about you, but that is not “peanuts” in my household.

  30. By Todd on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, ok I just didn’t know if you had a feel from the Cards that it was “linebacker or bust” attitude for them in the first round. That seems to be what all the mock drafts and so called “experts” say if McClain and Weatherspoon are not there and CB Wilson is, I think he would be a great fit for the Cards at that first round spot if he is available.

    Thanks as always Darren for being so quick to respond to all of our questions out here. We love having you there to give us the real scoop. Keep up the good work.

  31. By Rody on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Darren ESPN is reporting this morning that the Eagles are entertaining and evaluating offers for all 3 QB’s. Do you see the cards making a run for Mcnabb?

  32. By darrenurban on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Rody, Chris (for the same follow-up) —

    The Cards aren’t chasing McNabb.

  33. By nor cal cards fan on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Dang it, i was hoping u could confirm that Urb. It seemed logical with the Leinart/Carrol storyline. What are you hearing through the grapevine about week 1?

  34. By darrenurban on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Nor cal —

    Not hearing anything right now. The league pulled back on announcing games because they aren’t ready to say anything yet. I read one place that the Seahawks probably can’t host that first Monday night anyway because of potential scheduling issues (with the Mariners, maybe?). The Carroll/Leinart storyline would be attractive though. Maybe they can put it in Arizona.

  35. By chris on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply


    In light of what Andy Reid had to say today what are the realistic chances of us putting something together to get McNabb?

    thanks you’re on top of your game

    PA’s number 1 cards fan Chris

  36. By TucsonTim on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Daren –

    Tell us what you really think about McNabb coming to AZ…just kidding 🙂

    Guess Stevie Baggs will be giving up 90.

  37. By Jeremiah on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply


    I would say 360k is peanuts compared to 6 mil

  38. By AndyStandsUp on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Now that Ralph Brown is signed(unless is wrong, ala Ware) is there any buzz about Bryan Robinson re-signing. He’s going to be 36 come June, but has proven to be a stalwart at a much needed position.
    Or is he going the way of Gandy and Okeafor?

  39. By darrenurban on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    Send me the link from, please. Love to see it, because Ralph Brown has not signed and I don’t expect him back either.

  40. By RyanEilers on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    by any chance do you know when the pre-season NFL schedules and the regular season tickets are on sale??

  41. By darrenurban on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    Ryan —

    The preseason games will be announced around the time the regular season games are announced, in the first two weeks of April sometime. Single-game tickets won’t go on sale until later in the summer.

  42. By RyanEilers on Mar 24, 2010 | Reply

    thank you Darren.

  43. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 25, 2010 | Reply

    Hopefully the fabric needed to make a “2-0” will weigh less than the amount of fabric to make a “2-5” and give McFadden a needed speed boost to keep up with all the receivers that burned him in 2009. “20” also looks more aerodynamic than “25” which should make McFadden faster still in 2010.

    We can only hope.

  44. By chad d. on Mar 25, 2010 | Reply

    when are the numbers all assigned/figured out? and also, I’ve been curious as to when the new cardinals will unveil their new uniforms with arizona? I’m assuming shortly after the number situation is all sorted out, but I could be wrong.

  45. By darrenurban on Mar 26, 2010 | Reply

    Chad D —

    The numbers will be figured out by the draft, I would think. Maybe as early as next week when the players start coming in. As for players in new unis, there isn’t going to be some photo op. The best will be when they wear practice jerseys for minicamp practices.

  46. By chad d. on Mar 26, 2010 | Reply

    so nothing like a press confrence and photos taking of the player holding the jersey up and shaking hands with whiz? darn

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