The wait for Deuce

Posted by Darren Urban on May 13, 2010 – 1:18 pm

I keep hearing from people wanting to know if there is an update on Deuce Lutui’s situation. And the answer, curiously, is no — and that’s been the standard answer for weeks.

Kent Somers does a good job breaking down the situation, but ultimately, there is only speculation because real information isn’t coming from Lutui’s side. The facts are these: Lutui was given a tender offer of $1.759 million as a restricted free agent — and he was restricted only because of the collective bargaining agreement, and the onset of the uncapped year. Bad timing, but timing endured by a couple hundred of his fellow players around the league (including Gabe Watson). He was not offered a new contract by any other team during the time allotted for restricted free agents, meaning he was/is locked into being a Cardinal unless they want to get rid of him.

As of now, they don’t.

I assumed — incorrectly — he would have made his point and signed by minicamp. Now, with OTAs starting Tuesday, it’s clear he probably won’t be signing until the June 15 deadline, the one on which if he is still unsigned the Cards can lower their tender to less than $600,000 for 2010 and still keep his rights.

Kent made the point and it bears repeating: Once the Cards signed Alan Faneca, Deuce became a luxury. They still want him and I think they still think he can be part of their long-term plans, but short-term, if Lutui didn’t show up at all, the Cards are still fine on the offensive line. They have veterans, they have all the positions covered. If anything, those guys will have to fight for playing time — which is why it is odd Deuce hasn’t signed to try and get in his two cents.

I’ve had fans openly wonder about other reasons Lutui might not be in, besides his contract status. I can say, talking to Deuce the day after the season ended about his impending RFA status, he was deadly serious about his future and looking for a deal. Usually, Deuce is good for a smile, but in that case, it was clearly a serious topic for him. What does it all mean? Well, if he waits until June 15, OTAs will be over and the offseason strength and conditioning program will basically be over as well — meaning Lutui will have essentially skipped the offseason. That means he’ll have a lot to prove when he shows up to training camp.

In the end, he still may do just that, and be in the lineup when the Cards go to St. Louis Sept. 12. But, given the abundance of offensive linemen, his decision may undercut what he has built in his first four years here.

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61 Responses to “The wait for Deuce”

  1. By wampag on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    D- well at this point he has no choice but to sign especially if they can lower his tender

    i bet he keeps making his “point” until right around June 14th and if they haven;t offered him something he signs so they cant lower it

  2. By MikeFlorio on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Thats Fine cause the cards aint making it back to the playoffs. So much for building a team from the bottom up, the organization has literally destroyed what it has created over the past 7 years

  3. By Rich on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    he’s getting some bad advice

  4. By Erik on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Does he want to go play for Pete Carroll or something? It’d be a pretty bogus thing to do if he talked to Coach Carroll and they think he can get himself released, so they don’t have to trade us a draft pick to get him. I don’t think either one would do that, and I’m pretty sure that’s against the rules. It just doesn’t make any sense why he hasn’t signed. Unless he wants to retire.

  5. By OLdude on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Sometimes its hard to believe these guys have REAL agents! …Faneca signs for 2.5 and Lutui will get 70% of Faneca’s 2.5 if he signs. Alan has been to 9? pro bowls and is a proven star albeit in the twilite hours of his career. Seems to me , maybe the Cards are offering Deuce a REAL fair contract.

  6. By Erik on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    What are you talking about Florio? Nothing has been destroyed. Whiz has only been here 3 years, and we have gotten better every single year. I’d expect the same thing next year. Rolle and Dansby were vastly overrated, and the team would have been stupid to pay them both the money they got.

  7. By KG on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    I love all these players trying to hold their teams hostage and being upset over their free agency status when it was their own union that agreed to the terms under which they are playing. If this was so important to them, maybe they should have done a better job communicating that to their team union rep. I have no sympathy for Deuce, or Merriman, or any other disgruntled player. You made your bed, now lie in it. Deuce should get his fat rear end into the facility and start working out or good riddance.

  8. By Kenny on May 13, 2010 | Reply


    Why would the Cards release him? If he doesn’t sign and they lower his tender to $600,000, they’d be getting a steal for an experienced guard who knows the system. They certainly have the luxury of trading him now that Faneca’s around, and that probably wouldn’t be a bad idea assuming they get value. Bottom line is that Deuce was probably making a statement to position himself for a new contract, but as soon as Faneca signed, he lost any leverage he had.

  9. By Don't Take Losses on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    I can’t fathom the comments by the Naysayer above (2nd post). The Cards organization is just fine.

    Deuce is getting bad advice or exercising bad judgment. Either way, his absence is a mistake which will only hurt him and have little impact on the team. If Deuce is reading, you need to get in the mix to save your job. You have poeple counting on you.

    As Woody Allen wrote, “80% of sucess is in showing up”. You are not going to be sucessful this way. Humility is tough, but better than the alternative. Get in there and join yer teammates, they’ll welcome you back!

    Best of luck.

  10. By Martin on May 13, 2010 | Reply


    Can other teams still pick Deuce up? I hate to see the cardinals lose him. He always seemed to fire his teammates up right before they’d run through the bird tunnel. (my seats are right in front of it) I’d also enjoyed watching him go to the opposing sideline and face them with some unkindly words, I assumed. But, that’s what I love about Lutui. He reminds me of the old school lineman who would get down, dirty & bloody. I hope he doesn’t go to another team. That would suck. If he stayed, I’m not worried about him starting. He’s been starting for the last 4 years.

  11. By darrenurban on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Martin —

    Unless the Cardinals choose to pull their tender offer off the table (making him an unrestricted free agent), Deuce cannot sign anywhere but with the Cards.

  12. By Sione on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    I love it how everyone becomes an expert on all things just because you watch football on the weekends. All you haters don’t know what you’re talking about. You have to realize that NFL Players only get a few great years to take advantage of what their worth. Deuce knows he is an asset to the team and he is very valuable to the Cardinals. He is only doing what every father and husband would to do what’s best for the long term for his family …….. you guys act like he is oblivious to everything ……. he knows very well about the all the ups and downs that could come from this. WE Love You Deuce!!

  13. By Jesse Robles on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    MIKE FLORIO is the BIGGEST baby, it is called change and it happens to everyone, your posts are the worst on this website!! learn some football before you come on here and start crying, NOTHING IS RUINED!! You have no idea what you are talking about, just another BANDWAGON FAN from the Superbowl, get outta here with that.

  14. By fightingbird on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    One question Darren,do the cards actually need him at that price 1.759 million. I mean can we do with out him and save the money for another player at his position.We all know this is a business and everyone wants money but sometimes you have to wait but keep busting heads to prove youre worth that or more .I want Deuce back too but I wanted Q to stay and Warner to play atleast 5 more season but oh well.

  15. By darrenurban on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Fightingbird —

    Well, that is in Deuce’s court. They couldn’t lower it now. They could only take the offer away (and lose his rights). But it is May. Even if he doesn’t show until training camp, he can be ready to play and he is a good player — I don’t think you want to just set loose a former second-round pick that improved last season.

  16. By Jerrytown on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Mike florio you are an idiot! You’re really saying the cards have destroyed everything they’ve built over the last seven years? Why? Because the front office is wisely managing the team like the business it is and not grossly overpaying players for long term deals they wouldn’t get in a normal league year? From all your posts on this board it’s clear you know nothing about football or this team. You’re just another know it all who thinks they could manage a team because you built a good fantasy team in madden on your xbox. If you’re referring to letting Dansby and Rolle walk, do you really think they should be the highest paid players at their positions? Graves has done a fantastic job this offseason in managing the team and dealing with losses by finding more reasonable (and more talented in terms of Rhodes) options at positions of need. You’re just a hater through and through and if you are a fan of this team, you should be ashamed. Stick to video games buddy. Go cards!

  17. By Gang6230 on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah florio what are u talking about man. If we have seen something the last 3yeara is this team is staying competitive tough and enlisting heck good player. The draft was exellent The turnout in this offseason has been amazing this team is not going back to the loosing years. This is our turn now. Our time

  18. By wampag on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    hey D do me a favor put me down as some one who is all for the CARDS and think the choices they have made and the team they continue to build makes me proud GO CARDS

  19. By eric on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Don’t feed the troll…I mean Florio

  20. By Drew on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    It is clear that Lutui is getting very bad advice. Deuce, if your listening, fire your agent and get rid of the “yes men” around you. They don’t understand the situation, and are going to destroy your career. Lutui is loved by the organization and the fans and will get PAID on his next contract. All Deuce has to do is sign his tender offer and let the Cardinals organization know that he will not talk contract extention until AFTER the 2010 season. Then he will have all the leverage as an unrestricted free agent. We all want Deuce back, but if he waits much longer, it will be too late. He made his point (whatever that might be), now its time to sign the deal and get his starting job back!

  21. By CholoJoe on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    What is Reggie Wells making this season? It seems obvious that either Deuce or Reggie will be let go at the end of training camp either by trade or release. If there isnt a major difference in play between these two, wouldnt they probably cut the player with the highest cap number? That, and the fact that Deuce is younger and coming off a better season than Reggie leads me to think that the team would prefer to have Deuce as the starting RG. As far as you know, has the team said anything to that effect? Thanks

  22. By darrenurban on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Cholojoe —

    Reggie will make $2.4 million. Both are scheduled to be free agents after 2010 (assuming Deuce signs his one-year tender). And there is no cap in 2010, so their cap number doesn’t matter.

  23. By dean on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    same old cards let the good players go becouse we just dont want to pay that kind of money…the band wagon will have lots of open seets this year

  24. By Ctownbeatdown on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Flo has to get attention somewhere right?

  25. By John on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    You are right, an NFL player does have a limited time to really cash in on his talent while he is at the peak of his career.
    But to compare his situation to what every other father and husband would do is not quite fair.
    If I am not mistaken, if he signs his tender it would be a one year deal, fully guaranteed. So his one year at $1.7 million dollars would be the equivalent to what would take the average guy close to 20 years to make.

    So should Duece try to get more $$, sure absolutely, every person should try their best to make the most money they can. But now Duece has no leverage (Faneca signing) and should either sign his tender, ask permission to seek a trade, or at the very least inform the team of his plans.

    Maybe Duece plans on signing, just after the OTAs and voluntary work to enjoy some more down time.

  26. By James Wine on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    If I remember correctly, isn’t Florio the Niners-fan in disguise? Pretty sure…

  27. By Chris on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    ROTF…do you guys know who Mike Florio is? He is the main writer – I think founder for PFT ( He does know a little something for the most part (except for this and other posts which he stirs the pot)<< Im sure he post on here just for that reason – stir the pot. (Darren Im sure you get a good laugh when he chimes in). He did though, write on his PFT site that the cards will not make it back to the playoffs. Really Mike? My prediction – Lienart will silence his critics = playoffs Go CARDS!

  28. By darrenurban on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Chris (and everyone) —

    The “Mike Florio” who posts here is not the real Mike Florio who runs PFT. I thought that was clear, but if not, be aware.

  29. By shannonrobinson on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    There will be injuries to the offensive linemen in this Camp. Last year Wells malingered through the strength and conditioning program by working out on his own. The message is that it hurt him. Remember though that Polynesians all grew up too close to the volcanoes. They can be volatile. They are enormously strong and incredibly determined. Islanders have shown a resilliance to pain and a willingness to inflict it. I believe every team needs a couple – they play well in pairs. Samoans, Tongans, Fijians and the Maori are amazingly represented in international sports disproportionate to their home populations – but especially professional rugby and NFL football(where salaries are similar). Deuce plays with a mean streak we all love. He’s also a little stubborn and worth waiting for.

  30. By darrenurban on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Shannon —

    I don’t have dates but I remember seeing Reggie around the complex plenty last offseason.

  31. By TBru on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    If Seattle was interested they would have made an offer during the free agency period. Anything else would be considered tampering and the Cards would get compensated.

    Deuce is a victim of the changes in the CBA, and I feel for him. At this point however he is just pouting, he is not going to get more money out of the deal, and he could get significantly less. He has no leverage in the current situation. Time to reevaluate your advisers and be ready to report to OTAs come in and win your position back.

  32. By Logan Cooper on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Being a writer and a owner of a website, that compares to the Weekly World News, is hardly the credentials of football knowledge.

    Mike Florio should stick with looking for bat boy.

    Jesse I couldn’t have said it better.

  33. By James Wine on May 13, 2010 | Reply


    I was fairly certain.

    Thank you for the heads-up, in any event.

    And keep up the fantastic work.

  34. By FightOn on May 13, 2010 | Reply

    Come on Deuce, you said you would take care of your boy!

  35. By James on May 13, 2010 | Reply


    Set the record straight for the haters. 1 superbowl appearance, 2 titles, and people still are not happy? Go root on the Raiders, or Rams, and then you will have the right to be upset. Warner could not be helped. Rolle, and Dansby? Come on we gave up 90 points in the last 3 games, and Rolle is always blowing coverage. Dansby was good, but not a great. I think the defense went from good, to great. the offense will not lose anything with Bolden. I luv the guy, but Doucette, and Breaston have clearly made their mark. As for Lienart, we will see. I thing the Cards are doing the best with what hand they are dealt. Put the hate to rest. Cheer your team on no matter what happens..

  36. By John from PA on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren, a little off topic, but is there any way you guys could make the podcast “Kickoff 2010 is Four Months Away” available for the iPad? I know it’s only a 2 minute video, but it gets me psyched for Cards football season already! Great job with that video by the way!! Thanks in advance for the help Darren.

  37. By darrenurban on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    John in PA (and everyone) —

    On iTunes, if you go to the Arizona Cardinals official podcast page, the video is available for download.

  38. By yoyoyo31 on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Hey darren of topic but Elvis Dumervil is still unsigned, why arent we going after hiim we need a good pass rusher, well he led the league in sacks this year, any ideas

  39. By darrenurban on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    yoyoyo —

    Dumervil is, like Lutui, an RFA. He cannot sign anywhere but his tender in Denver now.

  40. By Michael Shepp on May 14, 2010 | Reply


    On a totally different subject. The Cardinals NEW wallpaper choices are awesome!

    If you had anything to do with it GREAT JOB!!!!!

    Thanks Darren
    Cardinal fan for life

  41. By darrenurban on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Michael —

    I meant to blog about that. Big props to Johnny Hayward in the broadcast department, who created those.

  42. By fightingbird on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Darren for the come back you do have a good point

  43. By Erik on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Kenny,

    I heart Deuce but he is ticking me off. I imagine the coaches feel the same way. You would only cut him to prove a point, or if you thought he would be a cancer to the team by being in the locker room. He has zero leverage. Zero. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen a football player do.

    Anquan cried and moaned about his contract and it got him traded. A-Dub put his head down and went to work, and not only did it get him paid it has also made him a Cardinals legend. Who is Deuce trying to emulate?

  44. By wampag on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    D- good morning ah GAME 7 tonight and I can’t wait……in lighter events have you seen this:

    Darnell Dockett takes social media to a new level
    Posted by Mike Florio on May 14, 2010 11:30 AM ET
    Over the past year, the Twitter phenomenon has spawned new ways to connect with pro athletes. Throw in Ustream, and the guys we see playing football on Sundays in the fall are more accessible than ever.

    In many cases, it’s a good thing. In some cases, it’s a bad thing. Which, depending on the circumstances, can be a great thing.

    This isn’t one of them.

    Per our pal Brooks of, Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett recently took a shower on Ustream after being dared to do it — and promised him $1,000 if he did.

    We know that guys are always looking for ways to push the envelope. In this specific category, we hope it stops right here.

    crazy world we live in huh

    go CARDS

  45. By wampag on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    hey By Michael Shepp thanks for the heads up the wallpaper is great


  46. By Alberto on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    the Cards are set at guard. Why not pull the offer off the table? With Lutui being a second round pick, the Cards should get a compensatory pick in the 2011 draft, combine that with the departure of Dansby and possibly that will mean 2 extra picks

  47. By darrenurban on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Alberto —

    Because the Cards will have pulled the offer, and his contract technically wouldn’t have run out, I am not sure he would be in the equation for compensatory picks.

  48. By card62 on May 14, 2010 | Reply


    Very good article and I also read your follow-up.

    Duece has played 4 years so if he wants to take an offseason away from Phoenix I am okay with this. Duece is an asset and I strongly believe he is one of our 5 best linemen so I expect him to start for us, if not week 1 really our 5th preseason game, Rams, then very quickly after this game.

    Go Cards and go Leinart .

  49. By Ottis Anderson Fan on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    I wonder if everything is well for Deuce outside of football. Perhaps he’s having personal or family issues that he needs to resolve before he can commit to playing again. And it’s a long, long off-season and regular season to commit to.

    Something just seems odd about the whole situation to me, especially that there isn’t any communication, leaked or otherwise, coming from Deuce’s camp. If I remember right, Deuce during his rookie introduction said he was from Arizona and a Cardinals fan.

  50. By darrenurban on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Ottis —

    The last time we were all wondering why a guy hadn’t signed, Dave McGinnis pulled me, Somers and Jurecki into a room and said Pat Tillman was joining the army.

    Not that I’m saying Deuce is doing the same.

  51. By EricJB on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    @ Dean What are you yapping about? They have not let Deuce go. He’s staying away by his own choice.

  52. By Doug B on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    I know this is an uncapped year, but if there was a cap, how are we looking even if Duece does end up signing? And this being an uncapped year, is there going to be as many teams dropping big name players with big price tags before the season starts as we usually see?

  53. By darrenurban on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Doug B —

    I have no idea on the cap because I haven’t been paying attention. No reason to. As for dropping players, many have already been dropped, and yes, you may see more.

  54. By OLdude on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Why would Dockett do such a thing….especially for $1,000…..he uses those thousand dollar bills to light his cigars!

  55. By CHOPS on May 14, 2010 | Reply

    Deuce’s agent is going to end up looking like a GENIUS in the end. How can that be, you say? He has pissed off his teammates, his coaches, management and the fans, lost his starting job and still refuses to sign his tender, and yet I claim that he is a genius?? YES! None of that stuff matters because he wont be here much longer. Deuce is GONE and will be a much richer man for it. Everyone knows the
    Cards will never pay him what he thinks he is worth but another team might. His agent is well aware that the Cards have immediate needs at corner and linebacker and are DEEP at guard. Even though the Cards claim that Deuce will not be traded, they really, really need a corner. The Cards are 1 play away from Michael Freaking Adams becoming a starter! The longer Deuce refuses to sign, the more media attention he gets which puts every other team on notice that a servicable starting guard wants out. I GUARANTEE several teams have contacted the Cards about a trade for him. As soon as a team offers a quality corner, he is gone. He doesnt care what team he goes to because ANY team is more likely to pay him what he wants next year than the Cards. Its not a bad plan if you think about it, we have 4 guards who started last year so one of them is gone, for sure. Rather than risk being cut in late August when teams rosters are basically set, he needs to get out NOW. Its not about LEVERAGE, its about getting out.

  56. By sign90now on May 15, 2010 | Reply

    Hey darren, great article. Last I heard Deuce was visiting his relatives in his parents homeland… If i have it right Deuce was born in Mesa. So strange to hear NOTHING from his camp!

    BTW, Deuce is like 80 pounds too heavy for his height to be in the Army!

  57. By Scott H on May 16, 2010 | Reply

    Been away for awhile but I see things haven’t changed…Deuce still hasn’t signed and Mike Florio is still a jack ass. Ah, it’s good to be back!

  58. By card62 on May 17, 2010 | Reply

    Chops you could be correct that he will be traded for a CB, but I hope you are wrong. I think CB and TE are our two weakest positions, but I hope we keep Lutui as he is young and good and I think he is one of our best 5 lineman. I know some are higher on Lyle S. than I am, but I see one of the 4 guards being our starting center and Lyle S being our backup center. I think this will give us the best chance of being an effective running team and play action pass team with Leinart. Duece can not go anywhere this year, but if we can not sign him to an extension this year like you Chops I think we will trade him to earn something in return. Man I hate this, just like losing Leonard Davis at guard but this is the way of the NFL

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