On Lutui and Hayes

Posted by Darren Urban on May 31, 2010 – 2:13 pm

This is the problem with long weekends. Stuff comes up, and in the end, it’s tough to not want to comment before going back to the office.

So …

— The NFL says that, as of the end of last week, 37 restricted free agents remained unsigned to new contracts. One of those is, obviously, Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui. That’s still a lot of RFAs unsigned. We’ve broken down the Deuce thing before. At this point, I will be surprised if he signs before he has to, which is June 15. From the site

“If the original qualifying offer is greater than 110 percent of the player’s 2009 base salary and the player does not sign that contract by June 15, the team can substitute the June 1 tender with a new June 15th tender of 110 percent of the RFA’s 2009 base salary and continue to retain exclusive rights to the player.  If the player does not sign by Week 10, he cannot play in 2010.”

Lutui’s tender offer, which will be extended tomorrow I am sure, is greater than 110 percent. Meaning the Cards can substitute the offer for a lower one on June 15 if Deuce doesn’t sign. Again, he will. Well, I think he will. It would simply be stunning if he didn’t. I’m not positive the Cards would necessarily lower their tender offer, but I don’t understand why Deuce would take that chance.

— Buried deep in this notes column is a note that Cards officials are “concerned” about the bad back of LB Gerald Hayes. There are no quotes per se. All I know is that, when coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked about it recently — and that’s how it was framed, if Hayes’ back was a major concern — Whiz said “at this point, it’s not.” And I have talked to someone else about Hayes’ back and I was given the same vibe — that they expect Hayes to be OK. Things can change, of course, and any back problems for a player who has been around eight years does make you think. And given his long tenure, it’s probably about the time to be thinking about life after Hayes too, and grooming a possible replacement.

But Hayes hasn’t missed more than two games in a season since he blew out his knee in the preseason of 2005. If Hayes were to miss a bunch of training camp time, then I think you worry. But OTA time? It’s tough to get worked up in May/June. Caution is always the watchword. When in doubt, let a guy sit. No reason to push it.

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27 Responses to “On Lutui and Hayes”

  1. By Chris Nelson on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    ahh i dont care what anyone other than our own club is saying about our players anyways… They are way to egar to throw us under the bus and back up a few times,…. But thanks for the update on ur holiday Darren!

  2. By Rick on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, Hayes back seems to be a recurring problem with him including missing games. I thought you posted at one point that it’s a disk problem, is that correct? Or is it muscular? Back issues can be a nightmare, but it seems like it keeps coming up linked with Hayes. Do you think this is becoming a chronic issue with him, or will it ultimately heal up?

  3. By darrenurban on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Rick —

    Obviously, just saying “back” raises an eyebrow. I don’t know exactly if it is a disc, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play with a disc issue. It depends on what it is. Many who do anything athletically have some back issues to varying degrees. Like I said, I think there is a confidence he will be OK. But we will see in camp.

  4. By AndyStandsUp on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Welcome back sir.
    Luitui will sign, probably after the Cards OTAs next week, and will fight for his position in training camp.
    Like Hayes, though FAR more sedentary, I suffer from a herniated/bulging/torn back disc and other than surgery, as long as the “jelly” in the lumbar are isn’t touching a spinal nerve, no pain is felt. Steroidal injections, back exercises and plain old ice can be effective.
    Darren, the Bears, as usual have signed all their draft picks(both of them),any word on negotiations for any of the newbies?

  5. By darrenurban on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    The Cards usually start signing guys in mid-to-late June. I don’t pay much attention to it until we approach training camp.

  6. By Joe-B on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    I know it is from PFT, but what do you think of this?

  7. By darrenurban on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Joe-B —

    I think it reflects the things I have heard (and wrote about above).

  8. By Fitz4Mtrushmore on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    It’s hard to believe the Redbirds didn’t draft a replacement for Hayes given his questionable status & years in the league!!!

  9. By Cardsfan928 on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s hope Hayes is alright…he is one of the most underrated interior backers’s in the league…look how relatively quiet he keeps gore and jackson twice a year…

  10. By Beauchamp on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    i know i just had a surgery to fix my disc problems and that stuff can be serious. Hayes’ style of play is being a big hitter and i’m worried he wont be able to go. However, the fact he played last year w/ it makes me think its not too bad. As long as the bulging disc doesnt degenerate he should be ok w/ some chiropractic, acupuncture, epidural injections and some rest. With the season as far as it is i think he’ll be ready. Darren, is he resting his back or sitting cause he cant go? I dont understand if he cant go or if he is not going cause he’s taking time to heal. I hope you can give some insight as always! You rock darren!

  11. By darrenurban on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Beauchamp —

    I haven’t talked to him but I get the sense this is more about not taking any chances rather than not being able to go. But don’t quote me on that.

  12. By BluePitt on May 31, 2010 | Reply

    This is off topic but I found this ranking of the NFL’s best rushing teams to be a little strange at best. here is what Jason Cole of Yahoo sports said:

    23. Arizona Cardinals: “There’s a lot of talk coming out of Arizona that this is going to become a run-first team behind Beanie Wells now that quarterback Kurt Warner has retired. While Wells had a generally successful rookie season (793 yards rushing and a 4.5-yard average per carry), this is the same guy that coaches and teammates were privately trashing in training camp last year for being soft. Considering that, let’s wait a little while before throwing a parade for Wells, who didn’t look particularly great at any one phase of the game last season”.

    I witnessed a great rook runing back that was a little fumble happy smashing the crap out of people, SOFT? and not great at any one phase of the game?

  13. By darrenurban on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    BluePitt —

    No one will ever accuse Jason of not having strong opinions.

  14. By Jeff Gollin on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Next to possibly NT, Inside LB is arguably the most contact-position in football. The constant pounding takes its toll, so – regardless of whether or not Hayes has a genuine durability issue, it makes sense for any team to build as much depth as possible at the position.

    (You could make a good case for the Giants’ season going south after Antonio Pearce got injured).

  15. By Chris on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply


    Hayes certainly didn’t look like himself as the year went on, and currently we have the venerable Paris Lennon slated to start at the other ILB position. Clearly, ILB is the biggest position of concern on the team. Has there been any talk about bringing in a Keith Bulluck or another player as insurance? I realize Bulluck wouldn’t really be a special teams option, but it seems like something needs to be done, or ILB will be a giant question mark.

  16. By darrenurban on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Chris —

    No talk right now, but like CB, I could see it being addressed in camp sometime (or after cuts).

  17. By kingdiamond on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    As a member of the cervical and lumbar injury club, having been thru the endless line of surgery, injections, physical therapy, I have no idea have Hayes can withstand the pounding of NFL play. He must be very pan tolerate or very medicated. I wish him well, but we should be looking for a replacement on the waiver wire.

  18. By Chris B on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply


    Cody Brown, O’brien Schofield, Ali Highsmith, Reggie Walker, Stevie Baggs, Monty Beisel, Will Davis, Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington, Mark Washington

    With the exception of Beisel and Lenon, the Cards HAVE 1-2 year LBs to replace Hayes, Porter, Haggans and Dansby. Highsmith has been mentioned as a let down but Davis and Walker have been mentioned to be exciting players to watch and hope for. Hayes will play in most games, maybe miss one or two as the weeks begin to pile up towards the end of the season.

    Jason Cole sits behind a desk and watches Sesame Street all day. Ask Seattle, Green Bay, Detroit, San Fran or the Giants if Beanie is “soft”. We’ll run the ball more this season and Hightower and Beanie will make “manly” LBs and Safeties into little girls who will forget how to tackle.

  19. By Scott H on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    In regard to Beanie Wells, I’m pretty sure I saw what you saw last year and I can’t wait to see a lot more this year. It gets harder and harder to listen to all of these talking heads at ESPN and a lot of other places. Too many people who need to fill up too many hours, and the result is a lot of nonsense. I believe what I saw with my own eyes, period. This kid is a monster waiting to happen. The overwhelming majority of the opinions that I’ve heard regarding Beanie and what to expect from him this year are right on with what he showed last year, having a solid O-line in front of him, and the Cardinals becoming a more balanced offense this year. That is, most expect him to emerge as a force.

  20. By TucsonTim on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    As another memeber of the lumbar/cervical disc club status post 5 epidurals and too much gabapentin, celebrex, naproxin too mention, I have to agree with Kingdiamond. There’s no way Hayes can take that pounding. God bless him.

  21. By BluePitt on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H,
    That is what I was thinking. I hate how the Cards get shoved to the back burrner every year even after our SB run. NFL Video’s has a ton of crap on SF and how they are going to “DOMINATE” the west this year but no vid’s on AZ at all!!!!! It is Pissn me off! I think it wont even be close this year with SF and the Hawks we will have a great season with a mix of pass and huge dose of run, you put $$ on it!

  22. By Scott H on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    The Deuce Coupe needs to sign this damn thing already and get his butt in to start working. It’s hard to believe he’s NOT gonna sign and risk being paid half of what the current offer is OR that he’s just not gonna play this year. None of thst is good for him. So? He’s just trying to avoid as much of the OTA’s and working out as possible? Yeah, good move. I’m sure that’s going over real great with his coaches and teammates right now. I hope he gets in and continues to play well on our O-line. But initially, I hope he gets what he deserves…which is to be put behind Reggie Wells or Faneca on the depth chart so he’ll have to work his butt off to get his job back.

  23. By Scott H on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    I hear ya. And it’s not just ESPN. Every forecast I’ve seen for this coming season has the 49ers winning the West and the Cardinals falling pretty far down the map. I may not see that but then again, can everyone else be wrong? Whatever. The only thing that matters is how it goes when the games start to count in September. I’ve said all along that I think it’s fair for anyone to downgrade the Cardinals a bit based on Kurt Warner’s retirement alone. What I DON’T get is where the 49ers have improved so much that they are everyone’s pick to win the NFC West! With Alex Smith at QB??? He’s no more proven than Leinart. So…why does that have the arrow pointing down for one team but up for the other??? Anyway, the Cards definitely have one of the best RB tandems in the league and that’s what takes the pressure off Leinart.

  24. By Kevinator on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Give ’em hell 54!!

  25. By BluePitt on Jun 2, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H,
    Well my question is more along the lines of how Alex played half the season and they didnt do that great, and when Lineheart only played one game not being ready to play having no game plan for him, and he won that game(well in my mind he did) aside from our D giving up 1,000 yards to Young and CO. on the last drive. We will win the WEST and I have a hunch it will be by a landslide!

  26. By Scott H on Jun 3, 2010 | Reply

    A landslide would be great…but I have to be realistic and expect that the 49ers ARE likely to compete in the West this year. Singletary has clearly had an impact on this team, they still have a top tier RB in Gore, and they might have the best D in our division. I’ll give them that. But I won’t give them the division like so many others seem inclined to do. The West belongs to the Cardinals until someone takes it from them and I sure don’t see the Cardinals giving it up without a fight!

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