Fitz contract talks begin

Posted by Darren Urban on January 9, 2011 – 12:22 pm

UPDATE: General manager Rod Graves confirmed the Cards have begun preliminary conversations on a Fitz deal.


I know there has been a lot of concern about whether the Cardinals will keep wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald long-term. Well, ESPN reported this morning there already have been preliminary contract talks between Fitz and the team for a contract extension.

Recently, Graves said the Cards were still hoping to get a couple deals done before the potential lockout. He didn’t say who with, but given Fitzgerald’s situation, it makes sense he’d be one. Fitz is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2011 season, and since he cannot be franchised or traded without his OK, he has all the leverage and the closer he gets to free agency, the more likely he’d be to test the waters. And if the Cards don’t extend him before the lockout, they have to wait until after the lockout — and no one is sure when that will be.

I am always leery when I hear of “preliminary” discussions, of course. It could be as little as “Hey Fitz, you know we want you back, right?” and Fitz saying, “Sure.” It also usually means nothing is close to being done (and may not be until Fitz has a better understanding what the team’s quarterback situation will be). But the Cards have never been anything but sure they wanted to keep him long-term, and I have always thought his remaining in Arizona was the most likely outcome.

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105 Responses to “Fitz contract talks begin”

  1. By Rimrockcard on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Just Get-r-done!!
    FO: Hey Larry,how much do you want and who do you want for QB?
    end of negotiations

  2. By carlo7000 on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    do you think is breaston the other player or lutui???

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Carlo —

    RE: “Others”

    No idea. He might have just been talking about the practice squad guys they re-signed. I just don’t know.

  4. By Bob Roberts on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Rimrockcard it should be that easy, shouldn’t it?

  5. By darrel on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey darren I know u you’ve probably heard this a 1,000 by now but will the cardinals have any interest nnmadi it? I know fitz and him are really good friend s and we need another corner he would change are whole defense

  6. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darrel —

    RE: Nnamdi/Fitz

    Interest? Doubt it, considering the high-dollar deal he will be looking for.

    As for Fitz, I am sure they will keep him in the QB loop but I doubt he will be able to say yea or nay to a QB signing.

  7. By darrel on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darren do you think fitz will have any say so in what they do with qb situation?

  8. By DieHardPhoenixFan on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    I will have to re-consider renewing my season tickets if the Cardinals don’t make every effort possible to keep Fitzgerald.

  9. By We'll miss Q on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    I for one am tired of hearing people say Fitz should or could have ANY say in the next QB. He is a player, an employee, that is it.

    Darren, I know the numbers would be hard to do with Namdi however he is the best pure cover corner in the league(yes i think better than Revis) at his prime, With the gaping holes in our cornerbacks, and no pass rush to speak of, he could really help. We could then go after a veteran qb, and draft a great pass rusher.

  10. By darrel on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    We’ll Miss Q,

    Your really have no knowledge of game then.. fitz can walk away and go. Play with tombrady ,josh freeman or whoever he wants. To play with so if doesnt he have a say so then hell just walk. And let me guess your one of the people that’s want to trade him away. … dumb comment

  11. By darrel on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Your right they don’t want nnmadi because he’s not washed up makes pefect sense. So siging mcnabb is a possibilty

  12. By Poole4pres on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, how come Arizona always has to pass on paying the big bucks for good vets? Nnamdi is a solid corner, he would be helpfull, I think it would be worth payin a lot of money for a player that can make an impact, just like resiging Fitz

  13. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Poole —

    RE: Big-money FA

    The Cards’ blueprint follows what the Steelers do: Attempt to draft well, pay big money to the core guys who you draft that turn into your main players, and use FA to bring in role players rather than stars.

  14. By CZarr on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Toler is still a work in progress. I think the secondary will benefit more from an enhanced pass rush and consistent play from DRC and Wilson (personally I can’t believe he got selected for the Pro Bowl) than a top tier corner like Asomugha.

    Toler has just below average cover skills at this point, but is still raw. He is a good tackler for a corner and I think he can succeed in the NFL if he puts in some work.

    Personally, I’d like to see some better secondary depth added that isn’t going to cost us a fortune, mostly for the nickel and dime sets.

    – As a side note, ADub is my favorite player on the Card’s squad, so I mean no disrespect, but I’m sure the nomination had even him scratching his head.

  15. By CZarr on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    To add to my previous comment. I don’t think Wis would even entertain the idea of signing Asomugha. Its more likely that they will draft someone to improve the pass rush in order to take pressure off the secondary.

  16. By Don't Take Losses on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Future refrain: “Vick to Fitz for 6”. ($200M later;)

  17. By Brad ONeill on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    a great corner that moves drc to the number 2 spot would probably push our defense into the elite ranks of the nfl. It may even help our run defense which is where we seem to lose the most games.

    As for signing Larry, if we can get him and Breaston locked down we will be set at wr. if we get larry but cant retain breaston we know the organization is more concerned with appearances than actually winning. obviously larry is huge but without the other guys we aren’t going to win. We need larry, breaston and a qb. not to mention some linebackers, offensive linemen, safety depth, and an oc.

    arent you glad you dont have rod graves job. my guess is his budget is probably good for either signing larry and one of those others, or 4 of those things and not getting larry done.

  18. By Cardiaccard420 on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Do you think being the greatest cardinal player ever on and off the field, would be second best to a superbowl win?

  19. By CardsGoHard on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Good luck next season drafting the tools needed to improve our Arizona Cardinals! If the CARDS get McNabb next season, makes sure it isn’t a waste of time (Ask the Redskins). I believe the QB situation is important, but i’d like to see O-line development for a throughly efficient run-game next year. FITZ is invaluable but Hightower/Wells I feel can be as effective.

  20. By KyCardsfan on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    If we fail to resign lyle syndelien do u think we will sign a FA or draft one in the first few rounds?

  21. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    KyCards —

    RE: Center

    I’m not sure what the plan of action will be if Sendlein doesn’t return.

  22. By Pheenic Cromartie on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    We’ll Miss Q,

    If Fitz isn’t happy with who the Cardinals pick up as QB, he’ll just leave. Look at his contract: He can’t be franchised, and he can’t be traded to a team he doesn’t want to be traded too. Fitz’s agent got it all covered back in 2004. So, Fitz has a huge say in who the Cardinals pick up as QB. All he has to say is, “I think I’ll do best with so and so” and the FO will pick that guy up, just to keep Fitz happy and to get him to sign a new contract.

    Fitz is our #1 priority. Then, QB. Then, O-line. Go on from there.

  23. By D on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Re-sign Fitz, Breaston and Lutui now. When labor is done and free agent market opens up-resign Sendlien and Branch.
    Draft 1st round R. Quin-OLB.
    Send 2nd rounder to Buffalo for Fitzpatrick
    Use 3rd round for best OT available
    4th Draft corner
    Sign a LB, a DL and Punter in Free agency.
    Get Manusky as DC

  24. By darrel on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply


    So you want to 5-11 again. Nice

  25. By Bill on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Get-R-Done Arizona. He is the face, faith and proven star of the Franchise. You did the right thing with Wilson (though he did have a bad year), do the right thing with Fitzy!!!

  26. By We'll miss Q on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darrel, If I could read your incoherrent rant I might be able to respond. No I do not want us to trade Fitz, but he needs to realize that the cards need to get the best qb possible, even if that means drafting one and letting him develop. If we draft one high, Fitz is gone because he is consumed by stats and he will have more of the kind he had this year. His next conntract needs to have the abilty to trade him and franchise him, not be held captive by one player’s leverage.

  27. By Big Red on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Die Hard, do you really think the Cards care about your season tickets. They will probably just say….NEXT! Somebody will be there in your seats next year having some good NFL fun. So, lets just hope and pray they do sign the Fitz.

  28. By tyman on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz should be smart and wait and see if we will go after a top notch Qb before he signs any contract. What about Breston? is he gone? cant see him ever matching the production with warner. A fair price for steve would be hard I think.

  29. By Ellis on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    They’ll sign Fitz but that really wont matter if the o-line doesn’t protect and the qb play is the same. And for Nnamdi or Champ Bailey we’ll never get em because they don’t like to spend money. They want to just develop players and they haven’t done a good job at the corner position for years. Coach is waiting around for the Steelers Butler to see where to go as far as DC. I like Kolb better than Fitzpatrick at Qb but they must want Bulger still. Coach also could be waiting on Graves and the owners to see what type of talent he can bring in since they have no clue how the CBA is going to come to terms. Breaston needs to be signed and if these players actually cared about bringing in talent they would take a little less money. How do you say you want to win here but then yo know the owners let some good players get away because they don’t want to pay. Still will love and represent them Red Birds no matter if they lose or win.

  30. By cheesebeef on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply


    you say the cardinals follow the steelers model, but unfortunately, they’ve shown ZERO ABILITY to accomplish that goal.

    1) They don’t draft well… Levi Brown/Matt Leinart, Beanie Wells, 2nd and 3rd round picks not even making it out of training camp, players like Campbell and DRC getting WORSE as they get older). all of the above makes them a pretty big FAILURE in this area.

    2) The second part of the steelers MO is paying big money to the core guys who you draft that turn into your main players. Well, in ONE off-season, we saw Dansby, Rolle and Boldin all bolt for one reason or another, mostly because of money or being shown a complete lack of respect or complete lack of foresight in dealing with their contracts. Not to mention one of the players they DO reward is an aging one dimensional safety. All of the above again makes them a complete failure in trying to meet the Pittsburg model.

    3) And use FA to bring in role players rather than stars. unfortunately, they bring in guys who are way past their prime… and PAY THEM LIKE STARS (does Joey Porter ring a bell?) or they just bring in guys who literally have no business starting on good defenses, but are cheap (does Paris lenon and his 1 million dollar a year contract ring a bell)

    Bottom line, looking at the above, i think it’s RIDICULOUS that you can even mention our attempt at building our team in the same breath as what the steelers do. We don’t draft well,, we just had an off-season where a huge part of our core was jettisoned and we’re just a complete mess in FA.

    You know what that says to me? take a new approach in how you do your off-season because what we’re doing ain’t working.

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Model

    Again, I am trying to tell you what they want/plan to do. You can call it RIDICULOUS or shake your head all you want but that doesn’t change that it is what they want to do.

    I thought you weren’t going to kill the messenger?

  32. By MIKEFLORIO on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    FITZ is gonna leave!!!! Face it cards fans, you can’t keep quality players not with the management the way it is

  33. By cheesebeef on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply


    still shaking my head at your comment about how we plan our off-season. just because we want to be like the steelers doesn’t mean we have ANY clue on how to follow their blue-print.

  34. By Jason on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren.

    Any speculation on who the cards may be looking at qb?

  35. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    The best covers in the game are eventually going to break dowm if their D-line can’t get any prrssure on the QB. More pass rush would make all the current d-backs instantly that much better.

  36. By chris on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    to darrel & we’ll miss Q….lets not forget that little thing called “the bottom line” which is that green stuff… $$$ talks and thats what this will come done to, even w/fitz

  37. By johnnybluenose on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    i agree, it would be nice to get fitz signed to a long-term deal but let’s face it, we were 5 and 11 with him this year and without big improvements in all facets of the offense we will be fortunate to win as many games with him next year. if i were fitz i would be reluctant to stay unless i thought we were going to be better, much better next year. i would certainly waive my no-trade clause to go to, for example, san diego if the opportunity existed. and, if i’m graves, i understand the fans’ frustrations with the drop-off in performance and would expect some backlash if fitz were traded or not re-signed but how can you pay fitz $10 to $12 mil a year when his stats don’t even come close to pro bowl cosideration? he has done well to not show his frustrations but i can see fitz becoming another chad ochocinco in the not too distant future unless we get back to winning. losing sucks…and it’s contagious which is why bad teams stay bad for a long time. the thing with fitz is this. no one knows what’s going to happen and it’s not going to happen anytime soon so we should stop thinking about it.

  38. By Michelle on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Larry Signs Autographs Sat Jan 22 at Westgate / The Shout House
    From 1pm – 3pm

  39. By drumm-1 on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    To all cardinals fans,why do you think we should try and sign every player that gets let go from another team,i guess you guys want a 82 man roster and pay them all top dollar, some of these will never be happy.why be a fan if you dislike every move they make..

  40. By darrel on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey darren will u be at the bcs game … if. So will u abe to give some us fans observations of casey mathews. Nick fairley, and of couse cam newton ….

  41. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darrel —

    RE: “Scouting” and BCS title game

    No, I will not be at the game.

  42. By R Robles on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    D is stupid 2nd round pick for Fitzpatrick stupid man we should go with the Orton Bailey Deal

  43. By Steve on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darren: In your opinion.if the Cards pick up a veteran QB during the offseson such as Bulger, does that make it less likely the Cards would use their 1st pick on a QB and wait until the later rounds, 2nd or 3rd round to pick up a QB?

  44. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: QB choices

    If there is a good QB to draft that they really like, no I don’t think it will preclude them from taking one even if they sign a veteran.

    And right now, we don’t know what will come first — FA or the draft.

  45. By E on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Gotta think that Fitz is going to wait to see who the QBs on the Cards roster are before agreeing to sign what would be his last ‘big’ contract with this team. I attended every home game this year and it was painful to watch him beat his man, be wide open and either not have the ball thrown his way or have the QB miss him badly. He never bitched about it but you could see via his body language how frustrated he was. If Cards stick with current cast of clowns at QB, won’t matter if they offer him $100m/year – he wants to win.

  46. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz is already scheduled to make 7 mil next year and an exorbitant amount in 2012(23 million?).
    He’s probably looking for a Brandon Marshall type of deal where he makes around 10 mil with a large signing bonus.
    Not far from what he’s making now. No Brainer.

  47. By Eazy E on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    We need Nnamdi bad! Our pass d was ranked a below average 23rd in the league, that’s awful. He and DRC would shut it down together out there on the outside and Kerry and A-Wil at the safety would beast. Fitz needs to be in the QB thing because if he doesn’t like the QB or they don’t get the right one(i.e. McNabb,VY), he’s leaving. We need to pay the money to who we need and stop biting other franchise’s philosophy. We have NO super bowls, 0 Rings and the steelers have 6 super bowls and New England has 3 super bowls, we’re nowhere near their level, so we can’t do what they do. We obviously need Nnamdi and/or Champ but we too damn cheap to pay. Woodley and Wimbley will be free agents and we badly need pass rush help but we too damn cheap again. Our QB situation was horrible and people saying no to McNabb or VY. Mark my words, alot of people say ”they want to win”, but don’t do what it takes, you should do whatever it takes to win. The Cards won’t win a super bowl until they stop trying to be copycats and do their own thing. If you want Nnamdi and/or Champ for instance get them. That copycat stuff don’t get you nowhere.

  48. By Eazy E on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Alot of teams/franchises fake it they don’t wanna win a damn thing because they don’t do what it takes. Get McNabb and VY!!!

  49. By TBru on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Fitzgerald, Centers, Wilson

    I still say the Cards best possible draft strategy is draft the best available dude named Larry.

  50. By 69er4l on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    eagles are out, time to call for kevin kolb.

  51. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Wow I didn’t know Sendlein was a concern! Hope we keep him he’s really shaped into a good leader…

  52. By Carl on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    The cards I believe should try to heavily pursue Peyton Manning this offseason if we can find a way to lure him away from the colts we are in business again. Make it happen I say Manning to Fitz next season.

  53. By cardsalltheway on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz might be the only person with leverage to force the Cardinal organization to do SOMETHING with the offense. I don’t think the owner(s) Bidwill’s care much about fielding the best offensive team as evidence by this past season. They think 2008 was enough for the next 10 years. The most important thing to them is $$$ and letting Ken W. run the offense(sigh), to save $$$ despite being beaten by Mike Singletary and his newly appointed offensive coordinator.

  54. By Jeff Gollin on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Although you don’t want to set the precedent of having the inmates run the asylum, the situation may be a bit different with Fitz.

    1. He’s a smart, responsible guy who knows the ins and outs of his position.

    2. If he’s going to be catching the passes, why not allow him to give Management his best thinking as to the kind of QB he feels would most effective getting him the ball (i.e. timing, trajectory, catchability, accuracy etc.)

    3. It may not be true with every NFL team, but I suspect that – under the Rod & Wiz regime – having our core players feel they’re “part of the family” and that their opinions are worth something is an important part of the championship equation

  55. By cardsalltheway on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Sando on Wolf and who is it, Doug? Anyway, Wolf and ____ are pretty good at diversion tactics. Mike Sando brought up the Cards/Ken W. ability — non – ability to have a QB lined-up before letting one go(Matt Leinart) and I’ve never heard a Card Pundit change the subject as fast as they did.
    I hope if/when Wolf goes on his supposed diet he quits his loud mouth laugh and scream. Wolf sounds like a girl, he ought to be in the next “Scream” film.
    The Pima county Sheriff tried putting a political spin on the AZ congressman shooting, now Wolf is trying to put a sports spin on it. Sic

  56. By Scott H on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Just read the story about this on which included several quotes from Larry. And all I can say is that this man is just too good to be true. He really is. Not only an off-the-charts WR but such a class act and a very mature young man in a league where that is not common. He is right up there with Aeneas Williams and Kurt Warner as one of the truly finest individuals ever to play for this organization. I am thrilled – and very grateful – that Larry seems committed to staying with this team. And after a year during which so many poor personnel decisions were made, it is very good to see the organization taking a pro-active approach with this one. Combined with the firing of Bill Davis, this is EXACTLY what I wanted to see.

  57. By Scott H on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    We’ll Miss Q –

    I really don’t get your lack of appreciation for a player as special as Fitzgerald is, but I certainly am glad you aren’t making personnel decisions for this team. With what he has accopomplished in his career to this point – AND KEEP IN MIND THAT HE IS JUST ENTERING HIS PRIME – he is NOT just an employee. He is a special player, and I applaud the Cardinals for taking a “special” approach to keeping him here.

  58. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply


  59. By badyear on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    QB, CB, OC, DC ALL are cr@pshoots, It takes a team. Most #1 draft picks are just a big waste of money. Did Fitz make Warner or did Warner make Fitz?

    Vic looked real good on that last interception…

    NO got treated to a ‘bye’ game…how did that turn out??

    Colts, KC all on vacation–going fishing.

  60. By Voice of Reason on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Knowing Graves, the “couple of deals” he was talking about was the practice squad guys. Way to get er done, Rod!

    What a joke.

    Incidentally, did anybody watch the Seattle game on Saturday and think, for a second, that it should have been the Cards (who had already beaten the Saints once at home this year)? If we had a marginal quarterback, it would have been. A good quarterback, given this draw (playing Chicago to go to the NFC Championship game) might have had us in the NFC Championship.

    But no. We have a GM who doesn’t have the stones to approach ownership about improving the team.

    And another angle on the economic analysis that Graves never provided ownership — you think given our down year it will take more or less to sign Fitz than it otherwise would have? Compare that to what it would have cost to bring in Jeff Garcia in week 3. Not taking into account the profit from hosting a playoff game.

    Again, until the Cards hire somebody at GM with an eye for talent, the foresight to anticipate issues and resolve them before they become issues, and the intelligence and confidence to have a candid conversation with ownership over additions to the team, they will not reach the level (and profitability) of the elite franchises in the NFL.

    Don’t get me wrong — I am not a hater. In fact, I am a big fan and support the team as much as anybody. But I do not let my emotion effect my judgment. If all they want from Graves is a paid contract negotiator, they come much cheaper. A GM is a professional, not a lackey.

  61. By Voice of Reason on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Incidentally, by “that” in my post above, I meant the probable difference in money to convince Larry to stick around on a team that had a down year.

    And even if the difference is zero. There’s still that hosting a playoff game profit center that Graves didn’t pull out all the stops to try to achieve.

  62. By CZarr on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply


    Why does Sendlein suck so bad in Madden 11?

  63. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    CZarr —

    RE: Madden

    You’ll have to ask EA sports.

  64. By cheesebeef on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply


    “The Cards’ blueprint follows what the Steelers do: Attempt to draft well, pay big money to the core guys who you draft that turn into your main players, and use FA to bring in role players rather than stars.”

    nowhere in the above do you say the cardinals attempt to follow… the above reads as if they DO follow the Steelers plan and has followed it for years, even though there’s really nothing in our plan that says we do considering we don’t draft well, we have a really shaky record (and this is being kind) paying big money to core players and have used FA poorly to sign big name washed up vets.

    it just sounds like you’re making pre-emptive strikes against why we won’t upgrade the team via FA by throwing this out there when there’s no validity to the statement.

    again, it’s all in the wording and your wording above makes it seem like we have been following a certain blue-print when in reality, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of blueprint that this team has followed.

  65. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Blueprint

    I was asked a question. I answered. You can slice and dice it all you want.

  66. By brad oneill on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    voice of reason- I have to completely disagree with you on your assessment of Graves. To paraphrase Don Rumsfeldt- we don’t go to war with the army we want we go with the army we have. What rumsfeldt was getting at is you have to work with the resources that are available to you. i would say Rod has done an above average job with a below average budget for most of his career.

    Yes we had a down year and it could be argued that mistakes were made. But the decisions that were made had merit. Derek Anderson was a Pro Bowl qb coming out of a bad situation, Joey Porter had a pretty good resume, Kerry Rhodes was our best player on defense, lennon was very good as well.

    our failures on defense came from areas we weren’t expecting to break down Adrian Wilson, drc, calais campbell, dockett.

    our failures on offense were a little more predictable- offensive line, qb play, fumbles from our runningbacks.

    graves and whiz tried to plug holes but the problems were largely with people who had performed admirably in the past, not with the fill ins.

    if you want to say Derek was a cheap solution to an expensive problem you would be correct. But the potential was there, it apparently showed up at practice but didnt translate to games. It doesn’t mean the leadership is incompetent it means they missed. it happens.

    lets see how they respond after the cba is signed.

  67. By clssylssy on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Fitzgerald is the heart and soul of this team but I have no illusions that the management has a clue as to his real value. I have watched him since his first season and was always impressed by his energy, leadership, his humbleness, and that was in addition to his incredible skills as an elite athelete. If one were to count the number of #11 jerseys you see, not only on game day, but on any given day at grade schools, grocery stores, shopping malls, etc, the management would recognize that Larry has become the face of the Cardinals and make signing him a priority. Unfortunately, I hold no illusions that the Bidwell family won’t try to pay him as little as possible and that next year we will be watching him in the Playoffs playing for GB, the Ravens,or another established team who has figured out that it takes spending $$$$ to get to the Big Dance. GOOD GOING Q, GO RAVENS! NICE JOB PUTTING KC AWAY! CAW! CAW! CAW!

  68. By David C. on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    A little off topic but do you think Todd Haley has worn out his welcome in Kansas City? With reports emerging of in-house fighting between Haley and Weis, Weis leaving for Florida and then Haley stripping Weis of playcalling at halftime yesterday, our favorite OC might be out of work before long…

  69. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    David C –

    RE: Haley

    They won the division, he might win coach of the year, and you think they’ll fire him?

    Uh, no.

  70. By NYCARDSFAN on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, what were the results of the voting for “Play of the year”?

  71. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    NYCards —

    RE: Poll

    Feely fake FG TD run vs. Denver
    981 29%
    LSH kick return TD vs. Oakland
    752 23%
    Feely field goal vs. Dallas
    657 20%
    Breaston strip/fumble at St. Louis
    472 14%
    Rhodes TD fumble return vs. NO
    208 6%
    Skelton 74-yard bomb vs. Dallas
    163 5%
    Hightower 35-yard TD vs. Denver
    100 3%

  72. By Gary K. on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Could you tell me, and please be specific, every single personnel move and/or coaching change that will be made during the Cardinals’ offseason? But please do not tell me anything that I disagree with or do not want to hear about the organization, or else I will nit-pick your wording and start calling you a homer and a Bidwill puppet. I will withold my thanks until I determine that your response sufficiently resolves the imbalance in my sad little world.

  73. By jocards on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    The truth is that to some degree the Cardinals do try to follow the Steelers blueprint they just haven’t had as much clear success with it as the Steelers have. That’s really no shock, few teams if any have had the kind of success that Pittsburgh has enjoyed. I think one reason they haven’t had more success is that they certainly are more willing to let some of their core players go(Dansby, Rolle, Boldin) rather than pay top dollar to keep them. They’ve had some good draft picks but they’ve also had some notable misses which hasn’t helped matters either. All in all if you’re going to pattern your operation after another organization the Steelers are a good one to shoot at….Let’s hope that there are better results in store for the future.

  74. By D on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Pay attention to see if McDaniels goes to MN as OC-if he does, don’t be surprised if Orton follows…one less QB option for the Cards….

  75. By brad oneill on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    cheese- there is definitely a blue print, the question is rather or not it really works. I would say it is far better than the old blue print of pay one fan favorite and hope he doesn’t get killed. just ask jake plummer how well that plan worked out.

  76. By cheesebeef on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply


    i guess my issue is that you, as the mouthpiece of the team to the fans, write that we follow a certain plan without there being any proof that we follow that plan. What in your mind draft wise, signing FA and keeping core players makes you believe we follow a steelers model?

  77. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: “mouthpiece”

    I guess my issue is that you think I am a mouthpiece. I’m not the PR department. No one is pre-reading my stuff before it gets posted, and no one is telling me what to post. Someone asked me about chasing big-name free agents, I said I didn’t think they would and here is why (and it hasn’t changed since before I came to work here).

    You can argue all day about whether they have made the right moves. But over the years, they have re-signed the pieces they think they can’t be without at the time (Boldin, Dockett twice, Wilson, Warner twice, Fitzgerald) and let others go. They have gone middle-of-the-road in FA (Hood, Gandy, Al Johnson, Lenon, Haggans, etc.) and then tried to build in the draft. And Rod has talked about — not just with me, but others in the media — that being the plan. Basically, that’s what the Steelers have done, re-signing some (Ben, Polamalu) letting some go (Porter, Holmes) and tried to draft. If I did the entire list, I think you could argue the Steelers have actually let more “name” players walk away than the Cards have.

    Again, you can argue the success. I never said they have been as good at it as the Steelers have. I said that’s what they are doing.

  78. By SandyGonads on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    The Bidwell family have to risk shelling out big time. It wasnt too long ago we were having arguably the best drafts in the NFL, getting Fitz, Dockett and Dansby in one draft was a masterstroke.
    I believe Fitz will have it on his mind to stay, he said numerous times he likes working for the bidwell’s he loves whiz and really likes living in Phoenix, however a dumb move in this approaching lockout could spell the end.
    If Fitz has a veteran throwing him the ball he will almost certainly stay, I think Kolb is the best bet with Orton a close second. However should the draft take place before the FA this year that could really mess things up, having no choice but to take a rookie in case we dont procure one in the FA is very poor timing indeed.
    Areas to target: QB CB OLB OL.

    1.) sign a vet QB Orton or Kolb.
    2) draft a pass rusher (robert quinn among others)
    3) risk shelling out the big bucks on Lamarr Woodley (who is very unlikely not to be franchised by Pittsburgh) or on Nnamdi Asomughua (although with pressure on the QB i feel our secondary is above average should it be the same next season)

  79. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Trade for Kolb!!! He wants out let’s get him ASAP!!!

  80. By SteveDCO on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I fail to see how the orginization has failed to recognize Fitzgerald?

    He was made the highest paid WR with his last extension and the rumor out there is this contract FROM THE CARDS will make him the highest paid player outside of the top few QBs.

    Let’s stop burning this team at the stake for something that they haven’t done yet. If they let Fitz walk, then feel free, and I will be right there with you.

    Let’s not forget, this team extended it’s 1st head coach ever since coming to the desert last year AND made him one of the highest paid coaches in the NFL.

  81. By Voice of Reason on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Brad, responding to:

    “voice of reason- I have to completely disagree with you on your assessment of Graves. To paraphrase Don Rumsfeldt- we don’t go to war with the army we want we go with the army we have. What rumsfeldt was getting at is you have to work with the resources that are available to you. i would say Rod has done an above average job with a below average budget for most of his career.”

    That’s the excuse, but it doesn’t need or have to be. A good GM (or any executive, really) convinces the ownership that additional resources need to be expended in a particular area to better the business. Ownership relies on that advice and advocacy. Good GMs are successful in that regard, bad GMs are not. It’s really that simple.

    Based on actions, it is clear to me that Rod is just a mouthpiece. He’s a paid negotiator. A yes man. Or a very poor advocate. And either way, he shouldn’t be the GM.

    Good executives (in any business) are proactive. Marginal execs are reactive. Bad execs don’t act at all or act irrationally too late. Graves seems to me to fall into the last category. Anything stopping him from talking to Breaston, Lutui, Branch or Watson during the season? No, yet he didn’t. All of those guys reported that they’ve heard nothing.

    Anything stopping him from at least looking for quarterback help when it was clear ours wouldn’t (and couldn’t) get it done in what might be the weakest division in NFL history? Nope. He did nothing.

    Now, you can say that’s him or his marching orders. If it’s the latter, he needs to use is advocacy skills to change those orders. If he’s good, he’s successful. If he’s bad, he’s not. So either he’s bad because he didn’t act or bad because he couldn’t convince the Bidwills to spend in that situation.

  82. By nor cal cards fan on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren- First off, i just wanted to thank you once again for all the time and effort u put into interacting with the fans, and for another season of excellent and insightful coverage of the team. Greatly appreciated.I’ve noticed u said lately that the feeling among the Cards brass is that Donovan is well past his prime,best days are behind him etc.. I completely understand that thinking,but if they feel that way about Donovan, how could they not feel the exact same way about Marc Bulger? Would the fact that he has extensive knowledge of the NFC West make him more desirable to the team? That’s the only thing i can think of…? Lets be honest here…they are both washed up.Bulger is a backup. Pulling the trigger for Kyle Orton would seem to make a lot more sense…I know everything is still up in the air…but what is your gut telling you

  83. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    RE: QB “gut”

    My gut says they haven’t decided anything yet. If you are talking Bulger v McNabb, at least Bulger’s experience fits better with this offense than McNabb, who has spent the vast majority of his career in the WCO. Is Orton better? Maybe. But he’ll cost a draft pick, and the other two won’t. Is Orton that much better? That’s the question. And where does a potential trade for Kolb fit in?

  84. By graetschinger on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    i think,
    its time for kolb in the desert!

    darran what do you think?

  85. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    graet —

    RE: Kolb

    I think the Eagles have to decide to trade him first, and that’s no lock.

  86. By drumm-1 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    people or son fickle on this message board, first they want to build through F.A then complain about not signing some of the other players on the team. I ask you Darren, please respond, how do you put up with this, mainly,Cheese, todd, and have people want to replace the dc and oc right now, they the team is moving acting to slow, and then when a better coach comes available, they complain the cards should’ve waited.. ok my rant is over now. good job Darren..

  87. By D on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    D Cord.
    I knnw Coach Whiz wants to hire Butler from Pittsburg, but I don’t think he should overlook Manusky from SF. If J. Fox doesn’t get the Bronco job-he maybe the best option even though he has not coached a 3-4.
    He must realize he can’t duplicate the Steelers Defense without good LB’s.

  88. By Scott H on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Ya know what…I don’t mind them following a Steelers blueprint. That’s fine. But what they need to STOP doing is trying to build the team with old Steelers who have little or nothing left in the tank!

    I’ve been getting my hopes up for a deal for Kevin Kolb myself, but i really do have to wonder if the Eagles are going to let hom go anywhere. Vick really came down to earth during the last month of the season, his performance in the playoff game was not good, and he takes so many hits on a regular basis that he is sure to be hurt at some point. So, you’re the Eagles…what would you do??? If I’M the Eagles, Kolb suddenly looks like a necessary insurance policy for when Vick goes down injured.

  89. By jocards on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I have a feeling that the Eagles are not going to trade Kolb. If they do make him available then I’d think that Arizona would have to at least entertain the possibility of acquiring him. The QB situation is in dire need of an upgrade and of course the lack of a CBA is a huge issue just sitting there….it’ll be an interesting off season.

  90. By Number 22 on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Man just get a QB. Thats what we need right now. Theres young QBs that are coming into the NFL like Jake locker. I say we try and get a good QB in this draft. With out a QB we can not get the ball into the hands of great receivers like Larry Fitzgerald.

  91. By Alex on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    I know you’re tired of hearing this but Kolb. The guy wants out of Philly and wants to start somewhere. If you look at all of his 7 starts they were pretty good games. He’ll get a good line a great WR corps reliable backs and a Defence when they’re not tired they’re strong. If the Cardinals pick up Asomugha, I know he’ll be asking for alot of money but until Tolers ready for sure he’ll be a good guy next to DRC. Kolb really would be a good QB for us. What do you think Darren?

  92. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Alex —

    RE: Kolb

    He’ll be considered, I believe.

  93. By georgiebird on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    Another young QB is NOT the answer to keeping Fitz. Unless the Cardinals bring in an established QB (to LF’s liking) then the Cardinals will pay in spades to keep LF.
    Fitz has tasted the SB-and he wants back. He sees Boldin making the playoffs and that’s what he wants. So in the irony, Larry had what Boldin wanted-$$$$$$, NOW Boldin has what Larry wants- playoffs.
    Since the Cards will only sign McNabb for 2 years, I don’t think he’s the answer to locking in Larry for life.
    I love LF for his ability and his brains. However, if the Cardinals don’t have the other pieces- namely coaching, QB and a defense, I would definitely NOT break the bank to resign Fitz. He’s a possession wide receiver who needs a total offensive package to make him successful. This year he probably didn’t catch more than a couple of passes when the defense was all out to stop him given the QB and meaningless nature of the games.
    I got spoiled with Roy Green who had two and three defenders on him every play to prevent TDs. As great as he is, Larry is no Roy Green-just ask Bill Parcells.
    All that being said, it will be a huge PR blow for the organization to lose Fitz. However, to sign Fitz and still be bad will be a bigger PR hit. And don’t forget the defense even in the SB year has been terrible.

  94. By Hunter Stout on Jan 10, 2011 | Reply

    hey darren in my opinion Larry Fitzgerald is the best WR whos ever lived do u think that if the Cards pull off playoffs this 2011 season it might result to keeping him and my other question was i am looking forward to seeing Cameron Newton bombing passes to leaping Larry do you think that is a possibility seeing as how the only other places that need him are possibly the bills and the panthers because i know that John Skelton is a better choice than Kolb but if you throw Cameron in there the only competition is Cam vs John who will be the 2011 starter?

  95. By Eazy E on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Oh please don’t even start to compare Bulger v. McNabb in any kind of fashion. Their is no way McNabb is washed up, when Mc5 had weapons, and this is only last year in philly, he threw 22 tds and only 10 ints and had an awesome 92.9 passer rating, washington’s supporting cast was horrible, I’m surprised Moss had 93 catches and it was mostly because of McNabb, I thought Moss was a #2. Bulger’s last good season was in 2006. No Thank You sir. I understand his supporting cast was chicken shi*, but come on. Orton I like but I’m not giving a second round pick for him when I can get McNabb or VY for free. They want maybe 2 1’s for kolb and I’m not doing that, especially with us having the #5 overall pick, NOPE!!!!

  96. By Eazy E on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    McNabb only played 14 games when he had 22 tds and only 10 ints in 2009, so his numbers would have been even better.

  97. By Scott H on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    In regard to all of this discussion regarding QB’s, I just became aware today that for as long as the CBA agreement remains unresolved, PLAYERS cannot be traded. Teams can trade draft picks but not PLAYERS. Well, that sucks. That pretty much leaves Kevin Kolb AND the Cardinals stranded on their respective islands until that issue is resolved. So, there’s good news and bad news…bad news is they can’t trade for Kolb right now. THE GOOD NEWS IS THEY CAN’T TRADE FOR MCNABB, EITHER!!!!

  98. By SportsInfo247 on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    I am really hoping that the Cardinals can sign Fitzgerald to a long term contract. I personally would prefer an experienced NFL quarterback more than getting one through the draft. I know we need one that can turn this team around in a short time, like Warner. If we don’t, I think we will lose more good players, and the team will continue to lose, just like in the past. We had a few good years, and we need to turn this around quickly to keep the momentum.

  99. By Eazy E on Jan 11, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H stop hating dude

  100. By Scott H on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    Eazy E –

    I’m not hating, bro. Just as you feel strongly about certain things, so do I. As you know, I don’t like McNabb as a QB but I certainly don’t “hate” him.

  101. By Eazy E on Jan 13, 2011 | Reply

    He hasn’t won anything is hating to me for all that mcnabb has accomplished.

  102. By Rimrockcard on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    any word of progress on this matter,or is it just a baby step in a long process?

  103. By Darren Urban on Jan 15, 2011 | Reply

    Rimrock —

    RE: Fitz deal

    I think we are a long way from anything being completed.

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