Soon, the fast and furious

Posted by Darren Urban on July 11, 2011 – 12:51 pm

So, whenever this is over — and again, it seems closer to that than it has been, right? — to say the NFL and those of us in it will be on a fast track is possibly a monumental understatement. There are stories about potential timelines, etc., etc., but what actually happens, both with a timeline and the actual rules in place, is very much still up in the air. Regardless, as we get to the middle of July, there are hundreds of contracts to work out, for both existing players with expiring deals and undrafted rookies and the drafted rookies (That first month or so is gonna be a grind-and-a-half for Rod Graves and Justin Casey).

The Cards, like every team, have prepped for free agency long ago. They have worked out potential FA targets regarding whatever the FA rules will be. They also know which players they want to push to bring back too (no, I do not have access to that list). It’s going to be even more work than normal too, since many reports say the teams will have 90 on the roster instead of 80 for camp, a little more leeway for injuries and such in this uncertain season. You have to figure resolving the QB situation will be at the top of the to-do list, but then which way does it go? Are the Cards able to keep guys like Sendlein, Breaston and Lutui? How many undrafted free agents are going to be targeted? More important, which veteran free agents will the team chase? And where does Larry Fitzgerald’s extension fit in?

Certainly, there will be daily news flowing quickly, so there will be plenty of which to write. Now it’s about waiting to see exactly what the headlines will be, and how fast they get pushed aside for the newest development.

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32 Responses to “Soon, the fast and furious”

  1. By VoiceofReason on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    If the organization really wants to take this head on, they’ll need more than Graves and Casey to do it. Fast and furious is an understatatement, and does not remotely describe anything I’ve ever seen out of Graves or the organization. The first week (or really the first couple of days) of free agency, when it starts, will make or break the season.

    It is not a time to ponder options. Pondering time is now. It will be a time for action. And we’ll see what kind of preparation has taken place during the lockout by what happenas (and the frequency with which it happens) during the accelerated free agency period.

  2. By VoiceofReason on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    And the first call that should be made is to Marc Bulger’s agent. Trade leverage of Philadelphia (Kolb), Denver (Orton), and Cincinnati (Palmer) goes down when you have a realistic starting option in the stable. Or if we’re too slow on Bulger, get Gradkowski. Or Hasselbeck.

    The Cards need two quarterbacks. Do not skimp on this.

  3. By Chris on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    I read that the new CBA suggested that the players would receive less of a percentage of total revenue but in exchange teams would be required to spend a higher percentage of the salary cap, somewhere around 90% I think I heard. If this turns out to be the case, didn’t the Cards have one of the lowest payrolls last year and if so who would they target to fill the 90% minimum that would be required? Would it be a
    few big name players or a lot of less expensive
    players? Any chance of going after Santonio Holmes?

  4. By Darren Urban on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: New rules

    We don’t know who they will target yet. You are correct on the rules speculated upon for payroll (although those aren’t rules yet). As far as Holmes, I would doubt they would go after any high-priced receiver because a) they need to re-sign Fitz first and b) they like what they have in Andre Roberts at this point. Breaston is still in the mix too.

  5. By Mark in Chandler on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    The tighter the window for FA the less confident I become. Graves has many strengths but one of them is not getting things done quickly. Graves has a painfully methodical negotiation style when it comes to FA and in an extreemly shortened window I do not have confidence that he will be able to get many of thier FA targets. QB will be the chief target and will cosume much of thier early energy anf focus. After that…Sendlein will probably be signed before FA starts. (I am assuming a 3-4 day window to sign your own FA before the free-for-all) He wants to be stay and the Cards want him. I think Branch will also be resigned before FA. I think the rest of the FA will hit the open market. They will try and bring back Breaston, Doucet, and Lutui back but I think all three will test thier value. Hightower may be back if Wells is traded to Philly like I think. They will want to bring back the bulk of the FA for continuity of nothing else, but I worry Graves’ style will cause at least one or two to slip away causing Graves to chase plan B.

    Other than QB I think the only other position where they will try and bring in a key FA will be at MIKE. There are a handful of serviceable MIKES with starting experience out there.

  6. By Darren Urban on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: FA positions

    I will be surprised if they don’t try to bring in a key OL.

  7. By R Robles on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    I hope Fitz gets a well deserved contract lifetime Cardinal. Im thinking a 10 year 100million dollar contract with 70million garuntee just saying maybe deserves more but he deseves a good amount. We gotta sign are players back. Hey Darren with Faneca retiring is Hadnot gonna replace him? Do you think we might go after Reggie Wells give him his spot back? Come on lockout end asap lets start getting ready…

  8. By Darren Urban on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    R Robles —

    RE: R Wells

    It would be an interesting decision to bring back Reggie. He knows the system, but I don’t know how he really felt about the trade last year. As for Hadnot, we will see.

  9. By D on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with Mark-this is the summer where we can’t wait to fly in these players for a meet and greet-everything will need to be done by phone, fax and email-wait one hour too long and we will miss out on any free agents that may help this team–get Graves a case of red bull

  10. By tom on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply


    how many years on a contract do you think the cards would be willing to give fitz? im thinking 7 but id like to hear your thoughts.

  11. By Darren Urban on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Tom —

    RE: Fitz contract length

    I have no idea. You’d figure at least five. But it’s hard to know.

  12. By CZarr on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply


    Did you just say “get” and “Gradkowski” in the same sentence?

  13. By JP on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    “That first month or so is gonna be a grind-and-a-half for Rod Graves and Justin Casey.” Jeez, sounds like they could use an intern.

  14. By Kurt on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    The Cards need to consider caution during the free agent period if they bring in Kolb and he proves a bust it will set them back a few years. John Skelton may prove the answer. It will not matter who the QB is if the offensive line doesn’t improve. Has anyone questioned Kolb’s durability – and Palmer might be available… Time will tell, in this crazy year I would hate to see them saddle the franchise with reckless decisions.

  15. By brad oneill on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    hopefully this version of fast and furious is better for arizona than the atf version turned out to be.

  16. By Scott H on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Can’t say I know for sure, but I have to believe that Fitz’ decision to either stay here or leave the door open to go elsewhere has to have a LOT to do with who they decide their QB is going to be. Sure, he is gonna say that he wants to be here, but…in his own words, the guy went from caviar to eating out of the garbage can last year. Sounds to me like he prefers the caviar! And if garbage is on the menu again this year because the QB play is horrible…why is he going to stick around when he can find caviar somewhere else??? Whoever they choose, they better get this QB thing right. Frankly, I think Whiz’ job may also come into question as well if there is another 5-11 season in THIS division.

  17. By Scott H on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Man, this is gonna be an off-season like no one has ever seen, that’s for sure! It will basically be an ENTIRE off-season condensed into about 5 weeks. Should be interesting to observe…

    Darren, a while back, you threw the idea that maybe the Cardinals offer their first round pick for NEXT year into the discussion of a trade for Kolb. I continue to like that idea more than any other scenario that seems to exist. That way, they don’t have to part with an impact player ( or players ) now and…who knows? IF they made such a trade and Kolb came here and it worked out well for the Cardinals, that pick could be anywhere from 20 through 30. And if we’ve solved our QB issue by getting Kolb, I’d say that trade was damn well worth it. If it’s a simple choice between giving up impact players now OR a first round pick next year, do you have a preference for which way you would rather go?

  18. By Darren Urban on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: QB trade

    Obviously, any picks used in a trade this year would have to be for next year’s draft. That’s a big reason many think the Eagles want a player and not a pick — to help them now.

  19. By Javi on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    so darren knowing that you are an expert, who do you highly think the cards will bring in for a new Offensive Linemen?

  20. By Darren Urban on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: OL target

    That I do not know.

  21. By keith on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Zack Miller would be nice. I’m thinking someone like Braylon Edwards wouldn’t be bad either. There’s several quality offensive tackles and lb’s that could be had if Graves acts quickly. What about Flynn with Green Bay? Is he being shopped around?

  22. By Frustrated on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Can you actually use fast and furious in the same sentence with Rod Graves? Ponderous and deliberate yes.

  23. By azirish on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Dont forget about a WR. The Cards need a solid number 2. Go get Edwards or Nanaee. I know they are high on Roberts and Williams. but they dont have experience yet.

  24. By Old Man Riva on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    The priorities should be…A) sign or trade for a QB, B) sign or re-sign OL, C) sign drafted rookies/FA rookies. The first two should be of an emergency status since not doing one or the other or, heaven forbid, both could and most likely would spell another disastrous season. The last isn’t critical since we do have vets at those positions. Besides, Patrick Peterson is at a position that allows him to make the transition from college to pro quickly. The other rooks or rookie free agents are not impact type players. I’ll say it again, loud and clear… GET QB and OL or suffer through another 2010.

  25. By Jair on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, if Breaston decides not to come back to arizona, do you see us possibly looking at Sidney Rice because i dont see Roberts, Doucet, or Williams stepping up as our #2 receiver.

  26. By Darren Urban on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Jair —

    RE: Sidney Rice

    I don’t see Rice wanting to go somewhere to be a No. 2. He’s gonna want No. 1 money.

  27. By Fatdog on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren do you think the Cards can go after guys like Harvey Dahl and Jared Gaither and still trade for and sign a good starting QB like Palmer or Kolb and still sign their own FAs.

  28. By Darren Urban on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Fatdog —

    RE: Dealings

    I don’t know about those guys in particular, but in general, they have to. They’ll have no other choice.

  29. By Mark in Chandler on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    RE:OL target
    I think they want Sendlein back and I think they will tie him down before FA starts. Lutui brings continuity but he may have burned some bridges. There are several LG and RG options out there that are pretty good so they may chase one of them. I think they will stand pat at RT and LT for a year and see what Brown does this year. As I mentioned, along with QB I could see them chasing a MIKE although they may stand pat with Lenon and see what they can find among the 90 UDFA.

  30. By azirish on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    We need a number 2 receiver. Get the qb spot taken care of, Kolb. Sign Klabo from Atlanta. Poszlunsky from buffalo to fill MLB. And get, wait for it, Randy Moss for the #2 WR. He’ll be pretty cheap and pair him with Fitz on the other side. He will be looking for redemption.

  31. By VoiceofReason on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, I did use Gradkowski and get in the same sentence. Not my first or even second choice, but let’s face it, Gradkowski would have won this division last year by three games. Would he take us to super bowls, uh, no. But he wins the division.

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