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A roster reset

Posted by Darren Urban on July 20, 2011 – 4:53 pm

Soon, the Cardinals will be able to start organizing the roster for the 2011 season (a vote on the new labor agreement from both players and owners should come at some point Thursday, according to NFL general counsel Jeff Pash). It isn’t a small job. The Cards are prepping with all hands on deck, but before we get there, a quick recap of the current situation.

The Cardinals, as of right now, have only 41 players under contract. They have eight draft picks that will be part of the team. So, heading into free agency, that’s either 31 or 41 spots more to fill for camp (depending on whether camp rosters are set at the normal 80 or the labor-issue-special 90 for this fall). The 41 players under contract include three veteran players who remain question marks to remain: quarterback Derek Anderson and linebackers Joey Porter and Gerald Hayes.

Here is a list of the Cards’ own group of expiring contracts (if you want further details, you can look here):

  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Michael Adams
  • T D’Anthony Batiste
  • DL Alan Branch
  • WR Steve Breaston
  • FB Nehemiah Broughton
  • C Ben Claxton
  • WR Early Doucet
  • LB Curtis Gatewood
  • P Ben Graham
  • RB Tim Hightower
  • DE Kenny Iwebema
  • T Brandon Keith
  • WR Max Komar
  • G Deuce Lutui
  • FB Reagan Maui’a
  • CB Trumaine McBride
  • LB Cyril Obiozor
  • TE Ben Patrick
  • DL Bryan Robinson
  • C Lyle Sendlein
  • TE Stephen Spach
  • LB Reggie Walker
  • S Matt Ware
  • DT Gabe Watson

Obviously, some of those players will be restricted in some way, shape or form, depending on their years in the league and whether they were tendered way back in February. ESPN.com is reporting the Cards will have among the most salary cap room in the league ($37.3 million right now, not including any savings if someone like Anderson or Porter were released) but again, there is naturally going to be a certain amount of cap room when there are so many roster spots to fill.


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Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “A roster reset”

  1. By Nick Pepe on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    Wow. There is a lot of work to be done. And I trust that the staff is prepared to do what it needs to do. This should be fast and furious, yet I hope not in a haphazzard sort of way. I am looking forward to the next 96 hours. And thank you Phoenix for a wonderful week in the desert.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    (I miss my dogs!!)

  2. By Logan Cooper on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    It’s been awhile since I’ve graced you with my presence. I’ve been reading but felt it useless to ask questions that you can’t answer even though I know you love answering those types of questions….he he.

    Soon there will be actual decisions made and football played.

    I can then start asking you why we don’t ever run the ball.

    Also, amazing job keeping the reading interesting when there is nothing to write about.

  3. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    Would like to see most of the OL re-signed, because familiarity breeds competency, even Lutui unless he asks for the moon(pie).
    Would love to see Breaston back, but if he feels the need to go, then let it show.
    Don’t understand the possible releases of Graham and Hayes, but the Cards know WAY more than I.
    The biggest intrigues to me are Hightower and the possible Branch/ Watson roster spots. I’m an unabashed Tim and Gabe fan and dislike the former second round trade up, underachieving Alan; who IMO only performed in his contract year.

  4. By cardsalltheway on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    The one positive thing about this lockout is that our coach can’t coach our players on our roster right now(walk around like the honcho as most coaches do and speak as such), and is less likely to make political decisions on players based on who sits near the right people during lunch in the cafe. Hopefully there won’t be enough time to make decisions based on this type of thing. MIght there be some publicly stated persistent rules that will have to be dropped as well, such as rookies not starting, do tell. Looking on the bright side, this lockout is and could be a beautiful thing. Change is needed and is good!

  5. By Scott H on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hate to say it but one guy I am ready to move on from at this point is Doucet. It just feels like he’s been here too long to have played as little as he has. A few ( VERY FEW ) memorable moments but way too much time spent not even being available. Roberts, Williams, Komar…give these guys the chance to step in and earn the spot.

  6. By drummer-1 on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    @ AndyStandsUp… I caught that.. moon(pie) that was funny..

    @cardsalltheway.. May i ask, Do you ever have anything nice to say about Cards?

  7. By Dustin Whitlock on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    DARREN,

    Is it me or is john skelton really being thrown under the radar here? Why even consider trading one of the biggest names in the business (D.R.C) for kolb? an unproven prospect, keep skelton, let him run the show, just like the greatest in the game had to do! please give me your feed back on you opinion here please.

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

    Dustin —

    RE: Skelton

    I think John remains a project with potential. The Cards have done their scouting on Kolb and know Skelton and what he brings. They have to make decisions from there.

  9. By tom on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    darren,

    how do you feel about doucet? do you see him coming back? i have to admit i am growng sick of his inability to stay healthy but the kid can play when hes healthy and he always works hard. he has practically NO value on the open market so i would really like to see the cards re sign him to a one year deal maybe 2 years for very little money. we have the money and the other wr’s seem to care about him. if he can stay healthy i see him as a very good slot wr just look back at the gb playoff game. kid is tough he just needs to learn to run out of bounds… i also heard he was working out with the cards this offseason showing he wants to return if nothing more than to gain some type of value in free agency… it just lines up perfect for him to come back with a low risk high reward wr that knows the coaches and system and has proven he can play… how do you feel?

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

    Tom —

    RE: Doucet

    Early is an RFA, was tendered, and I expect him to get another year to prove himself.

  11. By Alex on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    I know you’re tired of hearing FA speculation, but with Adams and Truman Mcbrides tenders ending, what are the odds that the Cardinals make a move for Cromartie out of New York. He’s a proven guy and if anything happens to Howlings or Peterson on kick return we’d have him to be there instead of risking Breaston or Roberts.

  12. By Darren Urban on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    Alex —

    RE: Antonio Cromartie

    Unless DRC is dealt, there is no reason to sign AC.

  13. By Bob Diesel on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    Cardsalltheway. = Fan that is post superbowl.

  14. By John the draft guy on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    Well figure 10 million goes to a QB. Sendlin deserves to be payed like a starting center. Then there are a lot of reserves and roll players to come back like Branch, B-Rob, and Adams and others to fill in the roster. Thats another 10-15 million.

    So, maybe we have 12-15 million left over to address Breaston, Luiti, and Hightower. Out of the 3, Luiti is my first priority. Next, we badly need another Tackle. Tackles take a few bucks to sign, and lets face it, if you grab Kolb and pay him, you should protect him. After that, there isn’t much left.

    Of course, cutting Porter and Anderson should open up some more money. But honestly, besides going after a guy like Logan Mankins to play guard, I can’t see any other big dollar needs. There really isn’t a big time rusher out there ( Unless somehow Woodley became a FA). So, signing Breaston could be possible. It will all be interesting.

  15. By Eazy E on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    It doesn’t matter if we have 137.3 mil in cap room, we aint gone spend it.

  16. By cardsalltheway on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    drummer-1,
    Are you myopic, or just unwilling to see things in another way? There is more than one angle.

    Sorry Bob, I would love to see the Cards in another Superbowl. Duh!

  17. By Alex on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    Oh and Darren. How much do you get paid for this? I kinda hope to be a writer for the Cards after I finish up college.

  18. By Darren Urban on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    Alex —

    RE: Salary

    You can make a living at it. It’s getting a job in the first place that’s the tough part.

  19. By cardsalltheway on Jul 22, 2011 | Reply

    Top 20 undrafted free agents, 5 of which are offensive linemen. Sure hope we can get at least one of these guys.
    5. Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU: A former high school basketball player who is strong and smart and has traits that remind some of Colts veteran Jeff Saturday.
    8. Willie Smith, OT, East Carolina: Smart offensive tackle with long arms and good athletic ability. Excellent pass blocker.
    9. Ray Dominguez, G, Arkansas: Strong guard who has the chance to start for someone in his second year.
    19. Kyle Hix, OT, Texas: Long arms, very strong. Doesn’t have good enough feet to play LT but could be good on right side.
    20. Zach Hurd, G, Connecticut: He played guard at UConn but his best position might be as a RT because of his size and strength.
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820e3eac/article/top-20-undrafted-free-agents-not-loaded-with-sudden-impact?module=HP11_content_stream

  20. By cardsalltheway on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    “The Cardinals, as of right now, have only 41 players under contract. They have eight draft picks that will be part of the team.”
    But I count seven draft picks that need to be signed, where is the 8th?
    You say 8, Pat Kirwan says 6, and I count 7, aren’t I correct?
    And, are you sure 7th round pick DeMarco Sampson “will be part of the team,” what about rookie draft pick hold-outs?
    1 – Patrick Peterson, CB
    2- Ryan Williams, RB
    3- Rob Housler, TE
    4 – Sam Acho, OLB
    5 – Anthony Sherman, FB
    6 – David Carter, DE
    7 – DeMarco Sampson, WR

    Pat Kirwan also says we have 49 players under contract(28 need to be signed to reach 90).
    You say 41 players are under contract but didn’t mention how many need to be signed?
    I’ll assume you’re correct, does that mean we have 36 players that need to be signed to reach 90?(going by your 41 – Kirwan’s 49).

    If 36 players still need to be signed, then I wish GM Rod Graves, salary cap administrator Justin Cassey, director of player personnel Steve Keim, director of pro personnel T.J. McCreight, assistant director of pro personnel Quentin Harris, and director of football administration Reggie Terry the BEST of LUCK!!!

    Isn’t Ken W. going to be part of the growing negotiating team?

    Below is P. Kirwan’s full quote…
    “The Arizona Cardinals are a great example of this perfect storm coming to a head. They are in need of a quarterback (probably by a trade); they only have six offensive linemen under contract and need 15 for camp; they have a total of 49 players under contract and need to sign seven restricted free agents, six draft picks, and somehow sign 28 more players to reach 90.”

    I noticed Pat Kirwan said we have 7 RFA’s but we really have 8 according to your above link.

    On another note: Bucky Brooks says 5 teams well struggle and you guessed it, he chose the…
    Arizona Cardinals
    “Of all the teams desperate to solve their quarterback woes, the Cardinals top the list. The offense struggled behind Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall, and although it appears Kevin Kolb is on his way, the learning curve for the fifth-year pro figures to be a steep one considering his move to a vastly different offensive system. The defense is also transitioning to a new system under Ray Horton, and the team needs to continue to find the right personnel to fit the scheme, specifically at defensive tackle. With a host of changes anticipated on both sides of the ball, the expectations for the Cardinals should be tempered.”

    Which is why I say “NO” to Kolb/DRC and/or first/second/third round pick. You said it yourself, DRC looks bigger and stronger this year.

    And the “Cardinals should be tempered,” depends on our “growing negotiating team.” Most importantly, no head coach should get a “free pass” based on this(if/when) 2011 lockout season.

  21. By Darren Urban on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    Cardsall —

    RE: Draft picks/numbers

    You missed sixth-round pick LB Quan Sturdivant. Cards had two sixth-round picks. As for Sampson, I’m not sure any of the draft picks will be on the final roster, but I am sure all eight will be part of the 90 in training camp.

    I count 41 under contract right now, 49 if you include the draft picks. They have other guys not under contract yet that are virtual certainties to be there (an exclusive rights guy like LB Reggie Walker for instance) but that I did not include yet.

    I’m not sure where Kirwan’s numbers come from. I can only go by what I know.

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