An “incredible” and “fluid” week for the front office

Posted by Darren Urban on August 2, 2011 – 10:16 am

General manager Rod Graves is hoping to make it up to Flagstaff today or tomorrow, after the whirlwind week that was. Now, there is the ability to step back a little bit and absorb what happened since a week ago today when the free agent process officially began.

Graves praised the support the front office had from president Michael Bidwill, noted the hard work put in by assistant Justin Casey, the scouting department led by director of player personnel Steve Keim and the pro personnel department fronted by director T.J. McCreight.

“We had the support to be aggressive and we all played a part,” Graves said. “We were organized from day one and we expanded the negotiating team. … But we had to be fluid every step of the way. We determined early we weren’t going to get caught up on one guy. We couldn’t afford to wait around.”

Said coach Ken Whisenhunt, “We had every position evaluated. We had players ranked. We knew where we wanted to go. If we weren’t going to be able to get in play for one guy, we’d move to the next guy.”

A good example of the smart work the group put in came at the guard position. The Cards wanted Deuce Lutui back, but when it looked like Lutui was going in a different direction, the team turned to Daryn Colledge, who it eventually signed.

No bridges were burned, however, even after Lutui agreed to sign with the Bengals. So when Lutui flunked his Cincinnati physical, the Cards and Lutui figured out a deal.

“The way that negotiation was handled allowed him to come back,” Graves said.

Whisenhunt said the group had a laundry list of ways to attack the past week. But as Graves said, the Cards were fluid, adding, for instance, a drive for a cornerback once it became clear the team was going to have to include Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the Kevin Kolb trade. Yet the Cards had done their due diligence on cornerbacks already, making the eventual signing of Richard Marshall that much easier (and there were reports the Cards were farther reaching that normal, for instance talking with arguably the top free agent available, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha).

“There’s always got to be a little bit of adjustment you have to make to navigate your way through that, and once again, it was a great team effort,” Whisenhunt said. “To be honest with you, it all starts with Michael. Michael set the mentality of going into this period to be aggressive. He’d said that. He’d said that publicly, and he stood true to that.”

Said Graves, “The whole process has been incredible.”

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Posted in Blog | 54 Comments »

54 Responses to “An “incredible” and “fluid” week for the front office”

  1. By cards62 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    No time to be giving speaches there is still more work to do. We will pat you all on the back if you deserve it.

    Braylon Edwards is a must.

    I think A. Franklin from the 49ers would be awesome.

    Outside linebacker

    Is there any good offensive tackles available?

    Go Cards!

  2. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Lockout? What lockout? Lol! Way to bring the fans back on board guys! What a week!

  3. By ProSportsPhoenix on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Great job Michael Bidwill. 🙂

  4. By Andre on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Basically, we have 4 holes with #2 WR, OT, OLB, and NT

    Darren, do you have a picture of what the salary cap looks like?

  5. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Andre —

    RE: Cap

    I do not.

  6. By kauaicardsfan on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Love the aggressiveness, its been loooong overdue but all the pieces are coming together!!! Much praise to the front office and coaching staff!!! Now lets gets Fitz locked in and get him another compliment on the other side. And maybe we can get Assante as the next CB than we should be a solid team!!!

  7. By Andre on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I also forgot CB…

    Darren what is the most important hole to fill in your mind besides WR?

  8. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Andre —

    RE: Most important need

    Backup NT perhaps?

  9. By BIll on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    NO to Braylon “and his entourage” Edwards!!! Malcom Flyod would be a better signing.

    Congrats to the Cards and their front office. They had a plan and executed that plan when the time came. Now it’s up to the coaches and the players to put it altogether.

  10. By Lucas Beckett on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    hey Darren,
    any news on Braylon Edwards? i’d love to see him in red and white this season…

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Lucas/Charlie —

    RE: Braylon/Floyd

    Edwards is a guy players seem to want. But he’s got his issues. Floyd, I think, is overpricing himself everywhere.

  12. By Charlie on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply


    Any reason that you can tell for them having interest in Braylon Edwards but not Malcolm Floyd? Seems like Floyd would be cheaper no?

  13. By D on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Nice change from the past, good job, but it appears that they have more cap room in additon to what Larry’s new deal will be this year, so I propose to fill the remaining 3 holes.

    1) Backup DT–Gabe Watson
    2) #2 WR–Steve Smith (ny)
    3) OLB Matt Roth (price should be lower now)


  14. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Good job all around. I had my doubts at first when Breaston was released, but after it was all said and done, we’re now a stronger and more disciplined team. And we still have all of training camp to evaluate and release/sign additional players. I’m MUCH more optimistic now than I was a week ago at this time.

  15. By mike k on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    If they are done patting themselves on the back, can we get some DLine depth? Minus – Branch, Watson, Robinson, Iwebema. Plus Holliday, Eason, Carter. We still only have one NT on the roster in Williams.

  16. By cahongisto on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply


    & Coach Whiz….

    I trust darren youll pass these pearls of wisdom on to the decision makers and we can take this team to the super bowl this year … first lets be honest malcom floyd anf randy moss would be the best add ons ever for the cardinals this year to make a super bowl run possible… early has under performed and i dont think roberts will be close to what breaston brought to the table … but hear me out with the floyd and moss scenario … its 3rd and 7 on the 32 and you have moss split wide right fitz in the slot and floyd wife left with heap on the left edge… kolb takes the snap and you have moss break on a 12 yard come back fitz run a slant like only fitz can * might i remind everyone of his touchdown in the super bowl…* then on the left side floyd is running a deep in and heap … well hip helped chip and with all the attention being on those giant amazing receivers you now have heap one on one with a lb while heap runs the out route where he catches the pass and runs for 15 more and its now 1st and 10 on the 47 … look i know it sounds simple but they would be all too big too athletic and too strong for any defense to cover even the super eagles would have problems stopping all the options wed have cause i didnt even touch on williams out of the backfield on the bail out dump off if needed

  17. By ALONEEAGLE on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I am hearing reports on Bleacherreport that if the Cardinals fail to sign Edwards, it could cost them Fitz. Now whether there is some truth to that fact, I think that signing Braylon could realistically solidify this offense ten fold. I also still believe that a solid QB is not the only thing that will keep him there. I know he wants to stay in AZ, but I also know he wants that Super Bowl. If he doesn’t have a legit weapon on the other side, he will continue to get double teamed as he did last year. Obviously with the moves this organization made in the off-season, it is telling me they do want to put a competetive team on the field.Just my opinion, but signing Edwards to a similar one year contract comparable to VY of the Titans, it would be a good signing. Give him a chance to prove his worth and get Fitz resigned. According to reporter adam Schein, both Fitz and Kolb are pushing for them to sign Edwards. Now I know how you feel about Bleacher Report, but what I have read thus far, they seem to pretty accurate. Your thoughts Darren.

  18. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Aloneeagle —

    RE: Fitz

    I do not think Fitz coming back hinges on Edwards.

  19. By stlboz on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Any word from the Cardinals re: thoughts on adding OT help or OLB?

  20. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    stlboz —

    RE: Adding OT/OLB

    Nothing right now.

  21. By MikeFlorio on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Dont throw yourselves a party just yet. Lock fitz up first..Then go get a solid number 2 WR and find a unstopable ilb

  22. By Javi on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    so, darren on twitter, kerry rhodes posted that he is doing whatever he can to bring his old teamate to AZ (braylon edwards) so what is the possibility of him comming here and giving an extra weapon to kolb?

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Javi —

    RE: More Edwards


  24. By beauchamp on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Good job. Took the family business to the next step. So grateful he’s into winning

  25. By Peter in Canada on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with Cards62. The front office has done an excellent job so far but there is still more to do. If Keith and Brown are the tackles we are still in trouble and who knows what kind of shape Lutui is in. We need an upgrade there and given Doucet’s injury record we need a good WR. I am not convinced yet about Williams, Komar and Roberts.

  26. By Andy on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    You should do an interview with the Skelton brothers soon.

  27. By Jzoully on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    It can’t end like this can it? One thing that makes me worry is Brandon Keith…Jesus he allowed like 5 sacks last year, is there anyway that we could sign an offensive tackle?

  28. By John the draft guy on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    First, This is the Best offseason since the cards moved to the valley. This organization is trying to win. I’m excited about seeing this team play.

    I think one of the best moves would be not signing Edwards. Our WRs on the roster can get the job done. Roberts, Stuckey and Doucet along with the newest wr, Demarco Sampson, can fill the spots. Sampson was again praised by Coach Miller, which is one more person who Sampson has caught their eye.

    With the Te’s added and a renewed commentment to run the ball, I think we are ok. Dont go out and spend on a new troubled diva WR.

    Question Darren; I talked about this topic before but it came up again. Sampson was again praised by Coach Miller today. You said Fitz praised him and we know Whiz did. My question, have you heard as much buzz about a rookie (other than a 1st rounder ala Peterson) since that certain wr in 2003, who was raved about in camp? I’m not saying he’s Boldin, but I can’t remember a rookie that when a coach or player is asked, who is impressive out there, the answer is so fast and the same name is mentioned first. Can’t wait ti see Sampson play against the Raiders.

  29. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Sampson

    Yes, last year with Stephen Williams.

  30. By pipapiko on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Having Deuce back is a great addition for the cards! Whatever the case was in cincy, doesn’t matter at all. I just hope the cards can lock him down after the season. Keeping players around like Deuce is what the cards need to build a winning program!

  31. By Jzoully on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Oh ok what about Bryant McKinnie who we could probably sign him to a 1 year $1.8M, whatcha think Darren?

  32. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Jzoully —

    RE: McKinnie

    Don’t see it. Was cut because he was lazy. Not a good quality.

  33. By Tbru on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Players come and players go, I learned over the years not to get too attached to any single player as things can and do change rapidly in the NFL. I support the big red, and the bird on the helmet. The Cards are a better team than what was on the field in December. To me that is a successful off season. Kudos to the front office.

    Now lets see if the players and coaches can put it all together and make successful actual season.

  34. By Matt on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I am loving the direction the front office is taking in free agency this year.

    Darren, I’m sure you’ve already been asked a bunch, but any updates on bringing in a new receiver, or does the team seem set with what we’ve got?

  35. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: WR

    Fitz is top priority right now.

  36. By Modavaysean on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Braylon is a top talent but he has been in a ton of trouble . Im not sure he would be good influense for our team if he can’t stay out of trouble . Malcom Floyd or Steve Smith might be a better way to go . Franklin would be nice also but after resigning Fitz and signing another WR he might be to costly . Other DT’s i think would be a good sign are Anthony Hargrove or Rocky Bernard . From what i hear Fitz is lobbying for Braylon so i guess if he thinks its a good idea than maybe he feels things would be different for him in AZ . Braylon is the best available when it comes to talent .

  37. By Cards4Life on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Off-subject but do we know who the other canidates are for Edwars so far I have only heard of the cards going after him?

  38. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Cards4 —

    RE: Edwards suitors

    I do not know the others.

  39. By tom on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    jesus people d line is the last place we are looking for starters!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we are set! and plus franklin just went to saints but id be mad if we got franklin…

  40. By Don't Take Losses on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Bravo Michael B. Also, Heap seems a Whiz clone in his video.

  41. By JP on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    They need to promote Justin Casey to Assistant General Manager already!

  42. By dylan on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you Bidwells. I am very grateful for the improvements and feel like repurchasing my season tickets was the right move.

  43. By Eazy E on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    We did focus solely on one guy named kevin kolb. I don’t believe that rod graves. We also need to close the deal with Braylon. Alot of his ”problems” are overblown, his only one really worth the pub is the DUI other than that, minor stuff that people shouldn’t care about. Fitz, Kerry, and a host of others want Braylon in Cardinal Red, get him will ya before somebody else does! Blow the guy away with a big deal, he’s a 1 and we got 33 mil under the cap, we can spend spend spend!!!

  44. By John the draft guy on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Good point, I forgot about Williams hype.

    I hear we have about 20 million according to MJ. Fitz resigning should take a chunk of that.

    If we don’t grab Edwards ( and I think I’m alone on that one), who do we spend the money on? (since 99% of the money must be spent)

    Can’t see Franklin, since he is a starter, not a complement to Dan Williams (ala Eason and Holiday to Campbell and Dockett). Tackle seems like the logical spot. Or does it go to our second choice at wr with Malcolm Floyd?

    Any thoughts there? BTW, interesting how they have to spend more money whether they want to or not.

  45. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    Franklin went to the Saints and I’m with you in not wanting Edwards.
    After the expected (hopefully) Fitz signing, I’d like to see dollars spent on a pass rusher.(I’m assuming the club will wait for preseason cuts.)
    Bryan Robinson wants to play this year and could back up NT Williams if needed; but Whiz supposedly is looking younger.
    Is he expected back, Darren?

  46. By Darren Urban on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: B-Rob

    I don’t expect him back, but it wouldn’t shock me that, if the Cards struggle at the position in the preseason, they reach out to him.

  47. By Scott H on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    cards62 –

    You said it, brother. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to hear about how great this off-season has been when we are still in DESPERATE need of a WR and Braylon Edwards is still out there to be had. C’mon, Cardinals…DAMN!!! It was reported about 10 days ago that this team had interest in Edwards and had the money to spend to get him. To my way of thinking, it’s already taken too damn long. Get this done! I really don’t know why people are celebrating. If we don’t get someone to complement Fitz at WR, we have left a HUGE hole un-filled. Sorry, but after last off-season, this team doesn’t get a passing grade until they have made this team whole again. And when this team needs a WR and a guy like Edwards is out there…the job is NOT done.

  48. By John the draft guy on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    I agree about pass rusher but who? I see people saying Matt Roth, which I say what. That is not an upgrade. We don’t need a guy who gets 3.5 sack a year.

    Osi could be the guy but the Giants want a 1st round pick. Woodley is a FA next year. He needs a big payday. Maybe the Steelers are sick of Harrison and trade him. Might be worth a call. Another call I would make is to the Colts. The colts could use some cap space and they drafted last year Jerry Hughes and sighed Jamal Anderson at DE to go with Freeney and Mathis. Robert Mathis is someone I would see if they were available. Just a couple of thoughts.

    Because the lack of any pass rushers in FA, I just don’t see anyone out there that is better than Porter.Unless we trade, we are going with what we got. So where to spend the money? any ideas Darren?
    Maybe Deuce and Bryant Mckennie could get in shape together 🙂

  49. By John the draft guy on Aug 2, 2011 | Reply

    As for Nose Tackle, I think Clifton Ryan would be a nice pick up. Dan Williams is our starter and Ryan would give him a vet behind him.

  50. By Mike in Mesa on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    And the hysteria continues. Whats wrong with you Cardinals fans. Get a clue. Your impatience knows no bounds. Last week the rants against the Cardinals front office were massive. Any of you childish posters from last week should go away for awhile. Now your all on the why don’t we sign Edwards or Floyd NOW! rants. Why would anyone want to sign Edwards with his problems. Not only that he’s a mediocre receiver at best. Wasn’t he the guy a few years ago who dropped more passes in the league than anyone. He had one good year early in his career and hasn’t impressed since. And didn’t Floyd suffer an injury towards the end of last year. Has he even proven himself yet after that injury. Go with the receivers you have Cardinals. I think just the way the team stands at receiver that given the chance these young talents may give the Cardinals one of the deeper receiving corps in the league. But none of you whiny Cardinals fans want to be patient and see. I’m hoping the Cardinals front office strengthens the team in other areas. The receivers we have now will do just fine.

  51. By Robert on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Just a question. Braylon Edwards ran a 21.4 200 meters at the Big 10 championships and then 4.38 at the NFL combine. But its a few years later and he has had a season ending knee injury and a major surgery so far. The Jets did not use him as a deep flyer much. What is his speed like now? No sense bringing him in if he cannot stretch the field anymore.

  52. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Robert —

    RE: Edwards speed

    From what I understand, he can still get deep. That’s the least of his problems.

  53. By Scott H on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa –

    If they’d done what they needed to to keep Steve Breaston here and not allowed a huge hole at WR to be created in the first place, maybe there wouldn’t be such urgency. In case you haven’t noticed, this off-season has a totally urgent feel to it simply by virtue of the fact that it is so condensed into a very short time period. By any chance, did you happen to hear about the NFL lockout thing that went on for, oh…about 4 months??? The urgency is built into this whole situation, whether you think so or not.

    And I hesitate to believe that the Cardinals will be “just fine” with the WR’s already on the roster. Roberts has played very little. Many of the others have played even less. Doucet can’t stay health long enough to play two games in a row. And Chansi Stuckey probably wasn’t even among the top 2 receivers on the passing juggernaut Cleveland Browns last year. You tell me – if you are an opposing def coordiantor preparing to face the Cardinals, do you see ANYONE here beyond Fitzgerald that you need to concern yourself with??? Gimme a break. To the extant that you find my urgency to be a problem, I find your LACK of urgency just as disturbing.

    Beyond Fitzgerald, I don’t think we have a single WR with a name that anyone who’s not a Cardinal fan would recognize. I see that as a less than desirable situation. And THAT makes me feel urgent. The way this organization handled our last off-season just adds to that. So, I’m gonna stay urgent until I think this team has done ALL that it needs to do. Don’t like my posts? Don’t read them.

  54. By Mike in Mesa on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    ScottH. They didn’t need Breaston with the depth of their bench. I can’t help it you have a misplaced sense of urgency and can’t rate talent. Hope the Cardinals aren’t as misguided as you and rushing out to sign a washed up, troublemaker. Just to appease urgent fans like you. You know sometimes you have to let the people you have shine. Would Warner have ever been an elite NFL qb if Edwards hadn’t gotten hurt. Maybe the Rams should have rushed to sign a name qb instead of giving him a chance. I can’t wait to see Fitzgerald, Roberts, Doucet, Williams, Komar and from the good things I’m hearing about Sampson shredding the oppositions defenses.

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