Tags all around

Posted by Darren Urban on March 5, 2012 – 3:32 pm

Now that the NFL deadline has passed for teams to use the franchise tag, the list was a lengthy one, which was what everyone was predicting.

A total of 21 players got the tag this year, although that number has already been reduced by one because Colts defensive end Robert Mathis got the tag today and then soon after, agreed to a new contract. That of course is supposed to be the point of the franchise tag in the first place, buying teams time to work out a long-term contract. That’s what the Cards are trying to do with defensive end Calais Campbell. What teams are not supposed to do is tag a guy just so they can trade him. That’s not a rule, but it’s the spirit of the rule. It’s one of the reasons the Packers really didn’t want to tag backup QB Matt Flynn; it’s one of the reasons the Cards didn’t tag either Jake Plummer or David Boston back in 2002 (although part of the reason with Boston too was they didn’t want him getting his guaranteed tender when he was, for lack of a better phrase, unable to be counted upon. That turned out to be pretty smart on their part.)

Although the specific franchise dollar amounts aren’t known yet, they are lower than years past because of the CBA’s new way of figuring them, which helps in the increased use. There are also more free agents, after so many guys either signed one-year deals or didn’t get extensions last offseason because of the labor problems.

Other than Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson, for whom Philly would reportedly would listen to trade offers, the rest of the guys on the list are expected to work toward long-term deals with current clubs, like Campbell. There are actually six kickers/punters that were tagged, amazingly. Certainly those aren’t trade candidates. The question will be how many of these tagged men can get a new deal done before Tuesday, when free agency starts and when the tag contract number begins taking a chunk out of salary cap space (Teams have to be compliant with the salary cap when free agency starts, 2 p.m. Arizona time.)

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52 Responses to “Tags all around”

  1. By Jon Michaels on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    The story about David Boston makes me sad. He was so talented coming out of OSU and had a monster couple of years for the Cardinals with their typical less than stellar offensive output to offset his production. He was SUCH a physical specimen though, that you could tell he was taking steroids. It’s pretty shocking that it took five years and three teams to figure it out conclusively.

  2. By MIKE G on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren— Hope all is well! Do you expect the Card’s to be active in free agency or kind of quiet this offseason??? I’m sure they would like to re-sign everyone they can– Levi seems to be the wild card here–it will be interesting to see if any other team throws big $$$ at him. I would like to see the Card’s draft well and bring eveyone back that they can. Whiz talks about chemistry being really important with this group– really don’t want to see a lot of turnover with the roster. Your thoughts??

  3. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Free agency

    I don’t expect them to be as active as last season. Whiz said he didn’t expect a ton of change, no reason not to believe him.

  4. By Eazy E on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I hope Whiz was saying that tongue and cheek. We need to be aggressive because even though we we’re aggressive last year, many of those moves unfortunately didn’t work out, some did though and albeit in the first year, but still sometimes you gotta hit it right off the bat such as Kolb(Gave up Way too much as I’ve said 100 times over and didn’t want him in the first place), Stuckey, Heap, Bradley, etc. We still have a major need at QB, we need another big-time WR, possibly TE, Definitely O-Line help at Tackle especially, and we need a DE/OLB pass rusher like a Kam or Mario and maybe another CB even if we do resign Marshall for better depth.

  5. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Eazy E —

    RE: Tongue in cheek

  6. By Dave on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    We need to sign Calais and quit messing around!

  7. By ivory on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t believe in Kevin Kolb at all. He didn’t impress in any game last season. I hope we are making right choice if we start with him. More prep time, and a better line could make big difference. What do you think chances are Cards go after one of Stanford’s G with 1st pick?

  8. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Ivory —

    RE: First pick

    As I have said many times, let’s see where this team is after free agency.

  9. By Chris on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, do you have any idea when the Nike jersey’s will be available?

  10. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Nike

    No I do not. But as I have cautioned, there won’t be a tremendous difference between last year’s and this year’s.

  11. By shannon robinson on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I am anxious to see the tenders to be made for players who are restricted free agents and those exclusive rights tenders. Big decision next is the release of Levi Brown so he can look around and see his market value. First contract to sign once the Levi cap room is opened up will be Coach’s Defensive MVP Richard Marshall next work on Keith, Holliday, Doucet, and Lutui (assuming he’s decided to stop eating at the Islanders’ buffet – the fish and rice special).

  12. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply


    “I don’t believe in Kevin Kolb at all. He didn’t impress in any game last season”

    Agree that Kolb’s first season was a disappointment, but his games against Carolina, Dallas, and Washington were pretty good. If the “D” played the first half of the season the way they did the last half we’d probably all be singing a different tune about him.

  13. By Phoenixraven1 on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    What is the hold up with CC contract?

  14. By Tod on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply


  15. By jwimmer2 on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I saw the NFL Network reply of the 2010 playoff game between GB and Big Red. I must’ve been too heavily buzzed after a bottle and half of cabernet to remember how good Warner really was. Holy crap! What a great QB he was, and Beanie looked great. I kept thinking of all of the former Cards that were on that team (Rolle, Boldin, Watson, Branch, Breaston, Urban, Rackers, Graham, Hightower, Patrick, Wright, McFadden, Dansby, Okeafor and Warner).

  16. By AndyStandsUp on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, your take on the soon-to-be Brown release?
    Little chance of restructuring before next Tuesday?
    Personally, unless Levi feels some type of loyalty (Cuz ya know, money doesn’t mean everything.), I feel teams are going to overpay.

    Other than Joey Porter also being cut, any surprises to have the team under cap by the fiscal first day?

  17. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: Brown/cuts

    I have said all along I expected him to test the market.

    As for Porter, he doesn’t need to be cut. His contract is expiring.

  18. By Peter in Canada on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    @ Mike Ellingboe – I am more inclined to agree with your assessment of Kolb than Ivory’s. I see the problem with Kolb as twofold. The first is that he is inconsistent. While you are right about his good games he had too many not good games to be an undisputed # 1. Skelton is also inconsistent. The most worrying thing about Kolb though, is his propensity to suffer concussions. The hit in the SF game did not appear to be that damaging compared to other hits I have seen players receive. It seems consistent with the theory that each concussion in a series requires a less damaging blow than the previous one and Kolb has had multiple concussions.

  19. By AndyStandsUp on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    I thought Porter was signed through 2012 with 6 mil or so on the line for this year.
    Wouldn’t that count against the team cap if still on the roster March 13th?

  20. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: Porter

    When Porter restructured, he not only had a pay cut, they sliced a year off the original deal.

  21. By AndyStandsUp on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    Garcias, Darren, (That’s Spanish for gracias.)
    I believe even Florio had him being a huge casualty cap cut.
    (And thanks for proofreading for me.)

  22. By in fitz we trust on Mar 5, 2012 | Reply

    i just hope levi hits the market, then realizes the market is slim for him ( i hope its slim for him ) hes still only 27 which is young for a lineman. i would just hate to see him go and flourish with another team as a lot of the cardinal draft picks have.

  23. By Rugbymuffin on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    A lot of tags used ? Sure.

    A lot of contracts signed too. Should have never came to this, and Campbell should have been wrapped up a LONG time ago.

    Typical Cardinal business.

    Oh well, he is here for one more year at least.

  24. By D on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    I was tired of the Manning talk, now really tired of the bounty talk, can’t wait until Free agency starts…but before that, we have 48 hrs until more Manning talk…. Serenity Now!!!

  25. By Dylan on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    D- the bounty talks are ridiculous when i played highschool ball and community college i went out their to wreck the opposing player/team no matter what i didn need to get paid for it i already wanted to do it anyways. Even if someone paid me to do it on the side it wouldn matter because i was already hitting them as hard as i could.

  26. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Dylan —

    RE: High school/Community college

    Fine. But let’s say your high school coach was telling you to do it and paying you for it. That wouldn’t be different — and a major problem?

  27. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply


    Agree with everything you said – was only attempting to give Kolb some credit where it was due in an otherwise disappointing season for him. My guess is that when all is said and done, Skelton will prove to be the better fit in our offense.

  28. By drummer-1 on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    @ Rugbymuffin..

    how do you know it’s the Cardinals? it takes two sides to get a deal done,but i guess it’s the sexy thing to do is blame the Cardinals..

  29. By D on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, I know the team has other needs, like pass rusher, probably 2 Off tackles…but could you see where T. Heap maybe released and AZ would sign another TE?. I think Housler will be good and King does a great job as blocking TE, but instead of getting a #2 WR that may get too expensive, how about AZ sign maybe a John Carlson. He has good hands, cheaper than a WR and probably be more healthier than Heap…

  30. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Carlson

    I just don’t see them going after a tight end like that given other needs.

  31. By Dylan on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    D- I get the whole paying to hurt someone thing but, the players on Defense are already technically getting paid to hit people but to me the big hits are the most exciting thing about the game, do people watch mma to see them wrestle around no. I just think they are taking it out of context because to me the spygate ordeal was much bigger then this they were actually cheating

  32. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Dylan —

    RE: Context

    There are multiple things wrong with what the Saints did, not just that they were hitting hard.

    I get what you are saying but there needs to be a reality check that this isn’t the NFL of the 1970s or even the 1980s anymore and it won’t be again, not with all the studies about concussions.

  33. By Corgon on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    I think the problem starts there when you pay someone for causing a game ending injury. There are lots of guys out there who want hitting hard the opponent, ‘cuz that’s their job. But even thinking about hurt someone in the field for money is a really nasty thing and should be out of the game. Talking about “Warner case”, or “Favre case” or anybody else individually could be laughable, but the main thought is serious….or at least should be.

    Darren! Do you think the Rams has to find a new DC after the investigation? I’d be shocked if not.

  34. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Corgon —

    RE: Rams DC

    We will see. Until the penalties are handed out, tough to guess.

  35. By SteveG on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply


    Just love this web page you guys put together for us fans year round.

    Just watched piece on Dwash, as always, fun and entertaining. Not a bad gig for a spot with a 20 week season to become an all year round full time job dude!!!

    You must have been good in a previous life 😉

  36. By remy on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    while im here i just heard peyton is getting cut now that this has happened how close do you think the cardinals will really look at this move i look at it as a cant miss you get a legend and keep a solid back up in skelton to learn behind one of the best and you loose kevin’s outrageous contract in return how could we not make this move darren what have you heard?????????

  37. By AZbelgium on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    o oh there comes trouble… Manning is going to be cut by the Colts (Fresh from ESPN). Well i don’t know but i trust our QB’s let KK and Skelton do what they need to do this year and get ready. Getting a QB that is fragile and still a BIG risk could hurt us more on the long term. Let’s focus on the future and with youngsters.

    Darren what is your thought on this now? As he is going to be officially announce it wednesday. I know he’d be an upgrade to somewhat 90% of the league but how are your thoughts and maybe even the Coaches?

  38. By cards>niners on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    If I had a nickle for every peyton manning post coming…

  39. By cardsalltheway on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    If only…
    3% Vegas odds for Cardinals to obtain P. Manning. I hope so but I doubt it as that would mean Ken W. and Graves might have to admit their 20 + million dollar plan(2-6 record) didn’t work.
    Retire: 20% ($100 wins $250)
    Dolphins: 20% ($100 wins $250)
    Redskins: 17% ($100 wins $300)
    Colts: 14% ($100 wins $400)
    Jets: 11% ($100 wins $500)
    Cardinals: 3% ($100 wins $2,500)
    Broncos: 3% ($100 wins $2,500)
    49ers: 2% ($100 wins $4,000)
    Titans: 1.5% ($100 wins $5,000)
    Chiefs: 1.5% ($100 wins $5,000)
    Texans: 1% ($100 wins $7,500)
    Other Team: 6% ($100 wins $1,000)
    For sentimental reasons I’d take the Cardinals but also go with “Other Teams.”

  40. By CZarr on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply


    I hate to just jump back into this forum with inflammatory comments after a long hiatus but Kolb deserves no credit. His contract is very similar in size to Aaron Rogers’. Results are not implied, they are expected. Unless something was going on that we fans and the media knew nothing about, he should be on an extremely short leash this off season in my opinion. That’s not even mentioning what we traded for him. Sure DRC didn’t exactly perform exceedingly well in a completely different system and as a completely different position (nickel back) but he did well enough to earn Reid’s praise numerous times.

    Also, I can’t believe there are actually people on here condoning the bounty system. We all love the game because of its physicality, yes. There is going to be violence, yes. Intentionally attempting to injure someone is akin to punching your opponent in the nuts during a boxing match. Anyone with any respect for the sport will not accept that as anything less than egregious. If you are arguing that bounty systems are a “part of the game” perhaps you need a psychological evaluation.

  41. By CZarr on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, and hi Darren.

  42. By Shaun Church on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply


    This is once again way off-topic, but something I’d like to know.

    Should a player be released before he is due a roster bonus, does the releasing team still owe salary or are they completely off the hook?

  43. By Darren Urban on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Shaun —

    RE: Money

    Most NFL salaries are not guaranteed. So once a player is cut, he isn’t due any more salary.

    The reason a roster bonus is important is because team’s usually don’t want to pay a roster bonus and then cut a guy, because it’s a waste of the bonus.

  44. By Chuck 1 on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    The media has reported that the Colts will let Peyton go.
    I ask you, why would the Cards even consider acquiring him?
    The Cards already have two QBs who will be top candidates for the Pro Bowl.

  45. By Flood on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    I feel bad for you (not really, because your job seems pretty awesome) but with the Peyton news you might have trouble knocking down the firestorm of posts to come.

    The thing in particular I’m concerned with is fans (and the teams) reaction to 9-0’s tweet of “Peyton to AZ!!!!” Any words of reaction in your parts to this tweet? I like Kolb (and 9-0) but I can’t imagine any teammate being down with a teammate welcoming your replacement. Your thoughts?

  46. By shawn on Mar 6, 2012 | Reply

    do you know when the next zoom will be posted if you know please post

  47. By Shaun Church on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome, thanks Darren.

  48. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 7, 2012 | Reply


    As you’ve noticed, I’ve only made the point that Kolb did have a few good games for us, contrary to the idea he didn’t have any. In further defense, while a select few traded/FA QB’s performed well in their first season with their new teams, most struggle. A few examples being Warner (w/us), Cutler, Favre (w/Jets), Schaub, McNabb, Palmer, Vick, Moon, etc. (trying to list only the otherwise successful QB’s, could go on forever if I included the career back-ups of the league). Even Joe Montana didn’t put anything up near his usual numbers. While it would be nice to expect immediate success with a new team it’s not the norm, especially when the QB in question didn’t have any off-season to work with, and as you noted with DRC, a “completely different system,” to adjust to himself.

    Not necessarily sold on him, either, but I’ll withhold judgment until after next season (should he still be around to find out).

  49. By Eric on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    Was there something particularly offensive about my comment I made on here yesterday, or did it just not go through? If there was, I’d appreciate an e mail on why. Thanks.

  50. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2012 | Reply

    Eric –

    RE: comment

    I have not deleted any comments in the last week. Maybe it didn’t go through or ended up in spam, but it wasn’t me.

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