With free agency, younger is better

Posted by Darren Urban on March 5, 2013 – 2:55 pm

That sounds obvious, of course, younger is better. But as Pete Prisco formulates his annual top 50 available free agent list, it’s the law. No restricted free agents allowed, no tagged players (neither one of those types of guys are available in reality, although it may be interesting to see what happens with Saints running back Chris Ivory) and no one who is 30 or will be turning 30 this year. Prisco’s idea is that no one that old deserves big money, and I tend to agree. The road of free agency is littered with overpaid older players who switched teams and couldn’t live up to the contract.

(Now, I differ when you are extending one of your own guys, because it’s a different scenario and you know exactly what you are getting. Those on the market are on the market for a reason — because their former team didn’t see them worth the same big money they are about to get.)

I suppose, if you are a team on the verge, an older player can be helpful because he can put you over the top. But you’ll notice that most of the teams at the top don’t do that. They are at the top because they build via the draft and keep the best players from those drafts. Peyton Manning does not count. Unique situation.

The Cardinals have one free-agent-to-be on Prisco’s list. Cornerback Greg Toler is No. 24. “A year removed from a torn ACL, he played well in limited time last season,” Prisco writes. “He is a tough corner who will tackle.”

I believe the Cards still want Toler back, but the market will likely dictate that. What will Toler be worth, and is it in line with what the Cards think he is worth?

Interestingly, there are a pair of former Cardinals slightly higher than Toler on the list. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is 19th, and defensive tackle Alan Branch is 21st. I don’t want to start another round of “Will DRC come back?” I don’t think so. Prisco’s analysis is a reason why. “He wasn’t great last season, but he has a ton of athletic ability. It’s almost as if people are waiting for it to show.” DRC has been in the league four years. Consistency should have shown up by now.

I don’t know how active the Cards will actually be in free agency, so I’m not sure how much this would even apply. But as I mentioned yesterday, younger is probably going to be better around this team now.

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37 Responses to “With free agency, younger is better”

  1. By tyman on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Younger is better? What about when we got Kurt Warner.
    Not always true.

  2. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Tyman —

    RE: Warner

    Quarterbacks are usually the exception, but even then, Warner was an outlier. Good QBs don’t hit the market usually.

  3. By joe holst on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    DJ Williams would fit nicely with D.Washington on the inside.

  4. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    I’v said it a month earlier bring back D.R.C . he’s the only player on the d side who can and has made a difference either blocking kicks or a quick pick 6 haveing him with #21 add in fleming we have on paper top cb tandem in N.F.L. it could work if that guy you guys call larry legend would re-do his deal for the TEAM that would kinda make me warm and fuzzy for about 15 min,

  5. By erik on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    I think DRC gets a bum rap. He was big for us when he was here. That being said, I would rather have Toler.

  6. By lg on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    DRC shine at times and get beat at times just like any other cornerback in the game peterson got beat a lot this season remember the 49ers monday night game.DRC is a better corner than toler that much i no signing him will up grade our def.

  7. By D on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Free agency for RB’s normally don’t work, I don’t see AZ going after one in free agency, the draft is the way to go, cheap and young playersIand a back that can run and block on every down, good luck Hyphen, maybe SD will pick you up. Speaking of free agency, I don’t see that AZ has the room today for both adding players in free agency and having room for the draft selections– so I am too assume either a restructure with Kolb and or another round of cuts, which means Adub probably won’t be back with his salary vs production….
    Darren, do you see down the road, ADUB a candidate for the Ring of Honor?

  8. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Wilson/Ring of Honor


  9. By P2wicewazhannintho on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Players get judged when their entire team is bad. Nobody on the eagles the last 2 seasons played solid defense. DRC out played Namdi and the rest of the secondary. The cards dogged the guy that gave them great defensive play. I doubt he would cost as any more than toler would

  10. By D on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Free agency-
    If the Cards free up more $ to sign one or two players this offseason, here are some names that I would bring in to talk to and try to sign one or two:

    CB–Keenan Lewis or Cary Williams
    ILB–Larry Grant or R. Maualuga
    OLB–Connor Barwin
    DE– Darryl Tapp

    Of the own players, I would like to them resign G. Toler and R. Johnson

  11. By P2wicewazhannintho on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Larry Fitzgerald has shown 2 seasons of consistency in 3 of the 5 seasons DRC has played in the league. He gets paid how much?? Also, take a look at the injury track record for all available CB’s and lest see who is most prone, I know Toler has a few.

  12. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    P2wice —

    RE: DRC and Fitz

    You want to argue for DRC, fine. You have done so since he was playing here. But please, you undercut your own credibility with that foolish statement about Fitzgerald.

  13. By Rio on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Toler big time hitter, much better than William Gay.

    Ivory would work for us, but not second round pick, don’t be crazy.

  14. By Terry E on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    I too am a big DRC fan and would love to see him back in Cardinal Red. I woiuld like to see us sign Toler also.. I also am intrigued with the Bengals ILB Rey Maualuga.

  15. By andystandsup on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Bertrand Berry, most likely the best FA signed by the Arizona Cardinals, was entering his 7th year in the league.
    Toler will be the guy to watch, come this weekend.

  16. By Campbells on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    These guys are appealing:
    Glover Quin (S)
    Keenan Lewis (CB)
    Andy Levitre (G)
    Brad Jones (ILB/OLB)
    We can probably draft the rest

  17. By lg on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    Darren is right this has nothing to do with fitz so let’s keep him out of it but fitz did say DRC as a a teammate was the hardest workout for him when he was going against him and that he misses him.

  18. By lg on Mar 5, 2013 | Reply

    i just want both of them back DRC & TOLER.

  19. By jerrytown on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Enough about DRC, we got rid of him for a reason….he freelanced too much and exposed his teammates by being out of position. They even had a defense-only meeting to call him out on it toward the end of the season. He was subsequently traded and han’t lived up to expectations since. Move on, he’s an average player.

    As far as free agency goes, it looks like there are quite a few young and exciting options at O-line. If we can clear up some cap, maybe we can snag a piece or two and lay the groundwork to draft Geno with our top pick…even if it means moving up a bit.

  20. By D on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    I may have missed it, but has the coaches mentioned yet if they think R. Massie can play Right G? Thinking if they do get Fisher to fall into their lap on draft day and need to move Brown to Right tackle, hate to see Massie not starting since he has potential to be a good OLman.


  21. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    D –

    RE: Massie

    The coaches haven’t said anything about Massie at guard.

  22. By lg on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    ENOUGH ABOUT GENO he’s good but the cardinals like matt barkley as a QB so you need to pay attention they say from a football standpoint matt barkley is comparable with andrew luck and thats what the cardinals like and need a smart QB.

  23. By jerrytown on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards like Matt Barkley according to some journalist with an unnamed source…. You really can’t believe any information out there in the weeks leading up to the draft. In fact, NOT hearing news about the Cards interest in Geno is more telling than the report you read about Barkley not making it past #7. Nobody really knows, I just think Geno is the best QB available this year so I’d love the Cards to draft him.

  24. By Andy Kw on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Well first there are still a couple of cut we need to make:
    QB Ryan Lindley, QB John Skelton (still a huge fan but best for the team with accuracy not developing) LB Zack Nash, C Scott Wedige, G Mike Gibson, TE Kory Sperry, OG Adam Snyder

    Cutting William Gay and Stewart Bradley was a great start.

    We need to work on restructuring some of our current free agents:
    S Rashad Johnson, CB Greg Toler, LB Quentin Groves, QB Brian Hoyer, RB LaRod Stephens Howling.

    Here are a few agents our team should think about about bring back:
    LB Paris Lenon, DE Nick Eason

    When free agency begins, here are the names that the Cardinals should consider ( I don’t think we will be that active, 3 FA should be the max this team gets):
    -QB Drew Stanton (1yr $2 million contract)-Indianapolis
    -OLB Rob Jackson (Sign him to a big contract from the Redskins)-Washington
    -DE Darryl Tapp (2yr $5 million contract)-Philadelphia

    Our team should consider drafting OG Chance Warmack to replace Adam Snyder since QB Geno Smith might not even be drafted in the first round.

  25. By Mr Robles on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Alotta good names out there, its like Xmas & so many to choose any names leak out who we might be interested in?

  26. By Terry E on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    I do think if things play out and Joeckl or Fisher is there at 7 we should select either. Based on that I also think D is on the right track, maybe not specifically with Massie but between the collection of linemen we would have at that point moving one of the tackles to guard might make a lot of sense. The only thing I struggle to evaluate is the play of the guards. Assuming Lyle Sendlein is back healthy at some point at center Colledge and Snyder seem capable at the guard spot. Does shuffling the deck help? Potter, Brown or Massie at guard??? What about Senio Kelemente? Will he develop? I also wouldn’t be disappointed if the Cards snagged one of the two top guards in the draft.

    Darren: Do you know when Sendlein will be back? Does he have the center spot wrapped up when he does get back?

  27. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Terry E–

    RE: Sendlein

    He is rehabbing and on course to be fine this offseason. As for having anything wrapped up, hard to know with a new regime.

  28. By Bill L on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    The 2 most interesting FAs are……..2 that aren’t FAs…Yet. Kevin Kolb and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Kolb is due a 2 MILLION roster bonus on 3/17……and, Fitzpatrick is due 3 Million on 3/13. Will either/both be released b4 their payday.

    Every Mock Draft I see/hear……like Baldinger and Casserley on NFL…..has the Cards taking Geno Smith at 7. That’ would be the end for Kolb with the Cards….he has to know that. Renegotiate, get some kind of pay day, ride the bench, maybe, then find another job in 2014……NOT a good future. On the other hand, hold firm, get released, and try to build the future now. He can surely get a back-up job with several teams……..he might be able to compete for a starting job with someone like the Browns. The Cards are in the Position of release him and, for a while, have NO QB. They would have to get one out of the draft.

    Fitzpatrick seems to be less wanted than Kolb. It sounds like Nix just wants to start over at QB…….and the subtraction of Fitzpatrick would be a plus for him. If they do release him…….then there are 2 teams that NEED a QB at 7 and 8. I think the best situation for both teams is that Barkley has a very good pro day and pulls into a dead heat with Geno Smith……..for both teams. If they both have the same favorite……then there is CLE and OAK with no 2nd rounder who would likely love to move down……….a not too highly rated QB could get very expensive in draft picks. Then again, they could both hold their fire by taking higher rated players and save the bidding war for moving into the late first round.

    Interesting time of year.

  29. By UK CARD on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    I loved DRC while he was here!! The problem was he was ALWAYS in the hunt for the big INT, not just making a tackle!!

  30. By UK CARD on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Glover Quin would be one of the few players I’d like to see the Cards pursue in F.A! More playing time/experience than R.Johnson who may test F.A, and with a heavy heart I’d say replace some of A.Wilsons snaps! 🙁 Though I’d like him to restructure, and stay in a lessor role a bit longer!!!

  31. By Cynthia on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Ben Patrick!

  32. By C on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    @”D” – If they are going to move someone, I’d prefer it be Levi to RG. He would be an absolute beast at guard, and Massie has already shown more run blocking skills than pass blocking. That will leave you with Snyder in a backup role, which he’s probably better suited for, as he has spent time at both guard spots and at center in his career. Of course this is all precluded on getting Fisher at 7. I like the sound of it all, though.

  33. By ored on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    interesting indeed.if tolar comes with too high a price tag then i doubt drc would be less,pick one in the draft.for those who want warmack,just sign the buffalo guard,he’s top ten,maybe top five and a mauler,then we can further discuss our #7 pick.

    if the bama cb falls to us,that would be value and need,if not olb would seem sensible,we have enough tackles and with the afore mentioned guard our interior gets better,snyder played injured last year,besides i would like to see if the center position brings out anything in him,and cutting him does’nt help the cap much,potter is a good run blocker and colledge is a good pass blocker,use them situationally.levi-lt, massie-rt.t, colledge/potter-lft.guard, levitre/snyder-rt.guard,and keep coaching the washington kid.looks like good depth and flexibility.

    we are so close,a qb(don’t reach this year,if we gonna do that,wait til next year),and make as sure as possible we get the best from our and rnd two picks,good,big blocking backs in this years draft,is’nt that what coach wants,or draft that small school lft.tackle that runs like a te,switch him over to a ball carrier/blocker,even more depth,lol.

    with all the changes,new priorities,solid,deep draft,and keeping our #2 pick,this year could be exciting.will be exciting just watching the qb drama unfold.

  34. By Bill L on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    NFL32…….very interesting today. First McShay(sp?) almost apologizes for putting Geno Smith at 7 to the Cards.

    Then ALL 3 analysts seem to agree that puting a Rookie QB behind the Cards Line would be a HUGE mistake…….David Carr and others ruined or almost ruined came up.

    3rd they said, especially with BA as coach, you might get a rookie injured, or ruined. Seems BA has a rep of getting his QB HIT………A LOT. Seems to fit with BA saying ………WHAT PROBLEMS WITH O-LINE?

    Lastly, McShay, who doesn’t like Barkley, said ………..put on his Jr tape behind a Great O-Line and Barkley is Great……..put him behind a bad O-Line his Sr year, and not so Great……….Makes sense………but, he gets don’t draft him…….and, I get, build a Great O-Line and the entire world is brighter…………..

    Oh, someone did say, let Kolb be the guy for one more year……..honest, it wasn’t me…….but, he stole it from me….

    1. Joeckel, Fisher or Kolb
    2. Kyle Long G/T
    3. Schwenke C/G

  35. By Campbells on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    Lane Johnson looks like a great addition. Great versatility! This guy has excelled at QB, TE, DE, right tackle, and left tackle. Significant resume for a college draft prospect.
    Think of the voids he could eventually fill…..
    Guys get hurt on a regular basis, and Lane could eventually save our season when a key player goes down.

  36. By Clarke on Mar 6, 2013 | Reply

    I have a stitched never worn DRC jersey I was lucky enough to buy during the offseason he was traded… So for that I’d like to see him back but he doesn’t seem like an Arians type guy…

    Handful of impressive lineman on that list, it’d be great to get one. With everyone coming back and the progress made by Massie that line may not be as far away as many think…

    The next two weeks will be VERY interesting to watch with this new Cardinals regime…

  37. By The Andersons on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    What type of Free Agent do you think will possibly want to come to Arizona to play? The defense was excellent with Wilson as an anchor… the offense is horrible, there are pop Warner teams that can play better. The defense did most of the scoring for them. You are not going to get a big name free agent to come play out there, maybe a washed up has been, but no young talent wants to come out on a hope that they will ever win. Upper management and owners have always done this to the Cardinals and the fans, you get someone good and you release them. My husband has been a diehard Cardinal fan since the St. Louis days and I have been for the past 10 years. It is very difficult to remain loyal to a franchise that continues to do this. I guess the new coach is a perfect fit for Arizona, since it doesn’t seem like he want to put together a winning team. Leave the defense alone, get a damn quarterback and get a damn offensive line…is that too much to ask??????

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