Free agency begins — sort of

Posted by Darren Urban on March 8, 2013 – 7:38 am

Free agency — the time when contracts have expired and players are able to visit other teams and sign actual deals — doesn’t begin until Tuesday at 2 p.m. 1 p.m. (I forgot the country changes time this weekend and we do not) Arizona time. But at 10 p.m. tonight, for the first time (at least, within the rules), agents for free agents-to-be and teams other than the free agent’s own can discuss contracts.

The rules are this: A player has to have an agent to make this work. If the player is self-represented, he’s stuck waiting until Tuesday. No travel for the player can happen or even be planned. But a contract can be discussed and, in theory, reached.

“I think it’s fair to say that everybody will be interested to see how it works out, what the results of it are,” said former general manager Bill Polian, who now works for ESPN but was on the competition committee when the new rule was first discussed. “I wouldn’t say everybody was enthusiastic about it.  We all had some reservation.

“But, on balance, I think it’s fair to say that we felt that it was something that would at least bring some organization to what had been a very chaotic process.  Agents can talk to clubs, they can go back to the old club with what one would assume would be a bona fide offer or some parameters.  They can gauge who is interested and who is not interested. All of those things may bring a little more organization to it than had previously existed.  But I’m going to be as anxious as you to see if we come out of the box with deals at 4:01 p.m., or if it serves as a way to sort of set the market before people begin to do deals.”

Polian noted the NBA’s way of doing business. There is a significant lag-time in pro basketball from the time free agency gets underway and the time actual contracts or trades can be executed. In the NBA, it has to do with how long it takes to set the salary cap. But often in that league, many deals are agreed upon and reach the world news before they can actually be executed.

“My study of it is they pretty much get all these deals done during the so called talking period, which is longer than ours, as I understand it.  Then after the first flurry, then the market settles down.” Polian said. “Even if that were the case with our league, my personal opinion would be that that would be a good thing.”

So free agency will start, even if nothing can be officially done. I have no doubt some players will “switch” teams this weekend without officially switching teams. Here we go.

Posted in Blog | 38 Comments »

38 Responses to “Free agency begins — sort of”

  1. By joe holst on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Free agency is overrated and typically teams are worse off when they acquire other teams problems. The players are typically on the downside of their careers, such as adam snyder, joey porter, todd heap, just to name a few. They not only create salary cap nightmares they also take away of getting any compensatory picks. The Cardinals have no salary cap space so if your waitng around thinknig they are gonna bring in some big name player or former pro bowler you are wasting your time.

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply


    You can’t escape the QB talk.

    Mike Mayock, two years ago, began late , telling people look out for this guy Collin Kaepernick.

    Last year, Mayock really banged the table for Russell Wilson.

    So, when Mayock moves someone up his board, I take notice. EJ Manual wasn’t even in his top 5 last week, but , he has shot up to #2 (behind Geno).

    Just like Kaepernick, EJ is a project who may not be ready in year one. But his skill set ,( big, strong arm , fast feet) has to get your attention.

    My thought about EJ is, he makes bad decisions and looked bad at times but has good ability. It will be interesting to see what happens. As I said before, I thought Mayock was crazy about Kaepernick, but I’m listening this time.

  3. By D on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t expect Az to do much because of the Cap. But if they can do 3 things if they can clear enough cap room then I would be happy.
    1-Resign R. Johnson S
    2–If they can’t resgin G. Toler, then try to sign K. Lewis or C. Williams at CB
    3–Sign L. Grant at ILB

  4. By sqhead on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Remember Cards fans you build your team through the draft not through free agency. This isn’t fantasy football, the Cardinals can’t sign every player whose name you recognize, I would rather have them spend the money on our own free agents, and then have a kick-ass draft!

  5. By Dynosoar on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    If contracts can’t be discussed until tonight, how does Alex Smith have a deal with Kansas City? Not saying I want him on our team (or don’t want him.)

    Darren, does this break some rule that he or the Chiefs could be fined for, like Dallas and another team were a year or so ago?

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

    Dyno —

    RE: Alex Smith

    Smith was traded. He wasn’t a free agent. Teams can talk to each other whenever they want.

  7. By Dynosoar on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Clarrification of my question. I’m trying to understand here. Contracts can’t be discussed until tonight, contracts can’t be officially signed until next Tuesday, but can be agreed upon between now and then.

    Alex Smith is reportedly a done deal with Kansas City. How can he be a done deal if contracts can’t be discussed until tonight? No one would in their right mind (although he’s had many injuries, maybe he’s not in his right mind) would agree to move unless details like a contract were understood which would mean discusssing a contract and that many weeks before league rules allow for.

    My question, based on the above (and there are assumptions made) would this mean Kansas City, Alex Smith and Smith’s agent have broken the rules?


  8. By Doc on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Dyno —

    He was traded not picked up through free agency

  9. By eric on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    my wish list includes phil loadholt,rashard mendenhall and dwight freeny-no chance…..loadholt would be a solid addition and mendenhall knows BA’s offense.can not wait til tuesday.

  10. By donttakelosses on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply


    As you know I loved the Whiz, he did take us Bowling. But even as he recognized and salvaged Warner from the scrap heap, he failed miserably with Skelton, and others were mixed at best. He was behind the 8 ball from the beginning with Leinart, then was caught off guard/unprepared when Warner cashed them in a year early.

    Now arrives the BadAss.. similar setup.. need a QB and poor market/draft all the way around. Might expect he’ll find a committee of Stanton, Hoyer and Kolb (if he comes to table) and find a QB next year in draft? Any thoughts on who might be top 3-4 in 2014 draft? This one sure looks poor to the pundits. Agree with John the Draft guy, Mayock seems to nail it. Polian sharp too…

    DTL. Go Cards.

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

    DTL —

    RE: QBs

    I don’t really know. But if the guys who pay attention to this for a living are talking about a less-than-stellar draft, I tend to agree with them.

  12. By D on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Thank You Adrian Wilson!

  13. By Christo on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    My wishlist.

    1A. Larry Grant to replace Lenon long term. There is also value that he comes from SF.
    1b. Bradie James to replace Lenon short term.

    2. Nick Roach to help at OLB. Scho and Acho just aren’t doing it for me.

    3A. Patrick Chung. The future after Adub is done. Which apparently is today.
    3b. Corey Lynch. Would be a nice runner up prize.

    4A. Evan Deitrich-Smith. Plays C and can double at G.
    4b. Donald Tomas. We need OG help.

    5. Winston Justice at OT. He’ll come in and help with Arians system.

  14. By lg on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Adrian wilson was released really that’s B S you can cut his pay but dont release a big part of this team.

  15. By Patrick on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Thank you Adrian Wilson! You are a warrior!

  16. By erik on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Releasing A-Dub is dumb and disrespectful. Loyalty is hard to come by these days and it makes sense why. Clearly it is not a valued quality in society nowadays. I know he was gettin older, blah, blah. He is still a top 10 safety in the NFL, easy! No knock on Rashad Johnson, but A-Dub is better.

    I’m just upset because he is my favorite Cardinal. If they want to save money, it is a no brainer, cut Kolb.

    I’ll still root for you Cards, but I will never agree with this move.

  17. By Mr Robles on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Dont get how Wilson gets released before Kolb, Wilson heart is in this organization. Is there a chance he may retire or resign under a lesser contract?

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

    Mr Robles —

    RE: Wilson returning

    No. I think this is a “moving on” move.

  19. By erik on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Just curious, Darren.

    Do you know what position the team considers Justin Bethel? He came out as safety then he played some corner. He seems to have potential. Just wondering what they think of him at this point. Not sure if you have any insight on that, but if so please share. Thanks!

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

    Erik —

    RE: Bethel

    I think that’s still TBA.

  21. By Cactus Jeff on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    What a bunch of tools. “Build through the draft not free agency”, CRAP! The cardinals brass are shaping your opinion! You realize Kurt Warner was a free agent. Where to begin? Charles Haley and Deon Sanders go to the cowboys and win superbowls then sign with Niners and win a superbowl. Reggie White and Packers, and oh yea history repeats itself with Charles Woodson and the Packers. How about Shannon Sharpe and Rod Woodson to the Ravens? Drew Brees and Darren Sharper to the Saints. Peyton to Denver, Justin Smith to the Niners It just goes on and on and on.

    They convince you free agency isn’t important, its just flat out wrong. Free agency and the draft is not an either/or equation. FA+Draft=roster. Great teams, superbowl teams, do great in both variables. Demand the Cardinal brass to win in Free Agency against the Niners and Seahawks and then out draft them.

  22. By Cactus Jeff on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Oh yea, my bad, Q to the Ravens….eeesssshhhh

  23. By clssylssy on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    What I am waiting to see once FA begins is anything that would give me a clue about the Kolb deal. With Adub being cut I would bet it means paying Kolb and keeping him around instead of doing what will help the team and clear that space.
    So far I am totally unimpressed by anything the Cards have done to get us out of the cellar and make us a contender. It seems Steve Keim just can’t get rid of the positive things the Cards had going fast enough to make a “clean sweep”. The Cards have no money to sign players and are in destruction mode…LOL! Same ole Cards:(

  24. By grabling on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Keep Kolb (for less money) and draft Geno Smith… Cut Skelton, Lindley

  25. By ored on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    making a few bad choices in o-line and qb positions put us in cap hell and the reason for that was poor planning for those positions.we failed miserably in drafting,then had to scramble for what was available at the price we felt we could live with.when the saints guard(nicks i think)was available i thought we should have just paid up a few more bones and have the best,same thing now,the buffalo guard is 27,proven,and available…added bonus,takes the talk of warmack off the table,thus saving our pick for another spot,a virtual 2for1 deal,lol.our o-line sucked last year,but we don’t need to go overboard on tackles,if the thought is so strong to draft a tackle,then we should unload a couple we have and get draft choices for them,we just don’t need 5 tackles,especially when they are all improving and starting to hold their own.just do the guard thing and bring everyone to the same page,let coach do his qb thing,draft the best we can and play our cards,lol.

  26. By ored on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    a dub was everyones favorite,that’s why he’ll be in the ring of honor,but it’s time,not because he can’t produce but also for the guys behind him,it’s their turn,remember montana and young,it happens all the time,we get old and the young see their vision,can’t deny them that.old men dream dreams,young men see visions.

    just gotta figure the qb thing out,until that happens D-FENCE and the best ground game we can put together buys you time BA,get er done.

  27. By D on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Reduced salary Kolb, Hoyer and second round pick EJ Manuel

  28. By Terry E on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Cards offer 2nd roiund tender to Hoyer. Yesssss.

  29. By Dynosoar on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply


    Thanks for the clarification.

  30. By clssylssy on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    I think fans look at a player’s contributions to the team when evaluating their worth–the consistent playmakers turn out to be fan favorites, add in character, leadership , toughness, and loyalty and you get the guys who fans buy tickets to see play whether or not the team is winning..the Larry Fitzgeralds and Adrian Wilsons. Take away those icons and fans have difficulty in justifying the high price of a ticket to see players they don’t know, have an attachment to and are merely names on a page. Teams who consistently make the playoffs and have become the “heavy hitters” of the industry are teams who have a sound infastructure, who treat their coaches and players with decency and fairness and recognize the role of the fans in sacrificing to buy tickets to see their favorite player in live actions. One would think that “the suits” would recognize, by now, that Cards fans NEED guys like #24, who has consistently contributed to any success the Cards have had, putting the team and their fans first. Given our Cap limitations, fams are smart enough to know this team can’t be fixed in one year. We lost Adub for what…Hoyer and Kolb, who have made little to no contributions to the team or the fans. While this is a youth driven industry (except for coaches and suits) there isn’t an expiration date on talent and character. Meanwhile, in KC, Andy Reid is building his own All-Star team around “expired” discards like Donta Robinson and Steve Smith and the big question with Arizona fans is what next? Who else are we going to have to give up to keep Kolb…Larod, Kerry Rhodes, Rashand ???

  31. By adamant on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    this may be a lil off course Darren, but the Ravens are telling Q he needs to take a paycut or risk being released…

    If he does get released do you think he really will retire…or does the allure of maybe coming back to the CARDS and playing with FITZ again drag him away from retirement? Q is probably a top two receiver for any team in the league…

    Of course this is just a die hard CARDS fan still reeling from the release of A-DUB.

    Thanks Darren

  32. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    adamant —

    RE: Boldin

    Just talked to Q a little today. I don’t think he’s going to retire regardless. And I don’t see him coming back here. The Cards don’t need a receiver.

  33. By monzz on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    >Goodbye Adub.. wish Kolb gets the same! Hoyer unproven just a Joke! I hope BA makes the right choices and builds a great team.Whiz N Fake and our past GM thank god you are gone or the Bidwell’s would have had 4 more hard to fill seats in the high priced club seats.

    I hope the FO has some balls and cuts Kolb and Lindley neither is an asset to this team, and believe me Kolb will not come within a third of his salary if he was lucky enough to catch on with another team in free agency. Last years 4-0 start with Kolb was a joke.

  34. By clssylssy on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    Are Steve Smith and Dunta Robinson trades also…how is Andy Reid making all these deals in the “no talk” zone while everyone else is waiting for the other shoe to drop?

  35. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    clssy —

    RE: Robinson/Smith

    Robinson was released, so he is free to do what he wants when he wants. Smith can’t be official yet.

  36. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply


    It is always important to point out when these guys were drafted.

    Carl Nicks was drafted at the end of the 5th round and became an all pro.

    Andy Levitre was drafted in the middle of the second.

    The other big guard this offseason is Louis Vasquez, a 4th rounder

    Point is great guards do not need to be taken in round one. No position is deeper every year than guard because many tackles are converted into guards.

    Just a thought

  37. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 9, 2013 | Reply

    While I share the frustration of seeing a guy like Wilson getting released, it is a little contradictory to complain that young players don’t get enough playing time, and to gripe when old ones get released. You can’t go straight ahead when there’s a fork in the road (not safely, anyways).

    He had a great run here, thanks to him for elevating the level of expectations for this franchise.

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