A hint at offensive line and safety

Posted by Darren Urban on March 14, 2013 – 11:36 am

In February, general manager Steve Keim was talking about what he wanted to accomplish in his new job. One of them had to do with a big picture view of free agency and the draft in tandem.

“I wanted to spend more time forecasting, as in taking a deeper look at the free agency market and the depth at each position as opposed to the draft at each position and have a little more calculated plan as far as how we approach those from an evaluation standpoint,” Keim said. “We’d weigh that against the financial part of it.”

It sounds reasonable and sound, and it also could give some insight into how this free agent period is playing out for the Cardinals.

Two of the positions considered the deepest in this draft? Offensive line and safety. Those are positions that might not be fully addressed until draft time. So the lack of free agent chase for a lineman, or the decision to release both Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes and sign only Yeremiah Bell could very well just be playing into Keim’s big-picture view. Again, I could see Bell being this year’s starter, and I can see him being this year’s James Sanders. (Heck, for the $840,000 he is reportedly getting, and a $65,000 signing bonus, he could eventually be this year’s Keith Lewis, a veteran safety signed in 2009 who ended up being cut at the end of camp when it was all said and done.)

I do expect more free agent signings. At what position, we will see, but there are reasons to think the Cards will wait at certain positions.

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67 Responses to “A hint at offensive line and safety”

  1. By donttakelosses on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Keen observations D.

    Its a jigsaw puzzle, starting to take shape. If Stanton can ball, might surprise. Keim keeping powder dry jibes with Wolfley’s comments: “in free agency, get competent character guys cheap who won’t get you beat, who can fill in until you get the long term solution, but no home runs, no wasted $$ on big names in 2nd half of career”.

    Like the Hoyer/Stanton MSU dynamic. Btw, MSU FG kicker under Saban works for GE Capital, lives 5 doors down. Small world.

  2. By aaron on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Dont take losses —

    Incredibly accurate. None of these signings will cripple the team financially if they fail. Spending $40 mil on Bushrod could kill a team if it doesn’t work. If Mike Wallace doesn’t produce, Miami is screwed.

  3. By azfaninwa on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    If you had to guess would you think we will add ILB and OLB during free agency as well? Haven’t heard much about plans for Lenon…

  4. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    azfan —

    RE: LB

    They already added one LB yesterday in Alexander. I’d expect at least one more.

  5. By Dynosoar on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I wish we had kept Kerry Rhodes, but he must have known this was a possibility with talks that at least reportedly began to restructure his contract last season. He may just want to test the free agency market. it sounded months ago that the Hyphen also would wait and see what his market value was.

    This is a great aproach if a player is worth what they think they are (or at least if some team like the Dolphins think they’re worth what they think they are.) It doesn’t financialy work out for those who are not worth (at least to other teams) what they think they’re worth.

    Capitalism at it’s finest. Let supply and demand set a players contractual worth. Hopefully Rhodes is worth a price the Cardinals have resources for so he can come back. If not, I wish him well wherever he goes that will satisfy him, except in any game against Arizona. The same goes for the Hyphen.

    I have to say, if this is inactivity, my head would be spinning with an active front office. I’m excited to see how all this plays into the draft and beyond. I watched Mendenhall over a few years and always thought it was him, Polimalu (sp) and Big Ben (Big Ben because I know I can’t spell Rothilis…) that carried the team. last year they didn’t make it very far at all without Mendanhall, but with him they almost beat Green Bay for a SB ring.

  6. By Eric G on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I’d like to see Rhodes re-signed. However, I hope they pick up one of the top tackles out there in FA. I’d rather have a solid veteran than a rookie. I’d be disappointed if they didn’t address the line in one or two ways in FA.

  7. By ored on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    just maybe the o-line is just what BA said,not as bad as most make it to be,no big splash needed,just a tweak or two,lots of talent in mid to later rounds of draft-lsu tackle or luisiana tech tackle,just because tackle was their college position does’nt mean guard or center is’nt their pro destination.that said,and with the BA’s current direction noted,seems like the draft could truly be for bpa,”hunt” is on to get difference makers and would be icing on the cake if they also filled positions of need.we have strong core players,both defensivley and on offense,just need to bring in elite players to lift certain areas ie:pass rusher,run stuffer,lock down secondary,qb,and ground game,although we might be good there for now.if not this year,do our best and finish it next year.looking back,the 9ers sucked for a long time,but i think a lot had to do with their coaching,sound familiar?well,maybe not all coaching but between that and management we took steps backward.cardinals rising.

  8. By donttakelosses on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply


    Could the reason that Kolb has not been cut yet be that they still are talking? I recall Keim saying he would always add more QBs, never be caught short, that you can never have enuff options there. Kolb/Stanton/Hoyer gives them 3 shots at success, make some sense in draft weak QB class?

    Never say never;) and Don’t Take Losses 🙂

  9. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Dont take —

    RE: Kolb

    It will be an upset if Kolb isn’t cut.

  10. By eric on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    wonder if the ol part will be addressed at #7….or will the speculation about geno smith be proven true…can not wait to find out.

  11. By D on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    My take on this “rebuilding process” is even if they sign Cason and Brinkley there are several more needs to the roster, more than one draft can provide.

    Holes to fill in the draft:
    QB, Pass Rusher, 2 G/T players, Safety and RB.

    They also could use another DE, but could fill that hole with a 2yr deal to M. Spears until next year’s draft. Also another TE in next years draft.
    Picks 5-7 can’t be counted on to help much in the next 2 yrs.

    I think #7 will either be a Pass Rusher or Left Tackle. Doubt if Jockel or Fisher will be there, so that would mean L. Johnson vs available Pass Rusher.

    Round 2 either QB or G– If EJ Manuel is there, they take him. If not, then the best G available, Kyle Long, Larry Warford or D. Thomas.
    Round 3–either QB, G or Safety
    Round 4– G/OT or RB
    Round 5– RB, CB or DL

    Stil waiting to hear about D. Colledge, 7mil against the cap way to much for a average G. (we know Kolb will be gone)

  12. By cobra on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Are the Cards still trying to trade Kolb? Is he is actually getting cut loose? If so, Kolb for Revis and let the orginizations deal with contract issues!

  13. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    this year is gonna be another wash no doubt in my little pea sized brain john manziel will be a card next year just get the line started this draft hell i don’t give a damn if we take a tackle #1 and guard #2 saftey #3 as long as we bomb i don’t care cards have a big plan and it envolves manziel.

  14. By AzDesertRat1953 on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Darren for the info, nice to be part of the loop, no matter how far away from the center you are.

    I’ll say one thing, Drew Stanton looks more like a Half-Back, built like Russel Willson. Yes he is 4in. taller, but looks like he could be as tough as Wilson, wonder if has that nack for getting away from the rush, like Willson does?

    This is going to be Fun, watching this year unfold!.

    GO CARDS!!!

  15. By JosEPh on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Didn’t Kiem or BA or both say in some of the pressers or interviews that this draft is heavy in OL and Safety? And that is one of their goals to address the OL? If so then the draft is where they will get those players not FA.

  16. By Gary on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, what do you here on Josh Cribbs? Is he signing today?

  17. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Gary —

    RE: Cribbs

    When and if it’s done, you’ll know.

  18. By Ryan on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Everyone keeps talking about getting a tackle high in the draft, the tackles played pretty good the second half of the season last year its the guard and center spots that need to be upgraded more than our tackles

  19. By Blair on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    So what I’m taking fro all this is either.
    A) we are supposed to believe that Levi brown is going to be the saving grace for the o line.

    B) Russ Grimm really was that bad. Our o line players are not as bad as we all clearly saw they were and that with a new attitude and way of going about things we will see a much improved line

    C) There are some rookies in the draft that will completely turn the o line around.

    I’m sorry but after seeing how well the Colts o line did last year im starting to worry that we are going to get the same Whiz BS about how it’s not what it seems, then a year of getting exactly what you thought you would. Let’s hope a b or c is right.

  20. By ored on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    and by the time pick #7 comes around,best value will be linebacker,ditto round 2,qb maybe 3rd,probably 4th round depending on how high bpa is graded,then depth as bpa/need-imo.

  21. By joe holst on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    F-, heres how you handle free ageny. you sign players that have been cut and let your free agents walk. That way you stockpile compensatory picks. Example, Cards sign free agent R.Mendenhall, thats kills the free agent loss of greg toler. pittsburgh signs beanie wells who was cut, loses a free agent, now they wil get a extra draft pick in next years draft Cards get zilch.

  22. By jerrytown on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    You do know that most compensatory picks are 5th, 6th and 7th rounders right? You really want to forego signing players and filling holes with veterans so you can acquire a couple late round picks that might not pan out for several years if at all? Great logic….

  23. By Debeezy on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Kolb for Revis? HAHAHAH, yeah right guy. Might as well try to give them Skelton for Revis.

  24. By Shawn Fox on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I just read a report stating that the Arizona Cardinals were not represented at Geno Smith’s Pro Day, is there any way for you to confirm this?

  25. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Shawn —

    RE: Pro days

    I know many are out of town right now for pro days. Don’t know about West Virginia. Do know attendance at a pro day — or non-attendance — doesn’t mean anything when it comes to who you draft.

  26. By BBG on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply


    Are you sold on the idea of just drafting ROOKIES and coaching up the existing players in order to turn around the league worst OL? I mean if you were going to spend cash would landing a quality G or T be the place the do it in terms of risk and ROI?

  27. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    BBG —

    RE: Rookies

    They’ve tried to do that and it hasn’t worked. Again, the guys on the market now, they are there for a reason.

  28. By jerrytown on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Typically most teams build their offensive line through the draft. It’s really the only way to get elite players….you’ll notice that elite offensive linemen never hit the market. I’m glad Keim is taking the draft route for our line, it’s something the previous regime neglected to do, which is why we’re in the situation we are in.

  29. By RobM on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Not sure Stanton is the answer. He could be a revelation, time will tell. Read my full thoughts. GO CARDINALS

  30. By Seanham3 on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren with all the recent Free agent signings, Do you believe our focus for the first round of the draft shifted from quarterback/offensive line to Safety/ Linebacker? Or is it too early to tell?

  31. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Seanham —

    RE: First pick

    The first pick should always be aimed at the greatest difference-maker, with need sprinkled in.

  32. By Marco_Antonio on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I’m not gonna lie, the releases are huge pills to swallow. Especially with A-Dub and Rhodes. Being a Az Cards fan is like being in a bad relationship, no matter how much they makes us angry and want to jump the “Van Wagen” to another team, we always come back. LOL!! Let’s just hope that all these changes are really worth it and we finish better than last season, that’s all I ask for!! Thanks Darren for the updates, keep’em coming!!

  33. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Darren- Any chance the Cards would sign Carson Palmer if he is released???

    At what point do the teams have to have their rosters at 90 players???

  34. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Palmer/90

    I doubt it but I don’t know for sure on Palmer. Last I saw, the Raiders were figuring to keep him.

    There is no time you have to be at 90.

  35. By pp21 on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren, what are your thoughts on E.J. Manuel?

  36. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    pp21 —

    RE: Manuel

    Who knows? Is a mystery, like many QBs in this class. Certainly no sure thing.

  37. By Scott H on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Boy, the talent blizzard just keeps coming, doesn’t it? Par for the course, we have done next to nothing. But…perhaps I should be more understanding. After all, with all those monster deals going on yesterday, I’m sure everyone needs a few days to rest.

    Saw where Sean Smith just signed on with the Chiefs. Nice. Anyone surprised? Just like we supposedly wanted Reggie Bush. Just like we supposedly wanted to keep Greg Toler. And Ray Horton. And Richard Marshall a few seasons ago. And Anquan Boldin and Karlos Dansby before that. Just like we probably wanted to keep Kerry Rhodes. And I could go on, but…who cares?

    This organization has set new standards for pathetic during the last 3 off-seasons and despite changes in coaching and front office personnel, it doesn’t seem like a damn thing has changed. This team is coming off a 5-11 season and three losing seasons in a row. They continue to be perpetually in a position of having very little cap money available for free agency, yet the team on the field remains anywhere from bad to embarassing. And now, for their next trick, the DOUBLE-WHAMMY of having to release players left and right while not moving to acquire anyone of real substance.

    Can I please ask – how is it that so much of our cap is always taken up by a team that is SOOOOO friggin’ bad????????

  38. By jerrytown on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    We are officially in a rebuilding phase. Adrian is my favorite player of all time, but at this point we’re not going to win our division so it was time to let go. Same goes for Rhodes…he wasn’t going to re-sign, so we got a stop gap player and will address free safety in the draft. I think we’re trying to get younger… I wouldn’t be shocked if we trade down in the draft, maybe more than once, in order to stockpile more picks and inject our team with young talent at multiple positions. The great teams don’t sign the flashy free agents…they build through the draft and keep their core intact, adding a few cheap veterans in free agency. I wasn’t really impressed with our free agents at first either, but I believe that Keim has a plan and is looking to be a contender NEXT year. We keep the players that are valuable assets and want to be a Card long term, guys like Fitz, Campbell, Washington, Dockett, etc…guarantee we sign Peterson to a long term deal when it’s time. Keim is doing his thing and I think he’s making smart moves…no sense in crippling your cap situation for the future. While it sucks to lose guys now, he’s thinking about the long term success of our team. It’s refreshing to see a plan in place in my opinion. I think it’s genius that Keim is weighing the position depth in the draft and free agency and making moves accordingly. Don’t be so quick to say we failed and have a gloom and doom attitude toward the direction we’re headed. It’s the third day of free agency! Great teams are not built in March, they’re built in April. If we have a horrible draft, then you have an argument. For now, trust our new wise GM who has an incredible wealth of football knowledge and a great eye for talent. The NFL is cyclical….we will have our glory day in the hot sun as Nacho Libre would say. Patience.

  39. By cardsalltheway on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Brian Urlacher? There is a roster spot limit isn’t there? But he would fit right it with our torn ligament club and the 35 year old club on his B-day in May. We cut the 33 year old A. Wilson and sign two 35 year olds?

    “Urlacher led the Bears in tackles in 2012 until Week 13 against the Seahawks, in which he sustained a hamstring injury, and on December 5, Urlacher confirmed that he may miss the rest of the 2012 regular season.”

    Oh and the hairstyle fits right in too with BA and Keim etc…

  40. By Wayne on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t agree with a lot of what has happened since about week 4 of last season and certainly don’t agree with many of the moves made so far this off season. I am a project manager by trade and often times the guys working for me don’t always agree with the way I want to do something, sometimes I listen, sometimes I don’t and when it’s done, sometimes I am the hero and sometimes I am the goat. Guess we will just have to wait and see if the new regime and their decissions turn out to make them heros or a goats. One thing is for sure, we will all get the chance to watch it happen live and on TV every Sunday next season.

  41. By Chris on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    With what the Seahawks and 49ers are doing in free agency, it is very hard to be optimistic. All due respect to Drew Stanton but bringing in a career back-up QB, a special teams LB, an undersized DB, and a RB that is prone to injury does not build confidence.

  42. By Corgon on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    The safety position wasn’t a big need before we cut Ardian and Kerry (especially with RJ’s deal). With this moves we succesfully made one more hole in our roster. Well done.
    I think Mendenhall was our splash and thats all, so I don’t see where the Rhodes cut will benefit for us. We were under the cap and he would be a leader in our D next year. I don’t like the Rhodes cut and I think we’ll pay for it at september. Terrible nightmare.

  43. By andystandsup on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    But team has lost two cornerbacks and signed only one: Powers.
    Draft supposedly not as deep in position. Is Jamell Fleming expected to take over nickle for Greg Toler, Darren?
    Wouldn’t it seem like another CB will likely come from FA/cuts than the draft?

  44. By CardsChick on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Kolb’s release being reported now, with Jets a possibility to pick him up. With Hoyer and Stanton here, do you think the Cards will keep 4 QBs on the roster for now until they see what is available in the draft?

  45. By Andy Kw on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Wow, Bruce Arians and Steve Keim are doing a mighty fine job at signing Free Agents. Even with our low cap space we were still able to nab:
    -LB Jaspar Brinkley (MIN)
    -ST/LB Lorenzo Alexander (WAS)
    -QB Drew Stanton (IND)
    -CB Jerraud Powers (IND)
    -S Yeremiah Bell (NYJ)
    -RB Rashard Mendenhall (PIT)
    (KR/WR Josh Cribbs (CLE))* He has yet to confirm his contract but it will be done

    We signed 2 Pro Bowlers in Cribbs and Alexander.

  46. By dieselbomb on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    How ’bout we agree the moves being undertaken at this moment are entirely out of our hands?

  47. By jerrytown on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Just saw we signed Jasper Brinkley…great pick up. Much better than Maualuga in my opinion, and he’s only 26 I think. Should be a solid player alongside DWash! I’m impressed with the moves we’ve made so far… Sure they’re not flashy, but they’re effective. After the draft we’ll have a better idea of the direction we’re headed. Cheers to Steve Keim. Birdgang for life!

  48. By Andy Kw on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Are we bringing back any other Cardinals other than Rashad Johnson?

  49. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Own free agent

    I know they wanted Toler back. Beyond that, they may wait it out. I could see them letting the rest go.

  50. By Credit Card on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    From my view point, the only area they don’t need players is in wide receiver.

    Therefore, I predict in the 2013 draft the Cards # 7 pick will be a WR. Their second round pick will be a long snapper.

  51. By Larry W on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Call me crazy but everything we have done to present have been solid replacements for an already proven defense. But I’ll still miss 24 Adrian Wilson 24.

  52. By BIG RED on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Please cut Kevin Kolb, just a waste!!!

  53. By red bird of death! on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Ok everyone , so it’s safe to say if Kolb gets cut we are either making a move towards Geno in round 7 or Palmer in free agency? I don’t know ,I do not like Palmer he’s not a bad player but the way he left the bengals sucked and then he went to of all teams the raiders and surrounded himself with absolutely nothing resembling a football team. Kolb is getting on my nerves, a lot of second chances not worth half of the money he gets, I would love to sees the shake up go down this Arians fella isn’t playing around and I love it. And on another note I think A- dub leaving sucks, he shoulda been a card till the end oh well , I see the Pats are into him.

  54. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply


    I got a friend who swears he heard a report that Arians is moving Peterson to safety. He said it was on ESPN.

    Any truth?

  55. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy —

    RE: Peterson safety

    That would be the first I heard about it. I would be shocked.

  56. By Coach Kevin on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Drew Stanton is going to surprise many people this coming season. I have been watching him for years and he was always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Every team he went to signed a big name quarterback the same year or the year after. I’m anxious to see how he performs knowing he has a legitimate shot to earn the starting spot. I think he has the biggest upside of any quarterback in this league.

  57. By D on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I said before Adub would look good in a Pat’s uniform…I hope he gets an offer so he can finish his career in the playoffs…he deserves it for being so loyal to AZ….

  58. By Pearce on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply


    Any chance they consider bringing back Dansby after his release from Miami. I do realize they are looking at younger guys but the way he played with DD and with some of our other defenders I’d love to see him come back, at the right price of course.

  59. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Pearce —

    RE: Dansby

    They’ve signed Alexander and Brinkley. I think they are done signing FA linebackers.

  60. By bryangomlicker on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply


    1.. Is just using the draft to improve good enough when you have the worst OL in the league?

    2. What’s your grade for Keim so far with the signings given what else was available + what we need to improve?


  61. By Darren Urban on Mar 15, 2013 | Reply

    bryangomlciker —

    RE: Questions

    1. We’ll see.

    2. You can’t grade now. No one has played.

  62. By BIG RED on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    Plain and simple, just get rid of Kolb. Big disappointment!

  63. By Blake Martin on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    It’s really disappointing to me to watch all the veteran players on the Cardinals leaving that I know and love. I don’t deny though that Keim and Arians are doing a good job in free agency though.

  64. By RB on Mar 14, 2013 | Reply

    I know we all wanted AW to finish his career here but he has lost a step the last couple years. Losing Rhodes was a bit surprising, I really thought he would get an extension, but you can’t judge this move until after the draft. As for not signing one of the OL on the market, I am very happy. We have picked up other peoples trash on the offensive line for years and signed them to long deals that hurt us. Just look at Colledge and Snyder. There is a reason why our running game is awful. Teams will not let go of franchise worthy guys. Build the line through the draft.

  65. By jelulishlogicalcomplex on Mar 15, 2013 | Reply

    What do you make of the Cards not attending Geno Smith’s pro day? Is this any indication of this years picks for the draft involving the cards?

  66. By Darren Urban on Mar 15, 2013 | Reply

    Jelui —

    RE: Pro day

    I don’t think Pro day attendance means anything. But there are also conflicting reports. CBS reported the Cards were represented.

  67. By Coach Kevin on Mar 17, 2013 | Reply

    My latest Mock 3/17/13

    1. Lane Johnson, OT
    2. E.J. Manuel, QB
    3. Corey Lemonier, OLB
    4. Brian Schwenke, C
    5. Duke Williams, SS
    6. Jake Stoneburner, TE
    6b. Bruce Taylor, ILB

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