Some cap room to work with

Posted by Darren Urban on March 21, 2013 – 11:07 am

At the owner’s meetings earlier this week, general manager Steve Keim said after a hectic 10 days of free agency, it was time for the Cardinals to turn toward the draft and begin prep there. Keim and coach Bruce Arians, in fact, were going to hit a couple of pro days, starting with a trip to the South today as they witnessed the University of Georgia’s work (where Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree performed.)

It doesn’t mean free agency was completely kicked to the curb, of course. The Cardinals will still be looking to add here and there if they feel it makes sense, as Bruce Arians noted yesterday (and Mike Jurecki is reporting the Cards have signed veteran DE Frostee Rucker, I’m sure for not a lot of money). The prices for many of these players continue to drop, and that too could change equations. At this point, the Cardinals are in pretty good shape. After their cuts and signings binge of the past few weeks (before the Rucker move), the Cards have somewhere north of $13 million of salary cap room.

Of the nine free agent signings the team has made (including Rashad Johnson’s re-signing), only three account for more than $1.5 million of cap space: Rashard Mendenhall’s $2.5M cap hit, Drew Stanton’s $3M cap hit, and Jerraud Powers’ $2M cap hit. Those nine together only add up to less than a $15M cap hit. The Cards cleared $13.5M of cap space along by releasing Kevin Kolb and Kerry Rhodes.

There has been a lot of talk about needing money for the draft class/rookie pool, but because of the offseason top 51 rule — only the top 51 salary cap numbers on the roster count toward the salary cap in the offseason — not every rookie finds his way on to the “real” cap. Given where the Cardinals are drafting, the team will need around $3.5M of cap space toward the draft class (because some draftees won’t be in the top 51.)

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Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Some cap room to work with”

  1. By Erik on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    thanks for explaining about the cap for the draft picks Darren

  2. By azfaninwa on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    With 9.5 mill to spend you’d think they would make a move of some kind. I have heard that the Bidwells made a commitment to spend a certain amount (somewhere near the cap) on player salaries as part of the agreement for the new stadium.
    Is this true Darren?
    An effective veteran pass rusher could still be available for that price. They are going slowly and their price is dropping…

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

    azfan —

    RE: Cap room

    You might want some to work an extension with one or two of these 1-year deal guys. And Peterson is going to probably get one after the season too. Spending just to spend makes no sense. It’s why you had some bloated contracts in the first place.

  4. By D on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Good signing, he can play both DE and DT. They will have a nice rotation this upcoming year, I wonder if Shaughnessy and Rucker play well enough to get an extension during the year, and if they address the Dline in the draft, if this maybe DD last year with AZ….pressure is on for him to play well with that huge cap number he has….so far giving up twitter is a great first step….

  5. By la cards fan on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Will they use the 15 million?
    Don’t they have to get to 90% of the cap?
    What was last year’s salaries vs this year’s ?

  6. By azfaninwa on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Just saw the Rucker signing so I guess no more DE’s but an OLB could easily be in the mix…

  7. By azfaninwa on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Don’t be so snippy Darren. You have a great job, live in good climate and are somewhere near average handsomeness. You have no reason to be snarky… yes that’s a word. Spending for the sake of spending? I never suggested that. These are all professionals… They get paid to play. We have 7 draft picks and still have roster building to do. Spending to fill need is more what I was proposing. But your point on saving to extend current players is well taken and thoughtful. Even if it doesn’t address what I was curious about… which was spending obligations as a part of the stadium agreement.

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

    azfan —

    RE: Snarky

    Truth be told, I thought I answered that pretty straight. But if you can’t handle snarky/sarcastic, you probably should climb in here. And you clearly don’t read my stuff enough.

  9. By Coach Kevin on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    I like building depth of defense using free agency and then adding key offensive players in the draft. I would love to see the following players fall to the Cardinals in the draft by round. (Assuming the top offensive tackles are off the board)

    1. Ezekiel Ansah
    2. Larry Warford
    3. Tyler Bray
    4. Josh Evans
    5. Ryan Otten
    6. Reid Fragel
    6b. Vince Williams

  10. By azfaninwa on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    I read your stuff all the time Darren. I am literally on this site nearly every day and have been for years. I was more amusing myself than anything. I’ve had a couple drinks, truth be told. I think you do a wonderful job with the site and regularly exhibit an intelligent, informed and balanced position. I even think you are patient for the most part. I just think you are passive aggressive with your comments on occasion. Or perhaps its more of an air of condescension that rubs me the wrong way.
    But no, you didn’t answer my question. The sentence denoted with the question mark…

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

    azfan —

    RE: Agreement to spend

    I don’t know of any such stipulation.

  12. By Mike in Mesa on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Near average handsomeness. LOL Can’t wait for the draft. Just curious if the same people who say don’t take Geno Smith are the same people who said Cam Newton shouldn’t be the number one pick. What did Newton have? Something like 50 tds his last year in college? And Geno had 40 something? Anyone who can score that many tds is good. And should be picked if we get the chance.

  13. By Erik on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    hey Darren in your own opinion, of course, how would you approach the first 3 Rounds for the Cards?

    For example: OL, SS, QB
    My picks lol (Eric Fisher, Matt Elam, Tyler Bray)

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

    Erik —

    RE: Draft

    All depends on what is on the board at the time.

  15. By azchef29 on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    I wonder if they would still trade away first round draft pick to a lower grade draft 2 threw 4 th round and scope up not well known qb. I.E. trading 1st round draft and a d line for someone on offense line. It looks like Texas am OT will be taking number 1. I do not think Geno Smith would be best suited for AZ. Where not a wild cat program. We need a pocket passer someone who can sit in the pocket and find fitz or llyod. Know that we have a descent rb as much as it pains me to route for a steelers player lol. I think we need at least 2 -4 draft picks on offense . Personal view.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa,

    I am one of those who missed on Cam and Kaepernick.

    So, yes, if Geno is there and we take him, I will be happy.

  17. By andystandsup on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    “Somewhere near average handsomeness”?

    Yep, you’ve been drinking.
    Darren has a face that was made for newspaper reporting. 🙂

  18. By Scott H on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Mike In mesa –

    I hear ya. And ya know what? How are we gonna feel on draft day if Smith is taken a spot or two ahead of the Cardinals – EXACTLY where we might have been in we hadn’t won that 5th game ( that completely useless 5th game ) late last year??? Ya know, I tried to point that out then – how that win was only hurting us – and all I got was flack for being negative. Well, we may realize on draft day just how much that useless win may have cost us.

    IF Smith is the guy they want, that is….

  19. By Credit Card on Mar 21, 2013 | Reply

    Each draft class will have a certain number of premium “can’t miss players” For instance, Patrick Peterson’s year there was 5 such athletes. last year only three. Then again, a bout 5 years ago it stretched to about 17 players.

    If the Cards can, they need to trade down their 7th over-all pick. My opinion,this year has zero ‘can’t miss” type picks. Therefore, the 7th overall will be about just as good as the 25th over-all player. Trade down and possibly get a late 1st rounder along with a 3rd round pick.

  20. By clssylssy on Mar 22, 2013 | Reply

    With all that cap space and discount signings it seems to verify that this “new regime” cut veteran playmakers to “clean house” rather than because of money issues or age as players like Kerry Rhodes was replaced by someone five years older than he with far less skill. Since we have extra money will any of these players be brought back or is my assessment correct?

  21. By Miles on Mar 22, 2013 | Reply

    I wasn’t happy with the cut of Kerry Rhode but then i look at the draft prospect and this draft has tons of depth at the Safety position. Rhode was the only playmaker that got cut, wilson (love him) wasn’t the same as he use to be, Wells never pan out, Doucet drops everything when pressure is on, kolb just couldn’t stay on the field nor wanted a pay cut. Bell will be decent this year and then who ever we draft (i’m confident we’ll draft a S) could replace him next season. Players will do better in different systems, Q. Grove proved that last season, he wasn’t a factor much before he got in to Horton system and he excelled in it. so maybe bell will excel in Bowles system. I rather be way under the cap then having the struggle of trying to get barely under it. We need to lock up Peterson and i’m sure Dockett is coming to the end of his contract.

  22. By Scott H on Mar 22, 2013 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    I must say, I am liking your posts more and more these days….because I am glad to see that others are not afraid to be critical when it is fair to do so.

  23. By Brian R. on Mar 22, 2013 | Reply

    i think we are going offensive line this draft. we have to get that line squared away after 5-10 SEASONS BEING IN THE TRASH.

  24. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 22, 2013 | Reply

    @Scott H,

    Have to differ with your assessment of our victory over Detroit being, “useless.” Getting a win, psychologically, had to be huge after the Seattle debacle, as well as ending that painful losing streak after such a promising start. Being back to picking in the top 10 is embarrassing enough, if we can’t find an impact player at #7 it would explain why we’re picking there. Geno would be a major upgrade over what we have (what wouldn’t?), but as you and I agree, no matter how good the QB is, in the long run it doesn’t matter if the other pieces aren’t in place.

  25. By Scott H on Mar 24, 2013 | Reply

    Mike –

    I hear ya. But in my humble opinion, it still remains to be seen if that win has any impact on draft day. And it absolutely could. That win put us back a few spots BEHIND other teams who are as badly in need of a QB as we are. In a draft where the good QB oprions are limited….that could be HUGE.

    But as for the psychological thing…look, maybe it did something for the players. I don’t walk in their shoes. None of us do. So, I speak from my perspective as a fan when I say that that win was useless. It certainly did nothing for me. The Cardinals were about as irrelevant as any team could be at that point and, frankly, I’m pretty sick of my team being irrelevant. Unfortuanately, the 58-0 loss to Seattle was a complete embarrasment and it came against a division foe and a very good team on its way to the playoffs. THAT kinda hurts. Beating the Lions??? Seriously, who cares? The Lions were pretty much as hopeless as we were at that point in the season. So, we beat up on another hopeless team? It didn’t do anything for me.

    We’ll see what happens in 32 days. Good to hear from ya.

  26. By Scott H on Mar 24, 2013 | Reply

    OK, so we have cap space. Now that we have it, can I ask WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH IT???? There are STILL quality players to be had at positions – namely the O-line – where we are in need of quality players. What was the point of the moves to create the cap space if we’re just gonna sit on it?

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