With Sherman swap, the shuffling continues

Posted by Darren Urban on May 1, 2013 – 11:39 am

So Anthony Sherman is gone, a victim of a regime change more than anything else, with his trade to K.C. today in exchange for cornerback Javier Arenas. This is what happens when new coaches come in (and obviously, both the Chiefs and Cards have new coaches) and existing players are deemed expendable. In Sherman’s case, he plays a position that isn’t used in Bruce Arians’ offense. In Arenas’ case, the Chiefs had brought on a bunch of cornerbacks and he was looking to be moved, although he comes to a team with a ton of potential cornerbacks as well — in addition to a safety (Tyrann Mathieu) who could end up playing slot receivers like Arenas is best suited for. Arenas came into the league in the 2010 draft.

ESPN scout Matt Williamson tweeted this about Arenas: “Pure slot CB-Size hurts him, but fiesty & big time asset on special teams.” It’s a crowded secondary now. Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Justin Bethel, Jamell Fleming and Bryan McCann all have experience in the league and now Arenas comes aboard. Someone isn’t making it to September (unless the Cards end up sliding Bethel back to safety to ease the logjam.)

More importantly, it’s yet another move as General Manager Steve Keim continues to overhaul the roster with Arians’ vision of what he needs. The Cardinals currently have 88 players on the roster and 45 of them are new. Now, 25 of them are rookies so they were going to be new regardless. But the number of veterans — veterans that played large roles on the team last year — that have been cut or traded continues to move up. The transactions list has a ton of action, and May just started.  I count 31 moves where the Cards either made a trade, signed a veteran from outside the team or released a player.

(And to think, when Arenas lined up against Larry Fitzgerald during the Cards-Chiefs joint practice last August, you think either one contemplated being teammates?)


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34 Responses to “With Sherman swap, the shuffling continues”

  1. By D on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Going young. I like it because this staff appears to want to coach these players and I like the larger staff that Mr. B gave to BA. There will be some more turnover coming.

  2. By LadyBird04 on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Rather than just releasing Sherman, we traded for another CB. Well I guess it’s better than nothing, but what are we going to do with another undersized CB? Are we going to try and trade him too? Rhetorically, why can’t we find an adequately sized CB with skill equal or better than Toler? The receivers in this division are for real and we seem to be playing with Mickey Mouse at Corner (excepting Peterson) They’ll just reach over the heads of this group and catch the ball. But also, Six CB’s, really? Understand not needing Sherman in the new schemes. Having a hard time keeping the faith with all these short cbs. They let Mike Adams leave and keep adding others the same size.

  3. By Mike G on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! I know Bruce Arians is not a fullback guy. I know he likes the 2 tight end package as a formation. Darren–Do you think not having a fullback hurts your offense in short yardage situations ???? A lead blocker can be the running backs best friend huh???

  4. By Darren Urban on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: With two TE, that shouldn’t be a problem.

  5. By John The Draft Guy on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    I really could not see Sherman doing anything other than special teams this year, so good move.
    Arenas is a lot like the Honey Badger. A second round pick, he was a stud coming out of Alabama.
    I dont know who stays or who goes, but I really like what they are doing to match up with the outstanding slot receivers in our division.

    On another note, Darren, can you recall ever when the cards signed a free agent and then released him before the season started? Not sure that will happen but that is an interesting situation.

  6. By Darren Urban on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy —

    RE: FA sign/cut

    One off the top of my head was S Keith Lewis in 2009.

  7. By joe holst on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    I have a feeling Fleming is in trouble- Darren is he a candidate ofr Safety?

  8. By Darren Urban on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Fleming

    Not that I am aware of.

  9. By Aaron on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    We got a great value here. Normally a trade for Sherman would have called for a 7th round pick but we got an established young corner. He can tackle and has special teams value. Good for the Cards!

  10. By Andy Kw on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    My man Anthony Sherman gets shipped off to the Chiefs. Hey, i’m still one of your #1 fans so I hope you keep up the good work in Kansas City.

  11. By Michael on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Its a good strategic move even if Arenas fails to ake the team out of camp. Teams might be willing to trade a 6th round pick for a FB during last cuts, but if a team gets hit with a rash of preseason injuries or poor play, dealing a semi-decent CB to a team in dire need is more likely to result in a 5th or possibly even a 4th. It seems minor, but it all adds up in the end. Really surprised the Cardinals didnt have to include a low round pick in the deal.

  12. By Andy Kw on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    -Do you think the Cardinals will keep 4 Tight Ends (Housler, King, Dray, D.C. Jefferson) and 4 running backs (Mendenhall, Williams, Taylor, Ellington)?
    -Did the drafting of WR Ryan Swope hurt LaRon Byrd’s chance of making the final roster or are all (Fitzgerald, Floyd, Roberts, Swope and Byrd) these receivers safe?
    -Do you think we will keep DB Jonathan Amaya and shift him to Safety? Does Tony Jefferson have a huge shot on making the team since we are so thin at the Safety Position?

  13. By Darren Urban on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Questions

    1) I would think it’s probable.
    2) Very few are “safe” in May. We’ll see how it plays out. I could see all five easily, though.
    3) Amaya is already a safety, but he’s more of a special teams guy. Jefferson has a chance, but he’s got a long way to go.

  14. By Mark in Chandler on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    In case anyone is keeping count we now have 10 corners and 7 safeties on the roster. My guess is 9-11 of these will make the team and 1-3 making the practice squad. Here are all 17 of them by height. As I have noted before our secondary is significantly shorter with Rhodes and Wilson gone.

    Mattieu: 5’9″
    Arenas: 5’9″
    Powers: 5’10”
    Yell: 5’10”
    Hill 5’10”
    Johnson 5’11”
    Fleming: 5’11”
    Jefferson: 5’11”
    McCann 5’11”
    Harris 5’11”
    Bell 6′
    Bethel 6′
    Peterson 6’1″
    Cason 6’1″
    Amaya 6’2″
    Taylor 6’2″
    Waggner 6’2″

  15. By joe 67 on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    I liked Sherman, and don’t like the trade. Sorry. Probably best all around FB in league and we get another mediocre, undersized CB. Sherman could have fit. Coach sounds a little hard headed, kind of like the last coach we had.

  16. By Dynosoar on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Andy KW,

    you forgot to include William Powell as a RB. He did rush for more yards than any other back in scrimages… err, I mean pre-season games last year.

    Didn’t we have 5 WR’s last year.

    Mike in Chandler,

    Interesting list. Nice to see someone else likes to come up with statistics type of lists. How tall were Rhodes and Wilson?

    This is shaping up to be a fantastic season. The toughest division has gotten tougher. Should be pretty cool when we have that first round bye and the 49ers and Seahawks are both Wild Card teams. (HaHa, what if it does happen?)

    Here’s to a win in NY next February.

  17. By ored on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    i was holding out hope sherman could be a short yardage back,but after drafting two more,was’nt to to go with your game plan and who fits,unless you have a bona fide star to build around,only then would it make sense to alter plans.

    all that remains is learning the system,practice,and bonding,the cream rises to the top,then we’ll have our answer of who stays and who goes.

    anymore on where camp will be held?

  18. By stevephoenix on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    The Cardinals must have feinted at that offer. Probably couldn’t take that fast enough. Great trade by Cards.

  19. By stevephoenix on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Wow, the Cards are going to have the most explosive defensive backfield and special teams return men in not only the NFC West, but the whole league. Nice pickup GM Keim & HC Arians!!!

  20. By Scott H on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Seems a good move. Certainly can’t hurt. Can never have enough CB’s and to get one in exchange for a position that is irrelevant here ( not to mention just about everywhere else ) is a win-win situation.

  21. By Scott H on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    My gosh, are people REALLY feeling like a FB was a great loss for this team??? Hey, he may be a good guy and a good FB. Fine. But if that position is not needed in the type of offense that the head coach is putting in….why would you keep him???

    For me, that would be the same thing as being upset about losing one of our TE’s. I mean, you don’t even know they’re there, so…why bother? As always, I can only hope that will change ( FINALLY!!!!! ) this year and the Cardinals will join the rest of the civilized world where TE’s can actually catch passes, make plays, and score TD’s. What a concept, huh?

  22. By Scott H on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Darren –

    Not related to this but have been wanting to ask – in regard to the WR position, are you expecting Floyd to enter training camp as #2 on the depth chart, or do you think that spot belongs to Roberts, or is there just no way to really guage that at this point?

    And, to speculate, would you say I have the right to feel thoroughly disappointed if Floyd were not our #2 WR come opening day? Because I’m kinda preparing to feel that way if he is not. I’m expecting a MUCH bigger impact from this guy this year and I’m hoping everyone else is, too.

  23. By Darren Urban on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Scott H –

    RE: Floyd

    I don’t know how they are going to line up yet. But you can be disappointed if you want.

  24. By Credit Card on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    You can never have enough corner backs and tight-ends.

  25. By Campbells on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    We need several DB’s, as they’ve been susceptible to injury. Not saying we need to keep all of them.
    Historically, our issues at DB have been poor pass coverage, as opposed to being undersized.
    Hope this regime demands that we jam receivers, instead of giving them a free pass.
    Hate seeing opponent’s receivers running free, like they own the place!

  26. By Matt on May 1, 2013 | Reply

    Man we are going to have some serious competition at DB

    – Adrian Wilson is 6ft 3in
    – Kerry Rhodes is 6ft 3in

  27. By vegas4u2012. on May 2, 2013 | Reply

    The staff let go of Sherman to make room for one more RB.They can move a tight-end to a h-back position to be lead blocker….on USA TODAY-SPORTS WEEKLY…they rated Arizonas draft an A+…Sorry Cowgirl fans…D+,& raiderettes fans…you all got a C-…GO BIG RED!!!

  28. By Dynosoar on May 2, 2013 | Reply

    I’m trying to understand the #2 WR position.

    In my understanding, it really doesn’t matter. All WR’s are lined up on the scrimage line and depending on the rout being run, the QB looks at the receivers. Not in order of name or number, but who should be open at a particular moment and then throws to whomever is open.

    From comments I read about who’s #2 and whos #3 it appears I’m missing something. Will someone help me on this?

    Thanks. Still trying to learn something so that while I may be old, I won’t be an old dog.

  29. By sbrown on May 2, 2013 | Reply

    hi Dynosoar, IMO , I think back in the day when the NFL was the classic offense of 2 RB / 2 WR / 1 TE , that we “numbered” the WR’s as #1 or #2 with the #1 receiver the lead or best one on the team. Now with the huge change in rules and crazy offenses teams will put 4 or 5 WR’s on the field at one time. I think the new normal is three WR / 1 RB / 1 TE set, so I think the #1 and #2 WR are your two outside, #3 is the slot. In the case of 4 or 5 WR on the field, its like having three on one side running long / med / short route and the other two WR on the other side running a mid / short route to give QB plenty of options to make the throw.

  30. By John The Draft Guy on May 2, 2013 | Reply


    Traditionally, If you are the number 3 wr and they go with a 2 wr, 2 te, 1 rb set, you are not going to be on the field.

    Also, it has a lot about where you line up. WRs are listed as X,Y,and Z wrs. Your X is usually your #1 and he lines up outside and on the line. He has to be able to beat press coverage and read zones to change his patterns. A ‘Y’ wr is usually off the line and is most often the one in motion. Motion is used to see if the defense will tip what coverage they are running. A ‘Z’ wr is usually a slot receiver. Someone who is quick and can give you mismatches, but also can read zones and know how to sit down in them. .

    But with today’s NFL, there are so many different packages with different personnel, that it can be confusing. We can see Fitz come to the slot to give the defense a new look. We can see wrs line up in the backfield then go in motion.It is a creative mans game.

    I mean Fitz is our #1. But what if we were on goal line and went with 3 TEs a back and a wr. We may choose to go with a quicker slot receiver to match up with their personnel on defense.

    But mainly, your best wr is your #1. When designing plays, you want to design them to get the ball to your best players. A #3 wr might see more third down plays.

    You also are right that a QB should read a defense, go through his progressions, and hit the open guy. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a QB for the cards do that since 2009. So, in theory, the cards QB should read and hit the open guy. I think Palmer is a welcomed sight.

  31. By Mike Ellingboe on May 2, 2013 | Reply


    You’re overthinking it a bit.

    In the past, when teams ran a more traditional offense (2 WR’s, 1 TE, 1 RB, 1 FB), the designation meant more, as the #3 WR would only be on the field for obvious passing situations (i.e. – third and long).

    Nowadays, with so many teams running 3 and 4 wide sets, the #3 WR may be on the field as much as the #1 and #2. Having said that, the #1 & #2 are lined up on the outside, and the #3 will be lined up in the slot. As I’m sure you remember, when you have the right combo of receivers and QB, the #3 can be just as valuable because most defenses will leave their top two CB’s outside, and have to cover the slot receiver with their third CB (or nickel back, as they’re often referred to). With a guy like Fitz commanding a double team, a guy like Boldin who will get position on any CB, it made it very difficult to find a good match-up for Breaston, especially when we had Warner making the reads/throws. When they break the huddle, there is a designated first read, second read, third read, etc. The great QB’s go through the progressions very quickly and efficiently, the rest struggle with it (as we’ve been witness to).

    The #3 tends to be put in the slot because they’re not big enough/strong enough to be able to handle the jam at the line of scrimmage, but otherwise it’s just a designation, especially nowadays. I really doubt the Rams took Tavon Austin to make him the third option in their passing game. Make sense?

  32. By Scott H on May 3, 2013 | Reply

    Geez, maybe we’re all over-thinking this a little bit! My question was simply this – given that Floyd was a FIRST ROUND PICK by this team, shouldn’t we be expecting him to be considered #2 on the depth chart? Shouldn’t that be expected of a first rpound pick??? It would seem to me that it should be.

    I do, however, take into account that our QB situation was SOOOO bad last year that even Larry Fitzgerald was a casualty of it. OK. Can’t hold that against Floyd. But I have to hope that if our QB situation is going to be significantly up-graded by Palmer, that Floyd will be MUCH more of a factor than last season.

    I’m taking a simple view of the whole depth chart thing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s based simply on how you rate your WR’s from top to bottom based on ability. When Boldin was here, he played a lot in the slot but he was NEVER the 3rd WR on the depth chart. Depth chart-wise, he was definitely #2. On just about any other team where he wasn’t sharing a locker room with Fitz, he would have been #1.

    So, all I’m asking is, given that he was a first round pick and that there is really not a whole lot of competition at his position at this point, shoudln’t this guy be able to claim the #2 spot on the depth chart?

  33. By Eazy E on May 4, 2013 | Reply

    Sucks for the Sherminator. He could have used him in short yardage situations and goal line situations along with special teams where he is good at. #Better be right about this #Arenas straight though

  34. By Eazy E on May 5, 2013 | Reply

    We not He

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