One year at a time

Posted by Darren Urban on July 26, 2013 – 9:28 am

Eric Winston, a player who when he was first released was expected to command a healthy contract for multiple years, signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals. It was another impressive step for GM Steve Keim, who has managed to corral quite a few players in one-year deals, providing flexibility going forward and incentive to those players to try and earn an extension.

It also has created quite a lengthy list of players that, as of now, are set to become unrestricted free agents after the season:

— S Jonathan Amaya

— CB Javier Arenas

— S Yeremiah Bell

— CB Antoine Cason

— LB Karlos Dansby

— TE Jim Dray

— K Jay Feely

— TE Jeff King

— RB Rashard Mendenhall

— G Chilo Rachal

— WR Andre Roberts

— DE Frostee Rucker

— DE/LB Matt Shaughnessy

— TE Kory Sperry

— S Curtis Taylor

— LB Reggie Walker

— T Eric Winston

— P Dave Zastudil

Obviously, not every name on that list is someone that the Cards are going to want to keep around long-term. Others will have to earn that right. It also doesn’t include other situations, like the inevitable Patrick Peterson extension that is assumed to be coming at some point after the season. The Cardinals definitely have a plan, however. Flexibility is key for Keim, who is trying to rebuild the roster.

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Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “One year at a time”

  1. By Andy on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Looks like the Cardinals could have a lot of compensatory picks coming in the 2014 draft. A lot of the players on this list should play a lot of snaps, and no way we keep them all next year.

  2. By Mike G on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is good! Looking forward to some football–the season is just around the corner. I like the fact the Cardinals have signed multiple players to short term contracts. This should create a hunger and a prove it to me attitude that these players should take onto the field. Keim deserves credit — looks like he has a nice plan.You can’t just sign players to multiiple year deals today unless they a franchise type player. Darren–Were you surprised Schofield was released this early before camp??? –I kind of liked him –seemed like a nice character guy and a player with upside!!! I guess injuries have plagued him huh !!!!

  3. By Andy Kw on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Getting back WR Andre Roberts for next season is a priority. If Eric Winston does well, I wouldn’t be surprised in seeing him returning here in Arizona in 2014

  4. By Mexican Card on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    any chance to bring Steve Breaston back to the desert???

  5. By Darren Urban on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Mexican —

    RE: Breaston

    I’d be personally thrilled but I would doubt it.

  6. By Andy Kw on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    How many Linebackers, Cornerbacks and Offensive Linemen are Bruce Arians going to keep? Even if you don’t know, could you give me a rough estimate on how many players are going to be kept at each position of the Arizona Cardinals football team?

  7. By Darren Urban on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Numbers

    Depends, but usually it’s 8-9 LBs, 9-10 DBs, 8 or 9 OL.

  8. By Dynosoar on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    That’s an impressive list of players. An impressive list indeed. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a pun with impressive list.Haha.)

    13 days and we’ll get to see these men in action. For a minimum of one series. Can’t wait.

  9. By Dynosoar on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply


    in the past we’ve let players go and brought them back later (Levi is one). Do you feel Keim and Arians have this philosophy? It doesn’t seem like it to me, but you know them better than I do.

    I’m not arguing for or against this practice, but having a history of doing this I originally thought we’d see Rhoads back in Cardinals red, but it appears that Keim and/or Arians don’t share this philosophy from the past. Your thoughts please?

    And again, I’m not for or against, just interested in getting a better feel for the new management philosophy and style. (And Arians does have style. I Love the cap.)

  10. By Darren Urban on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Bringing back

    It would be case-by-case. I do not see Kerry returning.

  11. By hummer53 on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    This is the ultimate catch 22. You want these players to have good years, some even great years in order to have overall team success. But if that happens, then several may be one and done. Off to the highest bidder somewhere else. Like Wolf says, these guy really will be mercenaries.

  12. By ored on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    good job,need the flexibility to keep PP and then re-sign the standouts from this year,keep it rollin’.

    just have to bite the bullet on the swope deal,guess we think long and hard on concussed players from here on out,good thing recieving corp is our strong suit.

    next year more depth on o-line,still need a good prospect at center,another young pass rusher,and a QB to start training,and somebody for DD to train.

  13. By DINO on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Releasing Schofield was a BIG MISTAKE!! Even letting Rhodes go was a mistake!

  14. By Chris B on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    My guess for those that will be offered another year;
    Cason or Arenas

    Doubt the specialists will be here much longer, even though I like them both. Dansby is a maybe but I doubt it.

  15. By Bryan on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    O’brien Schofield is going to bite you in the ass for this Arians. You just let a future star walk. If he is gone then why are Reggie Walker, or Korey Sperry still around? I trust that you know what you are doing Bruce and were headed back to the superbowl with you but you gotta do whats best for the team while thinking about the fans. We all love O’brien. Who the hell is kerry sperry? (someone who wont catch a single pass this season thats who) waste of a ggod player

  16. By Louisville Card on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Rough news for Swope. Did he have a contract or was he hurt without one? Does he get an injury settlement of some kind or just the salary he was paid this spring?

  17. By Darren Urban on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Swope contract

    He had signed already.

  18. By dieselbomb on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Loved Schofield ( and the Scho-Hawk hair ). But truth be told, injuries becoming routine is a big negative. I’m hoping he lands with a team as a situational guy; he’s got great character (as was mentioned). One other thing seemed to be looming large for him was his interest in HipHop/Rap – that might be his ticket … you never know.

    O’Brien, you’re a good man. My best to you –

  19. By dieselbomb on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Three cheers for GM Steve Keim. Out of the gate a terrific job.

    Because of Keim’s good work so far, I’m hopeful that the team can surprise the NFC-West and make it Dog-Eat-Dog, instead of people assuming it’s a Lock for either the Seahawks or the Niners. The people in the press just barely give any credit for the Rams, but they’re building strong, too. The Cardinals get lip-service, and pretty much nothing more. I’m hoping we play to the potential I’m seeing in the team as it stands. If so, it just might be that the NFC-West has four “first place” teams.

  20. By Steve Drumm on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: I liked Schofield because he was relentless and played to the whistle but aside from his injuries he seemed to not be a naturally gifted pass rusher but more of a grind it out kind of guy, do you feel based on what you saw of him here that that played a role in Arians and Keim preferring Abraham, even at 35, over Schofield simply because Abraham has had success rushing the QB?

  21. By Eazy E on Jul 26, 2013 | Reply

    I’m going to admit it, I don’t like all these 1 year deals. I understand some of them, but some of these players are going to ball and you want them to come back to you right?

  22. By clssylssy on Jul 27, 2013 | Reply

    Given all the foot dragging and who-ha over the Cooper deal because of “language” (when in fact rookie contracts are pretty simple and as point out, slotted), how did Swope fair as far as getting any type of guaranteed money before he “retired”. This is very unfortunate for Ryan swope at first glance however, finishing his degree and having a year to regain his health is certainly better long range than risking permanent brain damage with the Cards. Will he be elgible to play in the NFL again at some future time if he is healthy enough, e.g. “come out of retirement”? The media is portraying Cooper as sort of a prima donna, and I’m getting the sense that he feels he could have done better than being drafted by the Cards. seems like it’s time fo pay the guy and get to work or cut him loose.

  23. By Darren Urban on Jul 27, 2013 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Cooper deal

    Please check out the details. The money is not an issue. The Cardinals are ready to pay him what he has coming.

  24. By clssylssy on Jul 27, 2013 | Reply

    Darren…I get that it’s the “language” and the Cards are willing to pay him as they have the other rookies but the media muddies the issue and makes it sound as if there is more to this situation that makes it more complicated. I believe it has to do with guaranteed money he would be paid down the road if he were to be cut and signed by another team…a “double dipping” situation. What makes Cooper’s “language” any different from the others, and if there were guarantees does this mean Swope will be paid even though he’s never played a down? Actually, doesn’t a player have to play a given number of years (7) before they can “retire”?
    Just don’t see why this has become soooo complicated when it should be pretty straight forward? It would appear that Cooper is getting bad advice which can come from any number of sources including the player’s family!

  25. By Darren Urban on Jul 27, 2013 | Reply

    clssy —

    RE: contracts

    Agreed that it shouldn’t be this complicated, although in reality, it is not. It is a sole piece of contract language that both sides have dug in on. Yes, it has to do with potential “double dipping,” but in reality it has more to do with setting a precedent/breaking a precedent.

    As for Swope, there is no set time to play before retiring. And Swope got his signing bonus. Could the Cards go after it since he retired? Yes. I would doubt it though. And salaries in the NFL are rarely guaranteed and never for a sixth-round rookie.

  26. By clssylssy on Jul 28, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, was not suggesting that the Cards try to go after his signing bonus, and while I am normally a player advocate, I agree that the franchise needs to set certain precedents or policies and breaking them for one is opening up the gates for further problems down the line. As suggested by someone else, I believe that rookie contracts should be pretty uniform, possibly giving a better bonus for signing in the top 3, and having it a graduate scale in order of draft with no guarantees down the road other than for injury. That would place the burden on the player to produce at a high level to earn their money as establish themselves in the NFL. Franchises should not have to pay players who have been picked up by another team. At that point he is somebody else’s financial responsibility and they can pick up the tab!

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