Cardinals extend Fanaika’s contract

Posted by Darren Urban on September 12, 2013 – 4:15 pm

Well, that was fast.

When Paul Fanaika signed with the Cardinals this spring, he was a guy who at first was just considered a guy, a backup tackle who was going to have an uphill climb to make the roster. But he impressed the new coaching staff. He was much better at a new position, working at guard, than expected. He caught a break — literally — when Daryn Colledge fractured his leg early in camp, sidelining Colledge for enough time that Fanaika convinced coach Bruce Arians he could be a starter if need be. Then he caught another break — puns abound! — when Jonathan Cooper snapped his fibula, forcing Colledge to move back to left guard and pushing Fanaika into the starting lineup at right guard.

Fanaika — a 2009 seventh-round draft Eagles pick who had bounced around to the Redskins, Browns and Seahawks before coming to Arizona — was on a one-year contract paying just $630,000. He is now signed through 2014, and he’s one of the guys that made the most sense to get an extension at some point this season.

“It’s been a whirlwind, especially now that everything is kicking into full gear,” Fanaika said. “I just try to not let that distract me from going out here and being my best and being the best I can be. I am just trying to improve every week, be a solid football player. It is kind of a trip sometimes when I sit back and think about it, but then I catch myself and think, ‘I need to focus.’

“There is always room for improvement. Even Pro Bowl guys work to improve. I’m a long way from where I want to be.”


Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Cardinals extend Fanaika’s contract”

  1. By Chris on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren!
    I´m curious how fanaika graded out against the rams! do u know the PFF grade?

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: PFF grade

    PFF had him as a -2.8.

    Arians said he was pleased with how Fanaika played, said he played “solidly most of the time.”

  3. By Dynosoar on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    I’m very pleased with this extension. Sometimes Darren, puns do abound.

    We’re going to win Sunday, it’s in the Cards.

  4. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Not gonna hurt. It’s not like there are a ton of options that are any better at this point. This injury to Cooper just plain sucks. A whole season of potential growth went right down the drain.

  5. By DuaneS on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Scott H….I agree but look at it this way, next year it will be like having 2 first round choices….Mr Cooper and another one… be interesting to see if next years is an OT…

  6. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Nice story for a good guy. Good to read good things, is why I love the distraction of sports and my favs, Cardinals!

  7. By the way Dr. G. on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Fanaika will be a fan favorite if he is moderately successful having been a local ASU player. Good luck to him….

  8. By creditcard on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Fanaika panaika”s Lionaikas

  9. By Steve on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: If all the players who got 1 year contracts play up to expectations do you see Winston the RT being at the top of the list for an extension?

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Steve –

    RE: next extension

    Depends. What is he asking for? Plus, if they have high hopes for Massie, then no.

  11. By LG on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    He did dam good against the rams better than Levi Brown.

  12. By Eric on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    I am assuming it’s for the minimum since he will probably be a backup next year. He is just keeping the seat warm for Big Earl to take over next year!

    I would have also waited until to see how he handles Suh/Fairley before giving him any extension, he was the only OL beside Levi to give up a sack last week…

  13. By Lifetime Fan on Sep 12, 2013 | Reply

    Winston at LT Massie at RT, Do It!

  14. By johnnybluenose on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    sounds like abraham thinks he is better than at least one of our starters. maybe he’s right.

  15. By wampag on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    D- okay maybe this is a little juvenile but do you realize on Sunday were going to be worried about Johnson and Bush…lol

  16. By cdj on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    i hope he continues to improve

  17. By joe holst on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    They need to run the ball against Detroit to keep that offense off the field. If they try to get in a shootout with them it will get away from the Cards.

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    I love this move. From the first practice I went to, I noticed this guy.The fact that they signed him, gives the cards that extra year to see if Watford can develop.

    Just think of the future of this Oline.
    Next year- A rookie/vet at LT, Cooper at LG, Sendlin at C, Fanaika and Watford battle for RG, and either Massie or Winston at RT.

    Winston may price him self out, giving Massie another chance to prove him self. The battle will be at RG where a solid Fanaika and a potential Watford will battle. The loser will provide a solid swing guard.

    Although Colledge is playing well, with the return of Cooper and the possible emergence of Watford, and a huge salary cap number, Colledge will find himself on the outside.
    As for Levi, poor production and high salary will give this elite tackle his walking papers. Whether he is replaced by a vet like Eugene Monroe or Jared Veldheer, or a rookie like Mathews or Lewan, he cant play with us after this year.

    How amazing would it be to see the cards weakness turn into a strength by next year?

  19. By D on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    Your right on John the Draft Guy.

    The 3 players I don’ t see on the team next year that are starting are Brown, Colledge and Dockett. I think that is almost 16 mil of dead cap space though…but your right, either a FA or 1st round draft pick at LT, Fanaika most likely at RG and probably a high draft pick replacing DD.

    With Peterson and the many other one year deal players, Keim is going to be busy going into next year.

  20. By Dynosoar on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply


    he didn’t face Quin all day like Brown. Let’s see how he does with Andomika (sp?) this week before we declare him hugely better than Brown. By the way, Levi should fair better this week with the Lions as they don’t have an “elite” pass rusher.

    Not saying I’m thrilled with Brown’s play, but he did better than I would’ve done.

  21. By the way, Dr. G. on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    Draft Guy… It is obvious you’re an analytically futuristic thinker among others here, but don’t you really want at least 8 & 8 this year. I mentioned before that the starters’ avg experience is about 6.3 yrs+…. These guys need to get it done with a few modifications along the way. More time for cohesion will help. Right now, we probably need 9-6 minimum, maybe even 10-5 to make the 2nd season…??? It’s good to see the recent passion for improvement…. G’day…

  22. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    Dr G,

    Of course, as a season ticket holder for 20+ years, I want to see us win now. I want to see 19-0 (18-1 now) and Palmer raising that superbowl trophy.

    But then I wake up. I look at the Niners, Packers, saints, Seahawks, Falcons, and I dont think we are there yet.

    I love our wide receivers. I think our TEs are developing nicely, I am a Carson fan. Our running backs are solid. But our oline is improved but not there yet. Losing Cooper hurts, but Brown hurts more. When you want to throw the ball for chunks, you have to protect. After game one, we are not great at protecting.

    Our defense is close but again, need some changes. I have been telling anyone who will listen that our dline needs improvement. I think both Dockett and Williams should be replaced. I also think we need a good young pass rusher to take that OLB spot. I liked the Abraham signing, but I would like to see someone else step up. Losing DWash for part of the season also hurts and I think Minter will be a star next year. I really like what we did at CB but I am not sold on our current safeties. Honey Badger and Tony Jefferson might be a better pair after they get seasoning.

    What I see is a team that can win 7 to 9 games, which is not a bad start. Whiz’s first year was 8-8 and then the super bowl the next year. I like the path we are on, but I also think we are a year away from truly competing for the title. So, I enjoy watching and looking at the positives and negatives and hoping that management makes the moves next year to repeat 2008.

    Well 2008 with a different ending.

  23. By ored on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    agree that the coop injury hurt,but it did give others a chance,plus we’re still a long ways from the levi saga playing out,but yes i ca\n see the oline becoming a strength.we also have okafor to evaluate still and another local asu kid is surfacing with hopes of challenging some of suggs sack accomplishments,could we dare hope for a local pipeline of standouts staying home?maybe even a qb if he develops and ua has maybe a special rb.

    one thing,keim will always be looking,whether a kicker next year or more db,wr,or te dpth.also agree we need a young dd to carry on,i think we got depth at nose,more safety next year,but that will be another story in time,still much to look forward to this year.

  24. By georgiebird on Sep 13, 2013 | Reply

    @ Dr. G & the Draft Guy

    One of you guys gets the job in the Cards’ PR Dept,, the other one can expect another box of rose colored glasses.

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