Keim talks potential contract extensions

Posted by Darren Urban on December 9, 2013 – 8:25 am

The Cardinals have a lot of players — and key ones at that — who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in March. Among those whose contracts will expire: Karlos Dansby, Matt Shaughnessy, Eric Winston, Yeremiah Bell, Frostee Rucker, Javier Arenas, Antoine Cason and Rashard Mendenhall. (For those wondering, John Abraham signed a two-year contract.)

The Cardinals will have varying degrees of interest in bringing each of those guys back. And again, I’m sure the deals will have to fit the Cards’ philosophy. The wheeling and dealing General Manager Steve Keim did in the offseason to bring in so many short-term vets had an upside that it worked for the Cards and the salary cap yet quickly rehabbed the roster. The downside is this. A player has a good year, and he has some leverage to take to the open market (See Dansby, Karlos.)

But Keim said during his weekly radio appearance on the “Doug and Wolf show” on Arizona Sports 620 that he has already begun the process of trying to get some extensions done. Keim didn’t name names.

“We are going to aggressively approach several of these guys,” Keim said. “I have already to some degree. We are going to try and put something in place to try to keep some continuity here, particularly for the guys who are playing well. But in some regard, the fans and media are going to have to understand, sometimes the market dictates what happens.The agents and the players sometimes want to see what’s out there.”

Translation: Some of these guys are gonna want to get paid. Dansby, for instance. Asked last night about getting a new contract. “Why not?” Dansby said. “I can do this three, four, five more years. I am playing at a high level right now and I don’t see anyone outplaying me right now.”

That doesn’t sound like a guy willing to play for $2.25 million like he is this season. But we will see. And even if he might want to make it work in Arizona — and I do think ‘Los would like to stay — it might behoove him to wait to see what other teams want to pony up. Last offseason was ugly for most of the vets listed above when no one came knocking on their door offering what they wanted. I’m sure they’d like to see what is out there one more time. So it could be tough to get many deals pre-March done.

“We just have to be smart about the deals we put in place with the cap situation and make good decisions,” Keim said. “But we will definitely be aggressive in addressing some of the players we feel are core guys.”

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43 Responses to “Keim talks potential contract extensions”

  1. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Lol. Los tried to break the bank last time, hope he doesn’t get wanderlust again… but expect he will;) Can’t change a Tiger’s stripes at work?

  2. By SteveG on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    There are two types of problems…

    The problems that come from failure and success problems…

    Guess which are the better kind to have?

  3. By georgiebird on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    I would be very careful in extending any player until after the 49er and Seaahawks games. The Cards have had a nice season and I would call it a success even if we lose the last three games.
    Here’s the problem:
    1) Our primary division rivals both have very young QBs and it may be some time before we can beat them- after all, they are the best teams in football.
    2) this year our best game (in retrospect) was against Carolina and that is giving us some hope for a tie-breaker situation -that may not happen next year.
    3) while the guys who are possibly going to be extended are having good to very good years, they haven’t had big games against the Seahawks or 49ers.

    So let’s see if we can be competitive with the 49ers and Seahawks in the last two games. If we are competitive, then maybe some additional improvement next year can prove to be the tipping point. If we are not competitive in these games, then maybe marginal improvement next year will not accomplish much.
    I never thought I would say this- but “if we could only return to the NFC East”.

  4. By davidb on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Love Dansby and what he has done but he left once for the skins and he’ll do it again. With Minter and Washington I’m sure that’s gonna happen

  5. By Eric G on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Would love to re-sign these guys:
    Karlos Dansby
    Matt Shaugnessy
    Eric Winston
    Javier Arenas

    Would hate to re-sign:
    Yeremiah Bell (can’t cover a TE to save his life)
    Antoine Cason (has done nothing)

    Frostee Rucker
    Rashard Mendenhall

  6. By rod on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Keim is a superstar and I have complete faith in his abilities to get these guys signed to a friendly number or he’ll let them walk and do it all again via free agency and the draft !

  7. By davidb on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    I love Keim also but besides tyrann who else had worked out via draft

  8. By rod on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Davidb –

    Three draft picks ended up on season ending IR and one “Minter” is sitting behind a stud. How are those negatives against Keim exactly?

  9. By davidb on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Don’t listen to me I totally forgot about that and Ellington and s Taylor having good years. I’ve had no sleep since the game with a sick baby.

  10. By Chuck 1 on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Let’s see if I can make this not sound like “I TOLD YOU SO”.

    When Keim and BA turned the roster upside down (see letting Wilson, Rolle and others go and signing “over the hill” players to one year contracts) this Spring/Summer there was gnashing of teeth on this site.

    Some other posters and I agreed with the need to “update” the roster.

    Isn’t it ironic that Keim is now a “genius” because the Cards are in the playoff mix???

    Anyone willing to write a mea culpa???

    Also, how about more kudos for Michael Bidwill for supporting the approach of Keim and BA???

    I agree that there will be some tough and unpopular decisions for Keim (and Michael) this Winter and Spring. Let’s cut Keim some slack as he continues to try to improve the roster so that the Cards will be able to WIN THE NFC WEST SOON.

  11. By Rick on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Would like to see Dansby finish his career right here with the red bird gang. Hopefully the two sides can come to an agreement. Dansby is a Cardinal at heart. Go cards!!!

  12. By azqfan on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply


    Dansby never played for the skins.

  13. By davidb on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    By skins I meant money

  14. By D on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    We will see if Dansby gets close to the money this offseasson that he wants. Since they drafted Minter fairly high, I would think Los won’t be back next year unless the same thing happens again to him.

    The players that should be resigned:

    Mendenhall I would offer, but nothing too crazy and would not worry if he takes a higher deal on the fa market.
    I would let walk Winston, Cason, Bell, Feely and Lindley

    I would cut Colledge and have Watford start and RG and Massie at RT next year. Draft a Left Tackle in Round 1. Either one or both Dockett and Fiz may have to restructure their deals if Peterson get’s paid and you know DWash will get his 10 mil bonus.

  15. By joe.holst on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Cards put the franchise tag on Dansby. I know it wouldn’t be realistic salary cap wise but it would have to be a first , a player tagged twice before then comes back and performs well enough to where they do it again?

  16. By clssylssy on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    LOL! Even Drew Brees didn’t have a great game against the Seahawks so does that make him a loser? There is a lot to be said about the advantages of working with what you have and know, despite imperfections, vs. gambling on the unknown. Historically, the Cards haven’t been able to develop ongoing consistency once they have a winning team because of the front office wanting to sell off our assets to float some total make-over. Let’s hope Michael Bidwill has learned from these mistakes and will consider a “tweaking” rather than the extreme. The 9ers and Seahawks both are working with exceptional QBs still on their rookie contract which has allowed them the ability to pay a bunch of really good supportive players. Many rookie QBs who were great in college, even Heisman winners, don’t seem to make the transition to starter standouts in the NFL…Leinert, Barkley, etc. Do you REALLY want to hang another season on a gamble that drafting a college hot shot will be the magic pill when we have Carson and Stanton, who we know and are a proven commodity with some flaws (stipulating to BAs assessment on Stanton)? Right now we need to focus on the task at hand and FINISH STRONG!

  17. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Franchise tag? The Cards probably don’t have such a player sans Fitz, and maybe PP or DWash, and they will be here without such an action. It is great to see Keim taking care of business prior to the rush at season’s end. He has truly proven his worth as an effective strategic GM. He’s the one who deserves a raise! I wish that he knew the fans are really behind him….(Darren?)

    Now if Los wants to test the market, that is his option, but if he is not blind-sided by an over-zealous agent, he will come to realize that his success is primarily due to how he has been used and the schemes in which he is positioned. He will be rolling the dice beyond what is reasonable to Keim. Another team will not provide the same situational schemes best for his success… I would like to see him stay, but this is the business side of things and it would be good to deal with it now on a fair take -it-or-leave-it offer. If he wants to look to FA, so be it; only a short-term offer will be available at age 33 next season from another team. Plus, he get the LOVE here….

  18. By jason on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply


    Ellington looks pretty good, just sayin’

  19. By davidb on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Your right I totally forgot about him being a rookie

  20. By Kauaicardsfan on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    You know I think “Phoenix “is appropriate for all these vets to rise from the ashes and resurrect their careers.
    Warner, Abraham, Dansby, and now Palmer looks like he is rising from the ashes as well ! Way to go Kiem and staff!
    Go cards!!!

  21. By jason on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply


    No worries it happens to the best of us. I know it isn’t ideal for draft picks to be put on IR but if you look at it from an optimistic view point it’s like extra draft picks for next year. With Cooper and Okafor coming off of IR next season (and hopefully Tyrann can come back at some point next season) it’s like having an extra 1st and 4th rounder this year. Even if we are able to re-sign Dansby, Minter’s role is going to increase because I’m almost certain with his contract Brinkley is going to be cut next year (2 million in cap space). So Keim’s draft has the opportuinty to look much better next season even with the unfortunate injury to Tyrann Mathieu. Now he just needs to have another great offseason and maybe we can improve enough to play in a homefield advantage superbowl! I don’t care what tickets cost…I WILL BE THERE IF WE WIN A SUPERBOWL IN OUR HOME STATE!!!!

  22. By davidb on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    You know what your talking about. Your a real fan that’s good to know. Yeah I Hope to see okafor be a young bad ass pass rush we need. That would be sweet a home field advantage super bowl.

  23. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Return to the NFC East? The only thing I like about that is it gives me 2 favorite teams to root for: The Cardinals, and whoever is playing the Cowboys… Yep! We got to play them twice…

    The West has not always been this good! We can hang…

  24. By James on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    @The Way-Dr. G,Yeah,the “fans” are behind him now but let him make one “bad” decision and then we’ll see how much the “fans” are behind him!With that being said,I will support him until he’s no longer a part of the organization.I think that he’s doing a great job!

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    I do give you credit. I am not one of the people who owes a mea culpa as I too felt we needed to let guys like Wilson go, as that’s how the game works in today’s NFL. But I do recall you were one of the people who said the team had to be willing to part ways with some popular players in order to have any chance at success.

    What the team does about Fitz, and whether Fitz is willing to restructure to stay, is going to become one of the biggest stories here very soon. Despite what Keim said about wanting Fitz to remain a Cardinal for life, I just don’t think it’s possible with the current contract. So it’ll be up to Fitz whether he wants to make it work or go elsewhere. Like most Cardinals fans, I want him to stay, but I do not want him to stay at the expense of being able to keep improving the team because we have too much money sunk into one player.

  26. By Chuck 1 on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa,

    I unfortunately don’t recall writing something like “the team had to be willing to part ways with some popular players in order to have any chance at success”.
    Maybe it’s my age. 🙂
    The only “popular” players on last years team that I can think of would be Fitz, Wilson, Docket, Campbell & PP. I’m sure that I’m overlooking one or two.

    I do recall writing that the team can’t afford to pay Fitz as much as his contract calls for and still retain some of the other key personnel i.e. I agree with you.
    However, I believe that Keim will be able to solve that puzzle.

    I do recall writing, at the beginning of the year that the Cards would have a better record than last season and COULD, under BA, end up 8-8. That’s assured. Now, 9-7 should be the minimum (Tennessee).

  27. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck – I have monitored this site since prior to the draft and I do not remember any gnashing…. Players like ADub and Rolle were expecting big $$$$$. Now we could not predict the future, but would you take a player similar to Wilson (who could also cover) for say $6 mil less, as in Dansby? Rolle was a similar case. And so is Abraham coming in….etc… As for mistakes you say Keim may make to turn the fans, some are still clamoring about Ryan Williams… Can the fans say Keim is in error here? I think not…we do not know all the details. The biggest mistake he has made according to the fans was keeping #75 too long. That would not go away…. I think he would admit that. Arians was wrong coming in on that one also. At least, it got fixed to a degree….pending…

    Bottom line for Keim as I see it: He is listening to the owner on one hand, and to Arians on the other. He has tried to accumulate a blend of players to perform as a team within a budget…it is a magic act of sorts…. It has taken some time, but it is beginning to gel. We have seen what an individual super star (Fitz) is like on a mediocre team. The added players worked out and showed they still had some gas in the tank, as opposed to the likes of Emmitt Smith. Keim chose carefully.

    Kevin – If Fitz will not restructure, it will be reasonable for a mutual trade to ….say Denver where he might get a ring… $18,000,000 for next year, no way that is happening… I agree with you… We are talking team here. No other team will pay him that much either… Love the guy, but love the other guys too…. G’day….

    P.S. I just watched the Cowboys get their frozen sphincters spanked!

  28. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    OOPS – Chuck, that last was for James and Kevin…. but you get it, huh?

  29. By John The Draft Guy on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Contract extensions;

    Dansby was to “hold down the fort” till DWash got back. Dansby had other plans. I did not see them going with both Dansby and DWash. I thought Brinkley would hold on for half the season till Minter took it away.

    So now we sit with a possible FA pro bowl level ILB who is older and a young stud waiting his time. What to do?

    I think you face a similar situation with Dockett. At 8.5 mil next year, he was expected to be a cap cut and ride off to a declining career. Again, Dockett had other plans and has put together a very nice season. What to do?

    Fitz’s production had been declining and some started to say he was on the decline. But as Fitz has regained his health and Floyd has stepped up, we are starting to see Larry emerge, especially with TDs. But his cap hit is 18 and 21 mil over the next two years. Surely you must renegotiate his contract and give bonuses and more years, Right? What to do?

    Winston has played well enough to keep Massie on the bench. Winston is a FA next year. Is Massie going to step up or is bringing back Winston a priority? What to do?

    We know PP is up for a new contract. It seems logical to get him paid. How do the cards address the other issues and still get PP paid?

    With HB gone for a while, what does that do to getting in a safety? He could be gone half the year next year. Do you bring in an aging vet? Keep Johnson? Do you hold down the spot or find a player? Can your defense have just a guy holding a spot or do you need a real player?

    Palmer is due a big raise next year. He has played well. Clearly, after shuffling QBs in AZ for so long, he should be back and starting next year. But extending his contract could lower his hit next year. What if Palmer (ala Warner) leads us to a super bowl next year in the last year of his contract? That is not going to be pretty trying to bring him back after that. Should we extend his contract now?

    LT? Is Sowell a work in progress and going to become a good player or is he just a guy holding down the spot till next year. If he isnt the starter, do you go out (ala bears) and get a vet LT to lock down the left side? Drafting a tackle does not mean he can play LT day one (see this years crop of tackles picked in the top 4- none are playing LT). How do you address this?

    Lots and lots of off season questions. I saw a 1998 playoff card team let key players go and go right down the tubes. It will be an interesting off season for Keim.

  30. By Chuck 1 on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply


    If Keim were the GM in 1998, I don’t believe that would have happened.
    And, I can’t believe that he’ll scuttle the team after this season.
    Instead of “interesting”, I would choose the words “extremely challenging”; balancing the Cap and roster needs.

  31. By Dr. G. on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG – Just a note…. I keep hearing the experts saying that Sowell does not have the “body” to be a left tackle… But we must agree, he has made that ugly perpetual story earlier this season go away. He is a big improvement, though he may be out of position…

  32. By Chuck 1 on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Dr. G,,

    I understand that the first part of your recent larger post was for James.

    However, I was the one who wrote about “gnashing”. Ergo, I need to try to back up the use of that word:
    Most of the gnashing resulted from Keim not being willing to pay ADub and letting him go. He was undoubtedly one of the most popular players in the history of the team. This blog was filled with fans’ comments berating Keim, BA and Michael Bidwill for not honoring the loyalty that ADub showed to the organization and some fans threatened to not support the team. But, is ADub playing now (and how much)?
    Comments still appear on the blog blaming Keim for letting Rolle go and for not bringing him back.
    Two other Keim actions that caused consternation (and gnashing) involved signing a long time back-up QB, Stanton, and the “over-the-hill” QB, Carson Palmer. But, really, which other QBs were available? The comments continued in the early part of the season when Palmer was interception-prone and only now are most of the fans showing Keim and Palmer some “love”. 🙂
    I guess, in summary, those kind of complaints come with the territory when one has such an important position no matter what business he/she is in. However, I believe that most of the comments were over-the-top especially when we, the fans, don’t have access to all of the data and facts.

  33. By jason on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1-

    Graves was the GM when Rolle left, not Keim.

  34. By Big Ken on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    The player I’m tongue and cheek about is Roberts. Will he return? Not a productive year for whatever reason. Would they let him go and draft another 3rd receiver type (smurf)? There are some very good ones out there, many are mocking to be first round picks.

  35. By Dr. G. on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck – Your last paragraph sums things up very well. Most of the rantings early on were drowned out by the continual clamoring for Levi Brown’s dismissal. I admit participation. BA was dead wrong on that “elite” assessment. And, Levi took all that heat with lots of class.

    As for Adrian Wilson, I tried to look at 2 things: his production was waning esp in coverage, and it may be that they did not want to insult him by asking to restructure or take less. The Pats have him on IR. And BA had his favs in mind to come in, huh?

    Darren has alluded to the Cards maybe bringing him back to honor him as a retired Cardinal. He probably deserves that…guess who has an ADub jersey… yep…

    I felt a tug when Aneas Williams left as well… different circumstances, but $$$$ was the issue…. still wear that jersey…. Be well…

  36. By ored on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    once the defense rounded into shape,critism was then focused on the offense,the o-line and qb specifically,if we look at qb play around the league we see even the great ones struggle with poor protection,even more so with new recievers who are learning the system,so considering all our changes,it’s time to embrace palmer for the time being and focus on line play, better protection and better run game seems to be the place to focus on again,with returning players and cooper back,another draft and we should finally have our offense on par with the defense.

  37. By Dr. G. on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Big Ken – Roberts, the Smurf? Not…. In 2012 he had better numbers than Fitz!

    To wit: Roberts had 64 Rec/113 Targets – 759Yds – 11.9 Avg in 15 games.

    Fitz had 71Rec/153 Targets – 798Yds – 11.2 Avg in 16 games.

    The facts tell a story that Roberts is a very good, reliable receiver with good speed and good hands despite errant throws. Both these men would have seriously better numbers with QB’s that could execute better. Now, Roberts is caught up in a numbers game with the beast (Floyd) and Fitz for targeting. Why would they let him get away in the off-season when he has proven to be top 3 on this team?

  38. By Chuck 1 on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply


    My bad. I’m thinking of the other safety that left this year. ????????

  39. By jasonc on Dec 11, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1-

    Oh….you’re thinking of Kerry Rhodes.

    Dr G-

    I like Roberts too but I don’t see him coming back next season. I think they like the TE to work the slot and they want a speed WR for the 4th. Roberts has had some issues with drops and consistency this season but I do think he’s going to have a good season next year.

  40. By Big Ken on Dec 11, 2013 | Reply

    @ Dr G. Roberts has definately had an off year not saying he has no or lost any talent. His prior year production speaks for it’s self. But this year he’s had his issues. By ‘smurf’ he’s one of those Art Monk/Wes Welker types. Not trashing the guy.

  41. By jasonc on Dec 11, 2013 | Reply

    Big Ken-

    Art Monk was 6’3…just saying’

    Maybe you mean gary clark, or ricky sanders? they were diminutive redskin wf’s around the same time.

  42. By Big Ken on Dec 12, 2013 | Reply

    @ ja sonc ok ok my Alzheimers is kicking in. Tough crowd tonight!

  43. By Dr. G. on Dec 13, 2013 | Reply

    jasonc – Yea, Roberts will have a good year next year…. somewhere…. He has been a journeyman getting it done. As for some incomplete throws, I have seen every play… and the QB or very good defense can account for most of those. Perhaps you missed my rant a few weeks ago on the reporters using the work “short” a bunch of times to describe Palmer’s throwing. Our reporters echoed that as well… It seems that he has come around; I hope it is not too late…. Roberts rarely drops a ball…. G’day… Also, his personal life is commendable… Be well…..

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