Mendenhall decides to retire

Posted by Darren Urban on March 8, 2014 – 8:34 pm

It felt apparent a couple of weeks ago, when running back Rashard Mendenhall cryptically wrote on his Huffington Post blog about wading through dark waters, closing out by saying, “as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.” It sounded a lot like a guy who was about to retire. Saturday night, Adam Schefter reported that NFL teams have indeed been informed Mendenhall — a free-agent-to-be come Tuesday — is retiring.

UPDATE: Agent Mike McCartney has confirmed via Twitter that yes, Mendenhall is indeed retiring.

Mendenhall served his purpose in Arizona. He battled knee and toe injuries and wasn’t as effective all of the time that the Cards (and the fans) would have liked. But he served as a good bridge to rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor. He did score eight touchdowns. And he came cheaply, one of those bargain one-year deals GM Steve Keim came up with this time last year.

There have been a lot of questions to me about signing a running back, whether it is Ben Tate or Maurice Jones-Drew or Darren Sproles. Sproles makes no sense because you already have that guy in Ellington. Regardless, if the Cards are going to bring in another back — and they still have Ryan Williams in addition to Ellington and Taylor — it might be in the draft. If it is a free agent, it would be a cheap one. This team isn’t going to spend a chunk of money on a back. That’s not the Cards’ philosophy and it’s not one many subscribe to around the league anymore.

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33 Responses to “Mendenhall decides to retire”

  1. By Dr. G. on Mar 8, 2014 | Reply

    Mendy may want to exit stage left before he gets banged up even more. He is only 26, but that is like 46 when you are banging among the 300 pounders. I’m still thnking that he may entertain a deal if it is flowery enough… I wish him well… and happy trails with his writings….

  2. By Coach K on Mar 8, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks Mendy. Too bad those injuries kept you from showing what you really had in that tank. Enjoy your new writing career.

  3. By steve on Mar 8, 2014 | Reply

    Kent Somers tweeted that Branden Albert is the Cards 1st choice for free agent offensive lineman followed by the Rams Rodger Saffold. The Miami Herald speculates that Albert is also the Dolphins top choice as well and that Albert resides in Miami in the offseason. The Fish have about 40 million in cap space and probably will outbid everybody for Alberts services if their interest in him is real. Saffolds strength is his versatility but he is not considered a top notch LT so why not pursue Baltimores Eugene Monroe instead? He is rated right around Alberts level, is 3 years younger and does not have the durablility issues of Albert. Monroe will probably come a little cheaper Ias well I’m guessing.

  4. By ored on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    probably someone that goes undrafted.

  5. By tyman on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Too bad.

    He finished the season really well, but there is a lot of wear and tear on the body playing RB.

  6. By clssylssy on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    I’m probably in the minority but I liked Mendenhall as a pounder and will be sorry to lose him, as we need a big guy like him to wear down our opponents so that our other smaller backs can do their damage. He came a long way (as did many of our other players under a new coach) and was just beginning to shine towards the end of the season; I hope the fans don’t overlook his contribution of 8 TDs, in addition to yards gained against such opponents as Seattle. I know Ellington is going to be our #1 back, but with all the assorted roles BA has planned for him, am a little nervous that our run game will suffer and I think we all saw how important our run game was to success last season. I know you don’t think Sproles makes any sense since we have Ellington however I also remember what BA said about him being so dangerous when we played the Saints (which he most definitely is) and if Ellington is going to be used in other capacities, it makes sense to have a “double threat” there. You see the Seahawks and 9ers building depth all the time which makes them what they are; they have very wisely picked up good talent that aren’t “must haves” for the sake of security and investment that they can always use as trade bait. It’s gonna be interesting to see how Keim “fixes” our weaknesses without wrecking what we had going. Good luck to Rashard Mendenhall in your retirement and thanks for helping us out this year!

  7. By cardsalltheway on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    For his sake let’s hope he changes his mind if he gets offered a good deal. You only live once Mendenhall .

  8. By jeffgollin on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Cards picked up a 235 lb RB (Hughes). Don’t know much about him but, judging by his weight, he might be the answer to the vacancy created by Mendenhall’s departure and our short-yardage option.

  9. By Andy Kw on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Ever since OG Daryn Colledge joined the team, he has been a phenomenal contributor on the field. I am sad to see him go but I am happy for all the things he has provided for this team. Maybe Ken Whisenhunt will bring him to Tennessee. Where ever he lands, he will be successful and I have no doubt about it.

    As for RB Rashard Mendenhall, he should give himself one more year in the NFL. If he continues to get injured, then I would recommend for him to retire. He improved a lot over the second half of the season and I would not be surprised to see him have a big comeback in his career. But if he is truly retiring, I wish him the best.

    The Cardinals have done all the right things so far:
    -Restructure WR Larry Fitzgerald’s contract
    -Cut ILB Jaspar Brinkley
    -Cut OG Daryn Colledge

  10. By Andy Kw on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Will this team try to restructure any more contracts such as Darnell Dockett, Jerraud Powers and Carson Palmer?

  11. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Restructures

    I doubt it.

  12. By Big Ken on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    He should be admired for knowing when to hang it up. He’s a young man who made a tough decision.

  13. By Big Ken on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Ellington and Taylor last year. Who this year? I bet they have there eye on somebody.

  14. By LB on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    I liked Mendenhall. He was running behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines, remember. I also envy him. I wish I could have retired in my twenties…

  15. By Andy Kw on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    How can this team do anything with the cap space that we have?
    With the cap space we have, we cannot fit in a Patrick Peterson extension and a Branden Albert signing. If we end up doing this, we will not have enough cap space to sign any other players.

  16. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Cap space

    Not sure you are paying attention. This team, after Colledge is released, will have around $20M of cap space. That’s plenty to do multiple moves.

  17. By nate on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks for your hard work Rashard!

  18. By Coach K on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with Steve. Let’s target Eugene Monroe. Younger and less injury prone. I grade him higher than Albert. Also, it’s time to look at Ben Tate or LeGarrett Blount to give us that power inside runner to compliment Ellington.

  19. By Andy Kw on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    -QB Carson Palmer and DT Darnell Dockett need to restructure their contracts. Even if they might not, this team has to try. $9 million for Carson Palmer is just unacceptable and $5.5 million for an aging veteran is crazy.

    -I like Eugene Monroe more than Jared Veldheer. Eugene Monroe has been healthy throughout his career and I see him as a long term starter for this team. Monroe seems more athletic and is a better Pass Protector than Veldheer. We can sign him to a 3yr $17 million contract that he can’t refuse. I think he will be a lot cheaper than Branden Albert and Jared Veldheer.

  20. By faster on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    thanks to him for the fun i had watching him play.

    and i hope he enjoys writing as much as scoring touchdowns.

  21. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    faster —

    RE: Mendy

    I think Mendenhall likes to write more than scoring touchdowns.

  22. By Scott H on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Well….it’s hard to know exactly what we lost here. The Mendenhall of 3 years ago was a top 10 RB in this league. Since the injury? Who knows exactly what he was??? Did he ever get back to form? Doesn’t seem like he did. Did he really want to get back to form? I have to assume he did. Is he interested in getting back to form any more? Guess not.

    I would like to have seen what shape he might have been in next season. If nothing else, I’m glad he did this NOW, before FA and before the draft. With him gone, we definitely need another option at running back.

    Darren, what ever happened to Beanie Wells??? Was he even on a roster last year? NOT suggesting that we should bring him back, just curious.

  23. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Beanie

    He blew out his Achilles trying out for, I believe, the Ravens last offseason. His knees are also bad.

  24. By birdnerd on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Don’t see Monroe for 3 yr $17m…maybe 3 yr. $27m

  25. By Jsoully on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    If Jared Veldheer signs for the left side, does that mean that the Cardinals have done enough for the offensive line (a battle between Bobby Massie & Bradley Sowell for the right side?)?

  26. By Darren Urban on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Jsoully —

    RE: I don’t think it’s necessarily over.

  27. By cardsalltheway on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    “So when they ask me why I want to leave the NFL at the age of 26, I tell them that I’ve greatly enjoyed my time, but I no longer wish to put my body at risk for the sake of entertainment,”

    I hope he doesn’t abuse “entertainment” in the future, you know like watching any sports/NFL. But, FYI football has always been a form of entertainment so it hasn’t changed in that way. Yes, football has grown but as a player wouldn’t it be better being part of a growing industry rather than a dying one? His toe hurt last year but just what exactly was wrong with his knee? Was it the same knee as his ACL tear? I always thought players understood that “football is a business” while it’s “entertainment” for the fans. It’s terrible to “entertain” people aye? And yeah of course, I suppose it would be fun earning the money Mendenhall made but it’s good to know he won’t be using it on any form of entertainment.

  28. By JohnnyBluenose on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    Even if Mendenhall’s days as a ”featured” running back are behind him it does seem that he is leaving earlier than necessary. I too dislike a lot of the posturing and celebratory gyrations that so many of the players tend to force upon us today but I am not sure these things would force me to retire. Maybe he does not have enough desire to train and play any longer at the NFL level. Whatever his reasons, I am glad he is leaving on his own terms and with his mind and body healthy.

  29. By Dr. G. on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    jgollin – Curious huh? This guy, Robert Hughes, looks like the set back blocker that Arians likes to help keep Palmer vertical. And for short yardage…yeah…! Notre Dame called him a Fullback / Tail Back Hybrid. So he could satisfy needed added protection and let the TE run a tricky offensive scheme to mess with the defense! Now I am thinking of some other possibilities for our new Ful…. er Tail back… We do not want to confuse semantics for our coach…. I like this idea…. I hope this man can make the team…. He looks like a dozer….

  30. By ored on Mar 9, 2014 | Reply

    after seeing recent pics of earl campbell using a walker,i can see retiring after one major injury and living a little more prudently while you still have youth and health.

  31. By Andy Kw on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Release Ryan Williams already. This guy needs to retire just like Rashard Mendenhall. It is time to move on from the NFL and pursue other dreams. Rashard Mendenhall played well in his career at least, Williams has no chance of surviving in the NFL. You’re a good guy but we all know that you have nothing to offer but fumbles in our future.

  32. By Scott H on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren –

    Thanks for getting back. I don’t remember hearing anything about Beanie after he was done with the Cardinals. Would you suspect it is over for him? Such a shame, but his body just can’t seem to hold up. Kinda like the RB version of Andre Wadsworth. Man, we sure have had our share of draft day heart-breakers, haven’t we???

  33. By Darren Urban on Mar 10, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Beanie

    I wouldn’t be shocked if it is over for him.

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