Dansby departure probably inevitable

Posted by Darren Urban on March 11, 2014 – 1:00 pm

The thing is, Karlos Dansby wasn’t even supposed to be a Cardinal last season.

The veteran linebacker signed late. His price tag was too rich for the Cardinals when he was first released by the Dolphins. They were interested, but not in breaking the bank. That’s what you think of today, with free agency officially starting, Dansby hitting the open market after his one-year Arizona return and a mega-deal apparently already waiting for him in Cleveland. The Cardinals had offered a two-year contract to Dansby reportedly for no more than $12 million. The Browns are signing Dansby — who will be 33 in November, which is why the Cards weren’t going beyond a two-year deal –to a four-year contract. Kent Somers reported the deal would be worth $24 million with an astonishing $14 million guaranteed. In other words, more guaranteed money than the Cards’ deal would have been worth total.

Will Dansby be performing at a high level when he is 36? The statistics say probably not, which is why the Cards didn’t want to go beyond two years. If anyone is paying attention to GM Steve Keim, he’s made it clear he wants to work with a clean salary cap as much as possible. That’s the only way to have sustained success, Keim believes, and so dead money needs to be kept low.

You absolutely cannot blame Dansby. He thought he played at a level worth a big contract last year, so he got one. That’s why many guys were willing to sign one-year contracts last year — to parlay a good season into a bigger, longer contract. Dansby is the poster child for that.

But again, he wasn’t going to be here. The Cards signed Jasper Brinkley and drafted Kevin Minter and went into the offseason thinking that would be the options next to Daryl Washington. Dansby didn’t show up until the market had humbled him and he figured out the money wasn’t there. He admitted as such. And he gave the Cardinals a great season for a NFL-bargain of $2.25 million. The Cards were prepared not to have him until they had him. Now, Minter gets his chance. The Cardinals set a free-agent board not only with players from other teams but their own, ranking such. Dansby I would guess was near the top of their list but they have a backup plan (no, I don’t know what right now.)

Regardless, for a second time, Karlos Dansby leaves the Cardinals as a free agent, again after an AFC team showered him with money he couldn’t get in Arizona. Like last time, there is disappointment there wasn’t a way for him to stay. Like last time (with Daryl Washington) there is a young player just drafted precisely because this could happen. It’s the business.


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71 Responses to “Dansby departure probably inevitable”

  1. By Brett n Co. on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I know it’s a business but come on Cleveland?! Really?!!! Come on Dansby!!

  2. By barry on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Sad to see a player be blinded by the money and not loyalty to a team that drafted him. Different time for sure..I know its business but amazing how Larry Fitzgerald is able to make things work.


  3. By Andrew Mcafee on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Barry —

    Come on man bad example. Don’t be fooled Fitz made his money. Don’t think for a second you would leave 10 mil on the table. Easy to second guess from your couch. There is no loyalty in the NFL when teams can release you whenever they want.

  4. By Dr. G. on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    We’ve spent enough time on this…. Let’s move on already…

    Veldeer is coming! Right on!

  5. By joe holst on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Have fun playing with the leagues worst franchise and going 0-6 in your division. Good luck Browns you will need it

  6. By Alex on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    This is just like when the Browns stole Jamir Miller from us and he toiled on losing Browns squads. I cursed the Browns then and I curse them again…

  7. By rod on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out !

  8. By Rich on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with Dr. G. Let’s move on.

  9. By erik m. on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Good for him. Cards will be fine, no way he ever has another season like he did last year.

    Next man up!

  10. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Mr Bidwill on his plane to pick up Veldheer in Michigan according to NFL network. 5 year 37 million. Great deal getting a LT at 7.5 million a year.

    This is a huge win for the cards.

    Looks like Dockett upset about Dansby. Funny that we are told players will take their best deal. When Dansby did, it seems Dockett questioned loyalty.
    Am I reading this correct?

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

    JTDG —

    RE: Loyalty

    Seems that way. We’ll see what happens next year if they ask Darnell to take a pay cut.

  12. By joe holst on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    they signed jered veldheer, 5 years,35 mill

  13. By Roland on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    24 million for a 33 year old linebacker , you have got to be crazy . huge loss again but bring on Minter and D wash. Go Cards ,with or without Dansby

  14. By Mark on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    He is not worth that money and after next year it will show in his performance. Good luck and good bye. Take Dockett with you. Another over the hill past his prime player that is overpaid and underperforms. Atleast Dansby performed like a star.

  15. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Good for Karlos, but his contract confirms that silly season is officially back. Last year teams around the league seemed to hold the line on FA spending pretty good, but not so far this year.

    Would have loved to have Karlos sign a 2-year deal with AZ, but Keim did his best and ultimately the result is in the best long-term interest of the team, so kudos to Steve for that.

  16. By Don on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Just shows where his priorities are.

    Have fun swimming in your pile of money and losing in Cleveland.

  17. By Pete Dowdle on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Man, I was hoping Dansby would stick around. But, again, he’s leaving a squad with so much upside and potential for one whose only good thing is its deep pockets. As a player, he’s somewhat “long in the tooth,” and he’ll relatively soon be replaced in Cleveland by a younger, faster version of himself. And between now and then, he and Cleveland will be looking up at the rest of their division, just taking up space at the bottom of that barrel.

    Rare is it when a player thinks more about his football legacy and winning a championship over the financial and business side of it.

    Dansby has made more money than most people ever will, myself included; and now, like most players, he will never win a championship. I guess we have at least that much in common…

  18. By Eric G on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Good luck Dansby, can’t blame a guy for taking the money. I’d love to see any of us turn down that kind of money if offered. I don’t hate the man, I only hate that he’s not going to be a Cardinal. .

  19. By CardsCrazed on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I must admit, if I had already made more money than I would ever know what to do with, that might make it easier.

  20. By Eric G on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Welcome to the Cards Veldheer. This is just simply outstanding news. Now we can address other needs in the draft. Oh man when does training camp start??? I can’t wait!!!!

  21. By silverbackdk on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Both Cardinals and Dansby did what were in their best interest. Browns are nuts if that contract is true.

  22. By Chris on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Can’t blame Dansby considering how big the gap in money was. If it was smaller I bet loyalty would have played a part. Best of luck to him although it is going to be rough. The only place that will have it worse is Oakland. Speaking of which, welcome to the #BirdGang Veldheer!

  23. By Thomas on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    The scheme, along with the combination of players on this team is what made his year is year so great. With the Cardinals, he had a better chance of getting that elusive championship, along with his name hung inside the Stadium of the team that drafted him vs. some extra money that he can use to buy a championship trophy at the gift store.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Andre Roberts to Skins. Good Luck Andre. RG3 to Roberts, he has to be happy.

    I just saw Ballard back with cards. Seems to me the TE spot may be done with Housler , Ballard , and Carlson.

  25. By Mike on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    As soon as the season ended, this was inevitable! Dansby was not staying here. Have fun in Cleveland!

  26. By Big Ken on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I concur with Dr. G. Let’s build on Veldheer! But what if Lewan is available at the 20th?

  27. By stevenanimator on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Kudos to Keim for sticking to his vision. To Dansby – so long and thanks for all the fish.

  28. By Corgon on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Can’t blame the man. $14 million guaranteed is a big pack of money (or maybe two big packs). But still….he was one of my favourite players and i have to watch him leave again.
    I hope Kevin will be ready at September!

  29. By tyman on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Feel good for Dansby getting the cash.
    It will be interesting to see if he can live up to it.

  30. By Steve W on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Wow, that is some big money and I can’t really blame Dansby for jumping on it.

  31. By erik m. on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Are we really getting Veldheer for 7 mil a year?! That is what I’m hearing, but find it hard to believe. That is a GREAT deal and amazing news as he is extremely talented!;jsessionid=9128BA577CEA48BD317FBEE4A15C64DB-mcd02.hydra?pageNo=2#bottom

    Not sure if this will work, but if you can check out the above link, do so. Veldheer is the real life Hulk!

  32. By erik m. on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply


    You have to scroll down just a tad to see the picture.

  33. By Jsoully on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Ok first off guys, Dansby outperformed Dqwell Jackson at all facets of his game, and the facts are that the Colts offered what people consider a reasonable contract but let’s be reasonable, Karlos has a better situation. He is going to an emerging defense that acquired Donte Whitner & are close to trading for Darrell Revis, along with the young pieces they already have, Dansby made the right decision, don’t be bitter. Kevin Minter is ready to start, this is perfect for the Cardinals.

  34. By Andy Kw on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Yay, we brought back DE Frostee Rucker at a cheap price!!!!!!!!!!!
    -2yr $2.145M deal
    It literally does not get cheaper than that for a player of that caliber.

  35. By Chuck 1 on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    How does Veldheer’s contract compare with other LTs?

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

    Chuck 1 —

    RE: Veldheer deal

    Based on reports out there, it’s cheaper.

  37. By Jahstone on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I would have been ok with Tennessee, but CLE proves that once again it is ALL about the money. Good luck with that LOS, and don’t come back for anything post retirement bird gang related. See Ya!

  38. By astrojinal on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    For those fans who bash Dansby. Stop being spoiled brats. This is his profession. His last few years to earn this kind of money. He doesn’t owe us $10 million dollars worth of loyalty. I’m sure if you were willing to make up the difference personally he would have stayed. I wish him well. He was one of my favorite Cardinals.

  39. By Dre on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dansby has always been a productive player but why hasn’t he ever made the pro-bowl. Larry despite having a few non productive years still was able to find his way to the pro-bowl. Dansby just had his best year in his career a still came up short. No respect and I know that has to cause some hurt deep down inside.

    Steve Keim had his hands tied with a truck load of dead money from previous bad contracts and I want to say, Good job Steve for not falling for the trap.

    The Cards offense under Ba will be in their second year together and should be so much better. With the draft around the corner, the Cards have so many options, and can be very special in what ever area they so choose.

  40. By ored on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    best news is…we got a LT,now fix the safety spot and we look pretty good going into the draft.i also think our overall defense had something to do with danbys success,still would have welcomed him back,but can’t blame him when that kind of money is thrown at you.good for andre,looks like all our players we did’nt get back are signing elsewhere,happy that their time here helped earn them a spot elsewhere.sad to read elsewhere some raider fans comments on veldheer,the ones i’m talking about don’t deserve a team,let alone a winner,just classless people who mistake themselves for fans,did i mention classless,sums them up.that’s probably reason enough they lost their qb and now their LT.

    seems i read somewhere that veldheer was the best choice long term of any FA LTs,if true then what a coup,probably with palmers help,thank you and nicely it really makes our 1st round pick very interesting,there is a reason for a big board,otherwise it would be like a kid in a candy store,wanting everything until he just gives up with too many choices.

    watching this team last few years,up and down is enough to make one seek professional help or at least get some good meds.maybe now we stay on a high,just so stoked to see keims plan working.

  41. By Rich on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Veldheer was the best option all along. Great signing !!

  42. By Coach K on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dansby showed he is not about the team, but for himself. He also showed he is not very bright. If you look at his 4 year deal, the per year payout is the same as the Cardinals offer. Yes, he got 4 years, but he will never see any of that money two years from now when the Browns let him go. Also, he goes from a playoff contender to a bottom dweller franchise that has not had a winning season since Brian Sipe was quarterback. Dansby had an opportunity to make the same annual paycheck for the next two years and an opportunity to get back to the Superbowl. Bad move by Dansby. Great move by Steve Keim to hold his cards. Next man up Kevin Minter! Draft another young inside backer to back up Minter. Carlos, stupid is, stupid does!

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

    Coach K —

    RE: Math

    Time out. You are right average is the same. But he will get $14 guaranteed on this deal. At most, he was getting $12M from Az, and that’s assuming he collected it all. It’s not the same money.

  44. By Coach K on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Veldheer was the STEAL of the day for the Cardinals. This guy had the highest upside of all the left tackles. I cannot believe we got him for this reasonable price. This guy is a mountain of a man with really great feet. He’s athletic and has a punch that will break your jaw bone. I am very excited with this pick. Keim, you did it again. Now lets get a big time deep threat receiver in round one or two and a big hitting strong safety and look out NFC West.

  45. By Dave on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t blame him for going, but for all those hailing him as such a great “team” member and leader…going to a cellar dweller for the $$$ and leaving a potential playoff contender is not what a leader does. It’s what someone who is only concerned about himself does. Once again, I’m not condemning him for chasing the money, but let’s just remember he has now shunned the Cardinals twice for a bigger paycheck, not the best way to create a lasting legacy (for a more positive one think Adrian Wilson) Good luck in Cleveland…see you on the golf course in January.

  46. By Trent Lane on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dansby was all about the money, as he has been his whole career, which saddens me. He can count his money in Cleveland while the Cards build something special. Greed is his legacy. No Pro Bowls, No Championship, nothing. His only chance for something different was with Cardinal fans and the ring of honor (maybe) IMO. I agree with Dockett….i am going fishing too…

  47. By Sect113 on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Cardinals continue to get the best of Dansby. Last year was no exception. We had a near pro-bowl player for $2.25MM.

    Keim is brillant!

  48. By joe on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    All these people hating on dansby, come on, i will put it to you like i put it to my friend last night when he started talking about selling ot and team loyalty. If some company offered you a two dollar an hour raise and better benefits would you say “well the other company hired me first so i owe them my loyalty. Most of us would hit the door so fast all people would see is a blur. And in the NFL with the toll it takes on players bodies how could you possible blame the guy. I would love to see dansby suit up for the bird gang this year but i surely will not hold it against him for getting paid what he is actually worth. He has been undervalued for too long.

  49. By Cory on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    The Browns??? Hahaha have fun watching from your fishing boat while we go to the Super Bowl next year, Dansby!!! I’m sure the money will make up for the ring!!!

  50. By Scott H on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dang it! Ah well, maybe it just wasn’t gonna be for Dansby and the Cardinals. Again. Double-edged sword, I suppose. If he hadn’t played so damn well last year, we could probably keep him. But…would we want to??? AND if he hadn’t played so damn well last year, maybe we are a win or two shy of where we ended up. So…yet again, his level of play for the Cardinals sets the stage for him to get the big money somewhere else. Again.

    Hmmm…wonder if he’ll be available again in a couple of years….

  51. By M deaton on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I will miss Dansby he led the league in tackles I don’t fault him for going for his last big contract. But leave Darnell Dockett…We need and want him. Owners and GMs cut players everyday because it is a business so if a player gets considerable amounts of money to move on then you cant blame him if that wasnt the case Adrian Wilson would still be a cardinal..Larry Centers got cut early Ottis anderson got cut early and became MVP of the superbowl. cmon guys be fair. I love what carlos did and I love Dockett and what he does….

  52. By M deaton on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Kevin Minter is a THUMPER ..Love Carlos But minter will not let us down mark my words you will start hearing the name Minter ALOT he was the best draft pick besides honeybadger and they came from the same squad…I have faith in Minter and I wish Carlos the best ..But the Birds are Gonna be the First Team EVER to play the SUPERBOWL at home

  53. By steve on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: People keep forgetting this is a business albeit a cruel one at that for lots of players. I do not blame Dansby for chasing $$$ over team loyalty for that reason. How ironic would it be to see Karlos back in AZ in a couple of years when the Brownies release him?

  54. By rufus on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t blame Dansby going for the money, but does he have to go on interviews saying how much he wants to be back as a Cardinal while refusing to sign the contract that was put in front of him?

  55. By Coach K on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, I stand corrected. The guaranteed money was better for him in Cleveland. But I stick to my point on playing for a winning team. He lost in his gain.

  56. By Jacob on Mar 11, 2014 | Reply

    Forget him, hes going to regret it when he don’t have a ring next year and all the cardinals players do. how can you not be happy getting a 12million 2 years contract, and getting to stay where you where last year. Also getting a chance to retire with the team that drafted you. LOL and really the browns hahahaha

  57. By Eazy E on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Damn Dansby left again! I think we could have given him 4 years the way he balled out! Players get cut and restructured all the time and what would have been different about his situation if he hadn’t performed as well. We matched the average salary, why not the years?! We better have a good backup plan excluding Minter.

  58. By JohnnyBluenose on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Sorry to see Dansby leave but I think Minter should be an adequate replacement. Like all of you, I just hope Washington gets to play all 16 regular season games this year. Having to replace both of them for even a portion of the year, especially the beginning, would be a challenge. It is difficult to imagine Cleveland as a play-off team anytime soon so Dansby has given up a considerable something, in my opinion, by leaving Arizona. I would also expect Dansby to be on the field more in Cleveland than he would in Arizona, given the less than stellar offence the Browns have. That could take its toll on his body too. I wish him well.

  59. By ored on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    what loyalty did andre get,seen him make numerous clutch catches,but he also got paid,just by washington,so it works both ways,players know this,cleveland just made him an offer he could’nt refuse and we could’nt match.but we got our moneys worth last year and he made the most of his next contract.who knows,maybe we just rinse and repeat with the money that was offered him and keim finds another stud.

  60. By jasonc on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Disappointing to see all of the fans ripping on Dansby. He was severely underpaid last year and these guys only get so much time to cash in on their talents. A Super Bowl is important but maximizing his earning potential for his family’s security trumps that.

    JTDG & Darren-

    I think Dockett’s loyalty comment could have possibly been directed at the front office and not Dansby…it seems more plausible that he’d be upset for the team not paying him than be upset that Dansby took that deal.

  61. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc —

    RE: Dockett

    That is feasible.

  62. By dan on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I think the Browns were not just buying Dansby, they were buying the knowledge, leadership and experience of the Field General of a Cards defense which was able to shut down the Seahawks in their own stadium.
    Patrick Peterson was right, Carlos is going to be sorely missed. Both Carlos and the Browns did the right thing. The Browns just made themselves a lot better. Also, Carlos does not have a history of injury problems, unlike our new left tackle.

  63. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Dan —

    RE: “History of injury problems”

    Veldheer has been injured once. Last season.

  64. By dan on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    missed 11 games at 26 years old. same injury that finished Levi Brown’s career.

  65. By Dave Murray on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    I really have an issue with these people, including Darren, who keep referring to things like “well players need a job and money to support their families first and foremost”. Ohh ok, the millions Dansby was and would have been making here wasn’t a job and couldn’t support a family? How many millions does it take? I don’t know how I am alive then. And you cannot use the stupid argument about “wouldn’t you take a job offering more money?” This is football with an end purpose of the winning the Super Bowl. This isn’t working at Circle K with the point only a paycheck. Maybe if it was like a team of scientists extremely close to finding a cure for cancer at some company, then one leaves for a little more money at another company could I see that comparison used.

  66. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Dave Murray —

    RE: Job

    Well as long as you brought it up …

    I have an issue with the fans who struggle with this concept: This is a job to the players. Yes, they want to win. But they are not fans. The vast majority came to a team and a city to which they have no allegiance. They have “x” number of years to make as much money as they can. When they can’t play anymore, they are discarded. I’ve been around these players for a long, long time. It’s a job first. I’m sorry if the truth hurts.

    Do some guys take less money? Sure. Everyone is different. Let’s say this: You don’t know what you’d do. You are completely biased. Your team is losing a good player. You have not and will never be offered what is probably going to be between $7 million and $10 million more to go elsewhere. If I had a chance to set up my family, my kids, my kids’ kids and maybe even their kids for life, why wouldn’t I think about taking that? That, frankly, is a much more lasting legacy than a Super Bowl ring.

  67. By Dave Murray on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – Just out of curiosity, if a player treats the game as a business and no allegiance to a city, how is a fan supposed to feel an allegiance to a city or the NFL in general and pay for tickets to games? I’m starting to completely understand the huge surge in popularity of college football, i’m headed that way myself.

  68. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2014 | Reply

    Dave —

    RE: Allegiance

    I never said the player has no allegiance, I said they show up with none. Each guy is different.

  69. By garb on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks Cardinals front office. With your decision and the signing of Dansby for my Cleveland Browns, you just helped make our emerging, tough defense even better. It’s a business and players go where the money leads. It’s a shame your GM stepped over dollars to pick up dimes.

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  2. Apr 24, 2014: Cardinals Blogs | Dockett’s disappointment with Dansby departure
  3. Mar 9, 2017: Cardinals Blogs | Comings, goings, kickers and Dansby

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