Ginn and the elusive “speed receiver”

Posted by Darren Urban on March 13, 2014 – 12:59 pm

Free agency churns on today with the news — confirmed by General Manager Steve Keim on Sirius XM NFL radio — that wide receiver Ted Ginn is visiting the Cardinals today. Ginn makes a ton of sense for the Cards, assuming Keim gets his price. He is fast, he can stretch the field and he is an expert kickoff return man. You aren’t adding Calvin Johnson or even Mike Wallace, but Ginn would serve a need and seems to have improved on the drops that have plagued him from time to time.

(Free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who still is playing pretty well, is also visiting the Cards. The Cards need a cornerback with Antoine Cason and Javier Arenas both free agents. Cromartie would be an interesting upgrade at the position and could really make this FA period impressive for Keim. Again.)

Ginn’s visit got me thinking about asking Bruce Arians at the Scouting combine about what he is looking for in that much-discussed speed receiver. The coach has never made any bones about his desire to have a pass catcher that can take the top off a defense.

“A 40 time is a good measuring stick but sometimes a guy runs a 4.3 in shorts and then plays like a 4.6,” Arians said. “I want a guy who plays the game fast. A guy who runs 4.3 and plays the game 4.3, then you have something special.”

Ginn, when I have seen him, plays 4.3. His hands just haven’t always cooperated. But again, he’d fit a role in two key areas, and that’s important. This could be a big day in Tempe. UPDATE: The Cards signed Ginn to a three-year deal.


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49 Responses to “Ginn and the elusive “speed receiver””

  1. By Nick Pepe on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks for the update Darren.

    This one made the tail wag! If they were to add both, wow.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    Dog Lover (and wife, love her too)

    Disclaimer cause she will see this

  2. By SteveG on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Is Keim THIS good?


  3. By iamtrandon on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, you did a good job summing up what Ted Ginn is all about. I was the first to bring up the idea of making a run at him because I saw what you saw, a struggling Arenas in the kick return game, and a need for a Speed Receiver. I somehow managed to get hate on that post though…

  4. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I love this article Darren.
    But did the Cardinals have any contract talks with Eric Winston or do they plan to at all?

  5. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Winston

    We’ll see.

  6. By Austen on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Fitzgerald would help him out with the hands issue. Nobody better to learn from. As far as Cromartie, him with PP on the outside gives the DB’s alot of athleticism and experience there. Going to be a great year!

  7. By iammattyoung on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Ginn’s the kind of guy that I’m always afraid of when the game starts, but, by the second quarter, you kind of forget he’s on the field. I’m not sure he’s a better receiver than Andre Roberts was (certainly not as versatile). But, it’d be great to have him back there on punt and kick return duty (the guy has averaged 12+ and 23+ yards per attempt, respectively, over the course of his career).

  8. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    iammatt —

    RE: Roberts

    He’s not better than Roberts as a receiver. He is better than Roberts as a deep threat.

  9. By iamtrandon on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, you did a good job summing Ginn up. You saw what I saw, a struggling Arenas in the kick return game, and a need for a Speed Receiver. I was the first to bring up the idea of bringing him in a couple days ago. Somehow I managed to get a bunch of dislikes…

  10. By Robert on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    What great signings these both would be. Bargain deals, players that fill critical needs, and all under the radar. I know ESPN and want to report all these “big-money” free-agent splashes without even mentioning the Cardinals, but it’s great to see us slowly building on last year. There’s no reason we can’t compete with the Seahawks and 49ers, no matter how good they were last year.

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Sometimes I have to pinch myself and see if I am dreaming.

    As a long time card fan, it always seemed obvious how to fix the cards. Not by being unrealistic and signing every big name, but going after positions of need and putting a product out there on the field.

    Every year, I sat in the stands and watched 4-12, 5-11 and say to myself, why cant they get this right.

    Ever Since Keim and BA have taken over, I can see where they are going. We haven’t had a LT forever and they went out and got a real LT in his prime. They resign their players and bring in guys who can improve the team.

    If we sign Cromartie and Ginn, I believe we will have a team that can compete with anyone and has a possibility to play well into the playoffs and maybe win it all.

    Cromartie is a #1 CB and here he will be outside on the second best guy. Powers could move to nickle and HB can jump on slots or play in space. This defense gets better with Cromartie.

    As for Ginn, he is that speed to take shots down the field with. And with a real LT, we are going to have more time to get those chunks.

    Awesome news if it happens.

  12. By Kauaicardsfan on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Wow, I am loving the moves! getting quality players to fill the existing holes! Yes Arenes did do much for us in the KO game,

    Loving the proactive approach!

    Keep going Kiem! Do your thing! Fill those needs so that we don’t have any chink in the armor !

    Hope we get Cromartie and Ginn today !!!

    Go Cards!!!

  13. By joe holst on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    cromartie was burned a lot last year I would rather have a.cason back ginn is decent but not great. they both would be decent acquisitions.

  14. By Rich on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I have wanted Ginn here for two years. If Keim pulls this off…..and gets another veteran corner like Cromartie………………Holy Cow! We just need to stay fairly healthy and we might be the first team to win a Superbowl in their home stadium !!!

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

    Agree with Joe Holst, these guys if they sign would be decent, low $ acquisitions. Nothing more. Bring on the draft!

  16. By br on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Caution i dont think Cromartie will be cheap….

  17. By Brett n Co. on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I think Ginn is fast but I’am not quite sure of his hands he seems to drop a lot of passes, as far as Cromartie that could be huge or a disappointment, but to think to add him in the secondary with what we already have would be awesome! Jtdg I totally agree with you

  18. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    In terms of speed, there is no doubt about it that Ted Ginn Jr is faster than WR Andre Roberts. What can be said is that Andre Roberts had one of the best hands in football.

  19. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: “Andre Roberts had one of the best hands in football.”

    Sadly, the other one was lost in a home gardening accident.

  20. By Coach K on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I’m sure Ginn can help in the return game, but doesn’t scare too many people in the passing game. Not the best route runner. Emmanuel Sanders would have been the better choice. As for Cromartie, I grade him as good, but not great. Both of these guys would be good signings, but not great. Otherwise, they would have signed two days ago.

  21. By Sam on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    And the Arizona Cardinals have signed Ginn to a three year deal!!! GREAT JOB KEIM

  22. By oliver on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    hey Darren, i heard steve keim said right before FA that the cards were going to go slowly. The cards seem to trick the entire league. i mean, it’s not like we went out for 30 million dollar contracts but the draft seems a little fun now that the cards signed a great LT. What position do we need now Darren???????????

  23. By Dave Chaney on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    I commented yesterday that the Cards are finally starting to seem like they want to be a legitimate long term contender in not only the NFC West, but the NFL. Last year started well, but I have seen that before so I was waiting to see how the team addressed all the free agents they had to re-sign or replace. So far it looks pretty darn good to me and I think the Michael Bidwill, Steve Keim and Bruce Arians tandem might go down in team history as one of the better ones. Keep it up boys! Also, the draft can now be icing on the cake instead of a hit or miss crapshoot for the Big Red.

  24. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Our team is really thin at the Strong Safety position. Will this team consider signing SS Chris Clemons (MIA), SS Major Wright (CHI), SS Nate Allen (PHI), or any SS in Free Agency?

    Do you expect this team to also draft a Strong Safety like SS Deone Bucannon?

  25. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Safety

    They will address it at some point.

  26. By Dynosoar on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Chuck 1,

    from last post, “Where are Dinosaur…(others)?
    I miss their insightful comments.

    Speaking for myself, sounds like your listening to rumors. Haha. (Now who gave this a thumbs down??? And who gave it a thumbs up??? Haha.)

    Your second comment was insightful, because Keim is building this team through FA and the Draft. Best Player Available allows the team to develop depth and prepare for future seasons, but we only get 7-10 players each year in the draft and not all will pan out, so FA is a must.

    But there’s only so much money to go around in FA and some players are great because of those around them an/or the scheme they’re in (sounds like ex-Cardinals/Dolphins/Cardinals player I know of, hopefully I’m wrong and he blows the top off Big Ben twice this year. That’d be worth losing him to see happen.)

    Honestly, I don’t comment a lot on FA or on the Draft because this is the fencing season and I have several of my students in tournaments, so my free time to study stats and players is used to study fencers my students are facing and teaching them what to study in other fencers themselves, so I won’t have to do it for them forever.

    I’d like the time to devote to players around the league, just don’t have it. So that’s why I’m not commenting much, but I am reading and listening to everyone’s thoughts and there’s a lot of excitement. A lot of excitement.

  27. By erik m. on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Ginn is here for special teams, first and foremost. I still think they try to draft a # 3 receiver.

  28. By Dynosoar on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Home field advantage in 2014-15! Sounds like the beginning of a Battle Cry to me.

    What can we come up with?

    Home field is Super fine for Super Bowl 49!
    Home field is the Cardinals field!
    Cardinals at home for Super Bowl 49!

    Would a Battle Cry like this be inspiring or pompous? I’m not trying to predict the future, but this is a future I already see in my minds eye. Would love to see my dream a reality.

    Maybe it’s because I’ll be off fencing in a short while and swords and battle cries go together so well. Let’s have some fun and come up with something. There’s got to be something better than what I started, I’ll work on it.

    Andy KW and Darren, we need a story on Andre Roberts’ hand loss. Haha.

  29. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Steve Keim has done everything right so far and all of these decisions will definitely give us a chance to draft well:
    -Restructured WR Larry Fitzgerald’s contract: CHECK
    -Cut OG Daryn Colledge & ILB Jaspar Brinkley: CHECK
    -Finding a capable duo at TE, TE John Carlson (MIN): CHECK
    -Signing a Long Term Left Tackle, OT Jared Veldheer (OAK): CHECK
    -Signing a power back, RB Jonathan Dwyer (PIT): CHECK
    -Resigning OLB Matt Shaughnessy: CHECK
    -Signing a Speed Receiver, WR Ted Ginn Jr (CAR): CHECK

    -Resign OT Eric Winston: INCOMPLETE
    -Finding an upgrade at #2 Cornerback: INCOMPLETE
    -Finding a young veteran Strong Safety: INCOMPLETE

  30. By Andy Kw on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    You guys know what I mean: ANDRE ROBERTS CAN CATCH THE BALL AT AN ELITE LEVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. By Dynosoar on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    If we are in this Super Bowl, I believe we’ll be wearing our white uniforms, so we should combine them with our red pants.

    That would be sweet!

    In fact, we should limit our white pants to being worn only with our red jerseys (and maybe the black ones as well, although I’d love to see the red pants with our black jerseys).

    Pittsburgh’s at the lower end of my crumb list, but I love their white uniform with the yellow pants. Several teams use colored pants with their white uniform, I wish we’d do it too. We have in the past.

  32. By Dynosoar on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Nick, can we get your wife’s thoughts on your disclaimer? Haha!

    If we get a Cromartie on the team, this is the one I’d like to have. Loved watching DRC during our SB run, but the following season I kept wondering what happened to him. Maybe he’s one of those players that shines best in the spotlight.

    Sign Antonio.

    Ok, I’m outa here. Take care my friends and enjoy the magic that is Keim, he’s better than Gandolf.

  33. By Nick Pepe on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    Dyno- all she said was, “I love the dog too”!

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

    I thought the Raiders would pounce on Eric Winston.

  35. By AzDesertRat1953 on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    How much Better can BA, Steve Keim and this Front Office Team make this 2014 Team?
    Hey Darren do these people ever sleep this time of year?

    It’s All your fault Michael Bidwill and it seems to be Working just fine, again.

    GO CARDS!!!

  36. By nate on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, Does this year’s free agency seem different than others?
    I feel like I see more “big” names changing teams this offseason. Is it more quality, quantity or is it normal?

  37. By Darren Urban on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Nate —

    RE: Name change

    Seems pretty normal. Bloated contracts are getting axed.

  38. By andystandsup on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Who would have thought Darren had a sense humor?
    Good one, sir!

    And Andy Kw – are we related? Same question I had this morning.

  39. By infitzwetrust on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Any updates on Cromartie??

    Did he already visit? Do u find out quickly if free agents leave without a deal??

    Hopefully we sign him!

    Thanks for the updates D…..

  40. By LG on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    If we get Antonio cromartie that would be great. cause I think teams started seeing j. powers was our weakest link. cause I no I seen it but for the most put of the season he did good.

  41. By fightingbird on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    The dang Redskins just got alittle better . Thanks Andre Roberts, I for one loved to watch you play but Im a red bird through and through so when we the Cards play the Skins this season, well you know..

  42. By Louisville Card on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    I like the idea of Ginn but at $3.25 million a year I’m not a fan of the signing. He’s a 7 year vet that’s never caught for over a 1,000 yards. He also drops a lit of passes and fumbles a lot that he does manage to bring in. Sure he’s fast and I could see bringing him to compete for a third or 4th receiver spot, but $3.25 on a 3 year deal? He hasn’t had one of those since his rookie contract???? Does the length and amount seem odd to you?

    Cromartie would be a great add though…

  43. By jasonc on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Louisville Card-

    He’s not getting paid that salary simply to be a wide receiver. He will be our kick returner and hopefully our punt returner as well (not because I don’t still have confidence that PP21 can do the job, I just hate the thought of players having a free run at him and the possibility of injury). His contract is similar to what Baltimore paid Jacoby Jones and Tennessee paid McCluster so it’s market value. I think GInn is faster than both of those players and that is why he is more valuable to our team because of the speed factor.

  44. By Ezethrell on Mar 13, 2014 | Reply

    Since this is super bowl 49 we need to win this as the ultimate snub to san Fran: oh you have 5 rings well we got Superbowl 49er ^.^

  45. By Eazy E on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    Ginn is a great move for our WR corps! He brings that incredible speed and return ability from KR and PR. His hands have gotten better too. Now, focus on nabbing Cro as in Antonio Cromartie.

  46. By Big Ken on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with Louisville Card, I recall Ted Ginn receiving the ‘draft bust’ label his first couple of years in the league. Drafted by Miami? But was considered a first round reach. He had a kind of break out year last year. Wait and see I guess.

  47. By Mat11 on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    Ok so we got Ted Ginn correct, So I heard we’re might get Antonio Cromartie but is he healthy enough to stay in the game?

  48. By jasonc on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    Kent Somers reported that if we cut Ginn next year it will only leave 1.5 million in dead money…so it’s not a bad deal, not a lot of guaranteed money.

  49. By B.J. Rassam on Mar 14, 2014 | Reply

    Ginn is way over-rated, is often-injured and in the decline of his career.

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