Jenkins visit and the shrinking roster of March

Posted by Darren Urban on March 18, 2014 – 10:07 am

Running back Alfonso Smith — who had been a restricted free agent to whom the Cards did not tender an offer — tweeted out this morning the Cardinals had told him they would not be bringing him back. It’s the other side of the fluctuating roster of March.

The long anticipated visit of free agent cornerback Mike Jenkins is happening (Kent Somers noted the visit, and Mike Jurecki was the first to report interest in Jenkins before free agency even started). Nothing new has come about with free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie, and as we all know, GM Steve Keim usually puts an offer out there and if it is rejected, he is prepared to move on to the next option. Cromartie obviously hasn’t been amendable to the deal the Cards offered, so Jenkins is now up. He’s not Cromartie, but he’d provide depth.

Meanwhile, I’d guess Smith isn’t the only ex-Card to be told he’s definitely an ex-Card. Every year at this time there are a handful of players from the previous year’s team that have a chance to return until they don’t. As needs and circumstances change, so do the possibility they could come back. The Jonathan Dwyer signing probably ended any possibility of a Smith return. That’s why some unsigned players remain on the roster, at least for now, and sooner rather than later, that will change.

In the meantime, free agency is an ongoing process. As of this morning, the NFLPA lists the Cardinals with $5.13 million (UPDATE: NFLPA now has the Cards with $8.1 million and one less contract, so I am guessing they mistakenly added in a non-Cardinal, like the other day) in cap space for their top 51 of the offseason. That should include everyone’s contracts that have signed as of now, including cornerback Bryan McCann yesterday. That’s not a ton of room. But there are some points to make when it comes to that.

— The Cardinals do need space to sign the rookie class. But remember, half the draft class — which for the Cards need about $4.2M total cap space to sign — won’t count on the cap until the regular season, because the players who aren’t in the top two or three rounds won’t have a first-year cap hit big enough to qualify for the top 51. The Cards will likely need about half that.

— And that rookie cap money will come available June 1 anyway when half of the released Daryn Colledge’s cap number comes off the books as a June 1 cut.

— Any player can usually be fit under the cap, for those worried about signing more free agents. It’s all about how you structure the deal. So yes, the shrinking cap doesn’t mean Cromartie isn’t coming here. It doesn’t mean he is, either, but the point is, a team can make a lot of things work if they want to enough.

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44 Responses to “Jenkins visit and the shrinking roster of March”

  1. By D on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Cards could also free up another 1 mil on releasing R. Williams.If he isn’t playing special teams and clearly isn’t one of the two top RB on roster, should let him go.
    Jenkins could provide good depth at CB, would be nice for this upcoming year for either McCann or Bethel to take the #3 CB spot.
    Should be interesting to see what they do at Right Tackle. Clearly they don’t feel 100% comfortable with Massie starting but currently there is slim depth there, do they draft a player by round 2 to compete with him or bring in a Vet like last year towards end of offseason?

  2. By edward on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Dan you said Jenkins isn’t Cromartie. But acording to the espn tracker he is rated higher? Do you know why? and Do you know whats happening with the safety positions?

  3. By Rich on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    I like Jenkins better. Les money, solid, younger, healthy, less of a prima dona.

  4. By Rich on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply


    Jared Allen lives here in the Valley. I’m surprised we’ve heard no rumors that he could join us. Are you hearing anything, either way?

  5. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Rich —

    RE: Jared Allen

    He’s not coming here.

  6. By Mark on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Its been an impressive free agency. Alot of our signing have been fantastic and at a reasonable price. I really would be stoked if we could get Antonio to play in red next year, but I’ll be okay if he passes us up as well. We have a draft and honestly have a pretty solid squad right now. I think were in the position to draft best available at this point and get some solid players who will be birdgang for life. Keep it up CARDINALS! PLAYOFF BOUND!

  7. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Any rating/comparisons of Jenkins vs Cason vs. Arenas vs. Powers vs. Bethel vs. McCann??

  8. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Comparisons

    I’d think Jenkins would be an upgrade. He’d likely battle Powers for a starting job.

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

    I like Jenkins. I think Keim is playing this free agent market perfectly. The best deals will come after the draft. Build the depth. That’s what I’m looking for. Depth. NOTE: One guru thinks Blake Bortles could fall to the Cardinals at #20. If that happens, I hope Keim and BA pull the trigger. I think Bortles is a steal at #20.

  10. By Big Ken on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    @ Rich-Are you Rich Incognito? C’mon man

  11. By Big Ken on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    OK-A late summer signing, Jared Allen for the vet’s minimum.

  12. By Eazy E on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    I live in Dallas and have seen Jenkins for years. Very talented, very good size, good ball skills, ok tackler. Only negative is injuries have kinda started to creep up on the brotha a little. He’s a 1st rounder, so he’s talented, not like Cro though, but I wouldn’t mind ONLY if we can’t nab Cro. Both would be sweet though.

  13. By debeezy on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply


    If you’re trying to get a response, you should know that his name is Darren and not Dan.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K,

    Bortles is a steal at 10, let alone 20. Bucky Brooks is a little nuts thinking he drops to 20. But I may have said the same thing about Rodgers too and we saw him drop.

    I look at the Texans roster and it is way too good for being the worst team. Goes to show what a QB can do. I think they will regret it if they pass on Bortles #1.
    As good as Clowney is, their defense has a pass rush already.

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Jenkins was a first rounder by Dallas who never lived up to his draft status.
    Oakland has a ton of money and I am not sure if they are trying to bring him back.

    Talent wise, Jenkins could be very good. I’m not sure what the issue is and why he isn’t as good as he should be. Off the field issues?? Locker room issues?? I haven’t read up enough.

    But if the cards can get this guy going, they could have a top notch tandem at CB.

    With that being said, Cromartie is more of a known commodity and I would prefer to sign him.

  16. By T.Stone on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    You are one of two things. A shill for the Cards org with the Constant talk of Cromartie , or a writer that listens to us starved for Cardinal news, and in your sick desire to feed the trolls you feel the need to talk about that idiot Cromartie . Probably the latter I hope. Enough already. He deserves a 1 year contract at best, and at KD’s numbers last year. let him go to the Browns. Are you a Shill or a reporter?

  17. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Tstone —

    RE: Shill or reporter

    If you don’t want to read the story, don’t read. No one is forcing you. Not sure why you are so angry.

    I do enjoy, however, the irony of you saying I am trolling by trolling yourself.

  18. By T.Stone on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Oh I read it and I am not angry. I Also read the other posts. pp Cromatie edition. No Not him. I got my answer. And for a troll to be a troll he has to Troll. I post every month or so. That’s you with your own site. nice. well done.

  19. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    TStone —

    RE: Trolling

    I troll because I post on my own site. OK. Got it. I’ve got to stop doing that.

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

    @CoachK and Draft guy:

    Bortles isn’t making it past the top ten. Many have him going #1. There is no way he will be drafted by the Cardinals.

  21. By Rich on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    we can take Javier Arenas off of our roster

  22. By T.Stone on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    What you GOT to stop doing is treating fans and ticket holders for years older than you is stop acting like an ass. Just report or get a forum to talk. It would probably give you some time to actually do your job whatever that is.

  23. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    TStone —

    RE: Job

    So, just to clarify, I put a innocuous blog post up, you rip me for it — really for no good reason, but that’s your call — and then get indignant when I respond.

    I do appreciate you calling me young. Not too many people do that anymore.

  24. By Tucson Card on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply


    Have you heard any rumblings on bringing back Cason? He’d be good for depth at CB/ST / I’m a U of A fan.

    Peace out.

  25. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Tucson —

    RE: Cason

    I doubt Cason will return, especially when/if they sign another veteran.

  26. By T.Stone on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Ok we will call it a draw. (“You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine.”)

  27. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Darren- What is going on with Eric Winston? I thought they wanted him back? Is he interested in returning? At the end if the season he seemed like he wanted to return.

    By the way, you do a very good job here despite what some say…..

  28. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Winston

    I think Winston is in that group of players who are hoping for bigger contracts they will not get anymore, and will get jobs mostly if teams still have holes later on. He could return, but he’s going to make about what he made last year. Is that enough for him? It might behoove him to wait for a team to get a training camp injury and be desperate.

  29. By Big Ken on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    $8.1M kind of keeps us on the table.

  30. By andystandsup on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    If Cromartie signed, would that possibly mean cutting Powers and his high contract? As opposed to Jenkins signing and moving Jerraud to slot?
    Or am I totally misrepresenting everything, Darrell? I mean, brave Sir Knight?

  31. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Andystands —

    RE: Powers

    I will be shocked if Powers is cut.

  32. By Jim McFetridge on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Darren- You do an excellent job keeping Cardinals fans informed. You are honest & fair & do not kick players when they are down but treat everyone with respect & dignity. I have been a football fan for over 50 years & consider you the most effective reporter ever at connecting fans to our team in a realistic & thoughtful manner. In any job you can never please all of the people all of the time but rest assured you have my respect & appreciation for your accuracy, kindness, & wisdom! Rock on in your own unique & dynamic manner.

  33. By br on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    With the release of Smith andDwyer not a sure fire bet to make final roster and of course Williams is anyones guess I see RB quickly becoming a position of need…do you think Cards will now go RB earlier in draft (obviously 3rd or later) if so do you think Storm Johnson is a reach in rds 3/4? Or just to cause a stir do you think Cards may make (or already have made) a call to MJD’s agent? Wouldnt mind seeing either one in Cardinal red (in MJD’s case would have to be on our financial terms!)
    I also would like you to know that even though we dont always agree on topic’s I respect your professional opinion and would be a lost soul when it came to all things Cardinals without your reporting. Keep up the FINE reporting sir kn….err, Darren!!

  34. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    br —

    RE: RB

    I don’t see it as a major need. I don’t see them taking one high in the draft. Not with Ellington and Taylor and now Dwyer. They do need another one, but they aren’t hard to find, I don’t think.

  35. By Big Ken on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    say good knight Andy

  36. By Dr. G. on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    TStoner – Trolling Cromartie? Seems I read in this post that “Keim is prepared to move on, and Jenkins is next up.” Maybe you can re-read that… I don’t see how that is chumming or trolling. Darren does a splendid job of trying to appease the fans an tix holders by keeping up with the pressers and his inside scoops. It is obvious that you have not considered these blogs for any period of time and/or with any technical intensity…. Later… Much later….

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

    br, don’t worry, Dwyer will make this squad easily. Watched him for two years in Pittsburgh, he had a special year (B.A.’s) last year there and Dwyer was just coming out of his shell and making amazing runs. Then, for some reason the following year under the new O-coordinator, Dwyer was in the dog house as was Mendenhall. So I expect to see Dwyer back in his beast mode when BA was using him with great success. B.A. knows exactly what he has in Dwyer. The mini-Bus. I can’t wait to watch Dwyer rumble up field in our zone blocking scheme. He is a load. Exactly what we needed to counter with Ellington. And Dwyer has a burst and extra gear Taylor does not have.

  38. By MostlyRight on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t comment often but after reading that guy go off on Urban in such an odd way, I just wanted to post a “Thanks Darren!” for your reporting and for keeping us fans updated on the latest happenings. You do good work.

  39. By All day on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    What are the odds of Jenkins getting the starting job with Peterson? Also is there any news on who else they may be targeting in FA Maybe a guy like Ihedigbo? A big safety to have…

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

    All day —

    RE: Jenkins

    If he signed, I would think Jenkins would compete with Powers for that starting spot.

  41. By Amir on Mar 19, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks, Darren, for the interesting and informative blogs… These are the first things I usually read on the site.

  42. By Coach K on Mar 19, 2014 | Reply

    NFL Network host has Blake Bortles going to the Cardinals.

  43. By br on Mar 19, 2014 | Reply

    Bortels around at #20 would be awesome that is the only QB Icould see Cards taking that high, otherwise Logan Thomas after rd #4 and I would be happy camper!
    Coach K – I thought Dwyer was going to breakout as well (followed Steelers real close after they drafted Mendenhall since i have been a lifelong ILLINI fan,) but he seemed to be a one yr wonder…but I thought BA had moved on before Dwyer had his breakout season?? I hope he can revive his career Cards need that between the tackle workhorse to give our passing game a boost, was hoping Mendenhall would come in and have a huge season obviously that was not to be, I really hop Ryan Williams can return to his promising rookie form it would be nice to have a 3 headed monster coming out of cards backfield all with different types of “venom” to spit at opposing defense’s!!! I still think Storm Johnson as a 3rd or 4th rd pick would be yet another steal for us on draft day…i believe he could be the next Otis Anderson!!!

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