Larsen a top lineman, and trade calls

Posted by Darren Urban on August 18, 2014 – 9:16 am

Ted Larsen at left guard? It wouldn’t be a total surprise. Larsen was working at guard a lot before starting center Lyle Sendlein got hurt and General Manager Steve Keim said today during his weekly appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 that Larsen “has been one of our five best offensive linemen” during training camp. The veteran free agent who had played for Tampa Bay has been solid at center for Sendlein and at this point, there are still questions about when Jonathan Cooper will come back and how he will do when he does come back.

Keim said Cooper’s turf toe was “significant” and he isn’t sure if Cooper will be back this week or next. It would make sense when Sendlein returns from his calf injury — Keim said that could be Wednesday — that Larsen could be in the left guard mix. (That also likely means Earl Watford has not left as good of an impression playing left guard as the Cardinals would have liked.)

— The Cardinals have not received any phone calls about someone possibly interested in a Ryan Lindley trade, Keim said. The reality is that barring injury, Lindley will be the odd man out at QB. Keim said such calls wouldn’t hear up until next week anyway. Keim said the Cardinals have had a few calls about their wide receivers. In what really isn’t a surprise, Keim said it is “more realistic” the Cardinals will keep six wide receivers. I’ve thought that for a while, given the play of Jaron Brown and rookie Walt Powell behind Fitz, Floyd, Ginn and John Brown.

— Stuff Keim liked from the Vikings game: linebacker Larry Foote’s play, quarterback Carson Palmer, Jaron Brown and how all the wide receivers did blocking on the perimeter.

— Stuff Keim didn’t like: The inability to create pressure on the quarterback, blown coverages and the lack of explosive runs (although he admitted not playing Andre Ellington much didn’t help the latter.)

— New linebacker Desmond Bishop, who dressed for practice Thursday but didn’t practice much at all, looked good in his 12 snaps, Keim said. I think Bishop, assuming he progresses, has a chance to stick. It’ll be interesting to see who that might cost in terms of a roster spot.

— Speaking of inside linebackers, Kevin Minter may still sit because of his pectoral injury. Keim said the Cards will be careful with Minter. No reason to risk anything right now.

— Linebacker John Abraham could return to individual drills either today or Wednesday.


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24 Responses to “Larsen a top lineman, and trade calls”

  1. By krehbieo14 on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Injuries to Coop and Minter are not encouraging. I hope that Larsen can step up in lieu of Cooper’s return. Minter’ injury could create a huge gap if he doesn’t heal with time. Let’s hope that Desmond Bishop is back on his A game. Wishing the best for our injured Cards!

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Just a quick observation;

    This is why they always say wait a couple years before you judge a draft.

    The fact that Larsen and Faniaka (two journeyman) may start over two 2013 draft picks, including the #7 pick, is not saying a lot for Keim’s first draft.

    The Honey Badger and Ellington look like steals as rookies but one is hurt while the other is very limited (by coach) in 2014. (I would bet they both have strong 2014 years). Minter is a question mark still.

    It will be interesting to see how this 2013 draft class pans out. Revisit this topic next year and we will be able to judge this class much better.

    Looking back on the 2012, Floyd looks like a number 1 receiver. We had no #2. In round 3, we missed with Fleming and Massie in the 4th should be a starter.
    Pro bowler Justin Bethel came in the 6th round.

    I think Keim has been an upgrade in FAs, but 2012 and 2013 really isnt that much difference in draft hits and misses it appears. (again, revisit next year). The biggest difference (if Cooper ends up being a bust) is first rounders by Graves/Whiz. ( Floyd, Peterson, Dan Williams) are all quality starters.

  3. By D on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    I think Bishop may stick as a ILB, but that would give the Cards 5 inside LB’s with Lorenzo will be on the squad because of Special Teams, so I am guessing the odd player out would be in the Secondary and Teddy Williams would be cut.

    My final numbers are:

    QB: Palmer, Stanton, Thomas
    RB: Ellington, Taylor, Dwyer, Hughes
    WR: Fitz, Floyd, Ginn, Brown, Brown, Powell
    TE: Carlson, Niklas, Housler ,Fells
    OL: Massie,Veldheer, Sendlein, Larsen, Fanaika, Cooper, Watford, Starks
    DL: Campbell, Dockett, Williams, Rucker, Martin, Stinson, Taamu
    OLB: Abraham, Shaughnessy, Acho, Okafor, Benard
    ILB: Foot, Minter, Demens, Bishop, Alexander
    CB: PP, Cromartie, Powers, Bethel, McCann
    Safety: Bucannon, Johnson, Jefferson, Mathieu

  4. By D on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Cards still need to work on defending TE. Let’s see how they do against the Bengals.

    I am glad SF is playing here on Week 3. Cards will be playing a SF defense that will be without Dorsey, Bowman and probably A. Smith, and their CB’s are not special. They can be beat here in the desert.

  5. By jwoodaz on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Some guys just take a little longer for many different reasons. Try to understand this and besides the way guys look now and 2 months from now can be like night n day, prior to the latest cba practice time was longer than it is now, at least BA runsa double field so new guys get more reps during this shorter off season. Judge this draft in five years, many former cardinals thrived in years after they left here..

    End of line…

  6. By Ben on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Urban

    Went to the video section on the main page to check out the highlights. Was it just me or were those ALL vikings highlights? NFL is ridiculous, we get no respect.

  7. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Well, really, if WE believe that Lindley is likely to be the odd man out at QB, then why is anyone out there going to bother making a trade to get him? I would think most other teams and their people are reading this situation the same way. Why trade for something that is probably gonna be available for free pretty soon?

    Also, what trade value does Ryan Lindley actually have???

    Not liking the problems that continue to keep Cooper out of action. Am hoping he is not the O-line equivalent of Andre Wadsworth. But, damn, at least we got a full season out of A-Wad before he went downhill….

  8. By Marlin on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    We should trade a receiver (Powell or Golden) for a decent backup offensive tackle. Sowell looked bad, Potter and Starks are hurt. We need a solid vet backup tackle to go into the season with, behind Veldheer and Massie.

  9. By Eric on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    If they do keep 5 WR’s, I hope the team considers cutting Ginn. Ginn is okay, but not getting younger/better/faster, and I would hate to see someone like Powell or one of the Browns cut for a year or two of Ginn.

  10. By jeffgollin on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    A couple of injuries may represent “the breaks” (no pun intended) of the game.

    A third injury might signal the beginning of a pattern (see Ryan Williams) and causes us to focus more closely on Coop with our fingers crossed.

  11. By Dr. G. on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    jtdg – – Well, hindsight is always 20-20… and the draft is usually dice rolls, hoping to get a few players that can contribute. If you get 2 or 3, it’s successful…

    The bigger difference with Graves/Whiz and Keim/Arians is the willingness to put their picks on the field. Floyd sat behind Roberts and Fitz wasting away his #1 talent. Fitz had a marginal year (2012) explained away with bad QB’s…

    When you look at “targets” for the trio, both Roberts and Floyd had better stats than Fitz with Roberts being a subliminal #1 getting little respect.

    Another difference with the GM/HC’s is that Keim is light years better with the purse strings. He and Arians are way better at assembling a “team” rather than just getting good players…. Be well….

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Dr G,

    I would agree with all you said. (except 20/20) . You know my post. I was against Cooper from the beginning, wanting Kenny Vacarro instead.

    My point is (and yes, I believe it is too early to judge for sure) but to have two journeyman starting over a first and forth round picks in year two is not good. Especially the #7 overall pick. That tells me Watford had a shot at both guard spots and couldn’t claim it. And let’s face it, Cooper wasn’t on his way to the pro bowl before this latest injury.

    It wasn’t like Massie who had a seasoned vet in front of him that he couldn’t beat out last year. Look at what happened when Winston left, he claimed his spot over the journeyman trying to take it.

    Now I defended Minter last year when people said he should start because he was behind 2 guys who were 2nd rounders and very good vets. But in year two, and those vets gone, if he can not step up and beat out the ILBs on this roster, it would be truly disappointing.

    I will give you a couple of other examples. Bucannon is already pushing Tony Jefferson IMO and they are trying to find a spot on the field for him in Nickle. John Brown may be behind Ginn, but he has impressed enough to find his way to the field. That is what you want to see out of draft picks.

    Sure maybe they need time and seasoning, but they should be showing something. Even Logan “let them eat crow” Thomas came out and showed he belonged. I haven’t seen it out of that 2013 bunch except Ellington and HB. Hopefully they bloom soon.

  13. By krehbieo14 on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply


    I don’t think Ginn is going anywhere. He is guaranteed 3.25 million dollars with a 3 year contract of 9.7 million! I think they’ll keep 6 receivers unless a trade occurs. Peace.

  14. By BigAl on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    By Eric
    Well Eric I was actually thinking that same thought particularly after pre/week 1’s game…Then I looked up Ginn’s contract! Holy Cow! Remember he was signed in
    March, long b4 the draft…There was a lot of talk about BA’s “Need for Speed!”
    Should a watched ‘Top Gun” & waited…Ha! Hard to say actually what may have happened had they waited??? But man I couldn’t believe what we paid him then, & now it looks even more expensive!
    JTDG… help me if I got this wrong? Still learning here, but thanks to your help! I think I’m starting to see how it works…
    If we were to cut Ted Ginn not only would it cost us 2.250 mil against the Cap in
    2014 but even worse…4 mill in 2015 & 4 mill in 2016…w/ I believe 750K in Dead Money against 2017!!! Soo I believe were kinda stuck w/Mr Ginn! Again check me on this JTDG?
    I would still like to see them keep 6 WR’s, w/the idea down the road as injuries occur league wide, perhaps we could negotiate a trade for either a mid/late Rnd draft pick or a journeymen/serviceable back up OT as Marlin stated earlier in post.
    Also, yes Sowell did look bad, but try to remember everyone where we were week 6 last year & BA brought him in here & he was quite the improvement! Last year of course…
    This is why I wanted us to find a way to keep Eric Winston! Who has played both sides… signed for 1 mill 15K w/100K Signing Bonus! Cheap! And to Seattle of all teams! Bet him & Pete Carroll are talking play schemes! Darren…

    However, like Scott H said above…who is gonna trade now for Lindley??? Next week & the week after the SHARKS will be everywhere just waiting!!!
    Never quite understood why Discovery named last week…’Shark Week’ ??? Guess even they know NFL Rules! & most will be busy hunting/evaluating! Thanks!

  15. By Andy Kw on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Hey D,
    You forgot about LS Mike Leach

  16. By ored on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    have to agree that current management is much more attuned with regards to free agency and putting pieces together.drafting is always going to be hindsight thing,shoulda,coulda,but it remains an exciting process.

    things i notice most is a quality defense and making the oline a priority…seems we’ve always had an eye for recieving talent,now if we can just elevate the ground game.

  17. By BigAl on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Doc was carted off the field? Leg? Oh No!

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


    Those numbers that you have are the cap if he is on the team.
    If cut in 2014 – he would actually count an extra million towards the cap. So Ginn has made the team.
    If cut in 2015 – he would only count as 1.5 million of dead money vs his real contract of 4 million. Meaning, releasing him in 2015 will cost the cards 1.5 million in cap space but end up saving 2.5 million. With the emergence of the Brown’s , I could see it happening in 2015.

  19. By Dr. G. on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    jtdg – – At this point, you have no argument from me on Cooper. He appears savvy with a lot of heart….let’s just hope he is not the next Andre Wadsworth plagued by injuries to his demise. We all thought he would be a serviceable player.

    The thumbs down is not from me. I watched Thomas at the stadium last week before the game…he was much better than the so-called expert prognosticators wrote…spins the ball like a howitzer with good accuracy, and then did the same thing in the game he player…Yeah, big tasty Crow… I posted this last week…

    I just saw Andre Roberts catch a bomb from RG III on MNF… He was always one of the best we had…. Anxious to see how the D-Line-backing crew develops. I will reserve my opinions for now…too many moving parts… Be well… My man Dockett ! Oh no….

  20. By jason on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Big Al-

    No. If we cut Ginn this year the only thing that is guaranteed is his signing bonus which is 2.25 million and his base salary of 1 million for a total of 3.25 of dead money. Since his cap number is 2.25 million cutting him this year wouldn’t save us any cap money. Now next year his only guaranteed money would be 1.5 million (or the remainder of the signing bonus money) and a cap number of 4 million so if we cut him we would save 2.5 million on our cap next year.

    Good points by everyone. I think the thing to remember is that it is still early and that sometimes words spoken to the media are messages to players. Cooper should get healthy and win that job, if not JTDG is on point that it would be a MAJOR fail for a healthy Cooper to lose his job to Larsen. I think Watford has another year before he is required to win the RG job. Fanika is a UFA next season and that is when I expect Watford who was a fourth round pick from a small a school to be seasoned enough to be the man. Just like Massie I think his third year the opportunity will be there. I think it’s still too early and by the end of this season and into next offseason we will be abel to adequately evaluate the draft class. If we come out of that draft with 5 starters (Cooper, Minter, Mathieu, Watford, Ellington) and 2 solid back ups (Okafor, Taylor) then it should be considered a success. If Cooper regains his old form, Mathieu make a full recovery and Ellington parlays his part time success into a full time playmaker then it will be even more impressive.

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply


    quick question;

    Would you consider it a success if Cooper starts and is average this year and next, Minter starts but is average, Okefer, Taylor and Watford are solid back ups and Honey Badger and Ellington are stars?

    It’s a tough one. But right now, this is how I see it after year 3. Successful first year draft or not?

  22. By jason on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply


    Good question.

    Here is an excerpt from an article that Kent Somers wrote during the draft: A realistic expectation, Keim said, is to draft at least three players who are “starter types” and two more who can play significant roles.

    and here is one from our own Darren Urban: Keim’s desire every year is to emerge from the draft with at least three players who make an impact and/or become starters.

    I think using that logic Keim would consider your scenario a success, but I think Keim would demand that a starter be an impact player. It is my opinion that as a top 7 pick the draft’s final grade will hinge on Cooper, if he is just another guy and not a pro bowl type player it will be considered a black eye on the class. There are different levels of success and if we have two stars, two starters and three solid back ups would be a success…just not a franchise changer.

  23. By hminus on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

    Something to consider is the fact that our roster is observed to be top 5 or 6 in the league by many under the current GM…whereas the previous administration had a piecemeal roster of a handfull of stars & a bunch of average to substandard ones taking up most of the roster spots…we have a lot more strength & balance now than just a couple of seasons back,so a back-up on this roster is better than most starters on the 2012 team…

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