Clarifying Palmer’s (near) restructure

Posted by Darren Urban on March 6, 2015 – 9:42 am

Carson Palmer raised some eyebrows when he mentioned Thursday he had restructured his contract to help the Cardinals create salary cap space. It wasn’t that the idea was a shock — indeed, the notion was out there — but the fact Palmer said it was done.

Turns out, Palmer wasn’t quite on point, of which he was informed after the fact. Palmer has indeed agreed to a restructure — which likely would include turning an option bonus into signing bonus, clearing about $7 million of cap space — but it has not yet been executed. So the Cardinals still figure to have around $14 million of cap space heading into next week. What it does mean is that the Cardinals and GM Steve Keim have some reserves in their back pocket if the team were to need more cap space during free agency. (And there are probably a couple of other players who might also be in that position to restructure if needed too.) If the Cardinals don’t need the space, they would hold off on doing the restructure, because any restructure would push dead money into future caps, and you want to avoid that if possible.

The question becomes, just who might the Cardinals be eyeing on the market that Keim would want to have such flexibility? That’s where these next couple of weeks turn fun. Let the speculation begin.


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33 Responses to “Clarifying Palmer’s (near) restructure”

  1. By D on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    I wish I made so much cabbage that I don’t even know what my salary is…

    Free agents to watch this weekend-

    S. Wisnieski G/C
    Nate Irving LB
    D. McFadden RB

  2. By Marlin on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Ngata! and Iupati. Big men that fortify the line of scrimmage on both sides.

  3. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    McFadden is done.

    If the cardinals do not address the NT in free agency, we’ll pick Eddie Goldman if he’s there, book it.

  4. By Andy Kw on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Targets according to Mike Jurecki:
    Center: (S.Wisnieski (OAK), AQ Shipley(IND)):
    To sign C Steve Wisnieski is already an upgrade over Lyle Sendlein.
    -He is an above average Center that has experience snapping the ball to Carson Palmer back in his Oakland days. He is still young, turning 26 this month. This would improve our OL so much. If Lyle Sendlein is willing to get cut and re-sign here as a cheap backup, i’m all for it too.
    -I understand the reason to the AQ Shipley interest because of the Arians IND connection but I see him as a quality backup, not much as a starter.

    ILB: (Sean Weatherspoon(ATL), Nate Irving(DEN))
    -I like the idea of considering Sean Weatherspoon but he is coming off a major injury. How well quickly will he rebound from injury? He was fast and decent pass rusher before his injury. He size and speed definitely boosts his pass coverage ability. He is a good OLB and would be a nicely converted ILB but he is a high risky high reward consideration. Don’t want to overspend on someone this risky.
    -As for ILB Nate Irving, he is a specialist as a run stuffing LB. But he is a liability in pass coverage. He suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament against NE and was placed on season ending IR.
    -If the targets are true, I am really questionable to this approach. We saw what injuries have done to our defensive players. Tyrann Mathieu was slowed down by his brace and regressed a bit last year. Alameda Ta’amu was a quality NT in 2013 before his injury but was out of place in 2014. We need guys that are playing close to 100%. Would not sign players that are returning from injury unless it is for a cheap prove it deal.

  5. By krehbieo14 on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    It’s great to have the financial flexibility afforded by players willing to restructure contracts if needed. Looks like we are making a huge push, including the possibility of signing a top tier player, looking at trade options, and seeking players on Keim’s special one year deals. Can’t wait to see what happens!

  6. By Jacob Hewitt on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Darren Urban
    Please tell Bruce Arians to get TODD GURLY IN THE DRAFT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Suh, Suh, Suh … makes any, every D better….

  8. By Jacob Hewitt on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Suh, Suh, Suh,
    You are wright he is awsome

  9. By Andy Kw on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    I love the idea of having the Carson Palmer restructured contract as an option. If we do not have enough cap, all we have to do is put Palmer’s restructured contract in effect and we have over $7M more in cap room. Carson Palmer and Steve Keim are awesome.

  10. By D on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Very surprised Cards won’t tender Ta’amu with D. Williams a UFA.
    (of course these days the big NT only play in 25-30% of defensive snaps)

    Free agent NT’s to watch this weekend.

    V. Wilfork
    T. Knighton
    A. Rubin
    B.J. Raji
    B. Cofield
    K. Ellis
    T. Cody

  11. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    D –

    RE: Ta’amu

    Just because they didn’t tender Ta’amu doesn’t mean he won’t be back. I’m guessing he will re-sign.

  12. By Samuel Rodriguez on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    I can see that Az cards are free-ing cap space and i wouldn’t be suprised that they go full throttle on DeMarco Murray.

  13. By Coach K on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Wisnieski would be a fabulous signing. Keim must get this guy.

    I’d also try to re-sign Sendlein as backup.

    Get Iupati at guard and we are set.

  14. By Coach K on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    What about Justin Forsett from the Ravens? He’s a good inside runner and built low to the ground. Might be a good signing for the right price.

  15. By grabling on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Cut Sendlein, Zastudil and Alexander!

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    So, 14-21 million in cap space (depending on if they pull the trigger on Palmer)


    Correct me if I am wrong, but I heard that Sendlin (according to pro football focus) was rated the worst starting center. Even if that is not true, the interior needs to be upgraded.

    So, if the cards sign Wisniewski, it would make sense to release (or resign to lower contract) Sendlin, who would save 3 million in cap space. So if Wisnieski was 5-6 million, it really would be a 2-3 million dollar signing.

    We all know we need LBs (inside and out). Three guys I think I would keep on the radar;

    Brooks Reed – The Univ of Arizona grad isn’t the edge guy the texans hoped. But his run stopping ability, to go with his athletic ability could make him a nice pick up inside.

    Akeem Ayers- Everyone knows I thought the cards should have traded for him. Instead, the Pats used him inside and outside while their starters were out. He posted 4 sacks and a pick in his 7 starts. A guy who can be an asset because he has shown he can be a value inside or out.

    Shawn Weatherspoon – I posted here many times in 2010 that I wanted to draft “Spoon”. Big , fast guy who can blitz and cover from the inside backer spot. Loads of potential slowed by injuries. Could be a steal.

  17. By BigAL on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Hopefully, they’re looking at…
    Byron Maxwell
    Two on each side…also love JTDG’s LB suggestions…Ayers & Spoon would be great! However, we’ll see but I get the feeling they’re leaning toward NT/DT early in the Draft…If that’s the case & they pass on a FA DT or Ngata…then they could afford the 2 O-Linemen & these two LB’s…that would afford some Draft flexibility…still need a pounding RB & would like to see upgrade at TE like Jordan Cameron…curious as to how Darren Fells is developing?

  18. By Jacob Hewitt on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    North Carolina has Cardinal fans

  19. By Big Ken on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Will they break the bank for someone this year? They are clearing cap space, almost deliberate and methodical. It gonna get exciting.

  20. By Andy Kw on Mar 6, 2015 | Reply

    Free Agency:
    RB: Steven Jackson (ATL) -3yr $8M
    -He beat us badly last year. That just shows he still has some gas left in the tank. His experience, beast mode like quality, between the tackle running style makes him perfect for our system. He doesn’t need all the load, thats why we have Andre Ellington rotation.
    TE: Sign James Casey (PHI) -2yr $5M
    -He is a built blocker and he has decent speed. His experience is valuable and his physical traits are similar to TE Troy Niklas so Casey can also be a mentor. He is like another Offensive Linemen. He will improve our pass protection and significantly improve our run game. Time to cut TE John Carlson and save cap. He should be one of our primary targets that we can sign for a contract like Carlson’s. Niklas will make a huge comeback and Darren Fells is improving.
    Center: C Steve Wisnieski (OAK) -4yr $16M
    Will turn only 26 this month and is playing at a higher level than Lyle Sendlein right now. He only allowed one sack last season and only a few QB pressures. He played decently under a poor system and now, it is time for our OL to get younger. Time to cut Sendlein to save cap, but possibly resign him as a cheap backup?
    OG: Orlando Franklin (DEN) -5yr $38M
    If we are going to improve our Run Game, it starts with signing one of the better run blocking OG in the game. He can run block and is an aggressive pass protector. With his availability, he should be the most expensive guy we sign this season.His desire o always win in every battle and passion for the game makes him the most desires by us.
    Other FAs: ILB Akeem Ayers (NE), OLB Dwight Freeney (SD, depth)
    Resign: NT Dan Williams, OLB Sam Acho
    We might need to put Palmer’s deal in effect

  21. By Big Ken on Mar 7, 2015 | Reply

    I keep reading the Cardinals are interested in CJ Spiller but I sort of think it’s smoke and mirrors.

  22. By brinnc on Mar 7, 2015 | Reply

    Im off to catch a plane, but wanted to throw a couple of names ou since the free agent bargaining period is underway, not break the bank names, but the kind I like, hidden gems that shouldnt command huge contracts, but just PRODUCE!

    Jaabal Sheard – OLB/Pass rusher, if he chooses not to return to Cleveland I think he would be a great fit/addition in Arizona. Would be a double digit sack guy in Cardinals system.

    Reggie Wayne – I know we dont really have a need for WR, especially at his age, but I wouldnt be shocked if he signed with us, on the cheap of course. His ties to BA will get him a visit I bet. Could be a #5 situational receiver, plus willing to bet he could do a better job than Ginn did returning kicks and punts (though I would rather see a young burner out of the draft this year) could be very effective in the redzone for us. Plus, he deserves one more year if that is what he wants. Could be a very cheap locker room leader as well as a situational red zone threat, and BA loves him, so you just never know.

    Quick note, read an article on Housler that was talking about him being a bottom tier money free agent, said he just didnt fit Arizona’s system and couldnt block (which is true!!) but they were saying in the right system catching passes he could be a star!! Not sure what they were thinking but if I remember right, Housler was given every chance to be “that guy” even prior to BA coming in, but BA also gave him every opportunity, used to read every year this is the year that Housler breaks out, then next year I would read, this is Houslers year, blah, blah..he might eventually be a star, or at least a solid pass catching TE, but the first thing he has to master is actually catching the damn ball, I would say that is pretty important for a TE who has all the potential in the world to be an effective weapon catching passes, but he just never could catch the dang ball and never showed enough to base an offensive package off his abilities, plus, he is horrid as a blocker, which as a TE, you have to have some blocking ability, he has none, zero, ziltch!! Seemed like a good guy, and great teammate but it just never clicked for him in Arizona.

    On that note there was a TE mentioned who also had star potential but had numerous concussions, for the life of me I cant remember his name (damn traumatic brain injury, 2 IED’s knocked me out cold in less than a 9 month period!! Thank god it was in the early days in Iraq when the IED’s were not as powerful and still being refined!! ) but I just go completely blank! I know its not much info to go on, but je is a TE who has had numerous concussions, if not for the injuries je has tremendous potential (according to the experts anyway) and he is a free agent, if anyone knows who Im talking about I would be forever grateful if you could post his name, and maybe some info and personal opinion on this kid playing for us, replacing Housler
    got to get rolling. Thanks again!

  23. By brinnc on Mar 7, 2015 | Reply


    If the Cardinals could sign Nate Irving that would be awesome, you are talking about the Nate Irving that went to North Carolina State?
    If so, I got to see a ton of him in college, I lost track of him after he left and havent followed his pro career at all, but at NCST he was the leader of the Defense, see emed to be everywhere on the field, and when Irving hit you, well lets just say you remembered it, after your senses returned that is!! Something about big hitters and NCST, AW went to NCST as well, Irving seems to hit harder than Wilson, but that just may be because he is bigger!! Would love to see Irving in a Cardinals uniform, a tad bit biased of course because I used to watch all the NCST games I could because of Irving and also Russell Wilson, Irving was a monster though
    I dont think he has played much though, if I remember right he went 3rd or 4th round but must be a rotation guy or a backup because I havent heard much about him until reading your post. At least he would be a cheaper signing, but not sure he would be enough of an upgrade at ILB. Could he succeed as a three down linebacker, and as a starter as well? Maybe a depth signing. But aahhh the memories!! He played his azz off at NCST, Offenses had to know at all times where Nate was on the field, and he always gave 110%, and was a ball magnet!!

  24. By BigAL on Mar 7, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw
    Dude, you are obsessed w/S.Jackson…& yet I’m pretty sure I get you…It’s why Denny Green paid sooo much for Edgerrin James & yet most don’t understand the value of that type of RB especially in this day & age where the RB position is sooo devalued! Yet if you take a close look @ the play off teams or the teams that
    continually are in it…take a close look at the RB position…Seattle, Denver, N.E.,
    Balt, G.B.,Dallas, has finally figured out how they were so successful in the 90’s!
    And yes all these teams have good QB’s…(watch out if Buffalo ever gets one again) but what puts them all over the top? what wins games when teams are soo closely matched? what moves the chains? what keeps defenses honest?
    In the old days it used to even be on 3rd & 4…today its rarely on 3rd & 2…let alone, 3rd & 3, even on 3rd & 1 depending on the RB & the quality, the belief in the O-Line…Today, it’s all about Play/Action….& usually it’s the fake…so really its
    all about the potential belief…”the buy in” right? I know that’s what your looking for
    Andy Kw? People don’t always get this but even N.O. the year they won the S.B.
    they led the league in rushing that year…it didn’t seem like it because they used 3
    different RB’s (& Drew Brees threw like 34 TD’s…30 out of Play Action) but it happened! Last year that whole LeGarrett Blount thing was strange??? but he sure came back! & they sure took him back! And doesn’t Pittsburg have quite the history of winning Super Bowls? And oh yeah, w/a bruising RB? Seattle is at the 1 yard line again…What do you think?

    Sorry, I went on Andy, but I wanted you to know that I get the importance of the pounding/bruising RB… & yes, they’re hard to find in today’s game! Ask Kurt Warner how significant the Edge was to his success here? Ask him about one
    Marshall Faulk??? And while I’m at it…watch & see what the Colts do in this draft
    once the 1st RB comes off the board & that’s if they wait that long!

    So as to Steven Jackson…2 years 5.5m… I believe our defense showed it was already tired & wore out in that game! That’s when the terrible tackling started…
    That also was the season… & opened the door for Seattle…anywho

    Yes bring in James Casey, would love to see Wisnieski & Faranklin, altho that would mean 2 former Oak Raiders comprising our O-Line…not to mention our QB…
    would love to have Ayers!

  25. By brinnc on Mar 7, 2015 | Reply

    Forgot this in my last post- you have to get over the obsession with S. Jackson, he is done, the wheels are falling off the guy! Anything other than 1year at veteran minimum must make the team in order to get paid kind of contract is just not worth it for Jackson!! In his day he was the bomb!! He was a feared RB who ran over around and through opposing defenses!! But he is about 2 years past retirement! Cardinals can draft a RB who would run circles around Jackson at this point in his career, we have other pressing needs, another Emmitt Smith type signing would be disastrous, and Jackson is worse than Emmitt was at this point in his career! Sorry man, we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  26. By BigAL on Mar 7, 2015 | Reply

    I bet yer thinking of Niles Paul TE Washington out of Nebraska is just down/up the street…is only 25, he’s not big TE wise at only 6’1″ 240lbs but is quite shifty & agile…has had some concussion issues which does make him a risk…Opps I just looked him up & guess what? The #’s weren’t yet available but it said he resigned w/WA yesterday, Friday, & thought the contract would garner 10mil total…Sorry?
    I went w/ young as you referenced “kid” but that’s not quite the relevant term to guys like us anymore is it? Ha! It sucks getting old doesn’t it? That’s relevant! In fact, maybe that’s what us old farts should tell these young “whipper snappers”
    ha! look that up? Sorry br…if you could just give another hint if Paul wasn’t yer guy? I looked up the FA TE’s on the market I had no idea there actually were soo
    many vet’s on the market…holy cow? Think I counted like 14 good vets!

    I soo love what you stated about Housler…He sucks! How can any guy remain a
    “pro” not to mention college…this long & not be able to catch a cold!!! I can still
    remember Whisenpunt saying something like “wow, he sure can run for a big man” yeah, he can do that! That’s all he’s ever done! He must be related to some
    icon of the league is all I can figure??? I soo don’t get it! Waste! Bust!

    As far as Reggie Wayne…yeah, I could see an SK 1 yr deal, & could/would certainly rather see him in the Hines Ward role than Larry! Put Larry back outside where he belongs! But if Reggie comes back again I’m thinking it would be in like
    Denver, Seattle, N.E…

    And lastly, would like to hear/see you get out of that business! I mean I sooo Appreciate all what you & your constituent’s do for all of us!!! But think you’ve served/done enuf!!! Would like to see/hear you retired/retired…or at least in some type of contract military consulting/teaching/educating…part/time position here in the states permanent… position! You’ve earned it Bro!

  27. By brinnc on Mar 8, 2015 | Reply

    Big Al
    Want to say that TE played for the Browns, the name Cameron comes to mind, not sure if first or last name though, man its frustrating!!!
    JORDAN CAMERON!! Thats it, he has had like a bazillion concussions from what I understand!! I used to think players that claimed concussions just didnt want to play to earn their money! That all changed after my first concussion, mine wasnt on the football field, and dont know which is more violent, an IED concussion (where someone is far enough away from the blast/kill zone that shrapnel wasnt an issue, bit the blast wave throws you off your feet and you wake up dazed, confused, and deaf!! Or two monsters colliding head first at full speed coming to a sudden stop!! I tend to believe the football collision is more violent, (now if your inside the kill zone when it detonates that has to be way more violent, but if thats the case, a concussion is the least of your worries!)
    I do know it was a miserable experience, I’m not sure how those players continue with their careers after multiple concussions, the second for me was worse than the first, and I was farther away on the second explosion, I dont think I was knocked out by the second one, dont remember exactly, but if I was it wasnt very long at all, just a few seconds, but players who continue playing have my respect, having a huge headache is the least of your problems!! Most frustrating for me was the balance issues, not being able to remember anything from that day leading p to the blast, remember everything from the time I woke up!! Ringing in your ears is horrible, and it takes forever to fade, will drive you bonkers if you let it, and even today, years later, if I yawn to big, or to many times, a small ringing comes back, sometimes for days!! Took a long time to get my balance back fully, that is without thinking about my balance, have to think about balance, something that is supposed to come naturally, but if this Cameron kid is recovered he could be a key contributor, have seen Tony Gonzalez comparisons attributed to this kid, if the money is right, he cant be any worse than Housler thats for sure!!

    BTW, Im just playing the waiting game now, the Marine Corps is concerned about the ISIS situation and to a lesser extent, Putin playing his games, though I dont think anything will come of that
    right now Im just jumping around the good ole US of A as part of a mobile training team that trains service members on all different subjects, so not to bad. Thanks for the kind words though, I (and all service members) greatly appreciate it more than anyone would know, it really has a huge positive effect on the young guys that I have served with or talked to, most are stunned that people not serving actually take the time to thank them, or say kind words to them about their service.

  28. By brinnc on Mar 8, 2015 | Reply

    Fellow Cardinal fanatics,
    It didn’t take long for Suh to sniff out the money… $114mil from the Dolphins, over $16mil next season alone!! Sorry, but there is not a single DT worth anywhere near that in my book!! 55 tackles all of last year?? Weak!! Some people say, well he is double and triple teamed and opens it up for the other players in the front 7 to make a play! Again, sorry but how do you expect to get the quality of player to put around Suh when you are overpaying him that much!! In my humble opinion, JJ Watt is the best defensive player in the NFL, and he catches TD’s!! But I still say he too is overpaid!! But in my mind most athletes are ridiculously overpaid, especially for playing a freaking game!!
    I believe Florida has no state tax, which makes it much harder for a team to match an offer like that, they would have to offer a bundle more just to make up the tax difference!!

    JTDG –
    Wasnt Akeem Ayers one of your favorites?? Im sure you have seen he is a free agent, hopefully the Cardinals make a play for him, I havent done a ton of following him nor have I researched him yet for this offseason, but if you like him and think he would upgrade the Cardinals Pass Rush then that is good enough for me!! Sign him up SK!!

  29. By brinnc on Mar 8, 2015 | Reply

    Jacob aHewitt

    YES!! At least one that I know of…ME!!

    But I was born over 40 years ago (closer to 50years ago!! Lol) wearing a Cardinal jersey (at that time it was a St Louis football Cardinal jersey!!)
    Followed my beloved Cardinals all over the world, or I tried my best to follow them, and some of the crapholes I have been sent to made it very difficult to keep up with them, but I did!! Took a ton of crap for many, many years about being a Cardinal fan, but people dont ridicule Cardinal fans this past decade or so, as much as they used to!!

  30. By brinnc on Mar 8, 2015 | Reply

    Looks like Frank Gore is heading east!!
    Signing with the Eagles!!!

  31. By Scott H on Mar 8, 2015 | Reply

    Big Al –

    Byron Maxwell is going to Philly. And I think it will be interesting to see how he fares away from that loaded defense in Seattle. Especially when he goes to a team ( Eagles ) who were lousy in the secondary last year and have NOWHERE near the talent across the board on D that the Seahawks had.

  32. By BigAL on Mar 9, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Scott H
    Yeah, I pretty much have to agree w/ya on Maxwell…my take is, I want Cro back!
    Think he gave us quite the season last year! I just know it probably won’t happen…we’ll see how what happens w/Revis affects how the CB dominos will fall…sounds like were getting Sean Weatherspoon like him, but Achilles injuries always scare me especially for that position…We’ll see? Have you seen/heard some reports stating that the Cards are one of the suitors for DeMarco Murray???

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