Dan Williams a Raider, and Cro’s likely departure

Posted by Darren Urban on March 11, 2015 – 10:30 am

The Cardinals now have some official free agent additions, with Mike Iupati, Sean Weatherspoon and Corey Peters. (#asexpected). But they will also have some departures from that defense that played so very well in 2014.

Nose tackle Dan Williams played very well last season, and it was becoming clear his future might not be in Arizona because he’d find free agent riches elsewhere. Turns out those riches were in Oakland. Williams will get, according to Kent Somers, about $15 million guaranteed and an average of $6 million a season, which is a lot more than the Cardinals were ever going to give him. Once the Cards turned to Peters, it was pretty clear that was going to be the sign Williams would exit.

Meanwhile, all signs out of New York continue to point to cornerback Antonio Cromartie getting something done with the Jets, where he can be reunited all at once with fellow cornerback Darrelle Revis and new coach and former Cards defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. If he gets Cro, Bowles will go from Patrick Peterson and Cro as his cornerbacks to Revis and Cro. That’s the way to run a defense.

As for the Cardinals, their own defensive overhaul continues. Peters and Weatherspoon are here, the Cardinals are trying to get deals done with Colts defensive end Cory Redding and perhaps Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo and Broncos linebacker Nate Irving. The front seven could look a lot different this season (especially if Daryl Washington is reinstated) and these are all the moving pieces with which new coordinator James Bettcher must work.


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45 Responses to “Dan Williams a Raider, and Cro’s likely departure”

  1. By b on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Sign Antonio Cromartie we can’t afford to lose him..and who else is out there right now that stands out as a shutdown corner?? Peterson and Cro are a scary duo and your gonna let him walk away…pretty sad!

  2. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Hello Eddie Goldman, welcome to the Cards!

  3. By D on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Happy for Dan, he seemed like a jolly nice fellow.

    This Orakpo visit/physical will be important since the number of pass rushers available are dwindling..Bettcher will be busy this summer with all of these new players…I could also still see a veteran CB sign here sometime in the next few weeks.

  4. By Steve Weston on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Gonna miss big Dan Williams, but I’m glad to see him get a contract just as big as he is. 🙂 And worth every dollar, for sure! Understand why the Cards had to let him go, but he will be missed, I’m certain.

    On the other hand, I’m very happy to see all those FA moves come together today. I do think the Cards are headed in the right direction and I am fully expecting to watch the Cards batter their way through the playoffs behind this elite defense and on the arm of Carson Palmer (complete with great protection and awesome offensive weapons) all the way to the Superbowl in the Bay next year. I’m thinking a 12-4 record? Oh yeah…


  5. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Raiders over paid big time. No way does Williams get 6 million a year from the cards. Good for him.

    Nate Irving potential signing is interesting. If Washington is back, it makes no sense, which makes me wonder, what don’t we know?

    NT in the draft?? Maybe a bargain guy?

    Orakpo is interesting. Pro bowler who is hurt a lot. Get Woodley, Orakpo, Okafer, and a rookie rotating could keep everyone healthy and productive.

    Need a center. Again, draft?

    RB? Peterson story won’t go away. If Peterson refuses to play in Minn, and Dallas gets Murray back (which is possible since he turned down the Jags offer), are we the only game in town? Very interesting.

    If no AP, Todd Gurley is looking more and more like a nice 1st round pick. Cameron Irving is also looking like a possible guy in round one. Maybe even CB Jalen Collins.

  6. By kauaicardsfan on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Aloha Darren,
    Love the moves made, curious though, did the cards try to keep Cro here? Seems like they knew he wanted to go back to NYJ and follow Bowlea and didnt even attempt to have him back?

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

    Kauai —

    RE: Cro

    Cromartie said Cards are still in mix. But Cards were never going to pay him a ton. They have PP. Up to cro to decide if it’s worth staying.

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Bowles to get his CB tandem, nice… but Cards could be much better, even w/o Cro:

    Saw report DanW played 37% of D snaps, love him, $15M way way too much for part time player, get Peters and Redding combined for same, even less $$?

    Bethel’s day coming;

    Our OLB ILB play “might” be way way better, that also means S play better with Buch playing back a bit or along side Spoon in Nickel/Dime;

    Okafor’s arrest details not worrisome;

    Woodley, just maybe an Abraham redux? Probably not that good, but if close, we hit a jackpot;

    Could we see some of Foote, Abraham or DWash on field in 2015? Don’t say never bros/sis…

    Need a new C, love Send too, but overachiever, need a powerhouse C;

    Can Ta’aamu return to big ass form?

    So much intrigue and Cards just getting started…love this as much as preseason…

    Probably gets me thumbs down, but Housler as primarily slot receiver, part time 3rd on field TE? Means 5 TEs on roster, so maybe not…but he’s untapped po…

  9. By brinnc on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Glad to see LS Mike Leach is staying with Arizona!! He is very important to special teams, one of the best Long Snapper’s if not the best in the NFL!! Numerous posters mentioned Leach the past few weeks, glad that SK/BA recognize how important LS is to the team!!
    Awesome signing, hopefully he resigns next year too, but he may retire after this year, wanted to make a run at a ring, sees this is the place to do it!!!!!

  10. By CORMAC on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Team is what it takes BABY! It sure sucks we cannot keep all of our good players. That being said, this game is a chess match of skill and gambling when it comes to signing players. So far Big K has done us right. I look forward to the new types of bullets he will be reloading into our gun.

  11. By K-Dub on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply


    Do we get a Compensatory Draft Pick for Dan? If any, would it be this year or next?

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

    K-Dub —

    RE: Compensatory

    It would be in 2016, but it will be weighed against what FAs the Cardinals bring in themselves.

  13. By clssylssy on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Wow! Gotta say Coach Bowles knows talent and knows how to build a killer defense. Cro and Revis…OMG! Wouldn’t be surprised to see him Coach of the Year next year as he’s putting together a pretty scary roster. Will really hate to lose Cro but don’t blame him for doing what’s best for him and his family.
    Raiders are making some solid moves and I think the Cards underestimated Dan Williams’ value to the team. Good luck to him, he was a workhorse for us. Lupati should be a good signing but one never knows as it’s always a gamble when players move from system to system. Not sure what the “Big Gains” are other than possibly Lupati…defense looking pretty “iffy”.
    Rams are already breathing down our neck and Seahawks looking to dominate for some time to come 🙁

  14. By azwinegeek on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Loved watching Cro play. But New York is going to tie up roughly 15 – 20% of their Salary Cap in 2 players (Cromartie and Revis). Good for them to have 2 shut down corners, but does anyone think what are they going to have to do for the other 51 players? This may switch the Cardinals draft plans to looking for a Cornerback. Also, good for hard working Dan Williams to get the payday he has earned. Great locker room guy and team first player. Most importantly, the signing of Iupati gives the Cardinals the first real All-Pro Guard since Conrad Dobler in 1977, Darren, correct me if I am wrong. These signings prove why Keim was Exec of the Year. I can honestly say going forward, I am proud to be a Cardinals fan. Looking forward to another solid 2015.

  15. By Daniel on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Defense continues to crumble.. William, Cro, Dockett. Arians you still happy Bowles left?

  16. By D on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    I am guessing Orakpo won’t make it out of TN today for a visit here, do the Cards look at A. Ayers or wait until another player is released. I hear J. Martin may get a chance at OLB this spring…if AZ can’t sign another proven pass rusher, then might as well bring back Benard and use your #1 draft pick on a Pass Rusher.

  17. By Eric G on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Finally we have a dang GM who is wiling to work on upgrading the offensive line. Only took 26 years.

  18. By BigAL on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Well if we don’t have a Dumpster…You sure don’t want to eat Cro… leaving on a Jet! You better make a Pot Roast or Pork Chop to make it up so you at least feel

  19. By dieselbomb on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, Viewers –

    Peterson was so over-paid, we’re now paying the price. He mis-played several individual plays in many games throughout the year. The dollar amount is way too high for the work-product.

    Pay Cro’, bite the bullet. I’m not trying to diss Peterson … I’m trying to call things as they are. He’s talked about, but I don’t see the level of production out of him and his contract. Keep him, but get some money back and apply the savings to another positional need.

    For the record, I don’t think Sherman is worth his money nor yet the accolades he’s getting. I don’t see versatility out of him. PPeterson would work in the Seahawks defensive secondary scheme (zone backfield). Peterson has had to play a more wide-ranging role than Sherman. Switch Sherman into Peterson’s shoes, I don’t think we’d see a Corner who gets quite the press Sherman has gotten. Sherman is a louder Corner than he is a better Corner.

    Peterson IS a more rounded Corner; Sherman is more specialized. If the Cards Defensive backfield were to change schemes to match the Seahawks Corners, Peterson might show-up better. But I acknowledge that Peterson is a very good Corner. I’m basically saying that I don’t think he merits the cash face-value of that contract. Not intended to rip him. I’m seeing too many Scrimmage Line Jam opportunities go to waste, and I believe those (with Cro on the opposite side) could’ve yielded better results throughout the 2014-15 season. He’s been burned pretty big far too many times for a seasoned pro during that span. Still love him, but must be plainly honest in saying this.

  20. By Mark on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand what the Cards did. We need a handicap parking lot now. Almost all of these guys had injuries last year and didn’t play much. We lost Dan which isn’t much of a loss. Make Patrick re-do his deal and sign Cro to a 3 year deal. I see Peterson not getting the last year of his deal already. Not playing to what he brags about. Right now our defense looks rough with no real pass rushers, little speed or power and our secondary will be devastated without Cro. A few injuries late in the season could be our demise again. Hopefully there are a few diamonds waiting in the draft that can help or the getting deep into the playoffs may be just another dream for us die hard Cards Fans. Time will tell and hopefully our GM and Coach will have another exciting year in store for us. GO CARDS!!!

  21. By Dr. G. on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Good for “The Dumpster” as Wolfley calls him in jest, not so cool… Dan did a quiet yeoman’s job for us while a gentleman off the field. Sorry it is the pitiful Raiders. I am miffed the Titans didn’t go for him. Go Big Fella…!

    Now, if Cro, (or a like corner), goes to the Jets, Bowles will continue his “blitzkrieg” as he did here in Arizona while he tries to form a decent Offense. One of our CBs didn’t always earn that trust to help the blitz!

    That said, Coach BA, when you play a team with a couple very good CBs that are slowing your WR attack, we need you to employ our giant TEs crossing the middle to help Palmer keep taking more real estate. Fells was providing some serious Offense as the 2014 season closed out….please get him some velcro gloves and show the league our own JGraham…!!! We will love you for this…

    Scenario:: Fitz and Floyd go long; Fells ((6’7″ 281)) on a called random crossing route…what team is gonna stop them??….later, Cards Fans

  22. By sggrange on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Congrats to Dan…NICE contract for a decent player and man!!

    Hope Cro stays but the Jets are home to him so…we will see (what a GREAT pick up for the year tho..worked for the team and for him, that is the way it should be..Great job by Keim as is becoming usual).

    LOVE the gains we have made tho…so..when does camp start?? 🙂

  23. By Cactus jeff on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Resign Tommy Kelly
    Draft Melvin Gordon
    And grab Orakpo

    Bring on sea chickens

  24. By Dr. G. on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Side note…Ted Ginn lost a fumble helping the Panthers defeat the Cardinals last season. The Panthers reward him with a new deal to play the center field fair catcher…!

  25. By Chuck 1 on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply


    Do you have any additional info about Palmer’s restructuring e.g. his new salary and reduction in the cap hit?

    All: For those who want (wantED?) Cro to stay, do you remember when he did several “O Lays” (sp?) last season as WRs and RBs breezed by him? He is a good (not “great”) cover guy, but he doesn’t like to stick his nose in and tackle.

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

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: Palmer restructure

    No new info. He’s agreed to do it if necessary. Cardinals have not put it through yet.

  27. By Axael Lugo on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Antonio Cromartie played very well CARDINALS FANS would love him back. we got solid pieces already and keeping Cromartie will be a very good idea keeping the secondary STRONG!!!!

  28. By tyman on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Good offseason so far, Cro was always a long shot.
    How Orakpo could even hit the market is kind of crazy. That would be a great signing for whomever gets him.
    The biggest question is will there be room left for an AP trade? That would be over the top.
    Like the moves so far keep up the good work Cards.

  29. By James J on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Ok, so far all the Cards have done in FA is downgrade the defense. The only good add at this point is Lupati. If that’s all the Cards come up with we’re in for a long season! Are you kidding with the kudos for Keim??? So far I’d give him a “C”.

  30. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Are the Cards going to sign any running backs????

  31. By Scott H on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    I have found it hard to get excited about Orakpo, gotta be honest. The recent history of injury scares me. Then again, injuries AND / OR age seem to be in the picture with just about everyone we are signing for the defensive side, so….hey, maybe he fits right in!

    Gotta give props to Todd Bowles. The Jets already look like maybe THE most improved team in the league for 2015. Brandon Marshall….Revis….Cromartie…..a solid vet at QB ( Fitzpatrick ) to stabilize the QB situation….they are doing a damn nice job out there.

    Is anyone feeling concerned about the trade that brought Nick Foles to the Rams? It is worth paying attention to. I said as recently as last year that I am not really sold on Foles, at least not yet. But he is DEFINITELY a significant improvement at QB for that team. And if they maintain their recent level of play on defense….make room for the Rams!

    A 34-year old defensive end? A guy who was ready to retire? Really? Let’s just hope he doesn’t REALLY come to Arizona to retire – while we’re counting on him for a pass rush!

    Darren – speaking of such things, is there any word on what is expected to happen with Abraham?

  32. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Abraham

    I don’t know if he’s even been cleared to play.

  33. By Chuck 1 on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    My Bad: Ole

  34. By Chuck 1 on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    Re: Palmer’s restructure

    IMHO, it is NECESSARY if the Cards are to have more $$$$$$$$ to spend on FAs.

  35. By cards62 on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    I remember Dan Williams having one very good game last year and that is all I remember him having in his whole career for us so the Raiders overpaid big time and they are welcome to him. Another bad first round draft choice in my opinion.
    Fellow Cardinal fan made a good point about low number of snaps he played last year. I remember watching a games last year and he was always on the sideline and I wrote Darren to find out why during the last year of his rookie contract was he off the field so much.

    Another fan made a correct point on Cromartie not liking to tackle as there were numerous times last year where he wanted no part of making a tackle, but I have been a fan for over 40 years and Cromartie cover skills and overall play at CB is much better than average for our Cardinals over the years so I really wanted us to resign him, but he was a great one year pickup if we do lose him to the Jets.

    Patrick Peterson have a great off season and we need you to be the best cornerback in the league next year

    Man I do love football and our Cardinals. Free agency and the draft are a lot of fun.

    Go Cards.

  36. By Coach K on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    It is looking more and more like the Cardinals are going to take a Center with the first pick. Probably Cam Erving. I think they go Cornerback in round two if Cro don’t come back, and running back in round three or four.

    The only thing that might change things in round one would be Gordon or Gurley falling to pick #24. Then I think the Cards have to possibly take one of them and then look for the corner and center in rounds two and three.

    The elite rush ends will all be gone before pick #24. So I think the Cards will focus on drafting a Center, Corner and running back in the first three picks. I just don’t know in what order.

    Some names to think about in round one are Erving, Clemmings, Gurley, Gordon, Peters, Johnson, Kendricks, Armstead.

  37. By Flams on Mar 11, 2015 | Reply

    I sure hope Cromartie decides to stay. I love Patrick Peterson, but he didn’t do so well last season. Cro was there to compliment him greatly! Cro kind of, for lack of a bettter word, “picked up the slack”

  38. By clssylssy on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    If we lose Cro, how about Brandon Browner from the Patriots? He’s scheduled to visit the Saints and Redskins…maybe his time in the desert last February would have been memorable enough to use to our advantage?

  39. By adiaz on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    One objective is clear. The az cardinals are setting eyes on that trophy2015!

  40. By Chuck 1 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Darren (and others),

    Re: Palmer’s restructuring; Since Fitz received $11,000,000, I think that, if I were Palmer, I would be reluctant to take a cut (to $5, $6, $7/year).
    After all, which position of the two is more important, a QB who can get the ball to the WR, or the WR???

  41. By Darren Urban on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    RE: Palmer/restructure

    Again, restructure isn’t a cut. Palmer gets all his money. It’s accounting movement to create cap space — although it also would saddle the Cards with future dead money they don’t already have.

  42. By brian r on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply

    already missing dan williams!.

  43. By Chuck 1 on Mar 12, 2015 | Reply


    Thanks for the clarification (again). 🙂

  44. By Scott H on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Abraham

    OK. Him not even being cleared to play yet is hardly encouraging. But in terms of the Cardinals end of things, do you have any sense of whether THEY are counting on Abraham for anything at this point?? I mean, we’re talking about a 37-year old guy who- for all intents and purposes – has not played football ( hasn’t even practiced, really ) since 2013. Geez. looking at it that way, I almost hope they’re NOT really counting on him!

    IF he is cleared to play by then, should we expect him to be in camp so they can see what he looks like?

  45. By Darren Urban on Mar 14, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Abraham

    I never thought he would be coming back and nothing has changed to change my mind.

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