Signings not quite the news they used to be

Posted by Darren Urban on May 13, 2015 – 2:11 pm

The Cardinals now have signed four of their seven draft picks — second-rounder Markus Golden, fourth-rounder Rodney Gunter (pictured below) and fifth-rounders Shaq Riddick and J.J. Nelson. First-rounder D.J. Humphries, third-rounder David Johnson and seventh-round Mr. Irrelevant Gerald Christian all should end up signing sooner rather than later. This is where are now with rookie contracts. Since the new CBA was put into place in 2011, there are no more tension-filled offseasons for teams when it comes to getting their draftees to sign on the dotted line.

It wasn’t always that way. Back in the early 2000s, in my previous life as a newspaper reporter covering the team, signings took the summer. No Cardinal ever seem to sign before July 4th. The days leading into training camp — and often, at least a day or two after training camp started — were spent on contract watch. Sometimes it was just the first-round pick. Sometimes, there were a couple of other contracts that were also pushing the deadline.

Now, all these guys are signed by the time the Cardinals are done with minicamp in mid-June. Everything goes faster. The Bears have made it their mission to get all their picks signed within a day or two of the draft.

(For those asking, players who have not yet signed still can work out. The team and player sign an agreement saying contract negotiations will proceed in good faith even if the unsigned rookie gets hurt. That’s what happened with Dante Fowler and the Jaguars. Fowler blew out his ACL in his first minicamp practice. A few days later, he signed his deal with the Jaguars getting the same money he would have gotten as the No. 3 overall pick had he not been injured.)

There are no more ifs with rookie contracts. It’s when, and there’s not much waiting.


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Posted in Blog | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Signings not quite the news they used to be”

  1. By Brad oneill on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    I think its a
    Much improved situation for players that make it a career probably not quite as good for the ryan leafs or matt lienarts of the league.

  2. By triing4wishes on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    Has to be better for everyone. Keim and other GMs can focus on free agents, Arians can have everyone there and focused, and he players can focus on learning instead of waiting for their agent to say it’s done. Completely unrelated Darren, but are those pens in the two boxes on the desk with the Cards logo on them?

  3. By Darren Urban on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    triing —

    RE: Pens

    Actually they are special pens the team has just for signings. Yes, the logo is on them.

  4. By Andy Kw on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren, do you expect the Cardinals to get at least 2 compensatory picks in the 2016 season with the losses of Antonio Cromartie & Dan Williams?

    -Agreed, signing draft picks is not what it use to be.

  5. By Darren Urban on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Comp picks

    Depends on how this plays out. Signed a lot of FAs, including Iupati.

  6. By Dynosoar on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    I want a pen box like that.

  7. By D on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    Remember how ugly the A. Wadsworth contract/signing turned into…

  8. By Darren Urban on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Wadworth

    Wadsworth, L.J. Shelton, Leonard Davis, Wendell Bryant, Pace and BJohnson, Fitz was late, Rolle, Leinart caused a Denny Green rant …

    I remember them all.

  9. By Scott H on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    I have found fault with SO much the NFL has done in recent years, but I think this is one thing they definitely got right back in 2011. It is a good thing for ALL parties involved – even the fans – that this new way of doing things was put in place. Something had to be done about how out of control rookie contracts were becoming ( not to mention all the surrounding drama ) and the NFL really got this right. Truly a shame they get / have gotten so many other things so wrong.

    It was just insane before when you had rookies – guys who had yet to even set foot on the practice field – somehow feeling like they deserved to be paid more than the best veteran players in the game at that time. So all about the money and ME-ME-ME. So little consideration for the teams, coaches, teammates, fans, etc. It was nice to see this get straightened out.

    Things are now as they should be. Players SHOULD enter the league with contracts that are more appropriate for entry level staff ( that is what they are, after all ) and should have to EARN a big-time deal down the road by performing on the field.

  10. By rod on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    We know they special pens Darren, we still want one, get it done!

  11. By Murf on May 13, 2015 | Reply

    Not your fathers (or his) Arizona Cardinals

  12. By Brad on May 13, 2015 | Reply


    Has it been confirmed that D Wash has actually filed for reinstatement?

  13. By Darren Urban on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    Brad —

    RE: DWash

    Not that I have seen.

  14. By Andy Kw on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    We signed Mike Lupati, Corey Peters, Cory Redding, AQ Shipley, Sean Weatherspoon, LaMarr Woodley, Darryl Sharpton, Chandler Harnish, Alfonzo Dennard

    We lost Dan Williams, Antonio Cromartie, Paul Fanaika, Sam Acho, Rob Housler
    -The losses of Darnell Dockett, Ted Ginn don’t count because we cut them.
    -But do the losses of John Carlson & Larry Foote count?

    -From how I see it and considering our haul of new Free Agent, we will at least get 1 Compensatory Pick considering the fact that Dan Williams was one of the main reasons the Cards had a strong run defense. I see the Cards getting a 6th Rd Compensatory Pick in 2016

  15. By JohnnyBluenose on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    Denny Green ranted? No way. Did he say Leinart is who we think he is?

  16. By Darren Urban on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    Johnnybluenose —

    RE: Leinart rant

    The best part about that rant about Leinart being unsigned? The question was about how Karlos Dansby was doing after a minor training camp injury.

  17. By Scott H on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    If we were to caption this…

    Bidwell – “See this number right here? OK. Don’t even think about asking for that much, kid. That ain’t happening!”

  18. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    Greenbrier, nice. Bidwill continues to get it done.

  19. By SteveG on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    That period was a dark time..I think the worse part was the post signing discussion as to who won and who lost….ughhh!

    it will not be missed.

  20. By D on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    I was tired of this deflate talk in Jan, now we have to hear about it all summer? Serenity Now!!

    Darren, assuming you are on the road with the team this year for Detroit and the Steelers games….that resort that the team may stay at in middle of nowhere W. VA appears awesome…you may have to take the family on that business trip..

  21. By Darren Urban on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: West Virginia

    I’ll be there, but it doesn’t quite work that way. Besides, I’m guessing the kids will be in school.

  22. By Dynosoar on May 14, 2015 | Reply


    can we get a link to the Leinart rant? Denny Green could be entertaining at times.

  23. By Darren Urban on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Green

    Pretty sure it doesn’t exist anymore. That was a long time ago.

  24. By Dynosoar on May 14, 2015 | Reply


    thanks for checking on it. I appreciate all you do for us. Thanks.

  25. By triing4wishes on May 14, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks for answering that question about the pens Darren, appreciate you taking the time to interact with all of us.

  26. By brinnc on May 16, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H
    I think you said word for word what I was going to post on the rookie contract situation!! Your one line sums it all up, they need to earn the big contract!! Also the anology you had about rookies being entry level employees is spot on!
    The contracts were going through the roof and not a single one of the rookies had ever played a down in the NFL!! Hell some of them probably weren’t 100% sure where the front of their jock strap was!! There is undoubtedly still some rookies who need assistance on putting the jock strap on, but at least he isnt being paid $54 million over 4-5 years!! At least now they aren’t being paid nowhere near those astronomical amounts just to figure out where the front of the jock strap is, though I wonder about some, I know that I had more than one young Marine fresh out of their Military Occupational School (MOS) who couldn’t count his own testicles and come up with the same number twice!! LOL! Of course they weren’t getting multi-million dollar paychecks for signing on the dotted line!! The other big difference is my Marines had no choice but to get smart in a hurry or it could cost them their life, or worst yet, cost a brother Marine his/her life!!
    Even though the contracts of Ryan Leaf and Jemarcus Russell didnt directly affect the Cardinals (and we actually got a pretty good haul from the Leaf trade) it just makes me ill to think just how much money they both recieved and wouldnt surprise me if they weren’t still receiving money from the teams who drafted them, all that money prior to even stepping on the field!!

    That trade was epic, the biggest heist the Cardinals ever pulled off, and legal hiest at that:
    Chargers got: Ryan Leaf

    Cardinals got: (listing names, not round year and picks, because we did get picks the following year as well!)

    Eric Metcalf
    Patrick Sapp
    Andre Wadsworth
    Corey Chavous
    David Boston
    L. J. Shelton

    Not bad for not having Ryan Leaf as a Cardinal, not that wexwould have drafted him!
    What is ironic to me, both picks in 1999, (Boston & Shelton) both ended up play for the Chargers, I do believe it was only for one season in both cases, but it is pretty ironic to me!!

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  2. May 14, 2015: Arizona Cardinals Sign Golden, Gunter to Rookie Contracts
  3. Jun 4, 2015: Cardinals Blogs | #tbt: Denny really, really wanted Leinart signed

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