The gains and losses of free agency

Posted by Darren Urban on May 18, 2015 – 10:44 am

The Cardinals signed linebacker Darryl Sharpton last week and the timing meant something. By signing Sharpton Wednesday, the Cardinals cleared the date for free agents signing counting against them for next year’s compensatory pick equation. Any free agent signed at the point will not count.

(The Cardinals were awarded one comp pick this past draft; they ended up with the final selection of the whole thing, which they used on Lousiville tight end Gerald Christian.)

It’s too early to know exactly how the comp pick equation might play out. Part of how it’s determined is playing time in the upcoming season. It also takes into account how much money for which each player signed. A quick look at who the Cardinals could have counting for and against them in the comp pick equation next draft. As always, a quick reminder that if a player was cut by the Cards or cut by another team, he does not qualify on these lists. For example, losing Darnell Dockett does not factor in because Dockett was released.:


G Mike IupatiĀ (5 years, $40M)
DT Corey Peters (3 years, $10.5M)
DE Cory Redding (2 years, $6M)
LB Sean Weatherspoon (1 year, $3.6M)


LB Sam Acho (1 year, $825,000)
CB Antonio Cromartie (4 years, $32M)
G Paul Fanaika (3 years, $6.1M)
TE Rob Housler (1 year, $1.76M)
DT Dan Williams (4 years, $25M)

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see GM Steve Keim make another signing (or two) at some point before camp, or even into camp. But the numbers are set for the compensatory math.


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26 Responses to “The gains and losses of free agency”

  1. By Mike G on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well!—Looking forward to the upcoming season. I think on the surface the Card’s did a nice job in free agency and in the draft. Hopefully the chemistry can come together because the coaching is definitely there. Always just worry about injuries–the upcoming season can’t be like last year(I hope). Really like what Keim has done with the offensive line–making that bigger and stronger. Hey Darren–the Card’s have their bye somewhere near the halfway mark of the season —I think that is huge for the team— don’t like it when it falls early in the season which the Card’s have had in previous years. I kind of like the bye as late as you can get it —-Do you think its an advantage?????

  2. By Darren Urban on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Bye

    I can say the Cardinals like having a later bye.

  3. By azjam on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    A Q Shipley was a restricted free agent. He was not tendered a contract by the Colts. I didn’t think he would be counted as a free agent signing by the Cards. Could you kindly clarify. Thanks

  4. By Darren Urban on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    azjam —

    RE: Shipley

    You are correct. It has been fixed.

  5. By Whitey on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    I’m amazed, but even with all of Keim’s work in Free agency the Cards are currently projected to end up with a 5th round compensatory pick for next year for the loss of Dan Williams.


    Keim is brilliant for buying low in free agency by picking up guys on one year deals and selling high by letting them walk in free agency which helps us pick up Compensatory picks. Last year letting Dansby walk helped us pick up the last pick in the draft, and hopefully next year we’ll get an extra 5th rounder because Cro got paid in free agency.

    Eventually it’d be great to have a roster so stocked with Talent you can be like a Ravens team that gets 4 extra comp picks each year and really move up and down the draft to get the guys you really want.

  6. By Dynosoar on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Is there any trend as to how far a team goes in the playoffs compared to when their bye-week is in the season? How about Super Bowl teams (winners and losers).

    I guess what I’m asking, does a later bye week help a team make it to the Bog Dance? Does an earlier bye week hurt their chance?

    I’ll do some looking as well, just hoping the stats are already easily accessible.

  7. By Mark D on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    You mentioned you wouldn’t be surprised if the Cards sign another FA or two. Do you know who they may potentially be looking at? Also, any FA left that you’d sign? Thanks for the continued coverage. Makes the offseason not as boring.

    GO CARDS!!

  8. By Darren Urban on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Mark D —

    RE: FAs

    Not sure if there are any obvious choices at this point.

  9. By Whitey on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    The 49ers losses continue to pile up. Losing Justin Smith is another killer on a long list for the 9ers this offseason. Can’t wait to see if they really will go up in flames this year.

  10. By Dynosoar on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Looking at bye weeks impact on going deep into the playoffs – I found an answer. A bye week earlier than week 9 appears to be better.

    In the Seasons from 2002 – 2013, using 8 weeks as the cutoff (8 or before early and 9 or later late, since that’s the closest to mid season).

    Super Bowl losers, 8 were before week 8 and 4 after. (2 from week 3 bye and 2 from week 5 bye)

    Super Bowl winners, 7 were before week 8 and 5 after. (1 from week 3 bye, 1 from week 4 bye and 1 from week 5 bye)

    Of the 12 seasons studied, 9 seasons had playoff teams averaging byes of week 8 or before and only 3 seasons featured teams averaging week 9 or later.

    The same held true for conference champions. 9 and 3. Using a small sampling of just 12 seasons (since the realignment in 2002), teams with an earlier bye hold an advantage in getting to and going deep into the playoffs.


  11. By shannon robinson on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    I’m enjoying getting to know our new Cards. Rodney Gunter reminds me of the reaction I had to Erik Swann. He was a great player who ended up unfortunately with bad injury luck. I loved the brash honesty and open vulnerability that Swann projected to us as fans. I’m rooting for Gunter to have an astonishing career. I thought the story of our D-Line coach looking for a field next to the cemetery down a dirt road is priceless. I’ve had a few of those recruiting trips and you never forget them and the story just grows….

  12. By Scott H on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Whitey –

    Well, as the 49ers continue to lose pieces, the Rams continue to gather strength. If Foles settles in at QB for them and plays well…..the party to celebrate the demise of the 49ers might be short lived. Assuming / hoping the Cardinals can stay right where they were last year ( with Palmer healthy ), I am expecting that the NFC is going to remain 3-deep with legit contenders – one of whom has played in the last three NFC title games and the last 2 Super Bowls.

    This road isn’t getting any easier!

  13. By Scott H on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Damn….the losses of Cromartie and Williams really do hurt. Cro was as important as a leader as he was a player and that is never easily replaced. Losing Dockett is the loss of another leader. Some of the vets we signed could provide some of that, but….leaders typically have to be ON the field ( not injured ) and playing well level to BE recognized as leaders. so….we gotta cross those bridges first.

  14. By georgiebird on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    Rob Housler is a very fortunate young man.
    Acho- 825K
    Housler 1.76m

  15. By shane on May 18, 2015 | Reply


    any word on the d-wash situation ?

  16. By Darren Urban on May 19, 2015 | Reply

    Shane —

    RE: DWash


  17. By Victor on May 18, 2015 | Reply

    I am not sure if something has been said about Tommy Kelly, was he resigned, is he a free agent or he left the team? he provided good depth to the D-Line last year.

  18. By Darren Urban on May 19, 2015 | Reply

    Victor —

    RE: Tommy Kelly

    He is a free agent. I do not expect him to return.

  19. By Scott H on May 19, 2015 | Reply

    Just noted a typo in a previous post, I meant to say that I expect the NFC WEST to remain 3-deep with legit contenders. As such, it will remain the toughest division in the league.

  20. By B.J. Rassam on May 19, 2015 | Reply

    The Cardinals should once again be competing for the NFC West title and post-season spot this season.

  21. By Whitey on May 19, 2015 | Reply

    The Rams do have some good pieces, but it’s been 12 years since Jeff Fisher has won a playoff game! He’s totally overrated as a coach.

    The jury is still out on Nick Foles and we don’t even know what type of impact Gurley will have this year. Everyone wants to anoint Gurley as the next Adrian Peterson, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Most experts didn’t have him rated nearly as highly as Trent Richardson or even Beanie Wells and look how that turned out.

  22. By Scott H on May 19, 2015 | Reply

    Whitey –

    I will politely disagree with ya about Fisher being “totally over-rated” as a coach. I beg to differ. I think he is pretty damn solid as a head coach. As for your observation that it’s been 12 years since he’s been to the playoffs….well, you tell me – who have his QB’s been during that time??? Sam Bradford? Vince Young? Sam Bradford’s back-up’s the last few years?

    Um….I don’t think many other head coaches would be going to the playoffs with that cast of characters, either. Do you?

    In the NFL, you HAVE to have a QB to succeed. Period. How many head coaches do you see getting teams to the playoffs with bad or even below average QB’s? Isn’t our very own Ken Whisenhunt clear proof of that??? With Kurt Warner, he looked like a great head coach. Then Warner left. And Whiz hasn’t been heard from since.

    Yes, I agree, the jury is still out on Foles. But I saw a good bit of him while he was in Philly. And I say don’t be surprised if he turns out to be a pretty damn good QB. If nothing else, he is better than anything the Rams have had under center for the last 2 seasons. And that alone might be enough to put the Rams at the table this season. I’ll tell ya this – when the Eagles came out here last year and they had 1st and goal from the 16 and they were gonna have 4 shots at the end zone in that last minute…don’t tell me you weren’t holding your breath! I sure as hell was! And some of those throws that Foles made were right where they needed to be. Fortunately for us, our DB’s defended all of them.

    Anyway, I think the kid can play. And if he can, Fisher isn’t gonna seem so “totally over-rated” anymore.

  23. By Coach K on May 19, 2015 | Reply


    The Rams have now leveled the playing field. Not by signing Foles, but by stealing Sean Mannion in the third round. Mannion will be the eventual starter because he is the smartest QB in the entire league next to Payton. Fisher is building a power running offensive football team with a big o-line and power back. Mannion will thrive in that offense and do a great deal of damage with his accuracy. The Rams and Fisher have just leveled the playing field by taking Gurley and Mannion. The Cardinals will need to draft a top QB next year and a dynamic defensive player to keep pace in the West for the next five years.

  24. By Scott H on May 21, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K –

    Well, I certainly don’t like the sound of your 5-year forcast for the NFC West, but it appears we agree on the direction the Rams are ( or, appear to be ) heading in.

    They have been one of the best defensive teams in the league the last 2-3 years. But they have also been the perfect example of what happens when you don’t have a QB. Without a QB, you’re limited. Period. No matter what else you have, you just can’t get there without a QB.

    You seem to be very high on Mannion, so…OK. I don’t follow college football AT ALL, so I can’t weigh in on that. But I DO find it difficult to crown a rookie who has yet to play a down in the NFL as “the smartest QB in the enitre league next to Peyton Manning.” Sorry, I can’t go there with ya until I see that. I say there is NO WAY he is smarter RIGHT NOW than Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees or even Russel Wilson.

    Regardless of what Mannion may be in the near future, I would fully expect Foles to be the guy they go with this year. I think that job is his for 2015 unless he goes down injured or just totally goes off the rails.

    We’ll see. But if the QB position is no longer holding them back….I think we’re gonna hear from the Rams this year. At the VERY least, they’ll be the same pesky bunch of SOB’s they have been for the last few years.

  25. By CORMAC on May 25, 2015 | Reply


    What is the word on the OG ( original gangster) defensive tackle TOMMY KELLY? Is he requesting too much money for his age or are they just trying to get better at the position ? He always seemed like a stable force that could be rotated in without a loss in performance.

  26. By Darren Urban on May 26, 2015 | Reply

    Cormac —

    RE: Kelly

    I do not expect Kelly back unless there is an injury. They were going to ask him to sign for the minimum I am sure, and there was a chance he could be cut. No reason for a vet like Kelly to do all the offseason stuff when he can wait and sign before camp somewhere.

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