49ers let Dockett go

Posted by Darren Urban on September 4, 2015 – 9:12 am

It was shocking for many when the Cardinals cut Darnell Dockett earlier this offseason (at this point, it seems like two years ago) because he was set to make too much money. Then, in a fashion that was perhaps fitting with the defensive lineman, an inability to come to terms on a lower-priced deal with the Cards ended with Dockett signing with the division rival 49ers and Darnell promising a huge battle when he returned to University of Phoenix Stadium.

Except it’s not going to happen. Dockett, despite getting $2 million guaranteed from the Niners, is being released, so that might just say where Dockett is in his playing form. It’s tough for Dockett, who after ripping up his knee in the 2014 preseason has only played a little in the preseason after missing all last year. He’s currently dealing with a rib injury.

The first thing many wonder — and I know, because I was bombarded on Twitter — is whether the Cards might bring him back. No, I don’t see that happening. There is a reason the Cardinals were willing to release him in the first place. They wanted to get younger (Dockett is 34) at the position, and they have done that with Ed Stinson (who was basically drafted as a Dockett replacement) and Xavier Williams and Rodney Gunter and maybe even Josh Mauro. Maybe Dockett has just reached the end of the line. It happens, no matter how frustrating that can be for player or fans. To a much lesser extent, Dockett’s guns blazing going out the door — he didn’t have too many good things to say about the situation, in complete opposite of how Adrian Wilson handled his release once upon a time — doesn’t help.

UPDATE: Asked if the Cards might have interest, Bruce Arians said “not at this point.”

It’ll be interesting to see if he gets picked up, where and even when. At this point, Dockett may be the veteran who has to wait until after Week 1 to sign so that a team wouldn’t have to guarantee his salary for the season — so that if they feel he wasn’t working out, they could cut him. It’s the harsh reality.

Darnell Docket

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Posted in Blog | 47 Comments »

47 Responses to “49ers let Dockett go”

  1. By PFTneedsToBringCommentSystemToThe21stCentury on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Unfortunately, even this blog will have little effect on the knee-jerk fans wanting to see Dockett back – even though it makes no sense.

  2. By Travis on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    I didn’t see that coming…
    He was a great Cardinal

  3. By Andre on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply


    Very well done post about a very bad situation for a player many Cardinal Fans still respect and wish him the best in his current situation.

  4. By D on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Cards don’t need Dock as a player, maybe some day bring him back around the team (if he wants to) like ADub.

    This team is deep on the DLine with good young players like Gunter, Stinson and X. Williams who appears will be a good DT. And they have good leadership veterans like Campbell, Rucker and Redding. I think Mauro has played his way onto the team.
    Some team will pick up a good player in a few days when Shaughnessy loses his job to Mauro. I realize Spoon and C. Johnson were playing against a lot of players who will be un-employed soon, but they did give us some relief to see they both will be factors this year if healthy. With Spoon and Fua playing inside LB, it should kill any future D. Washington questions. A healthy Minter and the Cards are in good shape at ILB.

    What was nice to see last night was the pressure from Golden and K. Martin from OLB. Those two young guys to go with Okafor gives the Cards some hope for pass rushers. I think once Riddick gets more snaps, he could be the one who watch as a stud Pass Rusher in the next few years, he has freaky skills.

    I see AZ picking up a Vet CB this weekend/early next week and be ready to kick the Saints butt.

    Darren-hopefully you have a good weekend before the start of the season next week. Let the Fun begin!

  5. By TucsonTim on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Sad…I hope he can make it some where else. Yes, he was a great Cardinal. I’ll never forget his amazing Super Bowl performance.

  6. By Nic on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, could you post or link a recap of how he left “guns blazing” outside of the challenge of seeing the Cardinals twice a year

  7. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Nic —

    RE: Blazing

    Check out Mike Jurecki’s interview with Dock from XTRA 910.

  8. By Dynosoar on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    That picture of Dockett in a 49ers uniform is just wrong.

    He get’s $2 mil and doesn’t have to wear red and gold, that’s a good day.

    I like where this team is at, especially our defense. We could easily have allowed Oakland 35 points and we held them to 15, allowing our offense to win (well, along with 6 points care of Cariel.)

    It was hard to see Warner go, and Adrian and now Darnell, but that is the nature of this game. In five years we’ll be lamenting others that left, of there own will or the will of the front office.

    My closing thought,
    That picture of Dockett in a 49ers uniform is just wrong.

  9. By Bryan on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, why were the cardinals willing to pay so much to keep Fitzgerald and not willing to do the same for Darnell? Fitzgeralds production won’t match up with his salary (not even close) and he doesn’t seem like much of a vocal leader. Darnell in my opinion would produce a lot more for the veterans minimum than what Fitzgerald will for what he’s currently getting paid.

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Bryan —

    RE: Fitz/Dock

    Two totally different people.

  11. By Big Ken on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    They got tired of his bull really fast. He should retire.

  12. By Travis on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    I just saw that the Birds released Sims

  13. By arizonabatepapo on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    That interview with Dockett that you linked to is a very good one, and I think paints a more nuanced picture of the situation. Dockett comes off as a guy who is fiercely passionate and loyal (and prideful, with reason), but also realistic about the situation- everything you’d want in a player on the measurement of intangibles. For example, Dockett says that he a) offered to take less from the Cardinals than what San Fran had offered, simply out of team loyalty b) he also holds no grudge against the organization and still very much loves and admires BA as well as several other former teammates.

    What I don’t get from him- and I know as a culture we’ve become so cynical- is the impression of a money-grubbing guy. I think those of us (and Dockett appears to be one of them) of a certain generation used to buy into the old-fashioned, optimistic idea of devoting oneself to a certain company for life and being rewarded for that loyalty at some point. But nowadays, such loyalty means nothing- not in tech companies, and certainly not in the NFL. It’s a really hard pill to swallow for those who buy into the whole ‘team player’ concept, because it requires compartmentalization. We as fans shouldn’t be surprised when players leave a team either a) because more money is offered elsewhere b) because a player feels slighted/unwanted due to a team not willing to compromise when dealing(not even when the amount is less than $500,000).

    I also hope he gets into the Ring of Honor someday; I think he’s deserving and would be very honored by that. I wish him the best wherever he lands.

  14. By Michael on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    His release doesn’t make me happy, okay only a tad bit… Hope he finds a new home, but don’t let him come crawling back here.
    ( karma lol) .

    I was really pulling for DD90 this season, because of his injury the previous season and seeing him fire up our guys in the huddles and sidelines last year was great. Loved him as a Card, and will only think as Darnell as his pre-2015 offseason self from this moment on.
    Reason being is that his offseason business and ***actions made me cut ties with the respect I had for him sadly.

    Yes, it wasn’t too extremely arrogant or plain rude the way/how he left, but having following him on social media outlets; To me -even though this was front office business decision- Attempted to throw salt into the wound of us loyal Cardinal fans. Which honestly made me look forward to the 49ers game, more than a healthy Carson Palmer Cardinal team rematch with the Seahawks.

    Intentionally or unintentionally I will never know, but for Dockett’s current situation I can only wonder if he wished he would have just left that bridge alone.

    I don’t comment here much, but DD90 was one of my favorites. In other news, Glad to see CJ(2K) and Weatherspoon in the game yesterday. I have high hopes for “Spoon” – to the ones who have already given up on him!

  15. By arizonabatepapo on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Oops…sorry for the duplicate posts! I thought the other one was lost in space, so I rewrote it. πŸ™‚

  16. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    batepapo —

    RE: Duplicate posts

    No worries. People need to remember I have to approve the posts. Sometimes that’s quickly. Sometimes it is not.

  17. By Scott H on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Dyno –

    Yeah, I immediately thought the same thing! Seeing DD in ANY uniform other than Cards red just doesn’t look right. He’ll always be a Cardinal, we know that. I have a poster of him celebrating one of his sacks of Big Ben in the SB and he looks like roaring lion in that shot. It was DD at his absolute best, with the dreds and all. THAT will always be how he looks to me!

  18. By shane on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply


    With the release of Steve Weatherford from the giants .. do you maybe see the cards looking into him or other punters that might be released .. i know bruce likes drew but imo he hasn’t looked very good at all. What are your thoughts?

  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Shane —

    RE: Punter

    I think, as with every position, the Cards are going to keep an eye out. But that doesn’t mean they’ll make a change.

  20. By clssylssy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry to hear about DD getting cut and a bit surprised you actually devoted a column to the subject as many Cards fans tend to carry ill will and resent the reality that there is life beyond Cardinal land, and that loyalty cuts both ways. The sad fact for the Veterans is that as they get older they pretty much prices themselves out of a job as nobody want to carry a big cap number and the trend is to go younger and cheaper which doesn’t always mean better but is the world we live in. #90 was always a great locker room motivator and passionate guy and I wish him the best wherever he lands, maybe he’ll reconnect with Coach Boyles.
    I just learned that the Eagles are working on a trade to the Cardinals for Matt Barkley and I am knocked over as I didn’t think he was that great at USC, was happy we didn’t take him in the draft, and can’t see that we need him now; any of our QBs were better than him and he got beat out by Tim Tebow?? Would rather have had RGIII if we were going for a dramatic departure from what we have. The last time we made a deal with the Eagles we got Kevin Kolb and we all know how that worked out–seems they are better at the trade game that the Cards! Please Darren…SAY IT ISN’T SO! Somebody said we cut Sims, who, IMO was a world better than Barkley! WT?

  21. By NJ Glenn on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    any truth that Barkley is coming to cards in a trade for late round pick?

  22. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    NJ Glenn —

    RE: Barkley

    Sounds like it.

  23. By Mike in Gilbert on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Didn’t see this coming:

    Matt Barkley, traded from Phily.

    Can’t say i’m a fan of a guy that appears to have been beaten out by Tebow…

  24. By faster on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply


    well, imo he isn`t better then RGIII, at least at the moment, but he should fit much better in arians system. and he knows chips games, so as a third QB, i`m happy with it.

    now i hope, they can convince logan to paly as a TE, and simms can pass the waiver wire to our PS.

    and if keim and arians could catch a seasoned CB, the season can start …..

  25. By Cardinal on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Damm ….been wearing #90 for past 7 years was hoping he’d come back !!!

  26. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    When DD was cut from the Cards… his pride/feelings were hurt, he was here for a long time, thru the bad and good. I can feel for him on his bitterness. Remember where he came from and what he went thru growing up. He always struck me as the Cards “enforcer” on the field. I remember when Tyran was hurt in the Rams game. Dockett made a tackle on Tate and he rolled twisting Tate’s ankle, knocking him out of the game.
    Dockett was a beast on the D-Line and was almost always doubled teamed.
    I would hope he finish’s his career as a Cardinal……

  27. By clssylssy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    So, we cut Sims and Thomas for the guys who lost out to Tebow and has never thrown a TD pass in his entire career but has thrown four interceptions AND we gave up a draft pick for him…Why?
    (Sounds like the beginnings of a bad joke) And, IMO, it sucks that the cuts won’t be announced till after the holiday unless word gets out to the press(as it always does) and the fans have to find out through PFT who we will be paying to see play this season πŸ™

  28. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Cuts

    The cuts will be out tomorrow. Not after the holiday.

  29. By Dobie on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    No wonder we are always hurting for QB this people let go of the good one they should have kept Hoyer not get Palmer The where looking for some future prospects and they letting them go Palmer and Stanton got may be two years more or less you got this young men that have potential a lot of the good QB that are out there started young where third strings made mistakes when they did get there starts an now they are doing great but every time I see Arians do some thing like this he surprises me so he the coach and I am not this two young men might get pick by some other team and the are going to be good when some team polish them up a bit but time will tell I am not an expert just an arm chair Quarter Back hope the coaches are right again ( I”am just saying )

  30. By cards62 on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    DD cut wow wow wow never saw it coming and 49ers eating $2 million.
    DD was the man for us so I wish you well and hope you can play another year or two. We will resign you one day DD and you will retire a Cardinal

    GO Cards beat those Saintw

  31. By cards62 on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    oops Saints not Saintw

  32. By Credit Card on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply


    (Probably an unfair question, but here goes…) How much stock does current Card player’s opinions weigh about other NFL players (in this case Barkley) in terms of influencing management (Arians, Kiem, etc…) decisions?

  33. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Players

    I’d say, in this case, zero.

  34. By clssylssy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Darren…got that misinformation from the NFL channel..go figure! I was under the impression that even though the cuts would be made, they would not be announced. Of course, things like that always “get out” which leaves many of us anxiously waiting for the other shoe too drop.
    I have to admit that after last night’s game, was not at all prepared for the shocker that came with the Barkley announcement. I find as I get older that I am more a fan of the game and the players and not so much the brand which allows me to cheer for a lot of players I like, and I look forward to seeing where some of these quality young men land. Wishing them all the best!

  35. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Cuts

    Arians acknowledged the Cards have already made between 10 and 15 cuts. But the Cards prefer to announce once all the cuts have been made — and they have not all been made yet.

  36. By Michael on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Referring to my last post “don’t let him come crawling back here” That’s my own bitterness to the DD90 situation. In all honesty, watching him do the workout #savage videos, had me pumped leading into this season. I understand it’s a business that hinders a player’s decision to only being loyal to one team. With that being said, I also understand Dockett’s decision to leave the desert.. If the Cards come calling for him, he will regain my support like it was never lost. If he’s going to be a #savage for anyone in the near future, it would look best in a Cardinal uniform. I should mention The 49er front office seems to never cease to amaze me. Hats off to them for being so brilliant.

  37. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Michael —

    RE: Dockett

    Let’s get one thing clear — Dockett left in part because the Cardinals cut him first. No one should blame him for that. Nor should you blame the Cardinals for deciding it was time to move on.

  38. By Dynosoar on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    I just don’t understand picking up Matt Barkley. There’s got to be a reason Simms was let go (but I don’t see that either.) and Logan engineered a perfect 2 minute drill.

    I don’t understand this one. I understand churning the bottom of the roster, but this just seems like churning for churning sake.

    I understand it would be hard to choose between Thomas and Simms, they seemed equally effective to me.

  39. By georgiebird on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Dockett would have been welcomed back in some sort of capacity- but his big mouth upon leaving burned that bridge

  40. By James on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Nice writing on Dock. I can see him as a late season addition for the team when injurys & fatigue has set in on these young guys not used to the NFL grind. A fresh legged & fully healed DD could be of good use. I think thats what Arians was thinking with the “Not at this time comment”

  41. By beltramiscott on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Well this does not shock me at all. The Niners just used him, Dockett went to them out of revenge. However, he is 34 and his body is showing signs of it. This is the sad reality every player faces. The truth is he has millions, a lot more than me. He will be fine. When he went to the Niners a fan ( cardinal fan) ask him what does he do now with his jersey that he is gone? Dockett said buy a Niners jersey. Dockett it really full of himself, He has forgotten where he made his millions. Not the Niners, all he got there was the boot.

  42. By beltramiscott on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    WOW……I just listen to the Dockett interview, after hearing that I do feel for the guy. He already has more money that any one person would ever need. He can play for the love of the game, if he wishes. He was a loyal guy when he was here.A leader. That interview was a side that we just don’t see. However cruel as it is, that is the life of a football player.

  43. By dkerry5242 on Sep 5, 2015 | Reply

    I heard Dockett got cut not only because he was injured (ribs) ; but the 49 ers were not going to put up with his constant Social Media BS.

  44. By Credit Card on Sep 5, 2015 | Reply


    Detroit appears to be keeping Zack Zenner. He was a undrafted free agent from South Dakota State that I was personally hoping the Cards would take. tough powerful kid who hits the holes hard and fast. Dives forward as being taken down. Great special teams player.

  45. By dave5358 on Sep 7, 2015 | Reply

    Docket was a cancer on the Cards early on, stirring the pot on pay and guys holding out. Hard to remember the specifics all this time later, but I’m sure some of you do. I’ve never forgiven him, wished they had cut him at the time, and don’t see where keeping him payed off for the team at all.

  46. By dave5358 on Sep 7, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, you have to approve the posts? Really? So much for free speech, eh? Weakens the whole product in addition to be being fundamentally dishonest. People only get to express opinions that Darren agrees with–or at minimum, allows? Then how do all those fricking google ads keep showing up? Snort! What a fricking joke.

  47. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2015 | Reply

    dave5358 —

    RE: Approval

    I can count on two hands the number of posts I haven’t approved in the decade of this blog, and all of them had to do with foul language (and two were directly racist). So step off with your claims of being “fundamentally dishonest” when you have no idea about what you are talking.

    By the way, and many have this problem, “free speech,” as to what you are referring, is about being able to speak about the government. There is no law that says someone can come on the blog of company/team and say whatever they want.

    But you can go ahead and spread such misinformation. I went ahead and approved it.

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