Mario Williams and those one-year deals

Posted by Darren Urban on March 1, 2016 – 2:04 pm

A long, long time ago, when I was still in college, I was driving near campus one night while listening to the 620 Sportsline on the radio (was that Schulte and Roye at the time?) during basketball season. A caller wanted to know why the Suns couldn’t just trade for Hakeem Olajuwon. I mean, he was only the best big man in the game and one of the best of all time. The guy wanted to know why the Suns couldn’t get him for guard Negele Knight, forward Kurt Rambis and someone else (maybe center Andrew Lang? Trust me, it wasn’t a big name.)

I’ve heard similar trade suggestions in my years covering the Cardinals, sure. A certain player, while not needed/underperforming with the Cards can certainly fetch a second- or third-round draft pick, even though the Cards don’t want him. Right? (Uh, no.)

With the success of the one-year, prove-it-to-me contracts that Steve Keim has had in his tenure as GM, it feels like the one-year deal possibilities are veering into that territory. The Bills released defensive lineman Mario Williams, and certainly, that’s a name that draws interest. Would he fit in Arizona? He’s not exactly a 3-4 defensive end, and he’s already made noises that he’s not a fan of the idea that he’d ever have to drop into coverage as a 3-4 OLB. He only had five sacks last season, and while he could be used like Dwight Freeney in Arizona as a pass rusher, he’s going to want a lot more money and likely will get it somewhere in a NFL free-agent world flush with cap space.

So when I see suggestions — and I have had a few over the many platforms with which to reach me — that the Cardinals could lure Williams to the desert with a one-year contract, my first thought is, why would he do that? It’s early, and yes he underperformed in 2015, but it’s hard to believe someone won’t pony up some money for him this offseason. That could still be the Cards (although I do agree it’d have to be at the right price, which is not what he was getting in Buffalo.)

One-year deal guys don’t necessarily wait all the way until training camp, like Eric Winston or Chris Johnson or Jermaine Gresham. But if they sign earlier than that — Karlos Dansby, Antonio Cromartie — they wait out the market for a while to be absolutely sure they cannot get some significant cash. The Cards do have the ability these days to attract players because of the team and the destination. But money usually talks first, and short-term deals sometimes sound like Knight-for-Olajuwon.

Kevin Kolb, Mario Williams

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29 Responses to “Mario Williams and those one-year deals”

  1. By texascard on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    Run the ball

  2. By joe holst on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    ya he will get a big contract and it wont be from the Cards, they are better off convincing Freeney to stay. The Cards need another Marcus Golden type on the other side and a stud up front that will collapse the pocket. look for them to dump/and or not sign, Cory Redding, Red Bryant , Lamar Woodley . . I wish they could keep Sean Witherspoon as it normally takes a FA 2 years to get comfortable and he should be well rested and fresh for a strong season.

  3. By Ric A on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    Does Kareem Martin still show promise as a rush end or linebacker. I thought Keim was high on his potential when he drafted him.

  4. By Darren Urban on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    Ric A —

    RE: Martin

    Hasn’t really showed a ton thus far. Big year for him.

  5. By D on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards have the following players under contract on their roster as OLB’s:
    1) M. Golden
    2) A. Okafor
    3) K. Martin
    4) S. Riddick
    5) T. Okpalaugo
    6) G. Martin
    7) Z. Wagenmann

    That is a lot of young players for 2 spots. Not to mention their most productive player from last year, D. Freeney, who had 8 sacks would most likely be the first Free agent to call back if needed during training camp.

    Now, there could be an option in the draft or free agency to upgrade the spot that A. Okafor was in, even though he has one year left in his contract, we know of two times he has been a knucklehead and let the team down. (one occurred over the summer). I believe K. Martin and or S. Riddick along with Okpalaugo will be given plenty of chances to earn the starting spot.

    The DLine has much age and less depth than the LB spots.

    C. Campbell, C. Peters/X. Williams, R. Gunter.
    backups: F. Rucker, E. Stinson, J. Mauro (r)

    I think if C. Peters stays healthy and we see progress this summer from X. Williams, I think they will move Gunter back to DE. His more natural spot.

    This draft has more depth at the DE positions than the OLB (V. Miller type)

    I think the Cards won’t have a chance if they stay at #29 to get an impact OLB player and the draft has so much depth at DE that they could fill another hole
    and could still take a pass rushing DE in rounds 2 or 3 that could have a role on this team. I could see AZ taking the Best Center of the draft in Round 1 or a top FS/CB.

    $20 mil isn’t a lot of free agency $. I believe they are 19 or 20th in the league. I know Mr. Keim surprised everyone last year with Iupati, but I won’t be holding my breath for a big name free agent player, but more role player types in free agency.

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    Alright Darren,

    Got it.

    So, correct me if I am wrong, but what you are saying is;

    we can trade Cooper, Martin, Riddick, and a third round pick for Von Miller, because the Broncos have cap issues and could use young OLBs and a guard.

    Then sign Muhammad Wilkerson to a one year deal.

    Then we can trade Barkley to the QB needy Texans for their second round pick,

    then trade our 1st and two seconds to the chargers, who want to trade out of the 3 spot, and draft Carson Wentz.

    Man, why doesnt Keim do this??? 🙂

  7. By Darren Urban on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Moves

    An excellent breakdown.

  8. By dynosoar on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply


    that’s why you’re the draft guy and I’m not. Haha! I like you’re work up above, that was a good laugh following it all.

    Yeah, there are times when we want someone and say, well if we just… but if we want him, so does someone else and anything beyond a straight trade gets really, really sticky.

    Is there a QB you like in this draft that would be available when we’re on the clock? How about center?

  9. By Scott H on Mar 1, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Why is ANYONE giving us a 2ND ROUND pick for Barkley? The Texans could take a QB anywhere in the draft and get something as good as / better then Barkley!

    Matt Barkley does not have 2nd round pick value. He would have to have done SOMETHING / ANYTHING at the NFL level over the last two seasons or so to justify that. He hasn’t. Hence, my statement that the Texans ( or anyone else for that matter ) could reach into the draft at any point and come up with a QB the equivalent of a Matt Barkley.

    That said, I would be OVER THE DAMN MOON if someone offered us a 2nd round pick for him!

  10. By Darren Urban on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Barkley/Second round

    Scott, it was a joke. He was joking, based on what I wrote in the post.

    His whole response was just a joke.

  11. By dwoofer on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    The Cardinals have never overcome the loss of Daryl Washington, which has indirectly also affected defensive line play needs

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Barkley was the only thing you had an issue with?

  13. By DTL on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Always a good read here, D, nice job btw. Great breakdown by D’Urb even if makes me feel stoopid. Heard D’Urb on 98.7 re Combine. Worth a listen on their mobile app archive, where i usually get Jaws, Clayton (and Schlereth et al) while I walk, fwiw.

    Saw some buzz re a S cards alledgedly covet, 6’1″ 215, name was Darren or Darian (?) cant recall, sounded great then the breakdown is the guy reportedly cant cover man to man, cant swivel hips and gets beat deep. Thoughts on this guy D’Urb? Can’t teach instincts…that whats tough about not bringing back Powers and Rashad, both get beat physically on occasion but usually not out of position or fooled, relatively speaking… Honey B kinda the same but beat a lot less, a bit more ferocious, despite size. Instincts same conundrum with Justin, he get lost in space a bit…Keim must think he’ll figure it out huh. Hope so, hope so.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply


    Glad I could make you laugh.

    I like at center Ryan Kelly and would be willing to move up in round 2 to get him. Smart, big, good feet. He is good. The kid from Notre Dame is solid also, but Kelly could be pro bowl guy down the line. I really am not that high on anyone else in FA or draft.

    As for QB,
    I like Conner Cook, but will be surprised if he isn’t off the board. Too many teams looking at QB. Cook, like Cousins and Stanton, is a solid prospect from Mich St. I think he is better than Stanton or Cousins, but he isn’t Andrew Luck. He is not a game changer. He is a guy who can come in and help you win, not carry you.

    I like Kevin Hogan as a 4th rounder. He is one of those guys that someone will love, because he is mature, smart, athletic and good character. His arm isn’t a rocket, but he can throw the deep ball. But his biggest flaw is footwork. If a coach, sat Tom Moore, got a chance to work with him for a couple of years , while he is sitting behind Palmer, we could have something. Hogan had a 68% comp this year, over 60% for career, 27 Tds to 7 picks this year (75 tds to 29 picks in career). There were 11 games this year that he completed passes over 35 yards or more to 2 games he didn’t… Project? Yes, but a much much better project than Logan Thomas because he runs a pro style offense and has been accurate in college.

  15. By raisingzona on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    So Alex Mack is a free agent, I think the Cardinals should invest some money into the offensive line and give Mack $8.5M-$11.5M, would that be reasonable for the Cardinals to invest on the offensive line Darren?

  16. By Darren Urban on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply


    RE: Mack

    I feel confident in saying the Cards won’t chase Mack. Too pricey.

  17. By Scott H on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Just a joke / Barkley for a 2nd round pick

    Thank you. I was hoping somebody was gonna say that.

    PS – So….you really don’t think someone will offer a 2nd rounder for Barkley? Hey, it kinda got my hopes up! 🙂

  18. By Steve on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: If Coop moves to center, do you think he upgrades the position over Sendlein?

  19. By Darren Urban on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Cooper

    Don’t know. Never seen him play there. Potentially, I suppose. He was a first-round pick.

  20. By DTL on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

  21. By Darren Urban on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Cooper

    Nothing has been set in stone. It’s a possibility. Nothing more right now.

  22. By Cody Zarr on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    Man, I needed a good laugh. Thanks for that JTDG.

  23. By Dr. G. on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    jtdg…good singular post…before finishing, I thought you had lost your marbles!

    But…I do wish Cooper could just go away;; and our team could work on other concerns…he got lots of $$$$

    Like Hillary’s emails and Bill’s females…they won’t go away! There’s a little humor for the blog…later

  24. By TucsonTim on Mar 2, 2016 | Reply

    super bowls are won with defense. 93 made 2 tackles in 2 playoff games and it wasn’t his first rodeo… Wholesale changes need to be made. Otherwise just be happy with the regular season

  25. By Scott H on Mar 3, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    No, Barkley was not the only part of your ( joke ) post that seemed kinda ridiculous. But you know I have Barkley issues, so…that’s where I went.

  26. By dkerry5242 on Mar 3, 2016 | Reply

    Time to pony up some money for one or two of these free agent defensive linemen/pass rushers, so the Cards can draft for other needs.

  27. By Big Ken on Mar 3, 2016 | Reply

    John John John Conner Cook had such a terrible combine will he even get drafted? Lets bring in big mitts Hogan!

  28. By John the draft guy on Mar 4, 2016 | Reply

    Big Ken,

    Please tell me you are not rating players from the combine? Look at the tape.

  29. By Big Ken on Mar 5, 2016 | Reply

    Okay Okay

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