On CJ and other free agency odds and ends

Posted by Darren Urban on March 16, 2016 – 7:49 pm

On a day when the Cardinals nabbed Evan Mathis for the offensive line — the team’s second outside free agent acquired, exactly one week into free agency — GM Steve Keim wasn’t sure how much more the team will do in signing players. “I think we’re at a point where you let it come to you,” Keim said. The price has to be right in every spot. And there are still some moving parts.

— Running back Chris Johnson was in Miami to visit the Dolphins Wednesday. The Cardinals could still bring Johnson back, but with David Johnson in place, both the money and opportunities for CJ2K in Arizona would be limited. From afar, it looks like the Dolphins — who lost Lamar Miller to free agency — could offer more of both. UPDATE: Johnson is coming back.

— Karlos Dansby was cut by the Browns Wednesday — interestingly, two years after going to Cleveland, after the Cards offered a two-year contract themselves back in 2014. (Although Dansby got more guaranteed money from the Browns, so financially, it made more sense). The Cardinals will look at Dansby, but a third term as a Card seems unlikely. At 34, he’s likely not the same physically he was two or three years ago. Plus, would Los go for a minimum salary-type of deal?

— The visit of guard Geoff Schwartz doesn’t figure to happen now that Mathis was signed. Haven’t heard anything else about tackle Andre Smith. UPDATE: Smith signed with the Vikings.

— Cornerback Leon Hall visited Dallas after Arizona, but Hall still isn’t signed (which likely says something about how Hall has overpriced himself at this point.) It still stands to reason the Cards want to sign a veteran cornerback. Maybe it could still be Hall. It could still be Jerraud Powers.

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33 Responses to “On CJ and other free agency odds and ends”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 16, 2016 | Reply

    Was off on Vacation and just got the news !!!

    OK, First, let me say,”Homerun” on Chandler Jones.

    No, actually , wait for it…….. G R A N D S L A M.

    A top notch pass rusher. Man, we haven’t had a quality young pass rusher since Simeon Rice left. This guy is good. Our defense just got a lot better. I mean a lot better.

    To top it off, Keim finally got rid of his worst mistake he made since taking over. How could you get on this guy. He saw he made a mistake and killed two birds with one stone.

    Then, he lands a legit pro bowl guard to replace Cooper. Smith would be a huge surprise. Would love to have him.

    What is left?? Need a legit CB . Need a Center. Need depth at DL.
    Any of the 3 spots could be addressed with the 29th pick in the draft. (keeps the dollar amount down vs FA)

    Eli Apple, Makenzie Alexander at CB is my spot although a Jarran Reed would be tough to pass on to play DE. Another option could be a Ryan Kelly at Center.

    Hard to care that much after the the news of Chandler Jones. I going to be flying high on that one for months.

  2. By Dr. G. on Mar 16, 2016 | Reply

    A very good week thus far for Keim. Cleaning up a few more FA contracts? As you write here, Darren, there will not likely be any surprise that will be all over tv like the Jones acquisition has been. As for Mathis, the Fans will love his intensity. He looks like he chews garlic during the game like we had to in high school…! These 2 guys will have an immediate locker room effect. ((My girlfriend was not happy on Friday nights..!))

    The Cards are #3 in the power ratings today. As long as we make the playoffs with a reasonably healthy team, BA and SK will be happy campers. Then, turn down the screws playoff time.!

    I have had to learn to adjust to the FA strategy on the 1-year deals, because SK has made it work year after year. The days are gone when guys like Fitz play their entire career on 1 team…the $$$ is never worth it…

    And…it still seems strange to have that “”winning”” feeling after all these years in AZ..!! STOKED…

  3. By dan on Mar 16, 2016 | Reply

    CJ……..don’t need him….RBs are a dime a dozen…….love the Mathis signing……..DRAFT A CENTER PLEASE!!!!!!!!! Sendlein played pretty good last year but its time to get a stud center………hopefully. I wanted a center last year but now, we take Crap Riddick.

  4. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 16, 2016 | Reply

    Darren- What is going on with Rashad Johnson? I still think CJ2K will come back if the Cards make him an offer. The only way the Dolphins will go to the playoffs is if they buy their own tickets to the game…..

  5. By MartinK on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    On my list we only have ILB and CB left for major improvements. If, in addition to Jones and Mathis we sign Hall and Dansby in FA (would love to retire Los a Card!) doesn’t that mean we will try to trade up for QB? I am exited to see how that could work?

  6. By dan on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    I’d give my left one for the Center from Alabama.

  7. By dan on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    DRAFT RYAN KELLY SEE!!!!! Listen here see!!!!! Who’s your GOD now Moses? Edward G Robinson, worst casting in the 10 commandments…..LOL! Just draft Ryan Kelly for fudge sakes.

  8. By Eazy E on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Now we getting it going with signing Evan Mathis to replace Cooper. CJ2K is visiting Miami, but CJ2K said that money wasn’t an issue, but winning was the thing and you pretty much know Miami ain’t winning a dang thing, come on back to the desert to help us win! Dansby would still be a lovely fit after having a couple good seasons in sorry Cleveland. We still need Andre in my opinion definitely and I hope Leon becomes a Cardinal and with Jerraud, not without and others that I have mentioned in past posts!

  9. By Eric G on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    How does keim keep doing this? What a fantastic signing. Offseason just got perfect IMHO. Welcome to the cards Evan!

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

    Dwight Freeney? No up-date on him? Do we know if there is / has been any interest from other teams?

    Dansby seems pretty confident the Bengals are going to be giving him a call.

    Am watching the CJ / Miami visit closely. I’d love to have him back. But the Dolphins seem to have a better opportunity for him in regard to depth chart, playing time, etc. Even with DJ as the lead dog, I still think he could get a decent amount of work here. That would keep him fresher going into the later part of the season. And the Cardinals are definitely the better team. Guess it’s all about what he wants at this point.

  11. By martin on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    need an upgrade at cb

  12. By Patrick on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Darren, any word on Rashad Johnson? Has he visited any teams yet?

  13. By Darren Urban on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Patrick —

    RE: Rashad

    He has visited the Titans.

  14. By Richard L on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    I want to use the thumbs up or down to take a fan pole to this question. Should the Cards go after Danby for a 1 year contract? Thumb up for yes and thumb down for no. I look forward to seeing the results.

  15. By D on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Mr. Keim and BA have done a great job of improving the Oline and the Pass Rush this week. They are going for the ring, which we all like.

    I am guessing next week, these remaining free agents, the price will come down more…would be good to sign L. Hall as a Vet CB.

    CJ2 would be a luxury at this point. Having 2 Round 5 draft picks to fill depth- I would think a capable RB would be available in round 4 like a C.J. Prosise from ND.

    I am hoping the Cards get a chance at the top Center at #29 in the draft…the line would be dominant once a good productive offseason/training camp is concluded.

  16. By CARDS62 on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Darren thank you for your timely articles and hard work. There really is no off season.

    Little surprised but very pleased that Chris Johnson will be back for another year. Played great for us and I love David Johnson but he can fumble the ball so we just purchased a great insurance policy. Hopefully Ellington will bounce back this year.

    Dansby – I would really like to see us resign him if price is right. Dansby just makes plays. Limit his snaps and I think all Cardinal fans will be happy.

    Chandler Jones came out of nowhere and there are definitely risk involved, but also huge upside in our area of greatest need so most definitely worth the risk and what we traded. JTDG funny as first thing I said when I heard the news is we have Simeon Rice back but this time with a positive attitude.

    Evan M. for a million bucks is money well spent as a starter or backup.

    Really like moves of our front office, go Steve K. and still hoping we can resign safety.

    Cards all in again for 2016, but we really need to nail our 1st and 3rd round draft choices.

    Go Cards!

  17. By Dr. G. on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Andre Smith signs with the Vikings…no more wishing for him to visit.

    For those “”what if”” fans, here are some interesting UFAs:: WR Anquan Boldin, FS Rashad J., LB Freeney, OLB Aldon Smith, OLB Mike Neal, CB Leon Hall, CB Patrick Robinson, C Stefen Wisniewski, ILB Zach Brown,

    For our team, these could be the best available left unsigned as of today. We don’t need a WR, but there’s a Center, a couple CBs, and some LBs that Keim can look at for the reasonable deals he likes… Not much more activity expected prior to the draft… then, I look for a surprise QB pick…and depth at some positions…we shall see….later Cards Fans….

  18. By clssylssy on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    I’m thrilled with the moves the front office has made this week and now have learned we got CJ back too!!!😆🎉 if we could get Karlos “show me the money” Dansby back on a one year deal that would be gravy. Love that the Cards have added some muscle to go with the speed, now we have less pressure in the drafts GREAT JOB GUYS!

  19. By CARDS62 on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Hello Darren

    Could you give us an update on Cardinals available salary cap after recent transactions? Can you also tell us out of that total how much will be needed to sign our draft choices.

    Thank you and go Cards!

  20. By Darren Urban on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Cards62 —

    RE: Cap room

    The NFLPA reports the Cards have about $10.4M in cap space. That does not include Mathis or Chris Johnson.

  21. By clssylssy on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Darren…don’t most teams budget funds that are dedicated monies for the draft? I would be shocked if a GM with SK’s business acumen didn’t have every cent planned for before going on a shopping spree.
    With six weeks till the draft, things are looking good!

  22. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2016 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Draft

    Yes, every team must figure in cap space for draft picks. Picking 29th (and with no second round pick) it won’t be that much.

  23. By D on Mar 17, 2016 | Reply

    Cards will need around 4-5 mil for the draftees?

    It’s going to be difficult to make this team this year, especially for players
    past Round 4 in the draft…. If the Center is addressed, this will be the deepest team the Cards have had since being here in AZ

    They will need to reduce CC Cap hit by extension once his agent situation is worked out. We’ll see what the draft provides, maybe a Redding cut if the Cards take a DL in rounds 1, 3 or 4… and a Okafor cut (if K. Martin/Okpalaugo can show something)

  24. By Darren Urban on Mar 18, 2016 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Rookie space

    Not nearly that much. No second-round pick, picking later in rounds, only top 51 count until season … I wouldn’t be surprised if you will only have to factor in 1st, 3rd and maybe 4th round pick right now.

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

    Hot damn, CJ is coming back!!! Following the trade for Jones, that would make TWO CJ’s that have been secured in the past few days. THIS has been a great off-season! Don’t know what the Dolphins may have offered ( if anything ) for Johnson but I commend the Cardinals for ( obviously ) doing enough to make CJ want to stay here. And I appreciate CJ’s making the Cardinals his choice.

    This team may have “eased” into FA, but they are tearing it up now! Being greedy, I still want Freeney back and would love to have Hall on board as well. I just figured I’d get my wish list in while the wishes are being granted! 🙂

    BTW, just saw the news that Okung left Seattle for Denver. That is a big hit to that O-line.

    Darren – does CJ coming back point to anything happening with Ellington at this point?

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

    Wow, anyone see the tweet from CJ about how he is staying because he has un-finished business to take care of in Arizona? Hell yeah, Chris! We should have gotten you back on the field last season, but we didn’t. Let’s get back to that NFC title game again and then take care of business and finish this thing.

    Damn, I wish this team were playing somebody, like,…tomorrow! The hangover from the loss to Carolina is gone. Can’t wait to get this new chapter started.

  27. By dkerry5242 on Mar 18, 2016 | Reply

    Now it’s time to re-sign Dwight Freeny. He still is good for another 8 sack season.

  28. By Scott H on Mar 19, 2016 | Reply


    Keep in mind, 8 sacks is what Freeney did in less than a full season here – after he came off the couch. I really believe that over a FULL season, AND with more of a pass rush coming from other places, Freeney could post a double-digit sack total here in 2016. Why not?

    Of course, they would have to sign him first….

  29. By dkerry5242 on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    This weeks Goal ….re-sign Jaron Brown and give Freeny another 1 year deal.

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

    dkerry —

    RE: Jaron Brown

    Jaron has already been tendered an offer. He’ll be back.

  31. By Scott H on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    Wow, the depth / talent that this team has at WR is just amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I think the OTHER J Brown is a talented kid who is a victim of limited playing time and being behind studs like Fitz, Floyd, Smoky on the depth chart. I’m thrilled he is staying here. But, geez, I feel like I could have excused the Cardinals if they had NOT tendered Jaron Brown! I would have understood that.

    At one point, I was actually wondering if they might be tapping their depth at WR for a trade. But I’m glad it hasn’t happened.

    This offense, with its array of deadly weapons, was just awesome to watch at times last season. Shame it kinda went flat at the end, but I SOOOO look forward to seeing that again this season.

  32. By CORMAC on Mar 22, 2016 | Reply

    sack attack from Chandler- highlights

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