All-pro Cardinals, retirements, and other stuff

Posted by Darren Urban on January 6, 2017 – 2:36 pm

It’s only fitting David Johnson was named AP all-pro this season, and while I understand why Ezekiel Elliott earned the running back nod on the team, I personally felt like Johnson earned it. It’s good they changed the rules to allow for a “flex” player (instead of a fullback) because it would have been wrong for Johnson not to be a first-team this year. But I can’t really argue with the other decisions. I’ve heard from a couple of people about Patrick Peterson, but the players that earned the first- and second-team slots — Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Janoris Jenkins, Casey Hayward, Malcom Butler — all had really good years. It was good to see Calais Campbell with a second-team nod. He was good all season but really came on in the second half of the year. It’s too bad the whole team couldn’t have that consistency in their playoff push.

It was interesting to me as I looked back over the years to see what Cardinals made first-team AP all-pro that Larry Fitzgerald earned that honor only once — fittingly, in 2008, when he not only was great in the regular season but had the best playoff run any receiver has ever (and while I know there are arguments to be made for a couple of other guys, having witnessed what Fitz did in those four games, you’ll never convince me otherwise that anyone ever did it better.)

— A quick thought on the ongoing Fitz-Carson Palmer retirement speculation. Nothing has changed for me. I have long believed and still believe Palmer will play in 2017. I think if, for whatever reason, Palmer did leave, that would seal Fitzgerald’s decision. But like I said, I believe Palmer is going to play. I still think Fitz hasn’t made up his mind. Won’t surprise me whatever decision he makes (so I guess I’m saying I think he’s 50-50.) I know he took the ball for his last catch/touchdown, but he has kept significant footballs before — and don’t forget, this one did net him an NFL receptions-title — and besides, it can’t hurt to take it just in case. If he comes back, fine. I don’t think the football gives any hints, other than he is considering retirement, which we knew already.

— Don’t forget to take a listen to our Cardinals Underground wrapup season podcast.

— In case you missed it (and maybe you might’ve, since this is the first year I didn’t put it in the blog), here was my annual roster breakdown, along with who is a free agent-to-be.

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28 Responses to “All-pro Cardinals, retirements, and other stuff”

  1. By Scott H on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Just a thought, but after how wildly entertaining the last two playoff games between the Cards and Packers have been, I think – for the good of the viewing public, of course – the Cardinals should have been let into the playoffs this year just so we could see another one of those games! Will be hard to watch the Packers on Sat night and not remember that game last year….or back in 2009.

  2. By D on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Looking at your Year End Roster breakdown, there really isn’t a player that the Cards could offer to trade for any value. Or a player to cut to save Cap space. Some people believe Iupati should be released, but one bad year isn’t a good enough reason when you need to fill the RG spot this spring.

    I think if The QB of the future or R. Foster ILB isn’t there at #13, then I could see Mr. Keim move back in the first round if possible to add another draft pick and to either pick up the best available CB (plenty should go in first round) or the best OL available. D Feeney the OG from IN will be the first OG drafted, most likely around 26-32 in the first round and could be AZ’s fix at RG for the next 5 years.

  3. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Urb: Jeremy Ross was just here for a cup of coffee, but he looked really good, sure hands, big body from what we saw. And background, insights on him? Did coaches mention? Can he play Special Teams?

  4. By Darren Urban on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Ross

    He wasn’t mentioned much. I could see him being re-signed to a minimum deal for 2017.

  5. By Michael E on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Any chance Amos Jones decides to retire? I just saw the the rankings for the 3 years prior to him taking over ST, and the 4 years he’s been here. It’s staggering and inexcusable. Four years of being ranked near the very bottom of the league, that’s grounds for a firing but we know that won’t happen. It’s a middle finger to the fans

  6. By Steve on Jan 6, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: Why is the Cards staff never interested in coaching the Senior Bowl? Seems like it would help in their draft preparations, you agree?

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Senior Bowl

    Usually you need to be asked first. But I think they believe they can do plenty of scouting otherwise, and also, after a long season, the coaches want their down time too.

  8. By Canadian Redbird on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Can’t believe BA ‘s comments insisting the coaching staff remaini in tact for next season. One of BA’s greatest strengths in being loyal to his players / staff is also his greatest weakness. There is no chance our special teams coordinator Amos Otis should be part of the team going forward if we truly want the best man or coach up. Remember special teams cost us at least 3 games this year. The Cardinal faithful certainly hasn’t forgotten. Wake up BA & Keim !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Pleased with the Leone signing. He was stellar in the CFL as a punter. Justin Medlock ( leading scorer in the CFL ) could compete with Cantanzaro as the kicker. Chandler making a few field goals in the last couple meaningless games shouldn’t guarantee his spot going forward. Seattle’s punter played for Winnipeg in the CFL a few years back and has been outstanding.

    Happy for Floyd in New England !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. By clssylssy on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    While it’s nice to get recognition, at this time of year the only real “award” that matters is a SB ring…the rest are like mere participation ribbons. Setting new records or breaking old ones might make you eligible for the Hall one day, but nobody is going to care about the smaller stuff years down the road. If it was really about rewarding excellence, it would seem they would have a “longevity award” for the player who has consistently played the game at the elite level for a sustained period of time” (the true test).
    The fact that David Johnson hasn’t been more recognized by the media because of the lack luster season of his team, is a good indicator of just much merit these “awards” hold.
    It’s somehow difficult to get too excited about “awards” when we have to watch teams in the playoffs who we could beat but didn’t because we lacked the maturity and focus to get the job done. Nonetheless, good job to our Cards players!

  10. By Carlo Milano on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    After a long season thry need their down time?
    All normal human being work much more then them and we have less time to stay with our families.
    Are u serious saying that?
    I know is difficult sometimes recognize the priveleges we have, but came on

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Carlo —

    RE: Down time

    I can’t speak for you specifically, but I know how much coaches work during a season and I promise you, they are working considerably more hours than most people.

  12. By CardsNation on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Special looked great in the final three games. We finally have a punter and Chandler Catanzaro looks decent. If our special team continues to suck next year, we have to fire Amos Jones.

  13. By CardsNation on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply


    Do you know how much cap space is currently remaining for the Cardinals?

  14. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    CardsNation —

    RE: Cap space

    I do not. And it won’t make a difference right now because the cap space is readjusted when the new league year starts in March.

  15. By jasonc on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Looking at the roster breakdown makes me wonder why more people don’t have us thinking safety with our number one pick. Jamal Adams from LSU and Malik Hooker Ohio State have both declared are top ten talents. I can see situations where neither player would be available, however, this is looking like a talented draft class and with the QB needs of several teams ahead of us there is a possibility one could fall to us.

  16. By Marlin on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    I can’t stand watching the playoffs knowing we should be there.

  17. By dynosoar on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Draft possibilities,

    I understand Alvin Kamara and Derek Barnett are both available. I’d love to see Johnson and Kamara in the backfield together.

    And in 3 years Derek Barnett broke Reggie White’s school sack record at Tennessee. Not only that, he’s the first player in SEC history to have 10+ sacks in three seasons. Considering how many sack specialists have come from the SEC, to be the only one to have 10+ in three separate seasons is huge. And in three seasons he had more sacks than Reggie White had in four seasons. Reggie White!

    If we want someone to get after a QB, please convince me anyone in the draft is better than Derek Barnett. (Although, he probably won’t be there at the fifth pick, but if he’s there at 13 how do you not take Barnett?

    One more and we can never have enough CBs and Sutton (I know, he’s also out of Tennessee), yes Sutton is really good and a punt return nightmare thrown in.

  18. By georgiebird on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    Your comments on All pro players were spot on. Like all teams, Cards’ fans think a lot more of their players than the rest of the country does. PPs performance is pretty good but there are guys better at the position.
    The LB position is the most eye-opening. No Jones; no Golden. No Minter; No Bucannon. Nice players- but a way to go before the Cards can make a big improvement.

  19. By georgiebird on Jan 7, 2017 | Reply

    As the Cards prepare for the upcoming draft. Think Anquan Boldin; think Darnell Dockett.

  20. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    CanadianRedbird….where are you from and did you happen to read the comment a couple of weeks ago about Terry Baker and Jason Garrett?

  21. By mitchaz on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Wild Card Weekend Thoughts

    HOU 27 OAK 14

    * Sad to see the Raiders so flat after such a spirited season with Derek Carr at QB and Jack “Riverboat Gambler” Del Rio rolling the dice.

    * Good strategy to blitz Brock Osweiler—but Bill O’Brien manifested the Patriots’ philosophy of throwing quick passes to the TEs and to WR DeAndre Hopkins to the point where they got the DBs to bite and then Osweiler made a good throw on the fade to Hopkins which Hopkins caught and adroitly managed to scrape his toes in bounds.

    * Jadeveon Clowney has arrived in a big way. Of course it helped that LT Donald Penn was out.

    * When one thinks back 4 years and where the Raiders were having traded Carson Palmer and not re-signing Jared Veldheer, what GM Reggie McKenzie has done drafting QB Derek Carr and assembling on o-line of Penn—Osemelo—Hudson—Jackson—Howard and adding WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree—that offense is better equipped to win now and the next few years than the Cardinals’…unless Steve Keim can find a way top revitalize the offensive line, add a QBOF and find upgrades at WR.

    * Was very impressed with the Raiders’ SS Brynden Trawick—who made a number of superb tackles for loss. He’s a UFA this year, a promising, aggressive young SS (6-2, 220) and STs ace.

    * Mike Vrable, the Texans’ LB coach is on the verge of coaching stardom. He will soon be a defensive coordinator and quite likely a head coach within the next 3-4 years.

    * Romeo Crennel has to be one of the most under-rated defensive coordinators of all time. The man has 5 Super Bowl rings as a defensive coach.

    * Boy those Texans tackle with authority—all of them—no weak links.

    * Funny to think that there was speculation about Bill O’Brien’s immediate future with the Texans. Much of this has to do with an all too common occurrence in the NFL when a GM (Rick Smith) and HC cannot agree on key personnel. Brock Osweiler was Smith’s choice, not O’Brien’s.

    * This got me thinking about BA&SK’s relationship. Yes, on the outside they appear united—but it wouldn’t bee too much of a stretch to imagine that there could be a growing acrimony between the two…starting with BA’s insistence on running a wide array of zero backfield sets (regardless of who the linemen are). In the games this year where Palmer was sacked and hit the most, the Cardinals were 1-8-1. BA has openly slammed the last two 1st round picks—which makes SK look like a fool. It’s to the point now where BA has declared that he no longer expects rookies to make any immediate impact their first year. To that i say, “C’mon, man.”

    SEA 26 DET 6

    * First of all—as crazy as this might sound—the longer the Seahawks’ season goes, the more there is a chance of them experiencing the letdown that the Cardinals experienced this year coming off a bitter loss in the NFC Championship game. Last year it was the Seahawks who served the Cardinals notice in Week 17 not to feel too confident about the division and the NFC. Well, this year the Cardinals returned the favor beating the Seahawks in Week 16. Teams have a very hard time recovering from extended playoff game seasons. See Carolina and Denver, as well.

    * The Lions’ defense was a sieve. They got shredded by what had been a struggling makeshift o-line and a RB who had been averaging 1.5 ypc the past couple games. Rawls runs hard—but he can’t hold up physically the way Marshawn Lynch did.

    * The Lions’ offense looked intimidated all night—so many drops on easy catches, false starts, etc.. Anquan Boldin, who really helped the Lions get over the hump in close games, had an atrocious performance—2 stupid PF flags one off a bad drop on 3rd down. Stafford looked a little wild early but even when he settled down the drops and costly penalties did them in. But, credit the Lions for winning the close games they were losing last year—which is why they got into the playoffs. Too bad they peaked 3-4 weeks ago, however.

    * Richard Sherman is right about the Seahawks’ play calling. It’s just plain stupid at times—and of course they get bailed out on 4th and goal at the 1 by the Richardson TD (amazing catch) where clearly Richardson was grasping the CB’s facemask. Seeing as there is supposed to be a review of all scoring plays—can’t the NFL finally get the calls right? If everyone in the USA can see it—then get the thing right.

    * Sherman, for all his arrogance, puts his body on the line to win and is one of the major reasons why teams are still intimidated by the Seahawks. For those who feel Patrick Peterson was snubbed in not making the 1st or 2nd All-Pro team, tackling and doing all one can to help the team win are considerations.

  22. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz….i agree with everything you wrote but, with regard to the richardson catch, i do not think anyone saw him grab the defender’s face mask in real time. it was not pointed out by the announcers until several minutes after the catch when people had a chance to review the play. the seahawks got the benefit of a few questionable calls last night. the seahawks play with an attitude and i like that but russell wilson has not impressed me this year. he can still make some nice passes but his lack of mobility (compared to other years) makes him less effective. i will be surprised if they win another game this year but i have been surprised before. and, their kicker, haushka (spelling??) missed yet another convert. moving that convert attempt back has really impacted a number of games and created some interesting scenarios this year.

  23. By Scott H on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Michael E –

    I hear ya. It bothered me a little to hear BA say that no coaching changes would be made in the off-season. Didn’t like the sound of that. Loyalty is one thing, but…..but I think our ST’s is one area where some changes DO need to be made.

  24. By mitchaz on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply


    I agree with you that no one saw the facemark until the review of the play—and seeing as all scoring plays are reviewed, it would be good for the game, imo, if the review booth could get it right.

    While I agree that Wilson isn’t quite the Houdini he has been when healthy, the guy still finds a way to elevate his game in crunch time. The Falcons are not as playoff tested as the Seahawks, and thus that game might be closer than most expect. Some teams handle the bye week well. Will the Falcons?

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    All —

    RE: Replay/OPI/facemask

    PI is not reviewable, even on a scoring play.

  26. By clssylssy on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Wilson has been playing injured all season and was wearing a brace that has hindered his mobility to some extent up to now. That being said, he is one tough guy and I think the Seahawks may begin to come alive as we proceed in the playoffs as they are a team that feeds on competition and knows the way to the SB.
    I know a lot of fans on this site don’t share my appreciation for the way the Hawks operate, but, I am always sure when we play them we will rise up and play to our full capacity or get hosed and that is up to us. If we win, it will feel like something to special to savor and feel good about.
    There are bad calls in every game and we know the Seahawks are beatable in Seattle. You just have to play the game like they do, ground and pound, smart, an physical ,and enough better to allow for the human errors that are going to occur with the officiating.

  27. By Canadian Redbird on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Johnny Bluenose:

    From Calgary partner !! Same guy who suggested we look at Cameron Wake ( Penn State ) from the BC Lions several years back. He was a sack monster up here. Leonne is a serious upgrade from what we have now: you’ll see what I mean next year.

    I didn’t read the Terry Baker / Jason Garrett article, Sorry !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a good one.

  28. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Canadian Redbird…thanx for your reply. Please refer to Darren’s Dec 18th blog, the Saints Aftermath and look for my comments which are near the end. As a CFL fan you will probably find them interesting and a bit surprising.

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