Humphries, Nkemdiche and Year 2

Posted by Darren Urban on February 22, 2017 – 9:50 am

D.J. Humphries’ rookie year was a washout. He knew that, even if it made sense he needed to mature both physically and mentally when it came to playing in the NFL. His second year, he was a starter all season (until he suffered a concussion late in the season) and definitely had improvement, to the point where Humphries is the early choice to play left tackle this season. He’s anxious to build on that in 2017, which was underscored by his tweet today:

The work needed, and Humphries’ step forward in his second year, made me think of Robert Nkemdiche.

Like Humphries, Nkemdiche’s rookie season was a washout. Nkemdiche was actually active for a handful of games (unlike Humphries) but he didn’t make an impact. He knew, as did his coaches, that he hadn’t been ready for the NFL. That, according to both Nkemdiche and his coaches, improved near the end of the season. Recently, when talking about his breakout choices for 2017, General Manager Steve Keim brought up Nkemdiche. Make no mistake — the Cardinals will need Nkemdiche to take at the very least a Humphries-like step forward in his second year. Calais Campbell very well could leave as a free agent, and besides, Nkemdiche was a first-round pick — you have to have your first-round picks have significant development year to year.

It’s an important offseason not only for the Cardinals (who could have some significant defensive changes) but for Nkemdiche.


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46 Responses to “Humphries, Nkemdiche and Year 2”

  1. By joe holst on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    3 things, (1) I wouldn’t count on Nkemdiche for too many snaps I have a hunch he Is injury prone. (2) a Calais Campbell replacement – Malik McDowell from Michigan State, 2nd round, Big- 6 Ft 6 inch, Mike Mayock #3 ranking .. (3) Trade down in draft and acquire picks to get younger, more help on special teams, and cheap $$$$, all 3 or major needs for Cards,

  2. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Not related, but man, I am SOOOO glad Palmer is back this year. And for many reasons. But among them are knowing that Romo is already looking for a new team AND now the news that the Bears are shopping Cutler. Those are two QB’s I want NO part of right now. We need a REAL future at QB – when Palmer is done – and neither of those two guys is it.

    I’m actually hoping Palmer might be around again in 2018 but one season at a time.

  3. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Well, I guess we will find out soon what kind of character this Nkemdiche kid has. For all of the opportunity there is to scout / screen players before the draft, I gotta say I am REAL un-happy with our F/O that they didn’t see this coming. There were clearly issues with maturity and work ethic, in addition to whatever else kept him off the field for most of 2016 and my question is – how the hell did we NOT know about this?? Seems very un-likely this came out of left field. But….

    ….regardless, we will know very early on during this off-season if this kid is serious about being an NFL player. And if he’s not…..that was a first round pick VERY poorly spent.

  4. By Charley Shurtz on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Well, the big guy best get it together this year early or he will not stay a cardinal is my thought, Nkemdiche has the physical talent ut probably not the character to br in the NFL, not as a Cardinal away, the Oline must be better and if that happens scorring goes back up, winning goes up, losses on defense become less painful, but 2017 for the Cards is mostly keeping Palmer upright and giving him time to throw

  5. By Big Ken on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Time will tell for Nkemdiche. I think Campbell leaves. He’s looking for that one last contract, chance to make money. Gotta wish him well.

  6. By D on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Unless AZ drafts a WR or QB in Round 1, this will be the year that they may not be able to sit a kid for a year, especially if they have to draft a CB/S/RG/ILB in Round 1. The kid will need to be NFL ready.

  7. By JTDG on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Interesting concept;

    Who on the cardinals will have that breakout year?

    Jefferson broke out in 2016 but showed progress each year.
    John Brown broke out in 2015
    Golden broke out in 2016, so did David Johnson.
    Michael Floyd broke out in 2013

    So who will it be in 2017 ?

    Nkemdiche needs to – at worst, he needs to be a rotational guy you can count on.
    Boehm could step in and start at center since AQ is not signed.
    JJ Nelson looked poised at the end of the year to make a step forward.
    Harlen Miller showed some stuff as a FS in the last two games.
    Josh Mauro has flashed and may be able to step up into a starter role.
    Been waiting on Gunter to step up.
    I thought Olsen Pierre had a great preseason, can he take the next step?

    All interesting choices. I usually like to have something to point at and say, this is why I think this guy will take the next step. But my 2017 guy defies any logic, because I really can’t defend the choice.

    I just have a hunch that Troy Niklas will be that 2017 breakout guy for the cards. I have seen him block well and catch well, but never healthy. In fact, 3 years of injuries is a bad pattern. So, again, it isn’t a logical pick. But look for Troy Niklas to have a good year.

    So, who is your guy?

  8. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Charley –

    I would agree, that protection for Palmer is priority ONE this off-season. I really thought Mathis was going to be a great addition last year but that went south quickly and the hits just kept coming. I think Palmer was just “off” for a good bit of last season regardless of anything else. But it seemed like as the O-line played better later in the season, so did Palmer.

    We are not a SB contender if Palmer isn’t here. This team isn’t winning a SB in 2017 if Palmer isn’t kept in one piece AND playing near his best. And those things aren’t happening if the O-line isn’t solid and performing well. No avoiding the old adage that it all starts up front. So, let’s not roll into 2017 with an O-line that has question marks and below average players. Heck, I still don’t feel real good about Shipley, to be honest. He was OK last year. That’s about the best I can give him. You might need to be a little better than OK at center if you’re really serious about making a SB run.

  9. By lacardinalsfan on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Clowney come into the league struggling and labeled as lazy? Now he is dominating, sometimes it just takes some time for these kids to adjust their bodies to the daily grind that is the NFL. I am not giving up on Nkem any time soon.

  10. By shannon robinson on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    I’m standing with Mr. Nkemdiche. Please remember all those “feelings” we had with Darnell Docket. This guy was even given Docket’s same number! I say he plays like a Number One this season. Mostly I want to see him be that good! It’s great when a team respects its own history. So #90 is replacing, well, #90. I was frustrated often by Darnell, but he always rewarded us. I say Nkemdiche does it all this year. But I also hope JTDG is right because I want Troy to come through.

  11. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2017 | Reply

    lacardsfan –

    OK. I’m not giving up on Nkemdiche yet……but I am concerned about this kid. And it’s not his physical adjustment to the daily grind that is the NFL that has me worried – it’s his character, his mental game. BA and SK were quite open at certain points last year, expressing concerns about his work ethic and attitude. IMHO, those things can be much harder to change than your weight or your physical conditioning.

    We’ll see. It’s a man’s game when you get to the NFL. We’ll see if he is up to this or not. It will be a REAL shame to lose Campbell and THEN find out that Nkemdiche doesn’t have it, ya know? That’s a one-two punch we can’t have.

    Oh, Darnell Dockett, where have you gone???

  12. By texascard on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    DU. Enuf with the nkim kardasian is gonna be good soon crap

  13. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    texascard —

    RE: Nkemdiche

    Tell you what. I’ll do what I want to do, and you are welcome to read it or not.

  14. By Cards4Ever on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    All you people who are worried about his character don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. The kid is Japan right now studying martial arts to help his game inside the trenches. Learn about someone instead of just reading headlines.

  15. By JTDG on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    Alright Darren, Correct me if I am wrong or you think differently.

    From my understanding, the cards do not want to bring back DJ Swearinger. They are prepared to let him walk.

    Tony Jefferson wants 7.5 million a year and Keim is more locked in at 6 million. Therefore, the cards will let Jefferson test the market. They may still up there offer, but they are willing to risk losing him.

    The cards are prepared to let Minter walk and do not plan on resigning him.

    The cards would take Cooper back, only as depth, so the price must be right.

    They want Campbell back but don’t feel they can resign him.

    Jones will be franchised as we all know.

    The cards will target RG in FA.

    Kent Somers (sp) said the cards might be interested in Pierre Garcon at WR.

    CB is still a work in progress, which makes me wonder, with so many good CBs in this draft, that may be the route they choose.

    Whether it was Dansby, Foote, or a different vet, the cards like that vet in the middle. Look for the cards to grab a vet ILB (Lawrence Timmons???)

    The cards may very well draft a QB early this year.

  16. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Stuff

    — I think they want Jefferson over Swearinger. Not sure how much the thought process changes if Jefferson leaves, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Swearinger left too.
    — I don’t know any of the Jefferson money at this point and I’m not sure who would (regardless of who might be saying it). If Jefferson hits the market, I do not expect him to return.
    — I think they want to upgrade on Minter.
    — The price has to be right on almost all of these guys, including Cooper (and Minter, for that matter).
    — I think Campbell is going to get a lot more money that they want to spend on him at his age.
    — Yes, Jones is headed for the franchise tag.
    — I’ve felt all along interior OL makes the most sense as a FA target.
    — I would agree with Kent on Garcon, but again, what does he want? He has history with B.A. and likes B.A.
    — We’ll see on CB in the first round.
    — If Minter leaves, they’ll need one — unless they resign Sio Moore and that’s the vet we’re talking about.
    — I’ve said that all along.

  17. By Scott H on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    cards4ever –

    Yeah, let me quit my job so I can devote myself to knowing where Robert Nkemdiche is and what he is doing.

    Look, I hope whatever he is doing in Japan will help him become a better football player. We’ll see when the time comes.

    And speaking just for myself, I’m not reacting to any headlines – I’m basing my concerns on the reality that this kid played very little as a first round pick last season and his HC was openly expressing concerns about his dedication and attitude. As of right now, a certain level of concern seems justified.

  18. By JTDG on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply


    So, Chad Rueter of has a way too early 4 round mock draft. And yes, it is way too early to even know who will be around in round 3 or 4.

    But just for giggles, he has the cards taking;
    1. Deshone Kizer QB from ND
    2. Justin Evans Safety from Texas A&M
    3. Zay Jones WR from East Carolina
    4. Jeremy Cutrer CB from Middle Tenn.

    OK, I would prefer a CB in round 2 and a safety in round 4, but regardless, this would seem to be a dream draft for the cards with the direction they are looking in FA.


  19. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: mock

    You know me. I don’t know many draft names at this point. Too early in the process, and free agency tends to change perspectives. Position-wise, I could see it, sure.

  20. By mitchaz on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    Thumbs up to JTDG and Darren on the Cardinals’ “Stuff”—here are my 2 cents:

    * Just because the Cardinals say they are making re-signing Tony Jefferson a top priority, doesn’t mean that they don’t want D.J. Swearinger back. Sometimes I think that BASK want to give the fans the impression that they are doing everything they can to re-sign the most popular UFAs — but, in reality, they know that CC and TJ want to see who shows them the love — and in all likelihood are gone.

    * Swearinger makes better sense because he can play both safety spots — Tyrann Mathieu is moving back to SS and neither Tyvon Branch (who should be traded or released), nor Tony Jefferson can play FS. BASK raved about Swearinger’s work ethic and long hours of film study. I strongly believe that while the impression is that TJ their top priority, DJ is their most likely FS to re-sign.

    * Sio Moore was impressive in his short stint, but a three game stretch is a small sample size. They should re-sign him, but if he thinks his 3 game stretch warrants much more than the vet minimum plus incentives, then look elsewhere.

    * In this draft with Reuben Foster and Haason Reddick on the board in Round 1 and with Zach Cunningham, Jarrad Davis, Anthony Walker and Raekwon McMillan possibly on the board at #45, it would be wise to let Minter test the market.

    * If Minter signs elsewhere and the draft doesn’t go the Cardinals’ way at LB, could we see the return of Karlos Dansby on another one year prove it deal?

    * The two biggest signings in FA for the Cardinals, imo, would be Kevin Zeitler (or Larry Warford or T.J. Lang) at RB and Logan Ryan at CB. Patching the two biggest holes would be huge for the Cardinals. I know you are very high on Zeitler, JTDG. Same here. And I am equally high on Logan Ryan because the Cardinals’ defense needs to get more physical and Ryan can press, cover and tackle with aggression.

    * Pierre Garcon would be a nifty fit in BA’s offense. Signing him to a 2-3 year year deal would help us transition into the post-Fitz era.

    * The UFA DE I would like to see the Cardinals sign (with CC gone) is Lawrence Guy (6-4, 305, 7, Arizona St.). Made to order in CC’s spot.

    * Question for the both of you and for everyone—do you envision a scenario where the Cardinals sign an edge rusher in FA like Mario Addison or Andre Branch and then try to trade Chandler Jones (for a 2017 2nd rounder and a 4th in 2018) to avoid having to pay $15.4M on the cap—that is if Jones’ agent insists on Olivier Vernon money?

  21. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    Mitch —

    RE: Chandler Jones

    I feel pretty confident CJones will play in Arizona in 2017. Beyond that, we will see.

  22. By clssylssy on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    Yeah, I have to agree you seem little harsh when it comes to Robert N. Looking at our draft history in recent years, most of Keim’s picks have been projects that have been late bloomers. Few have been what would be impact players from the start except for maybe Honey Badger & John Brown.
    From JTDG’s assessment (usually spoton) and Darren’s comments about not wanting to pay our core players market price, I’m not optomistic that Keim’s idea of “aggressive” is going to be any different than last year and we know how that turned out.
    I notice we will be playing the Cowboys for the HOF game, which w/o our defense will be a humiliating way for Kurt Warner to go into the Hall. I really can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to bring back Swearinger & the guys who have built chemistry over somebody else’s rejects–unless there is a lack of belief in the coaching staff & they want to leave (which is kinda what it sounds like). JTDG has shown it’s possible to resign everybody if there is really a desire to do so.

  23. By D on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG and Darren

    Keep G. Hodges, ILB from SF in mind for a free agent addition. He would be an upgrade over Minter and Moore and less expensive. He is only 26 and can cover better than Minter and Moore. 2016 stats: 83 tackles, 3 sacks, 1FF, 2Int. A perfect under the radar Keim free agent signing.

  24. By mitchaz on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    Good points, clssylssy.

  25. By JTDG on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply


    If I am GM, Jones would be signed to Vernon money and in the books.

    There is no situation that I trade Chandler Jones. Chandler Jones made everyone better.

    I can’t see Steve Keim trading or letting Jones go. Remember, he traded a 2nd rounder last year away to get him. He performed well. It would be a complete disaster to not keep Jones.

    I know nationally and local radio has said the cards may let ones go and then sign everyone else with the money. I really do not get that logic.

    I really wish Keim would get a deal done and avoid tagging him. Pushing money into 2018 would help with FAs this year.

    As for losing the other FAs;

    Swearinger and Jefferson;
    I thought Jefferson was the MVP for most of the year. But if Badger is back, you would hope he can make the same kinds of plays from SS. As for FS, Keim brought in Branch and he is going with him. It is what it is.

    The cards have Mauro, Nkemdiche, Gunter, and Ed Stinson all brought in to be the DEs for the cards. This is why they were brought in, so Campbell would walk at the end of his contract. That is why they didn’t extend and lower his cap number last year. With those 4 not stepping up, it puts the stress of Campbell walking at a 10. But, as Darren has said multiple times, they have a 3 year plan and this is when Campbell walks.

    Just was never good enough. Bad in coverage and average in the run game at best. Time to move on.

    As for QB, I think Keim is learning from the past;.
    Looking back, in 2008, the cards had a shot at drafting Flacco and passed. Instead, they grabbed a CB in DRC who helped them go to the superbowl.

    The problem was, in 2009 and 2010, there were no QBs to pick in the draft. When Warner left after 2009, the team had no one to step in in 2010. Of course, they passed on QBs in 2011 and 2012 which got everyone fired.

    I think if Deshone Kizer and Teez Tabor are there at #13, Keim is taking Kizer.
    Hard to fault him, but I still take DRC in 2008. I will take a superbowl and a year without a QB over having a huge hole at CB and missing the superbowl.
    But I get it. It is logical. In fact, it is probably the right move to take the QB.

  26. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Jones

    Hypothetical — and I don’t know any of this, I am speculating — but what if Jones is asking for Von Miller money/contract? Would you feel the same?

  27. By JTDG on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply


    We all know it is about the structure.

    Miller got 6 yrs / 114 million with 17 million bonus and 70 million guaranteed.

    Examining it closer, Miller gets his guaranteed money in the first 3 years. In year 4, Miller can be released, saving the team 14 million in cap space. If you look at the contract, Miller is never seeing those last two years.

    So, if you are asking me, would I structure something that gave the cards cap relief in 2017 to sign other players, and then I could release the player after 3 years and get huge cap relief again?

    Yes, I would do it.

    Remember, he can be your QB money if you go with a rookie QB for 4 years before you have to change the structure.

  28. By Darren Urban on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Jones

    Not quite what I was asking. What I’m asking is, do you pay Jones the same as Miller? Jones has been good. He has not been Miller good. You are paying him top of the food chain?

    Let’s say Markus Golden outsacks Jones again next year. He’s going to ask for as much or more then. What do you do then? Or other players? This doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

  29. By mitchaz on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply


    It’s great to see you offering more opinions and questions than usual. It must be a little tricky being so close to the organization—but thanks to you, your blog here has become the classiest and the most insightful daily discussion about our beloved Birdgang.

    To be honest with you, JTDG and the board, I do not think Chandler Jones deserves Vernon money. Neither did Vernon—so that’s a problem too. Jones was good at times last year, but he slumped just when the team needed to push to make the playoffs—and like the rest of the team, he came alive again the last two weeks when the playoff were out of reach.

    This is exactly what the Pats’ fans experienced with Jones. Many sacks came in junk time and yet, in big games, he was quiet.

    Darren, your point about Markus Golden is spot-on. Golden is better, hungrier and more consistent…and clutch.

    So, I guess it comes back to your original thought that Jones will play this year on the $15.4M (yikes) f-tag…and after that, who knows?

    The biggest question now is—can the Cardinals go far this season paying CP, LF and CJones a combined $55.4M on the cap (close to 1/3 of the entire cap on 3 players???—add in Peterson and Veldheer and were talking close to $80M on 5 players—over half the cap with 48 other players to pay.

  30. By JTDG on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply


    I doubt he wants Miller type money, First, I would reason with them and show stats/tape/ect. I think you can find a happy medium. But lets say he wants a Von Miller deal.

    Each team has their challenges. For instance, the colts with Andrew Luck, would not be able to pay a Chandler Jones “Von Miller” type money. Luck is making a lion share.

    But we are specifically talking about the cardinals who in 2018 will have 75 million plus cap room. With proper releases, could have over 100 million.

    So, I would pay Jones “miller type money” with the right structure.

    We are looking at 70 million dollars really.
    That is what is guaranteed. It has nothing to do with 116 million.
    If he got 6 years and a 20 million dollar bonus, that bonus is spread over 6 years, making his bonus hit at 3.3. So, you give him 4 million in 2017, he accounts for 7.3 million.
    But you have paid him 24 of the 70 million.
    In 2018 and 2019, you give him 20 million, sure it is a big cap hit, but without Palmer and Fitz, who else is taking that hit?
    Golden and DJ are up in 2019.

    Lets say Golden and DJ are people you need to keep, structure their deals so the cap numbers don’t come into play till 2020 with bonuses and at that point, like Miller, you can release Jones and afford their salaries.

    But lets remember also, there are other players whose salaries will drop off too. I think the Badger contract was way out of line. That is a target in 2018 or 19 imo.

    Also, If you took say, Kizer in the draft in round 1 (which is why round 1 QBs are better than round 2 QBs) you have till 2022 to give them a new deal, which gives you time to have the cap straighten out. If you wait till 2018 draft, you have till 2023.

    You are right, nothing happens in a vacuum which is why you can’t look at Jones contract so black and white when comparing it to Miller. It is a 3 year deal, with a bonus to make 2017 lower and covers the guarantees if they are like Vernon (40 million) My suggestion of Jones (53 million) or Von Miller (70 Million).

    So, again, if it is structured right, it really doesn’t matter if he gets Vernon money or Miller money, you can pay a bunch for 3 years and then release him before his contract affects the rest of the cap, with relatively small dead money hits.

  31. By Charley Shurtz on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    i still here little or no input from anyone in the area of draft or free agency discussing the greatest need if Caarson and Larry are to be playing in febuary of 2018, the Oline needs repaired or we do nothing different from 2016

  32. By Big Ken on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    RE: Stuff Darren you’re spot on. RE: Garcon Too much money and too little production over his career, not coming to AZ. RE: Kizer he’s gonna be there in the 4th round who care’s.

  33. By clssylssy on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    I’m not so sure C Jones isn’t overrated & wasn’t influenced and inspired by the players around him , Calais and Marqus. I am a little concerned that once he gets comfortable with a cushy big contract, he’ll lose his motivation–I think Billichick was willing to cut him loose for a reason. Sacrificing Calais, the only intimidating player we have on the D-line at 6’7, so we can roll the dice & hope we are getting a consistently high quality player, makes me apprehesive.
    I find it very discouraging that our front office seems so focused on the offense, that they are willing to sacrifice some of the best talent we have, when it is obvious that everyone else is building up killer defenses. I have a feeling that Calais will get a ring before Larry.

  34. By Jamessamuels1932 on Feb 23, 2017 | Reply

    REWIND……..December 2015…… Cardinals sign Bethel to a 3yr/15mil contract to play opposite Peterson. April 2016…..Bethel fractured his foot and had surgery and missed all ota’s and summer practices. August 2016…..Bethel re injured his foot while training. December 2016…..Bethel said his foot was back again and in games 16 and 17 (1pick six and 4 passes def. and allowing only 35 yards in 1 game) ProFootballFocus ranked him as one of the top corners in the league in those 2 games.Now..February 2017…..The…

  35. By Big Ken on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply

    Clssylssy I agree with your opinion of C Jones. I think the team is also not totally sold on him. They were very quick to franchise tag him. Tie him up for a year to get an extended look at him? Extend his contract if he proves he’ll be a cornerstone on defense.

  36. By Darren Urban on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Chandler Jones

    I feel confident in saying the Cardinals would sign Jones long-term if they could get a deal done. They don’t need more of a look.

  37. By JTDG on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply


    Bethel was playing the slot. You play the slot differently than playing outside. You get different receivers inside than outside.
    With that being said, Bethel did play very well in those 2 games.

    But in 2015, he was not good regardless of the propaganda you hear. He should have never been paid that contract and should have never been counted on as our CB opposite Peterson. Huge mistake.

    2017, why make the same mistake? I would keep him (depending on what happens in FA and draft) because, Badger is playing the slot and he has never played 16 game in a season. So, he is insurance (unless you sign and draft CBs)

    Released, he would save 4 million in cap space. But in no way would I dub him the other CB.

  38. By JTDG on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply

    Charley Shurtz,

    Offensive Lineman;

    Not sure what you mean?

    I have repeatedly said I would sign Kevin Zeitler, who is one of the best RGs in football.

    I also believe I would draft Forest Lamp in round one to be the center unless Mike Williams (WR) or Deshone Kizer (QB) are there.

    If I took Kizer, I would look at Nick Mangold at center, who will be released because of salary from the Jets. Heck, I would probably sign Mangold either way.

    If you have an oline of Humphries, Iupati, Mangold, Zeitler, and Veldheer, With Lamp, Boehm and Wetzel in relief, I am pretty sure Palmer is standing upright in 2017.

  39. By JTDG on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply

    Those against signing Jones;

    Lets remember, the cards went from one of the worst teams at getting to the QB to one of the best with everyone the same except Jones.

    Are you really going to tell me it was everyone else helping Jones and not the other way around?

    As for Golden, why have one pass rusher when you can have two? Without Jones, you would see double teams and backs helping with Golden and no one else getting home.

    I think many of you underestimate Chandler Jones’s addition to this team.

  40. By JTDG on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply


    Salary of Fitz, Palmer, jones, ect;

    It works in 2017. If they tag Jones, it hurts a bit, but you can still sign FA with bonus structures pushing salaries into 2018 and 2019.

    The cards have 70 million in 2018. The will have an additional 14 million if Palmer retires. Now we are at 84 million.

    Iupati and Veldheer both may be released next year, depending on the draft in 2017 and 2018. If both released, you would have another 13 million boosting the cap space to an estimated 97 million. Then you have Bethel , who would free up another 4 million, giving the cards 101 million dollars in cap money.

    So, no, it is not an issue that a few players count as a huge part of the cap in 2017.
    But you can see, finding a CB and RG in FA who can be cornerstones for the next 4 years sure could help this team and be affordable in 2018.
    You may see another olineman drafted in 2017 to play LG in 2018. Might wait till 2018 to find that RT.

    So, a draft of Kizer, Feeney, as our first two picks would not surprise me. Neither would a draft of Lamp and Mahomes as 1-2.

  41. By clssylssy on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply

    What I said was that I was apprehensive about Jones, but,in part, that is because it seems that he didn’t seem to feel he needed to make a good impression on his new team, and wasn’t all that in our early games. He, as you may recall, had some off field issues that were not as serious as they were immature but enough of a red flag that Bellichick traded him. Signing him to a big contract that leaves us holding the bag again is what really worries me as this team has a history of making costly mistakes and I guess I have more faith in BB’s ability to evaluate talent than BASK.
    You made an excellent point about the value of a dual threat pass rush or better yet, a triple threat w a 6’7 monster lineman, Calais Campbell.
    Originally, I think Mr. Bidwil said he wanted to build on what we have , just plugging holes and building depth, which you showed is possible.
    This just feels a little desperate but as Darren pointed out, it’s all but a done deal, so we can just hold our breath.

  42. By Scott H on Feb 24, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    Backing up to one of your previous responses to JTDG…..damn, man, it doesn’t sound like you are optimistic about Campbell OR Jefferson OR Swearinger being here next year! OK, maybe for you, it might end up being an either-or thing with Jefferson and Swearinger. But you really think they will / could lose all three???

    Wow….that’s a lot of hits for a defense that we are counting on to be SB-caliber.

    Campbell has always been a favorite, so my heart makes him the one guy of the 3 who’s return I wish for most. But with Campbell still playing as he is, my head is struggling with this, too. He’s 30? I think Campbell still has two very good years left in him, at least. But his being 30….and maybe thinking in terms of this being his last chance to cash in on a big FA deal…..yeah, maybe it just doesn’t work.

    Swearinger was such a consistent play-maker for this team last year, I REALLY don’t want to see him go, either.

    Even if we lose 2 of these 3, we are obviously counting on the return of the TRUE Honey Badger and a significant contribution from Nkemdiche. Kinda on shaky ground with both. The HB just hasn’t been able to sustain for long periods and Nkemdiche is just one huge question mark until proven otherwise.

  43. By JTDG on Feb 25, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    I would be pretty sure at this point, if they are not signed, there must be a difference in worth. Therefore, I am confident in saying Jefferson, Swearinger, and Campbell will not be in AZ Cardinal uniforms.

    “we are obviously counting on the return of the TRUE Honey Badger and a significant contribution from Nkemdiche. Kinda on shaky ground with both. ”

    I think you will be very happy with Badger as I see him coming out and playing so well, you won’t miss Jefferson. But, and it is a huge but, can he do it for 16 games, or even 13 games and be around for playoffs? Remember, he has started 41 out of 64 games. That 12.5 million a year contract is in question if he goes down again.

    Nkemdiche ? Well, he has to decide if he likes sitting or getting pushed around on the field, when he plays. It is an attitude. A decision that Arians can’t make for him. He looked overmatched in the games he played, so if he wants to do well in 2017, he better be preparing all offseason.

  44. By Scott H on Feb 25, 2017 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    RE: Jones

    The fact that the Pats were willing to part ways with Jones did not concern me in the least. That is the Patriot way. They don’t sign players like Jones to blockbuster deals. They let them go. OR, in this case, they trade them and get draft picks in return. Because that organization is so confident in their system and their way of doing things that they KNOW they can part ways with players like Chandler Jones and they will be alright. And the fact that they play in the AFC title game every year and the SB more often than not tells you that they are absolutely right.

    The Patriots have it down cold. So, them being willing to split from Jones said nothing ( to me, anyway ) that caused me to look for red flags. He’s a heck of a player. And he’s gonna be a heck of a player anywhere he goes. But ya know what? The Patriots don’t need him to be great. They move on, they plug in somebody else, and they just keep rolling.

    The only player they truly seem to NEED is Mr Brady. The day that HE retires is the day their reign of terror will finally be over. I really think Brady and BB will go out together. And when they do, the Pats will be mortal once again. And, man, won’t that be strange??? They’ve been this unstoppable force for so long, I can’t remember the last time they WERE mortal.

  45. By Scott H on Feb 26, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Hey, tell me right now that the REAL HB will be back for opening day and will still be with us come January, and…..I say Tony WHO?? But as you know, that seems un-likely. Tough spot for the Cardinals.

    Of those 3 players – and because Campbell might seem to be the most un-likely of them to be here next year – Swearinger might be the guy I most hope is back with us for 2017.

  46. By Steve88 on Feb 27, 2017 | Reply


    Listen, Forrest Lamp is an outstanding prospect according to a lot of scouting services. BUT he was a tackle in college that projects to be a guard in the NFL.
    No one is saying that he will be a center, no one.
    I am not sold on Clemson’s Mike Williams, although he does a great job high pointing the ball and seems to have great athleticism I would not draft him.
    However, if we come out of this draft with DeShone Kizer……..that would, potentially, be a great thing!

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