For what it’s worth in June, offensive edition

Posted by Darren Urban on June 23, 2017 – 11:40 am

With about a month left before training camp (already?!?), it’s time to take a look at who I think the offensive starters will be come Sept. 10, when the Cardinals play the Lions in Detroit to begin the regular season. Could a training camp signing change things? Sure. I see more of a chance of that defensively than offensively.

My defensive thoughts are here. And after that, the blog posts will slow. Time off coming.

QB – Carson Palmer. You can’t get anywhere without a quarterback. Palmer finished strong in 2016. He’s a year older, yes, and no one is calling him a top-five QB. But he’s still very good when the offense functions well, and when his receivers don’t let him down.

RB – David Johnson. MVP-type player. Is he going to get 100 scrimmage yards every game? Maybe not, but he’s certainly going to have the opportunity. With his skills, and health, I’m not ruling out a 1,000-1,000 season.

WR – Larry Fitzgerald. After Bruce Arians had said more than once Fitz’s 100-catch days were behind him, Fitz has had two straight 100-catch seasons. Won’t be surprised to see him do it again. The question will be, is this his last season?

WR – Smokey Brown. He says he’s healthy. The Cards need him to be. Rookie Chad Williams may have an intriguing future, but this year, the Cardinals need the I-can-get-1,000-yards John Brown.

TE – Jermaine Gresham. So many have questioned his new large contract. But he’s been the best tight end the Cards have had since he showed up, and he does deliver some intangibles on the field this team can use.

TE – Troy Niklas. It’s a leap, yes, to assume Niklas will stay healthy. But every time, in the brief times, Niklas has been on the field, they like what he has brought. He’s not going to be a big pass-catcher. But he can block and he’ll play an important role – again, if he’s on the field.

LT – D.J. Humphries. He’s better suited for the left side. It’s tough for Jared Veldheer, but given ages and the future, this was all but predetermined when Humphries was drafted.

LG – Mike Iupati. Wasn’t as good in 2016 as he was in 2015, but I expect a rally. It’s important too – given his salary going forward, his age and the drafting of Dorian Johnson, the spotlight will be bright.

C – A.Q. Shipley. Showed the Cardinals he could start in this league. No reason to think he won’t again.

RG – Evan Boehm. I don’t see Johnson jumping into this job. Not yet. This is probably the second-most likely spot Keim could grab a vet, behind only No. 2 cornerback. But as it stands, Boehm is probably going to be out there.

RT – Jared Veldheer. Veldheer didn’t want to move from left to right tackle, but he did for the good of the team. Is there a transition to be made? Yes. Somehow, I don’t have much concern that Veldheer will make it work successfully.

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29 Responses to “For what it’s worth in June, offensive edition”

  1. By Mike Black on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    I will

  2. By Scott H on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    Mike Black –

    Interesting perspective…..I must say, I’m not sure where I stand on that.

  3. By joe holst on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    I think smokey is going to have health issues

  4. By jeffcardinalfan on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    when I watch game tapes over and over I see Gresham getting stupid penalties and dropping easy catches…if carson likes him so much why doesn’t he have 60-80 catches and why is he not a beast in the red zone?

    however, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS IF CARSON IS NOT PROTECTED!!! Ok Humphries will be decent at lt-we hope…Shipley is average but ok…lupati should be better this year-we hope…valdheer will be fine at rt…as a longtime mizzou fan I saw every game Boehm played at mizzou…hes a great kid, hardworking but inmho he is not physical enough to play guard-I hope im wromg.

  5. By shooter28 on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    AZ is going to have both a loaded WR Core and Offensive Line this next year, with everyone healthy up front along the offensive line AZ should have a top 10 O-Line & they now have excellent back-up linemen, the back bench is loaded with guys who would start on most other teams as Keim wants to ensure no matter what Palmer is protected. AZ will have an extremely stout interior line with one of the best OT Duo’s in the NFL. Once he moved back to his natural position on the left side at LT, 6″5 now 320pd DJ Humphries was playing at a border-line elite level allowing 0 sacks n just 3 pressures @ LT & Pro Football Focus gave him a 93.3 pass blocking efficiency grade and was one of the top run blocking OTs in the NFL. Still very, very young just turning 23, DJ Humphries future is very, very bright as he has All-Pro caliber LT Talent, he just needs to keep on working on his game and stay hungry.

  6. By shannon robinson on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    I have to remember seeing Iupati go down in Seattle and then miraculously he appears in the locker room after the game (wanted to get on that plane), but then he started practicing. and then he started the next game. That’s what Islanders do. He’s so tough that his mean streak doesn’t show. J. Veldheer is leading the O-Line room and that’s all I need to know. The Cards have promised us a great O-Line and they have never given up including the moment that Cooper broke his leg. The Front Office and Coaches are undeterred and their choices in personnel are getting better every year. I like that T-Rex and I’m glad BA stood by him too. Finally, I got to say that Mr. Gresham is a huge cog in this offense and there’s a lot of reasons why not only Palmer values him. Troy is benefiting from bringing Gresham back. Thank you Darren, head to the Beach!

  7. By Scott H on Jun 23, 2017 | Reply

    We’ve seen Carson Palmer under pressure and we’ve seen Carson Palmer when he is well protected. The difference is vast. And it means everything to how this offense goes this year. Which is to say, the O-line means everything to how our offense goes this year. It’s not much more complicated than that. The talent is all there at the skill positions….just a matter of how Palmer is dealing the cards.

    I really wonder if Smokey is our best #2 WR. Yeah, he CAN be….the talent is there. But his size worries me. And the fact that there have already been some hamstring “issues” makes me cringe a bit. For a WR who’s game is so much about speed….well, it’s no good when you’re limited. I love the kid and I want to see him have his best year ever. But I kinda wonder if he is going to be one of those players who just never gets there because there is always a nagging injury of some kind. I understand why he is #2 on the depth chart right now. He should be. But….

    Jaron is…..well, we have yet to see what he can really do. But I sense that he may have the overall talent to be the 2nd best WR on this team. If HE can stay healthy. It’s put up or shut up time for him. Floyd is gone and the opportunity for him is there. If he doesn’t step up this year….we probably move on.

    And Nelson was coming on SO strong down the stretch last year. Clearly, Palmer has a lot of confidence in him. That helps. If he picks up where he left off last year….watch out. But I worry about him taking a lot of hits.

    Gresham….seems like he should be seeing more opportunities, and I hope he gets them. I think with our O-line issues last year, he was probably helping with protection a lot of the time. But 60-80 catches? For the TE? On THIS team?? Forget it. When was the last time you saw that kind of production from a Cardinals TE??? That is not gonna happen. BUT if he is healthy and the O-line is holding up – and with his size – I agree that he should be a bigger red-zone go-to guy.

    Some may see this offense as going through DJ at this point but I still say Palmer has to play at his near best for this to fly. DJ can’t really be asked to do much more than he did last year and we were still a lack-luster 7-9. DJ can’t carry the team if Palmer is not playing well.

    And if HE stays healthy, I think Fitz absolutely goes over 100 catches again this year. Why wouldn’t he?? He’s still the best WR on the team, in a class by himself, and the targets are going to be there. All he has to do is bring them in. And I hear he’s pretty good at that!

    I think this side of the ball has to be the engine that drives this team this year. With good health, we have the horses. Injuries to a few key players will be hard to over-come…would probably put us on the fringes of the wildcard race. And that has usually proven to be a hard way to go. As always, for any team, winning the division is critical. Not easy when you share a division with the Seahawks.

  8. By mitchaz on Jun 24, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, JTDG, Clssy, Scott, et al:

    While I understand that BA wants to give more responsibility to Harold Goodwin by having him do much of the coordination and having him call the vast majority of the plays in pre-season, I wonder whether it would be better for BA and the offense for BA to take greater command and a more hands-on approach this pre-season.

    The offense was not crisp last year —forget the last two games, they were meaningless by then. The offense stacked sluggish, dreadfully slow 1st quarter starts week after week and were not very effective coming out of the locker room at half-time either. I think it is a cop-out to blame so much of that on injuries.

    What are your thoughts on that?

  9. By Joe Rassam on Jun 24, 2017 | Reply

    The OL is the most troubling part of the offense to me, followed by Carson’s age at QB. This offense is in transition.

  10. By Big Ken on Jun 24, 2017 | Reply

    I like Boehm at right guard. I think Iupati is a cap casualty after this season and they work Johnson into the O-line (if not sooner). I don’t see any o-line vet being picked up.

  11. By Scott H on Jun 25, 2017 | Reply

    jeffcardinalfan –

    Man, don’t ya love it? You did nothing more than state an honest opinion ( about the O-line, the need to protect Palmer )….nothing but quite simple logic as far as the NFL goes….nothing could hold more true as far as this team goes….and you get all these thumbs downs.

    Honestly, it makes me wonder.

  12. By Scott H on Jun 25, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    Well, I couldn’t agree more about the offense being sluggish last season. Yes, it was. Consistently. How many games into the season were we before we scored on an opening drive???? When you consider how explosive this offense was in 2015 and that we basically had all the same players on the field in 2016…..yeah, it wasn’t making sense.

    Have already said many times, I was faulting Palmer for much of that early on. He was just not playing well. Never mind WHY – he just wasn’t. I wondered about the finger thing, but….it wasn’t being substantiated by anyone, so I let that go. Was he THAT affected by the injuries on the O-line? Who’s to say, but….frankly, I was hoping not. A top tier QB has to be able to deal with that. It’s not like he was getting pummeled every week.

    The VERY strange and VERY obvious disappearance of Floyd was a factor. I mean, the man was hiding in plain sight – there, physically, but not really there at all.

    BUT Floyd was not an injury. And I agree that injuries are a cop-out. Yes, they WERE part of the problem, but…..there was something else….just some kind of a hangover that never went away.

    Not sure if who is calling the plays had anything to do with it or if making changes there solves the problem. But I would not mind if Arians were taking a more hands-on approach this year, from this very moment forward.

  13. By faster on Jun 25, 2017 | Reply

    defense, i expect williams to play better this year, and i hope it will be enough to end the cb2 discussion.

    and then there is frostee. the proverbial bread and butter player, i wlii enjoy his last seasons (yes, i hope he is able to play one more, the same for carlos). you need stars to winn games, but you need deepth, and frostees, to win championships.

    offense, brown(s) and nicklas i see as question marks, and i hope one of the fa keim is hiding adds deepth at te. and the whole line makes me edgy, they could klick and be one of the best, but they could also missfire. fingers crossing.

    darren, you want to take time off, without commenting on the most important part of the team, lol, the special teams? or do you need some time off, to think about them?

    anyhow, enjoy your well earned time off (and a nice suntan).

  14. By clssylssy on Jun 26, 2017 | Reply

    Scott, Mitchaz, others…
    The elephant in the room that nobody wants to fault for last years woes was the coaching, IMO. It’s not that we didn’t have talent but sometimes it’s how the talent is deployed and the plays being called…just saying. There was speculation in the summer when BA had to be rushed to the hospital that he wasn’t feeling well, he had a personall family loss and never seemed to be his “old self”. He was calling players out in the press and throwing them under the bus which, I think, lost him the locker room. The abrupt departure of Stump Mitchell certainly would seem to raise questions. Hopefully, things have smoothed out and he’s back on track.
    We have injuries every year, they are a part of football and a cop-out as excuses go,bc a good GM has planned for such and has kept his eye on the ball for knowing for knowing the status of out-of-work players.
    We haven’t had a really strong 0-line in the twenty yearsplus, I have been a Cards fan (which blows me away). There seems to be a lack of understanding about the importance of the position of Center and the chemistry w the QB, but I think we could have benefitted from a Center like Alex Mack or Nick Mangold. We drafted Boehm as a Center bc he has the IQ, but Palmer is comfortable with AQ, so we get Boehm at RG because he’s on the payroll??? Like another fan pointed out, I’m not sure he’s physical enough to carry the responsibility for being Carson’s chief line of defense.
    And, I’m not buying into making Floyd the scapegoat for all our woes in the receiver room–a good coach stays on top of the status of his players on and off the field, so while Floyd was having his issues, so were a number of others. Smokey had been missing catches long before he was diagnosed, etc. IMO, we still don’t have a legit #2 receiver, but hopefully that too will change in the next month.
    I agree with you totally, that Arians needs to take a more hands-on approach if we are to have any kind of playoff hopes, and his legacy can be built on a successful season.

  15. By mitchaz on Jun 27, 2017 | Reply

    When Steve Keim was promoted to GM in 2012, he indicated that his roster building philosophy revolves around a succession of 3 year plans.

    If one looks at Keim’s first three years as GM, his 3 year plan came to fruition, as in year 3 the Cardinals found themselves atop the NFC West and entered the Lombardi Trophy chase as the #2 seed in the NFC. As we know, the Cardinals’ 2015 season ended on a 49-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game.

    In an April 10, 2015 article on the Cardinals’ website, Darren wrote: “There is a constantly evolving three-year plan, with analytics and the salary cap crunched to see what makes the most sense for each signing.”

    While last year’s 7-8-1 disappointment may have seemed a non sequitur…Keim was already starting to flip the roster in drawing up his blueprint for his 2nd 3 year plan. The Cardinals did not make the playoffs in Keim’s first year, but did in years 2 and 3. This is what Keim is aiming for again — the playoffs in 2017 (with the hope of going as far as they can) and a run for the Lombardi Trophy in 2018.

    Put in this context, the fact that the Cardinals had 20 UFAs this off-season (most of which they did not re-sign) coupled with Keim’s passive aggressiveness in free agent market begins to make better sense. As does his intention to amass as many 2018 NFL Draft compensatory picks as he possibly could. It appears that the Cardinals will receive 4 compensatory picks…one in Round 3 and three in rounds 4-6.

    While we are already seeing a vastly different roster than the one two years ago, next year’s roster could be drastically different, as once again close to 20 current Cardinals will become free agents following this season, and some very important 2018 roster decisions will be made on the highest paid veterans:

    QB Carson Palmer 2018 Cap: $20.6M 2018 Dead Money: $6.6M 2018 Cap Savings: $14M

    S Tyrann Mathieu 2018 Cap: $14.9M 2018 Dead Money: $4.9M 2018 Cap Savings: $9.9M

    T Jared Veldheer 2018 Cap: $10.3M 2018 Dead Money: $3.3M 2018 Cap Savings: $7.0M

    G Mike Iupati 2018 Cap: $9.7M 2018 Dead Money: $3.4M 2018 Cap Savings: $6.3M

    LB Deone Bucannon 2018 Cap: $8.7M 2018 Dead Money: $0 2018 Cap Savings: $8.7M

    Whenever the cap savings is significantly more than the dead money, this is where GMs can make the decision to move on from veteran players if it makes the best sense for the team moving forward.

    Interestingly, and clearly by design, this off-season Keim addressed each one of these positions:

    QB Blaine Gabbert (for a one year prove it deal and the chance, if successful, to succeed Palmer in 2018)

    S Budda Baker 2018 Cap: $1.6M

    T Will Holden 2018 Cap: $622K

    G Dorian Johnson 2018 Cap: $719K

    LB Haason Reddick 2018 Cap: $3.1M

    In looking ahead to 2018–the Cardinals–as is with Palmer, Mathieu, Velldheer, Iupati and Bucannon’s salaries factored in—have a projected $29,581,448 in cap space.

    When one looks at the positions — here are the players signed beyond this year who would appear to be strong 2018 roster candidates:

    RB: David Johnson ($889K); T.J. Logan ($605K)
    WR: J.J. Nelson ($757K); Chad Williams ($758K)
    TE: Germaine Gresham ($7.25M)
    T: D.J. Humphries ($2.84M); Will Holden ($622K)
    G: Evan Boehm ($757K); Dorian Johnson ($719K)
    C: A.Q. Shipley ($2.1M); Cole Toner ($676K)
    NT: Rodney Gunter ($832K);
    DE: Robert Nkemdiche ($2.3M); Josh Mauro ($3.3M)
    OLB: Chandler Jones ($15.5M); Markus Golden ($1.2M)
    ILB: Haason Reddick ($3.1M); Scooby Wright ($590K)
    CB: Patrick Peterson ($14.9M); Brandon Williams ($824K); Elie Bouka ($630K)
    S: Budda Baker ($1.6M); Rudy Ford ($590K)
    K: Phil Dawson ($3.5M)

    If WR Larry Fitzgerald retires, his cap hit for 2018 is $4.85M.

    I would expect Steve Keim to try to be aggressive at the trading deadline one way or another this year. If he thinks this 2017 team can make a legitimate run toward the Super Bowl, he will try to add talent at need positions. This is why he has been creating $16M in cap space. If the Cardinals continue to struggle, Keim will do all he can to get assets in return at the trading deadline for some of the veterans on the roster, including Larry Fitzgerald. The sentiment would be to give Larry his last chance at a ring, if it can’t be in Arizona.

    With a significant amount of cap space, the 2018 off-season should be wild and wooly for the Cardinals. This will be year 3…and if Keim believes Carson Palmer is the best chance to win a ring, he will stick with him. If Palmer falters this year or keeps contemplating retiirement, Keim will go all-out in 2018 in trying to sign or trade for a QB.

    Regardless, next year’s approach should look much more assertive and because of it, the 2018 roster is likely to look very different than the 2015 team that made a run for the Super Bowl. I would guess that fewer than 10 players from the Cardinals 2015 roster will be on the Cardinals’ 2018 roster. That’s a 3 year flip of 43+ players.

  16. By W.H. Richters on Jun 27, 2017 | Reply

    I truly believe that as a whole, the team over-hyped the previous season’s production. They were hanging on that way too much. That was ended this year. I don’t see an all or nothing hype being promoted. I just see it being taught and worked with attitude leaning toward individual performance on an equal basis with team cohesiveness. Leave the coaches out of it. They can teach and have proven that. The players seem to be having a bit more fun this year without the All or Nothing moniker hanging over them. More smiles so far this year and I personally think that is one huge factor to success. These guys all have the talent to be where they are. They seem to have a better attitude as well. One thing each one I hear mentions is an individual “desire” to “be all they can be for the team/each other”. I think Carlos Dansby and the other “elders” on this team are keeping focused are keeping the “kids” focused on playing hard…………………..and having fun doing it together.

    JMHO. ………………….I think September will tell us what we have. I actually expect to be 4-0 and healthy. Have a good vacation guys. See ya in August.

  17. By mitchaz on Jun 28, 2017 | Reply


    I appreciate your candor about BA. It’s very hard to know what the players feel about him. Fitz seems to love him (tore BA’s rotator cuff celebrating the win in Seattle), and Fitz loves him even though Fitz does not like the role that BA gave him. Budda Baker just said that he wanted to play for the Cardinals because he watched All or Nothing and felt that he would love playing for such a “cool dude” coach.

    Yet, as you point out, Stump Mitchell’s defection to NY on a lateral move (RB coach) is a head-scratcher. But, Stump has to know that Todd Bowles and BA are best buds. So what gives? Again…it’s hard to know.

    I can only speak for myself when I say i do not trust BA because at this point I really can’t believe a word he says. I don’t find him all that entertaining anymore because of that. I loathed that he went public with “Knee Deep”, called the Rams a perennial 8-8 team (and then watched the Rams kick his team’s butt at U of P the next game) and that he called Justin Bethel (who was trying to play on a broken foot) “a failure in progress.”

    I also can’t stand his blind loyalty to some, like Amos Jones. Still can’t believe that with all-in Super Bowl aspirations BA promoted James Bettcher who had never coordinated a defense in his short career, and had never called the defensive plays…all this while DCs like Wade Phillips were available.

    Bettcher seems to be growing on the job (it takes time for anyone), but man, the way the defense imploded on the sidelines at Carolina in the NFC Championship game—and even though others thought Lamar Woodley was out of line to criticize Bettcher for changing the defense for the Carolina game (which is a rookie DC’s common mistake—trying to change horses in the middle of the stream, so to speak), I think Woodley accurately echoed the players’ discontent with the coaching staff.

    One of my biggest beefs about BA is that he lets players play soft — like Pat P., like Andre Ellington, like Ted Ginn. At least Justin Bethel tackles people and is as good a gunner as there is in the NFL…but Bethel gets called a “failure in progress” and yet BA just reiterated recently that “I trust Pat” as the punt returner?

    On the flip side, however, I think that BA’s “no risk-it, no biscuit” approach has helped the Cardinals learn how to win. It is exactly what the Cardinals needed following the dreadful end to Whiz’s tenure.

    What BA and Whiz have in common: according to them, neither one of them is really ever at fault, nor ever are their coaches. Whenever HOF HC Bill Belichick’s Pats lose a game, the first thing he always says is “we could have coached better.” Does he ever say ‘the system works”? No. Does he ever say their goal is to win the Super Bowl? No. Does he ever throw his players under the bus? No. In fact, even when they win, when he is asked about how great Tom Brady was, BB always says, “well—the whole offense played well.”

    BA’s mantra after wins is “See you Wednesday.” BB’s mantra after every game is “No days off.”

  18. By Scott H on Jun 28, 2017 | Reply

    Since we’re talking about the offense….man, the piece that is currently up on the team site showing EVERY TD pass from Warner to Fitz was a lot of fun to watch. Some of them, I remembered…..others just blurred together. But, man, they were great together. Some day, they will have each other to thank for both of them being in the HOF. Really, if they had not had those years together in Arizona – especially 2007-2009 – I don’t know that either player makes it.

  19. By Richard S on Jun 29, 2017 | Reply

    Two University of Missouri students received a prestigious military scholarship Thursday that will get them free tuition and textbooks through the end of their academic career.

    Army veterans Paul Wade, a law student at Mizzou and a member of the Missouri National Guard, and Heath McClung, an engineering student at UMSL, were both named Pat Tillman Scholars.
    The article in the St. Louis online paper says there are 60 recipients in the U.S. Wow that’s a lot of scholarships.

  20. By Big Ken on Jun 29, 2017 | Reply

    Dawg daze of summer.

  21. By chris on Jun 30, 2017 | Reply


    The salary build is to sign the 2015 monster class to keep them as part of the core. In the three year plan they will be on another team if our GM does not start opening funds now.

  22. By clssylssy on Jul 1, 2017 | Reply

    Leave the coaches out of it??? BA has said on more than one occasion that it wasn’t his job to teach players basic skills they should have learned before coming to the NFL..& perhaps that’s part of the problem, i.e., nobody finds it in their “job description” to do whatever it will take to get this team to the next level.
    This is a job, it’s not all about having fun but rather for the organization to have success and that means everybody doing what it takes to meet that goal.
    In all companies, the organization is only as strong as it’s weakest link and good leadership is critical to teaching by example, setting standards of excellence and facilitating the achievement of goals, even if that means getting in the trenches and getting dirty. To leave the coaches out in favor of letting the “elders” assume coaching duties is absurd unless the position is not really necessary and can be abolished! This is a business, everybody has a job, and, as in any business,, people need to do their job first.
    Part of what made BA stand out and earn Coach of the Year was his ability to relate to his players and get the best out of them in a way that was beneficial for everybody, lighthearted but no-nonsense. Last year, I felt he was a different person and perhaps that created a level of insecurity and confusion within the team. I’m hoping that this will be a new year and our front office/coaches/players will have learned something, turned the page, and are ready to confront the season with a renewed sense of purpose. We have to be more assertive and send a strong message that we mean business and should be respected.
    As for Keim’s three year plans, LOL, I want better odds as we keep “missing our window” and I’d like to see a Championship in my lifetime!

  23. By chris on Jul 5, 2017 | Reply

    I agree with Mitchaz on the BA thing. We all agree that BA is great for the Cards!! He does throw people under the bus…He does play favorites…He took blame for the D in the NE game after a blow out in week two that seemed to put everything back on track, but when it started to go bad it was weak leadership in locker room and players need to do their job. All training camp it was BA bull about how great everything was until they did not win. Suddenly it was the leadership? He stopped taking any credit for the bad that was happening when we could not find a way to win.

    As for the what would BB do??? Or how BB is better than BA… BB is better than everyone! BA is a great coach..BB is the GOAT

  24. By Scott H on Jul 5, 2017 | Reply

    OMG, we need to get to SOME kind of meaningful football activity. Fast. Good lord, I’m not really a baseball fan but SOMETIMES, the Phillies offer something interesting to pay attention to out here. Right now? The Phillies are, just maybe, on their way to having one of THE worst seasons in MLB history. So…I ain’t getting a lot of help right now.

    Summer pro league b-ball is out of the question so….WHEN does camp start again???? Hey, the Honey Badger can take all the time he needs. Everyone else? Let’s get back to work! ( Please! I’m dyin’ over here….)

  25. By clssylssy on Jul 7, 2017 | Reply

    Scott & others…
    Wow, it’s not just me! This has been probably the worst offseason EVER for those of us rabid fans who are starving for even a morsal of football news that isn’t the TMZ trash and gossip headlines. Thank goodness I love sports and can find some entertainment in college baseball, MLB , golf (for about fifteen minutes) (THANK GOD the D-Backs and Royals are having good seasons but still like watching paint dry!)
    I can’t remember an offseason that was this flat EVER, that even the syndicated sports writers are having difficulty coming up with ideas. What gives Darren?
    I have to believe that some of this is aftershock from last years political hate campaign that divided not only families and the country,but also lockerrooms, fan bases, and is the other elephant in the room.

  26. By Darren Urban on Jul 7, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Offseason

    Honestly, this offseason felt no different than any other. There is rarely anything that happens of note in June and July.

  27. By Scott H on Jul 7, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    For me, it just seems like it is dragging more than usual. Can’t say why.

  28. By JTDG on Jul 12, 2017 | Reply


    3 year plan;

    Joining the party late, so not sure if you will see this.

    While your premise sounds solid, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. 2016-2018 is the next 3 year window you propose. But here are my issues with it.

    – BA has had some health issues Darren has detailed in his latest article. In it, BA say he has 1 year left and maybe more. That is interesting.

    -Palmer has been thinking of retirement. Good chance he walks out the door, especially if BA walks. One also could argue, that Palmer will get worse, not better as he ages. The cards may think it is time to part ways at the end of 2017.

    – Fitz is talking retirement and surely would go if the other two do. Not to mention, his contract runs out at the end of the year, and with no extension, speaks volumes of how serious the retirement talk is.

    There is no doubt that the cap hits of Iupati and Veldheer will increase next year and with younger players being drafted, it is logical to believe that they will not be with the team in 2018.

    So, that magical 3 year of his plan could actually be a rebuilding year instead of a run for the ring. Logically, one could argue that the window on the BA/Carson/Fitz era ends after 2017.

    Personally, Keim’s 3 year plans are logical and sound. To pull it off, you must draft well. Theoretically, year two should see Nkemdiche take the place of Campbell, Gunter to man the nose and Mauro to be the other end. Theoretically, Brandon Williams should take over the CB2. Reddick takes over for Minter and the team doesn’t miss a beat.

    The problem is, this could be the year the window closes. To hope these guys step up in 2017 is a unnecessary risk.

    To me 2016 was the closing of the window. They made some huge mistakes in the offseason. After 2017, this window is closed. Year 3, 2018, is a rebuilding year.

    It will be time to find a new QB (there is no proof you can point to, to think Gabbert will magically become a superbowl QB. he has shown nothing since 2011 when drafted) . With a 2018 rookie QB, you always fall back unless you land a Luck.
    I would think players like Iupati, Veldheer are replaced. With another injury, you could see the end of the Badger. Dansby will not be here in 2018 and the issue of signing Golden (with so much money given to Jones- similar to why they wont sign a high dollar CB) , Bucannon, and DJ is watching what Bell gets.

    Should have signed a top CB, should have found vets on the oline. Should have put a team out there without question marks. Whether it was a normal off season or not, one thing for sure is, it was disappointing. This year is truly All or Rebuild.

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