Before #CardsCamp, Keim’s notable camp signings

Posted by Darren Urban on July 19, 2017 – 10:02 am

As mentioned the other day, the Cardinals still have a vacancy on their 90-man roster. Bruce Arians, during an interview on Arizona Sports, indicated that the Cards could still re-sign veteran running back Chris Johnson, which has always been a possibility as long as Johnson remained on the market.

With all that in mind, a quick look at the notable veterans General Manager Steve Keim has signed in the days prior or during training camp while the Cardinals are at University of Phoenix Stadium:

2013 — T Eric Winston (started all season), LB John Abraham (led team in sacks), K Dan Carpenter (signed as competition to Jay Feely, lost battle.)

2014 — T Max Starks (eventually released at end of camp), DT Tommy Kelly (had a solid season as a replacement for the injured Darnell Dockett.)

2015 — TE Jermaine Gresham (has been team’s top tight end since), C Lyle Sendlein (started all season), RB Chris Johnson (played well before late-season injury.)

2016 — LB Donald Butler (released during final cuts), CB Mike Jenkins (was in line to start until tearing ACL).

Odds favor a couple more signings in this camp, necessary either because of play or injury. Whether they make a difference (see: 2016) we will see, but as always, the roster is churning.

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20 Responses to “Before #CardsCamp, Keim’s notable camp signings”

  1. By D on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    Good summary Darren.

    I have been thinking the whole summer about adding RB, TE or CB, but Keim has plenty of young players competing at all 3 positions and with the lack of throws to our TE’s in BA’s offense, doubtful Keim will bring in a well known TE.

    Since this maybe the last shot with C. Palmer to get deep into the playoffs, I would like to see Keim add 2 free agents. Meaning cutting one of the existing 89 players soon, freeing up 2 spots.

    I will hope and will take a gamble on Bethel at CB, that he will step up this year and play good for a big contract next year.

    Thinking C. Johnson at RB will be one.

    After remembering how many shots/sacks/hurries C. Palmer took last year (he was beat up middle of the season), then adding another OL maybe the route to go. Maybe T. Bergstrom can compete at RG, if not, then I would look at signing a Nick Mangold at RG

  2. By aschatte on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    Gary Barnidge is still in the market, an experienced TE along side Gresham will be ideal…badly need that CB though

  3. By chris on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    This is where Keim has just been awesome! Even after camp starts he has just been as good as any GM in the NFL with picking up extra pieces for the team. People talk about the need for a QB or coach to win….and you do, but Baltimore, Pats(BB is both coach and GM), Hawks, Green Bay all have great GMs to keep the roster strong. Michael B has done a lot of great things but picking Keim as his GM is only second to getting the stadium built. I cant wait to see what he might do!

  4. By JTDG on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    Since nothing is going on this time of year, I found this to be an interesting question. It was proposed on another site.

    If you were GM for a day of the Cards and could choose any player off any of the NFC West teams, who would you choose?

    A lot harder than one might think.

    To grab Aaron Donald to give the cards an inside rush would be huge. With Jones and Golden off the edge and Donald inside, look out QBs.

    Deforest Buckner was a very productive DL as a rookie. He would take Campbells spot nicely.

    Or you could land the top FS in Earl Thomas. How would this defense change with Thomas roaming centerfield

    Then you have CB. Could you imagine Peterson and Sherman together? Or maybe you would take Trumaine Johnson,another good CB.

    Then their is the issue at QB. This could be it for Palmer. So do you snag Russell Wilson ? Or roll the dice on Jared Goff? That would secure the future at QB which is very cloudy after this year.

    If you could have one player from an NFC West Team,who would it be to get you to the Super Bowl ?

    For me, even though we need a CB badly, and Wilson might be a better choice, there is nothing a QB hates more than pressure in his face. It would come down to Donald or Buckner. Since Donald has a longer track record, I would have to take Aaron Donald.

    Who would you take Darren?

  5. By Darren Urban on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Player

    If we are playing for 2017, I’m taking Donald.

    If this is an add to the team long-term, it’d be Wilson.

  6. By Scott H on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    If I may weigh in, I’m taking Russel Wilson. Simply because there is NO harder spot to fill than the QB spot. Heck, the Cardinals haven’t been able to find the right QB in the draft for… many decades are we talking about here?? Save for getting it right with two veteran QB’s ( one via a trade, the other via FA ) in the last 12 years or so…..there was one or two exciting years with Jake Plummer and then we are all the way back to Neil Lomax to find our last legit QB. Over time, our track record with QB’s has been abysmal.

    NO position is harder to nail in the draft than QB. So, I’m going there.

    I do see the sense in what Darren is saying – if for 2017 only, yes, I’ll take a defensive stud ( who, based on immediate need, would probably be a CB! ) or a stud O-linemen. But for the next 5 years, I don’t even think about it, I take Wilson.

  7. By Scott H on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    Seeing as we just don’t use the TE position as much as so many other offenses do, I don’t really see the sense in Barnidge. I mean, if we have NO other pressing needs and he’s just there for the taking….sure, why not? But our pressing needs lie elsewhere.

    As long as CJ is still capable of doing what he’s done here the last two years, I want him on board. But if we’re only gonna be bringing in a couple of players from here, how can one of them NOT be a CB??? We may be pleasantly surprised by a healthy Bethel, but….I’ll be honest, I have my doubts it is going to turn out that way. We really have nothing but questions marks and maybe’s at CB, opposite Peterson. We don’t even really need depth there as much as we do another guy who can be a legit contender to be our STARTER over there.

    CJ gives us a legit complement to DJ and a player who can help us keep DJ from being over-worked. And we need a #2 CB because…..well, because we just don’t seem to really have one! I can’t put a luxury TE ahead of either of those needs.

  8. By JTDG on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    Darren and Scott,

    Wilson is the smarter pick. I agree with you both.
    I chose Donald with hopes he could get us that ONE superbowl victory.

  9. By joe holst on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    i think they need d-line help more than anything, it appears they are de-valuing the defensive line position and putting more emphasis on linebackers, I hope Troy Nikolas can finally stay healthy.

  10. By JohnnyBluenose on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    If you were the GM for any of the other NFC West teams and you were able to pick any one Cardinals player. who do you take? Probably David Johnson. And thinking long term, does anyone trade Johnson for Russell Wilson?

  11. By Darren Urban on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    Johnny —

    RE: Cardinals player for other teams

    I’d guess Patrick Peterson over Johnson. You can find RBs.

  12. By JohnnyBluenose on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    And this just in….the Canadian Football League began its regular season four weeks ago. I was watching a game tonight, Ottawa vs Montreal. Late in the game it’s third down and a foot and Ottawa brings in their back-up quarterback, a big-bodied guy, to run a quarterback and get the first down. He succeeds and then returns to the bench.. Who is this quarterback? None other than our own, one-time NFC Championship game starting quarterback….Ryan Lindley. I had no idea he was still interested in playing.

  13. By Scott H on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Geez….I swear, every time I hear the name Troy Niklas, my initial reaction is – Is he still here??? Sure would be nice if we could actually get SOMETHING out of this guy.

  14. By shannon robinson on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    With the new rule that there is only one last cut to 53 from 90, there may be a resulting semi expanded roster as an unforseen consequence. Take just our defensive backs as an example and our last cut will likely be rookies like Gump Hayes, Sojourn Shelton, Ryan Lewis, Ironhead Gallon; veterans like Jumal Rolle, Ronald Zamort, and fan favorite Harlan Miller. Only Rolle is not practice squad eligible. The point is that there’s less likelihood that teams will claim as many of the players off the waiver wire. Any player claimed & added to the roster has to get a full NFL salary and I think they have to retain the player for a period of time. It may be easier to get young talented players to the practice squad for for the “63”. I count at least 70 players I’d like to keep.

  15. By JohnnyBluenose on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Darren…..Yes, Patrick Peterson would certainly garner a lot of interest. But I don’t think a running back of Johnson’s ability comes along every year. If he continues to play at or near his current level for the next six or seven years some of us may even forget that our Cardinals drafted Levi Brown and not Adrian Peterson way back when.

  16. By chris on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply


    I was listening to the Cards podcast Rise Up See Red and they claim that the Cards are not starting as early as they are aloud cause they play in the HOF game this year. Please tell me that this is not true! We all know that last year’s cupcake camp due to keeping everybody healthy most likely caused the team a playoff run or at least a winning season. BA talked about how they are going to roll the dice and hit this year to keep everybody focused and hungry. So this idea that they are giving up team camp time for extra develop of players(rookies) is crazy. Please tell me this is the NFL version of fake news

  17. By Darren Urban on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Camp start

    1) Teams are allowed to go to camp 15 days before their first game. That was the 19th. They are going the 21st.

    2) Those two days are not going to mean the difference between a bad season and a good season.

    3) There are soccer games in the stadium tonight, so the Cardinals are going to camp as early as they can.

    4) Even without the soccer games, they likely wouldn’t have gone to camp until Friday.

    5) Again, that doesn’t mean anything in terms of how the season goes. They are still going to have a week+ extra of camp and an extra game.

    6) I hope you are also listening to our Cardinals Underground podcast.

  18. By JTDG on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply


    Hypothetical games are interesting to me, so your question, would I trade David Johnson for Russell Wilson ?

    At first thought, yes. QB is a need for us after this year. As Darren said, RBs are easier to find.
    But I will add this, great RBs aren’t easy to find.

    Is David Johnson going into that class of RBs who can carry a game, ala Adrian Peterson in his prime ? Sometimes you can have a great run game, a great defense and a young QB and win (see 2014-15 seahawks)

    Then you look at salaries. Wilsons cap hit is 19 million this year and 22 million next, while David Johnson is 800k this year and 900k next year.

    Taking Wilson would mean the end to Palmer, who would have a 30 million cap hit if released and 24 million if kept. So trading for Wilson would mean some players would need to be cut. Which would most likely mean guys like Veldheer, Peters, Stanton and others being released and Peterson Contract being redone.

    It is possible, but would make it tough this year. But next year, Palmer would be off the books, and you would have a stud QB for 2018 and beyond.

    As tempted as I would be, I think I would turn down the trade and take my chances in a possible solid QB draft next year and make a run for a championship in 2017.

    Of course, making a run in 2017 would mean taking that 12 million in cap space and go get Revis. But that’s just me.

  19. By chris on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    Thx Darren…That makes me feel much better. I think i just need the season to start. And honestly i listen to everything Cards

  20. By Scott H on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    CJ is back on board! One wish down, one more ( a CB ) to go!

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