The workload of the Honey Badger

Posted by Darren Urban on January 3, 2018 – 1:10 pm

Even Tyrann Mathieu had hoped he would’ve played a little better this season, but he did improve as the season went on and was healthy. And not only was the Honey Badger healthy, he played a lot. It’s remarkable that the safety, who didn’t play a full season until this year, ended up leading the entire NFL in snaps played.

Mathieu finished with 1,263 snaps on the field — 1,058 on defense and another 207 on special teams. That topped Tennessee cornerback Adoree Jackson’s 1,258 (1,022 on defense, 224 on special teams, and 12 on offense.) There were a handful of players who played more on defense (including former teammates and safeties Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger) but that was in part because the Cardinals’ sixth-ranked defense was able to get off the field more often. It wasn’t like Mathieu rested much. He sat out only six defensive snaps all season.

Five Cardinals played at least 1,000 snaps this season — Mathieu, Chandler Jones, Patrick Peterson, A.Q. Shipley (who played 100 percent of the Cards’ 1,124 offensive snaps) and Larry Fitzgerald.

But the other four don’t grab the attention as much as Mathieu, who truly maximized his first season of total health.

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50 Responses to “The workload of the Honey Badger”

  1. By D on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Impressive workload by those mentioned above.

    With Keim clearing a clean slate for the new coach in terms of QB and plenty of CAP space, I would guess he/they would lean towards a Offensive minded HC. Some of the names being mentioned that are current DC coaches, I don’t get it. I just don’t see a Bettcher or Patrcia or even an old line coach in Munchak would/could help or develop a young QB, even if a veteran QB is signed as a starter.

    I would guess Shurmur and McDaniels will have Top interest by all of the teams who have openings since most either have a Young QB or will draft one like AZ and NY. I think J. DeFlippo may be a very good coach, but he only has been a OC for one year with the Browns in his coaching history, so I don’t think he would be ready for a HC job yet. Shurmur could bring one of the MN QB’s with him as a bridge QB.

    As far as young QB in the draft, I look at accuracy as a very important trait, something that BA says in his book you can’t teach. I don’t see the OK QB as having accuracy. After he and the kid from Louisville as options in late Round 1, the remaining QBs to draft are 2nd and 3rd round prospects that will need a few years to develop. The QB from WA ST. (Falk) does have many of the qualities that I think Keim will be looking for, needs to add weight/strength etc, but could be one to watch in Indy.

  2. By Johnson on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Darren – Thank your for the informative post. With Tony/DJ/Honey and now young Budda – The Cards secondary would have been just crazy good. Alas – that wasnt to be! Do you think in terms of the draft or Free agency – the defense (Pass rushers,LB.safeties) will be built further knowing well we need an urgent QB/CB/OL/WR needs firstly.

    At this point the Defense clearly won us games and a healthy Badger is well…disruptive! With so many players on IR this season, I find it ironic that Badger still was fit till the end of the season. I feel building the defense is a higher priority but at the same time dont want to end up being like Denver!

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Johnson —

    RE: FA

    I would think cornerback is a possibility in FA, but it will depend. I would think offensive needs are more crucial.

  4. By TucsonTim on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Well, he may have played a lot of snaps but I think your photo sums up his season pretty well.

  5. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Tyrann played 16 games, finished with 78 tackles, 7 passes defensed, 2 picks and 1 sack.

    His per game average = 4.875 tackles, .44 passes defensed, .125 picks,

    2016, coming back from his injury his game average was 3.5 tackles, .4 passes defensed, .1 picks

    From 2016 to 2017, Badger was able to play 6 more games, add a tackle per game more. Improvement? Yes. But not greatly except games played.

    In 2015, when he earned that big contract (and got injured) his per game stats were,
    6.4 tackles, 1.2 passes defensed, .36 picks per game

    What that means is he was way above his 2017 stats, in some cases more than doubled.

    Did he play 16 games? yes. That is a start. But he struggled in the slot (just look at game 1 against Golden Tate), and was half the player in stats from 2015.

    At a cap hit of 14.1 million in 2018, is he a 14 million dollar safety?

    In comparison, DJ Swearinger (who we let walk) played 16 games , had 10 passes defensed, 4 ints and 78 tackles. and had a cap hit average of 4.5 million.

    Meanwhile Antoine Bethea started only 6 games and played 15 and he had 9 passes defensed and 5 picks and earns 4.25 million per year.

    Do you see something out of place? Can you wait it out and hope he returns to form and pay that 5 million dollar bonus in march?

  6. By Cardinale on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Darren- I’ve read that Drew Bree’s is a free agent after the playoffs. If the cards could land him that would be a heck of a bridge qb to pair with DJ and our improving D don’t you think?

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Cardinale —

    RE: Brees

    I do not see Brees hitting the market. If he does, anything is possible. The coach will have a big say in it.

  8. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Wow….didn’t realize the HB played that many snaps. That bodes well for him going forward. I know he’s a smaller player, but I’d like to see him put on a few pounds. He seems too small, at times. He’s always a big play waiting to happen. IF he had suffered another injury this season, I’d pretty much be at the point of being VERY concerned about counting on him going forward. Not sure I’d WANT to count on him going forward. But seeing him play a whole season – and more snaps than any other player, at that – and having him healthy going into the off-season…..that is very encouraging.

    Good for him. I consider him a part of BA’s legacy here. Because it was Arians’ belief in second chances that brought him here to the Cardinals. Arians may have moved on but his legacy can live on through the Honey Badger. It would REALLY be something if this team could win a SB with Matthieu helping lead the way as a Troy Palomalu-type player. I’ll bet BA would love to see that!

  9. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Darren- Do you see Bettcher staying as Def Coordinator with a new HC??? Is any of BA’s current coaching staff going to be retained?

    Who is your favorite candidate to replace BA…???

  10. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Questions

    1) If there is a new HC, I’d expect him to have his own DC. But you never know.
    2) I’m not sure on the current staff. It always depends on the HC.
    3) I don’t have one. I don’t know any of the possibilities, other than Bettcher.

  11. By Big Ken on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Cardinals list of Consideration-I’m not wild about any of those coaches.

  12. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    From Darren’s Article;

    “The Cardinals have gotten the interview process underway. Current defensive coordinator James Bettcher was the first to interview. Anticipated interviews with Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong and Steelers offensive line coach Mike Munchak have been announced by each of those teams’ head coaches.

    Other names reportedly on the Cardinals’ list of consideration: Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores”.

    Here is what is interesting. Jim Schwartz, Matt Patricia, and Steve Wilks, along with Brian Flores, all run a 4-3 defense.

    Not sure if personnel matches a 4-3 today. I can tell you that Golden is not a Left End in a 4-3 and I don’t see him covering guys down the field as a strong side 4-3 LB. Chandler Jones lost weight to play OLB to be more quicker. Does he put weight back on? I’m not sure what they are doing.

    To me, two names on this list is all I would be interested in.
    Pat Shurmur and John Defilippo.

    Shurmur could bring an interesting twist, as Case Keenum is a FA and Teddy Bridgewater is available. Provided he could coax them to AZ, Does he forgo the drafting of a QB and go with Keenum until Bridgewater is ready? I like Shurmur, but he does benefit from a great defense.

    Defilippo, on the other hand, has Nate Sudfeld coached up and he may come in for Foles if Foles struggles. With his history of QBs, hire him, draft your QB and see how it unfolds.

    My pick; Defilippo and a trade up with colts at #3 to land Josh Allen. Perfect combination.

  13. By Jametruis Judge on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    I’m going to start this off by saying, yes I am an African American. I would love to see Harold Goodwin get the job. Reason why? Your offense is already familiar with the system. It’ll be continuation of B.A.’s system. Why interview Bettcher anyways? He wasn’t a very good defensive coordinator. He just inherited a talented defense. Free agency wise, look at Case Keenum or A.J Macarron.
    And if the Jets let go of Todd Bowles, bring him back for the DC job.

  14. By Dr. G. on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Patience is part of the equation?? Yes, but who’s left to take to the dance?

    Well, the FO got lucky last time around when hiring BA last in the line up.

    Agree that any HC prospect needs to see our facilities as part of the process, but no way should we wait beyond league rules to see who are the “”left overs.”” Good business people get out front of their competition. Strike ASAP and then start the QB analyses.

    Gotta get it on for a good 2018 camp start. Looking forward to 2018…the past is not relevant now…we know a lot now.

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: ASAP

    Who says they aren’t starting ASAP?

  16. By CARDS62 on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    I think Badger will play better with less snaps and do not know why we played him so many plays this year especially earlier in the season when our defense had plenty of healthy bodies.

    JTDG and Scott H as always make great points so I will ask everyone do you want Badger back at 14.1 million dollars? Remember there is an opportunity cost also as keeping Badger this year cost us C. Campbell.

    I really like Badger the person and how he turned his life around, and also his production on the field for us before the injuries.

    I do think he will play better in 2018 than he did in 2017 so this is a hard call for me, and I hate the business side of the NFL, but it is part of the game.

    My call is he takes a pay cut or we release him. I just do not see any team trading for Honey Badger at his salary.

    Can not decide to root for the Rams or against them. They just always hurt our QBs.

    GO Cards!

  17. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Cards62 —

    RE: campbell/opportunity cost

    Let me clear something up: The Cards were never going to pay Campbell $15M a year. Wasn’t going to happen, regardless of everything else. Yes, cap was an issue, but they weren’t giving a 4-year, $60M deal to a player on the other side of 30.

  18. By JTDG on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    cards62 and anyone else;

    This is always a good measuring stick;

    Would other teams trade for Pat P and his contract ? Yes
    Would other teams trade for Chandler Jones and his contract ? Yes
    Would a team even take a 34 year old receiver and his 12 million dollar contract in Fitz? I believe so.

    But could you trade Badger to anyone and his contract? I think teams would take him but not with that contract. To think a 5 million dollar bonus in March will make him dead money for 2018 and 2019 of 14+ million would be a huge risk.

    He is a 4-5 million dollar safety. Just to show how bad this contract was;
    Remember, we don’t want to spend on CB2 because of Badgers contract.
    His cap hit is more in 2018 than these CBs;
    Pro Bowler Xavier Rhodes
    Richard Sherman
    Janorius Jenkins
    Desmond Trufant
    Pro Bowler Aqib Talib
    Stephan Gilmore
    Joe Haden
    Pro Bowler Darius Slay
    Pro Bowler Casey Hayward

    In fact, only 4 players in the secondary will have a larger cap hit in 2018 than Mathieu (Josh Norman, Pat P, AJ Bouye, and Jimmy Smith)

    He is higher than every other CB and every safety. Now, does that change your mind about him and what a terrible contract Keim gave him?

  19. By mitchaz on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Back in 2013, The Cardinals seemed late to the party when searching for Ken Whisenhunt’s successor. Their first choice going in was Andy Reid, who was quickly wooed by the Chiefs (and never had an interview with MB & SK).

    The Cardinals wound up being the last of the 8 teams to hire the new HC. Bruce Arians fell into their laps when the Bears decided to go with Marc Trestman over Arians. And with the exception of Andy Reid, the Cardinals wound up making the best hire of the batch:

    Mike McCoy, San Diego Chargers. …
    Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs. …
    Rob Chudzinski, Cleveland Browns. …
    Marc Trestman, Chicago Bears. …
    Chip Kelly, Philadelphia Eagles. …
    Doug Marrone, Buffalo Bills. …
    Bruce Arians, Arizona Cardinals. …
    Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Just a quick glance of this list tells you that Reid and Arians were the only ones on it to still be the HC of their team in 2017.

    While Reid has led the Chiefs to the playoffs 4 of the 5 years—like Arians—he’s only won 1 playoff game, a 30-0 Wild Card win over the Texans in 2015.

    His losses were a 45-44 loss to the Colts in 2013, having surrendered a 28 point 2nd half lead. A 27-20 loss to the Patriots in the divisional round in 2015. And am 18-16 loss at home to the Steelers last year in the divisional round.

    Reid’s playoff record from 2013-2016: 1-3.

    Arians, on the other hand, took the Cardinals to the NFC Championship game in 2015.

    Reid’s 5 year regular season record: 53-27 (.663)
    Arians’ 5 year regular season record: 49-30-1 (.614)

    Mike McCoy last 4 years in SD. His record: 27-37 and 1-1 in playoffs.

    The Cardinals couldn’t woo Andy Reid, but they did nearly as well hiring BA.

    This year, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim have interviews lined up with James Bettcher (AZ), Pat Shurmur (MIN), John DeFilippo (PHI), Jim Schwartz (PHI), Matt Patricia (NE), Brian Flores (NE), Mike Munchak (PIT), Steve Wilks (CAR) and Keith Armstrong (ATL).

    They met at length with James Bettcher yesterday and reports are that Bettcher has a staff lined up that includes OC Mike McCoy and DC Chuck Pagano. There are also reports that the Ravens want Chuck Pagano to return as their DC.

    The Cardinals were in a somewhat similar position in 2013 when DC Ray Horton made a fevered pitch to be promoted to HC. His plan supposedly included having Norv Turner as OC.

    Without question, MB and SK made the right choice to move on from Horton. Bettcher is a more attractive candidate in certain respects, but often times, wiping the slate clean and bringing in a new voice and direction is the best and wisest choice.

    Today they are scheduled to meet with Pat Shurmur in Minnesota and tomorrow with DeFilippo and Schwartz in Phildelphia.

    They probably will interview Mike Munchak and Matt Patricia over the weekend, and then meet with Steve Wilks and Keith Armstrong when the Panthers and Falcons are knocked out of the playoffs.

    Michael Bidwill is preaching patience once again and feels that it is imperative that the candidates visit the Cardinals at their facilities in Arizona.

    The question is—will the top candidates be amenable to Bidwill’s time frame?

    If one of the top candidates hits a grand slam in his interview, would Bidwill and Keim be willing to make an offer, knowing the competition is going to be fierce?

    Bidwill has turned what could be considered a negative about the Cardinals’ job—a lack of a QBOF—into a positive as he has posed the question of whether the new coach would rather have a QB already in place or have a hand in selecting his own.

    Bidwill and Keim are an attractive combo. They are diligent, passionate, goal driven and highly supportive.

    This could be a key turning point for GM Steve Keim. He has vowed to make major changes, following a season where he found some aspects of the Cardinals’ play “totally unacceptable.”

    One has wonder just how much control over the roster and the coaching staff Bidwill and Keim will give the new head coach. Clearly, they were not able to get BA to budge on obvious coaching upgrades and it must have been taxing for MB and SK to hear BA’s public disparagement of top draft picks Humphries and Nkemdiche (whom Bidwill personally vetted and gave his approval of).

    The new hire should give Cardinals’ fans a closer idea of just how effective Steve Keim is as a GM. It’s time for him to, as he puts it, wear his “big boy pants.”

  20. By clssylssy on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Very good points JTDG as always. Howe ver, to me that says more about Keim’s handle on his job and tendency to write bad contracts, than Badger’s worth . If I had been GM, I would never have written that big a contract with Ty’s injury history and uncertainty for the future.I remember, at the time, questioning the contract and being told by Darren than TM was being rewarded. So, whatever, I’m all for players getting what they can when they can if the Organization is feeling generous!
    Has Tyrann had injuries that have been hard to come back from – Yes. Is he playing up to his old form – No. Is he getting back to being the savage player he once was – it wouuld appear he is (that’s a process and different for everybody). Is he still held in high esteem around the league and considered a ball hawk – Yes. Will he get grabbed up if he is cut – Yes And, if I were him, I would not take a cut in pay bc Keim was not smart enough to write a different contract to begin with, but would take this opporotunity to go some place else that could offer a realistic chance at the playoffs and beyond–if push comes to shove I would asked to be released or be paid.
    This team;s best asset right now is it’s defense and that should be what it builds upon bc it’s going to have to carry the load for the foreseeable future. Young talent is good but it is also undisciplined and tends to not understand the importance of staying the course (as we have seen so often and was evident in the Seattle game).
    This team is going to need leaders and Tyrann has proven to be a passionate, hard worker, and was once considered “the heart of the defense” whose passion will be critical in the next year. IMO, one of the reason this team struggled so, in the past year or so was bc Keim gutted the player leadership we had in players like Freeney, Jefferson, Swearinger, Rachard Johnson, Campbell, etc., to not only save money but to get younger. The young guys were green and undisciplined and Bettcher had been getting ALOT of help from the Veteran mentors. I don’t think this is the time to start sacrificing trusted leadership but rather Honor our previous decisions.
    As it stands now, assuming Fitz is also out the door, we have NOBODY left who knows the road to the SB or the kind of discipline, committment, and vision, it takes to get there and our numbers with even playoff experience are dwindling. We need to value the resources we have left and not devalue the these guys or disregard the role they have played in our successes just to save a few bucks in the hopes of having more money to gamble with and possibly losing it all.

  21. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    The Cardinals’ games were rarely televised in Nova Scotia, where I live but I did attend two games this year in Phoenix, a win vs the Jaguars and a loss vs the Rams. Like all of you I was very impressed with Mathieu right from the start and he made a very good recovery from his first knee injury but he has not been nearly as good a player, in my opinion, since his second injury. I was surprised to learn that he played so many snaps. In fact, I was surprised, when I saw the games in Phoenix, to see that he was on the kick-off team. Surprised because of the risk of injury and surprised because, based on what I saw, he was ineffective (slow and tentative). Maybe his play improved later in the season but he is definitely not worth the money his contract calls for and if he is not willing to renegotiate his contract and return for a lot less money then I do not expect him to be on our team next year. Keim has promised changes. Some have been beyond his control (Arians and Palmer, both will be missed) but others, like the Badger, are up to him. It will be an interesting few months.

  22. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    J Judge-

    IIRC, Todd Bowles singed a 2 yr extension with the Jets before the season ended.

  23. By faster on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    first, i enjoyed a lot of games with ba, cp and the other retirees ( i expect fitz to retire too, but i`m not sure, if he isn`t tempted to play another season, if haley comes as a offense coordinator). and for that i`m gratefull.

    enjoy your life without the NFL fully, bas….

    and thats the switch to the future, i hope, the team will look like bettcher as hc, haley as assitent hc and oc, and buckner as dc (and please, jones and morris with special advisors, if they stay).

    and cam newton, david johnson and kerwynn williams rushing all over the west.

  24. By Joe C. on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Why isn’t Amos Jones a candidate for HC?

  25. By faster on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    you cowboys like munbers and stats, but are there any numbers about the injury situation of the nfl teams? rehab times for example?

  26. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Faster —

    RE: Injury numbers

    Not sure what you are asking.

  27. By Joe C. on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Seriously though, that Gresham contract is horrible.

  28. By D on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Well, Darnald, Rosen and Allen all coming out in the draft. To be honest with you, none are A. Luck, (he was an exception), all need a lot of work and grooming. My guess is than none of the top 3 are C. Wentz. Once the Browns and Giants draft two of them, the Colts will be on the Clock. Safe to assume, the price to move up to #3 will be more expensive than prior drafts.

    Now, we have to get through free agency first to see how many holes are left for Keim to fill (like a new Oline) but even after free agency, this team will need as many draft picks as possible to fill the glaring holes, most likely more holes to fill than one offseason. (QB, WR, LG, RG, RT, TE, CB, DE -assuming the team sticks with a 3-4 Def ) I don’t see Iupati and Veldheer back unless the new coach has a connection. Might as well make it a Total Rebuild offseason.

    I am not a fan of running QB’s or QB’s in College to take a lot of hits (Mayfield and Jackson) and who are not known for accuracy. I will guess Keim HC hire will sign a Free Agent QB in March and draft a QB in Round 2. (second tier)

    My other guess will be that Larry will come back for another year and surpass T. Owens in the record book.

  29. By creditcard on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Impressive the number of snaps HB played. HB will do the right thing, he is a true Cardinal. HB will renegotiate his contract, so that the team improves. HB is and will remain a Cardinal, I think he has loyalty to the organization.

  30. By Dr. G. on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Darren ~ ~ Good response…I know they started immediately.

    My intent was to say we need to “”ACT & SIGN”” our future HC very soon. Any team FO should already know the MO of all these guys. Any skeletons should be obvious by now. This is not like the relatively unknown kids in the draft. We need to beat our competition.

    When Bidwill says we need to show a prospect our facilities, that means he is trying to SELL our program. Who’s gonna hate our wonderful facilities? I can’t explain anything you don’t already know. And other than sitting down to see how MB & SK will relate personally, most coaches will move to Timbuktu to get one of the 32 jobs available if they accept an interview…Cards are rated high in market.

    I guess my bottom line was ~ ~ we need to select 1st so we get the guy we really want and leave no questions about it. Thanks

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Know the MO

    I don’t know your age or occupation, but in my experience a person is not one size fits all. They are unknowns to a certain level. A person you might think is great to work with might be someone I cannot stand.

    If they pick, Patricia, for instance, you can’t hire him until after the Patriots are out. What if they make the Super Bowl? Are you suggesting to settle for someone else other than your top choice just to get it done faster?

  32. By Dr. G. on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG ~ Mitch ~ Seems if memory serves, Badger got his deal while he was still in a cast or certainly in serious rehab! I recall asking why that was necessary? His subsequent year was not Badgeresque…

  33. By faster on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply


    you can find most statistics of the nfl at any database, except some about injuries.

    my question is, is there data available, because it woudl be interesting to compare the cards medical and health team with others.

    for me the porblem with this season starts with the boss, and then the medical and strengh and conditioning team, and obvious the special teams.

    keims draft is for me not the problem, if you look at cooper, even belichick did see some traits to track in him, but the convalescence let a lot to wish for.

    honey badger is another example, look at him before his injury and after it, palmers finger too, and so on.

    maybe its time to evaluate not only the players and the coaches, but also the supportinh staff. and if there are numbers, it would be simpler.

    therefore my question, if you knw some sites with this numbers.

  34. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Faster —

    RE: medical

    There won’t be any medical “stats” because those are protected, believe it or not, by privacy laws. Obviously there is much talk about injuries, but there won’t be any official numbers.

  35. By JTDG on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply


    I get your argument. But the fact remains, Keim gave him that contract and that 5 million dollar bonus is looming large. Whether you like Badger or not has nothing to do with it.

    There is no denying he is a shell of 2015, look at the stats. so what happens if this is the best he can be. A decent safety. A guy worth 4-6 million a year. Or worse, what if he gets hurt again?

    Once you pay that bonus in March, you are locked in for the next two years with 14 million in dead money if released. You are stuck with him regardless of how he plays.

    Now be honest, Branch lead the team in tackles till his injury, was Badger better than him this year?
    Bethea had 5 picks and 9 passed defensed, was Badger a better safety than him?
    Budda came on strong the second half, did Badger have a better year than him?

    According to cap hits, Badger is the 5th highest secondary player in the NFL.
    More than every safety and all but 4 CBs
    It is 4 million more than Earl Thomas, you know Pro Bowl HOFer Earl Thomas.

    I mean do you guys get how bad this contract is?
    He has a bigger cap hit than Khlil Mack
    More than Jadeveon Clowney
    Bigger than AJ Green, TY Hilton, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Gronk, Travis Kelsie and Mike Evans, all guys he could never hope to cover.

    It is so bad, do you know that if you had an all Pro bowl secondary of
    Casey Hayward – Landon Collins – Marshon Lattimore – and Micah Hyde it would come to 15+ cap hit compared to Badger 14+ by himself

    Do you know you could have an offensive line of
    LT Taylor Decker, LG Laken Thomalson, Center Cody Whitehair, RG , Chance Warmack, and RT Ryan Ramczyk for less cap hit than Badger.

    It’s a bad deal. To think Keim signed this when he was hurt makes it worse. Tear it up, save 5 million in cap space in 2018 and 14+ in 2019.

  36. By El Gallo on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    SK and MB mentioned it many times that the Honey Badger was one of the new faces of the franchise. Now with a full season of play under his belt, one hopes it will help him get over the mental obstacles that seemed to hold him back. Having him back as a play making Ball Hawk in combination with Budda, PP, Jones, Golden, Buchanan and a solid CB2 our defense will be stout.

    Our DC promoted to HC? Not buying it. He inherited a good defense. You could see the drop off in leadership when Bowles left. Drop off in takeaways/turnovers. Same with R. Johnson, drop offs in leadership and turnovers. Players themselves mentioned it last year that they needed more leadership and takeaways. Last year losing record, this year .500 and you want to give him more influence on the rest of the team?

    If he’s such a good leader/coach, why couldn’t he effectively guide Nkiemdiche? Has had him under his leadership for 2yrs now. Has one decent play all season off a Buchanan FF. Cool..

    Ok, moving on. Gunter came in as a rookie blazing making noticeable plays. Getting a few sacks along the way, making an impact. Where was Gunter this year? Gunter gone?

    Why didn’t his 1st rounder this year Reddick make an impact? He’s the DC, figure out ways to have your talented players make plays. Didn’t see Reddicks skills impact the season. He was just another body on the field.

    He was comfortable going with Bethel at CB2 when you have T. Williams from the beginning of the season and it took you multiple games to figure out Williams was better? You could see the struggles after game 1. DC’s Zone defense gets eaten up every week, especially 4th Qtrs.

    Needed more leadership Carlos Dansby was brought back. Even at his age and sparse speed, Plain and simple. End there

  37. By mitchaz on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G.—

    Yes, your memory serves you well regarding HB’s contract.

    MB&SK were banking on HB’s full return to health and level of play, seeing as he did return to form after his first ACL.

    HB may have led the league in defensive snaps, but he clearly is not back to his All-Star level of play or exuberance.

    $14M a year for the next two years + $10.5M in 2020 = $38.5M—of the Cardinals award him his $5M roster bonus in March. That’s the $38m question.

  38. By Dr. G. on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Darren~ ~ By MO, I mean how the parties can get along personally with MB & SK, and how the prospect thinks and plans..guess I didn’t state that clearly. Much of their results and reputation should be apparent already.

    I recall some of this the last time around with BA. So in reviewing the rules for HC search, it says that ((in your example with the Pats)) an interview CAN occur between the Conference Final during the 2 weeks prior to the team arriving at the SBowl site. As you know, also during the Bye week right now.

    Just before the SBowl could you ask a question like, “”If you had a choice to be a HC somewhere, which team would you pick”” Is that tampering?

    To clarify, no, not to hire an alternate choice, but be ready 1 minute after that team is out of the playoffs. Thanks

  39. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Tampering

    Look, we all know what is happening when these guys are being interviewed. It’s not like there can’t be an understanding ahead of time with a coach. Everyone basically knew Kyle Shanahan was leaving the Falcons last year to go to SF; I remember it was pretty much an open secret that Todd Haley would be leaving the Cards to go to the Chiefs.

    I understand your concern, but I feel confident Michael Bidwill and Keim know how this goes down. And in my experience, if a coach you want doesn’t come to your team, it usually isn’t because you waited too long. It’s other reasons — money, or the guy just decided he liked the other job better.

  40. By forbessh on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks and goodbye Badger!

  41. By forbessh on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    Darren, not sure why you seem to be doing positive PR for the badger. (Who cares about a stat such as number of snaps played if the play is average?).

    Truth is, he has not delivered for the Cards since he took his big paycheck.

    Badger himself claims he had a “clean” season in 2017. What he seems to forget is that he is being paid superstar wages to make a difference in games and play at Pro-Bowl level week-in week-out, “clean” is not good enough.

    Many times this season, only his past reputation was keeping him on the field of play, lest objectively speaking, he should have been benched.It was quite sad to see him being so sub-par sometimes.

    If he wants to take a big pay cut next season, then he can stay (at least the Cards put faith in him when they drafted him, at the time many other teams wouldn’t touch him because of his drug issues).

    If it was your personal money, would you keep him on for 2018 and beyond, knowing that he is due a big bonus?

  42. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    Forbeesh —

    RE: Snaps

    I’m not sure how that’s personal PR. It’s a fact. It’s an interesting fact. And frankly, if the play was so bad, why would the Cardinals have him out there so often?

    I don’t know exactly how this will play out with his contract. I think it’s obvious they will look at it. What I do not understand is why people get so ANGRY about this type of thing.

  43. By clssylssy on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    Accountability…remember all those “A” words that Keim was throwing around, or does that just apply to other people. I would like to see accountability start at the top with our GM, and owning your work (Badger’s contract), perhaps swallowing a bitter pill and be exposed for the not-so-brilliant “football guy” is all part of that. At the beginning of the season I remember watching Rich Eisen and the discussion was about bad contracts that had been written and Jerome Greshem’s contract was the first one cited, so Keim’s miscues have not been limited to the draft or ignoring glaring needs that would keep this team competitive. He is a bad financial manager, and so if MB is happy to continue with him, why not let him own his mistakes too. I don’t think our players should be penalized for the mistakes of the bosses.
    Our strenght is our defense and in this league more and more, defenses win games and Championships. If we are to have any hope of remaining competitive in the West, we are going to need to go with our strength, possibly even hiring a defensive minded HC like Matt Patricia, I like a team with a defensive focus and we are closer to having the main pieces on defense than on offense, which. I suspect most of our efforts will go in rebuilding. which is going to be a longer process and costly, especially factoring in Keim’s hit and miss with the draft. We have little to no veteran leadership on that side of the ball to help with the rebuilding and mentoring, assuming Larry retires too. Even if he stays, it will be more than a one man job and while we have DJ, he is still technically a rookie learning the ropes with no playoff or SB experience.
    Tyrann is a good guy to have as a mentor for new guys as he does know football and is still considered once of the best DBs in the league. As we enter a rebuilding phase, while I know having cash is seductive and the prevailing philosophy in this organization has been/is to have players restructure, if the front office can’t manage a budget or have the foresight to understand that players level of play is likely to decline with injuries, I think it is crucial that those at the top be held as accountable as the players and coaches.
    I personally believe that Bettcher was unqualified for the job of DC and received a lot of inside help from veteran players that made him look better than he was at running the Horton/Bowles playbook. FWIW, it was also mentioned during the Seattle game by the commentators that Patrick P had met with JB before the Giants game to encourage him to simplify the defense he was trying to run, which paid off. it would appear. So, it would seem that retaining our young new franchise faces are more than just marketing tools but also valuable (already paid) onfield coaching assistants,
    John DeFilppo is my guy for an offensive minded HC, followed by Pat Shumar, and I am pretty sure Keim will be looking for this type of HC rather than doing what is smartest. This will, of course, be expensive, if we get anybody good, which is not something that has been what this organization is known for, so, please, I’ll be waiting to be shocked!

  44. By JTDG on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply


    Hopefully you are not including me as someone angry about Badger.
    I am just looking at things logically. You can’t pay a guy that much and get that little in return for the past 2 years, with that future contract/bonus looming.

    If your money was in a stock that gave you so little return and others are investing much smaller amounts and getting bigger returns, After two years would you still be hoping for that big return or would you switch your money? Especially, if you decided to stay in that stock, you had to for the next couple of years.

    Now Fitz, Pat P, and Chandler have bigger cap hits than Badger, so it’s not just the money. Each of them give a great return for the investment. I think we could agree with that.

    Badgers contract was bad. It just was. The fact it was signed when he was hurt and still had a year left on his rookie deal was a bad idea. You could love the player and love his energy and leadership, but frankly, he has to produce. That is what this business is about.

    Taking emotion out, it makes no sense to take the risk to be locked into that contract. I think if that bonus wasn’t there and you got cap relief in 2019, maybe you could roll one more year. But that is not the case.

    I like Badger. I would like him to stay a cardinal, much the same way I would love to have Calais a cardinal. But paying Calais 60 million made no sense and paying Badger 60 million has not paid off the last two years and is a risk to continue this.

  45. By clssylssy on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    Please excuse the typos, run on sentences, punctuation errors, as I ‘mhaving serious vision problems!

  46. By forbessh on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks Darren for your response.

    Btw, your roster status for the upcoming season (in another article) is great. Do keep it up!

    Re. the Badger, it’s not ANGER but disappointment/frustration from fans. Some of us take this as seriously as you do (I’m a fairly new Cards fan so forgive me if my benchmarks/expectations are higher than some of the long-suffering cohorts who have endured much more dire periods!).

    Players who get paid the most prevent the team from recruiting personnel in other areas. Therefore, they owe it to themselves and the Birdgang to play lights out football. One of the oft-cited reasons why the Patriots remain dominant is that the pay lower salaries to their star players and this allows them to build strength and depth in key areas.

    Badger only played a high number of snaps because BA was too loyal to his favourite personnel (even stuck with Bethel over Trammon!, imagine if Bethel had not started the season and we won two more of the early games, we could have been in the playoffs now).

    To finish, I’ve got nothing personal against the Badger but considering he is our highest paid player apart from Palmer and P2, in the unlikely event that he is kept, he needs to tone down with the “I’m the best player in the NFL” talk during interviews and focus on talking on the field of play.

  47. By JTDG on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply


    Gresham contract;

    Yes, this is another one that doesn’t make sense.

    In 2018, he will earn 7.25 with dead money of 9.25.
    In 2019, he will earn 8.25 with dead money of 5.75
    In 2020, he will earn 8.75 with dead money of 1.75.

    Why this contract didn’t make sense to me was, with BA coach, he thought of TEs as blockers. Gresham is an average blocker who draws a ton of flags. I think this is why so many thought this was a really bad contract.
    So why pay his so much money for an average blocking TE who hurts the team with flags?

    When BA left, I thought if Patricia comes in, the Pats love to throw to TEs and maybe that might carry over. Or the Eagles throw to TEs and when Defilippo was in Cleveland , his TE blew up. (I think he went to the pro bowl).

    So, depending on the coach, you thought, well maybe this would work out. Then, I remembered he blows out his achilles and most likely won’t fully recover in 2018. (Not sure, haven’t heard recovery).
    If that is the case, his 7.25 million cap hit sure hurts.

  48. By faster on Jan 5, 2018 | Reply

    @du, thanks (albeit i`m wondering, why the lenght of the treatment of an injury is protected by privacy law).

    so a exact valuation of our medical department (and the Strength and Conditioning) is not possible. nevertheless, the history of out players injuties does`nt give me a lot of confidence to them.

    imo keim must start there to make changes.

  49. By Dr. G. on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Faster – let’s punctuate this injury/health issue. You may want to look up HIPAA rules and law…this will clarify things.

    Back when AIDS became controversial, laws were instituted to protect individuals from potential discrimination. Serious fines etc. can be imposed for violations.

    Permission to obtain medical information will be given by individuals to their care givers and may be released ONLY with permission of the patient. Every medical facility will ask you to sign the doc before you receive treatment.

    So if a player wants the public to be aware of an issue, he or she can publish it themselves just as P2 indicated that diabetes may have been an issue. That did not come from the trainers or doctors.

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