Barwin and where things are in free agency

Posted by Darren Urban on April 9, 2018 – 1:50 pm

There was a report Monday morning that the Cardinals would be getting a free-agent visit from veteran pass rusher Connor Barwin, who played for the Rams last season. Whether or not something comes of that, it’s a good reminder of where things are in the NFL when it comes to free agency, especially this close to the draft.

The bigger contracts for free agents have dried up. Players still out there usually have to consider playing for a little bit less than they originally planned in order to get a spot now, or they can wait until after the draft, see what teams fill up the holes at that player’s particular position, and then try and get a little leverage that way. Jordan Matthews, a receiver who visited the Cardinals among others early in free agency, didn’t sign until he got  a one-year, minimum deal with the Patriots recently.

The Cardinals, in the Steve Keim era, rarely sign a free agent in April prior to the draft, in fact. The last time they did it was 2015 — and that was just to allow Adrian Wilson to retire as a Cardinal. The last time they signed players who actually took the field in the offseason was when they signed cornerbacks LeQuan Lewis and Eddie Whitley in 2014, and neither lasted into the regular season.

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37 Responses to “Barwin and where things are in free agency”

  1. By Joe C. on Apr 9, 2018 | Reply

    I would think WR, DB, and LB would be positions where the risk was low of sign a one year FA and then having a rookie fall to you in the draft. The positions can have 4-5 players on the field in extremes and all play heavily on special teams. I would imagine if a Conner Barwin likes AZ and wants to play here the team could exert some take it or call us after the draft leverage. With near $20M in cap space that doesn’t seem risky.

  2. By Scott H on Apr 9, 2018 | Reply

    Had the chance to observe Barwin out here in Philly for many seasons. He’s a good guy, all round. On the field, in the locker room, in the community. And a solid veteran pass rusher would sure sound good to me.

  3. By Richard S on Apr 9, 2018 | Reply

    16 days 23 hours till the draft. Hope the Cards have a good one.

  4. By Scott H on Apr 9, 2018 | Reply

    Good lord, are there REALLY 17 days left until the draft??? Does it take longer and longer to get here every year or is it me? I swear, it does. I’ve officially reached the saturation point where I can’t stand to listen to one more friggin mock draft.

    I wish mock drafts could be out-lawed. Honestly. They’re no different from the March Madness brackets that people fill out. Pretty much as soon as it starts, most of people’s brackets / drafts are already going wrong. And at the end, most of their picks WERE wrong! Yet, we call the people who do them “experts”…..

    Gonna be a LOOOOOOONG 17 days……..

  5. By Eric G on Apr 9, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Just wait for the one mock draft to rule them all, Mike Mayock. The rest are irrelevant and just to get clicks from people desperate for anything NFL related. .

  6. By Coach K on Apr 9, 2018 | Reply


    In reply to your question on who I would give up to move up to pick #10, i would consider #1 in 2019. I’m not sure if that’s too much to move up only 5 picks, but if coaches and Keim love Baker, that’s what I would do.


    Yes, I agree that a couple of my picks may have a higher grade, but those are the players I like. Duke could be switched with the tight end I suppose, but I am glad we agree on Kirk at #2. Not the tallest guy, but his quickness is exceptional and I like his thicker body to hold up against the jam.

    I understand your feelings on Baker, but after watching him attend the funeral of that little girl who died of cancer and what he did for the family, I see tremendous character in this guy. Yes, he did some stupid kid things, but there is something about him that makes him different.

    I will say I also like the Lauletta kid from Richmond in round three, but it depends of what kind of offense we run to fit his arm talent. I like his intangibles.

    This is going to be the wildest draft I have seen in years. So many moving parts and possibilities. Should be fun, or agonizing.

  7. By Jerry on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Mock drafts are designed to be FUN…..period! Everyone knows the “experts” don’t know who will draft who, but they research the most prominent talent at each position and allow the fans to play the draft game also. For me, it fills the void between NFL seasons. Can’t wait!

  8. By Scott H on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Eric G

    Good tip. Thanks. If I can stomach one more of them, I’ll keep an eye out.

  9. By lloyd wolf on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Hi Scott,,,,no one is twisting your arm to look or read them and since you know they are pretty much fairytales…why waste your time? make you own up…just use common sense and logic and you will do just as well. all of us can easily create a list of critical cardinal needs…do the same.

    i recall some dude who writes for the dallas paper was pretty darn good.
    the free agent moves are

  10. By JTDG on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply


    The biggest problem with mock drafts are six things.

    -One, the trade up or down can disrupt the draft. (the Bills or Patriots could trade up and no one knows who they are targeting – see chiefs and Texans last year) We already saw the Jets move up, changing Chumb to the Colts pick at 3.

    -Two, when teams make trades can change the draft (like this Patriots and Rams trade or the Bills and Bengals)

    -Three, that rogue team, that takes someone rated by some in the second round. (like Seattle with Bruce Irvin or the Raiders with Darius Hayward Bey – Biggest surprise was the Bears trading up for Trubisky when they signed a monster deal with Glennon)

    -Forth, the FA signings can change them. (Everyone had a QB going to Denver, After the signing of Case Keedum, no one is sure now)

    -Fifth, the QBs. They are always over drafted. (is Baker Mayfield or Lamar Jackson better than TreMaine Edmunds or Derwin James? Absolutely not, but they could get drafted before them because everyone needs a QB)

    -Six, the position. If teams need tackles and say Mike McClinchy or Orlando Brown are rated as 30-40 range guys, the need sometimes pushes the player up the board regardless of what GMs say. Experts can predict that.

    So, when you take all that into account, that is why it is tough to nail a mock draft. That is why people like Mayock don’t do their drafts till the day before. I also will say, because you think this team needs this player , doesn’t mean the GM of that team thinks the same way.

    With all that being said, I think mocks are more designed for the experts to tell you how high this guy should go and how low this guy should go. I like the top 50 boards more than the mock drafts.

  11. By JTDG on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply


    Experts can predict that , should say can’t

  12. By dan on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Just get a stud offensive line………thats where ALL my money would be invested…..u run the ball u will games……average QB which we have…….Lol……..stud RB……average O-line which needs to be a STUD offensive line to control the game and to keep our defense fresh since they will be resting……having a stud offensive line puts the other team into making mistakes on both sides of the ball……their defense won’t know what coming,run or pass…….their offense presses because they know chances are limited cuz we run the clock out or just do play action and roast their defense.

  13. By dan on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    I don’t care who the WRs or RBs are……….stud offensive line is the key……WRs and RBs are just fluff………u can make bozo the clown look like Jim Brown with a stud oline.

  14. By Joe C. on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Interesting article about how the Rams traded almost all their draft picks for vets to win now. They are feeling the heat to build a winner before Goff gets his first big contract and they have no space. Given the draft is a crap shoot, this almost means they will have to be mediocre in a few years because they’ll have no young talent on rookie contracts. Much like Seattle looks now without draft picks. I see their logic but it reminds me of Denver as well. Go all in and compete at the highest level for a few years and then drop and rebuild. Its almost smarter to build the rest of the team and sign average free agent QB’s. The Ram’s method requires real suckiness to get a top pick to use on a QB (or else you trade your future draft capital for the QBOTF and can’t acquire the vets) And if that QB doesn’t pan out you still suck. And they traded for all head cases. Football is so much more mental then some give it credit for. They took a big risk, a.) the vets won’t pan out talent and/or attitude and b.) they win and don’t mortgage their future and miss their goal.

  15. By Joe C. on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Piggybacking on dan’s comment (posted after mine was written) the Ram’s also went primarily DB/WR. while great one’s are worth their weight in gold, and usually demand it at contract time, average one’s shouldn’t be hard to find. If you depleted your draft for good young o-linemen I would support that!

  16. By JCH on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Cardinals should sign Jordan Palmer for the fun of it since he is Carson Palmers brother! Haha I do not know when is contract ends but it would just be funny for him to be on Cardinals team. Im just kidding im not sure how good he is but it was just a funny thought.

  17. By creditcard on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    When it comes to drafting a QB, I believe the most important person is the QB coach, Byron Leftwich.

    I’ve said it all along, Josh Allen s/b selected between 12-18th in the 1st round. If he goes as a top 5 pick — some team reached. If Allen is gone; the Cards should trade down their 15th for a lower level 1st round and a 2nd round pick. Trade down the 1st round pick again, for another couple 2nd round picks.

    Thus, the Cards could then select a decent CB, WR, TE, LB, O-line and probably choose between Rudolph and Lauletta for the QB of the future.

  18. By D on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Mock drafts are useless. Most “experts” create multiple because after 5 or more of them, you are bound to determine to get some players going to the right teams in 1, then the “expert” can say he or she was right.
    They also are created for web hits for sites that want/need clicks/viewers for advertising. No different than the fake news scroll on your FB page.

  19. By Scott H on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    lloyd –

    RE: Mock drafts

    No, no one is twisting my arm but they are so everywhere you look, you can’t avoid them! They seem to find you. If you have the TV or the radio on, tuned to any program related to sports, it’s all mock drafts.

    I get it. I just don’t want it! Not too much of it, anyway.

    As for making up my own…..well, I’m pretty much illiterate when it comes to college football, so that wouldn’t work. I don’t follow the college game, don’t know who these players are.

  20. By JTDG on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Credit card,

    Do you believe (as I do) in Josh Allen? Do you believe he is a franchise QB?

    So, if you think he is the guy to lead your franchise, why would it be a reach to take him in the top 5?

    Listen, there are not 32 franchise QBs playing in the NFL. Many who are, are approaching 40. So even less will be there.

    So, if you think Josh Allen is one of those elusive franchise QBs, wouldn’t you do whatever you could to get him and take him as soon as you can?

    I really don’t understand the argument that, Mayfield, Allen Jackson should not be picked in the top 5.

    Either they are a franchise guy or not. And if they are not, why do you want them

  21. By Joe C. on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG-I would say the opportunity cost of selecting a QB who is not a sure thing is the downside. You said you believe in him so if you do then you take him. But if you take a D or O lineman or DB and they turn out to be an average ten year starter its a success. You take a Gabbert or Glennon, even a Bortles too high and its a fail.

  22. By JTDG on Apr 10, 2018 | Reply

    Joe C.

    I understand the down side. Choosing a QB , instead of Chubb or Barkley is a risk for a team.

    So, you don’t take one unless you completely feel he is the guy. Now, if you do your homework and come away and say, this is our guy, and he fails, you get fired.

    If Mahomes or Watson fail after their teams trading up, could spell trouble for that GM.

    Some GMs, (not mentioning any names) , don’t take those risk, and instead keep taking QBs from other teams.

    To take it another step, if the Browns take Allen over Darnald, and Darnald becomes a franchise stud while Allen fails, that GM will never find another job.

    For me, if you believe in the QB, take him as high as you can and build around him.

  23. By Jon on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply


    If you think a guy COULD be a franchise QB but aren’t certain, that would be the perfect reason to draft him at number 15 but not in the top 5. Top 5 HAS to be a win. Number 15 is kind of meh, it should be a win but if it isn’t it wouldn’t be the first time.

    You’re not giving near enough credit to the amount of uncertainty in these picks. None of these QB’s are risk free, and any one of them could be busts. No team or GM seriously believes otherwise, and that includes those who will draft a QB in the top five.

    Its all about how risky you think your choice is…

  24. By JTDG on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply


    I firmly believe teams feel the QB they take in round 1 is a franchise guy.
    If they don’t, why waste the pick.

    GMs are not thinking, well this guy could be good. After all, even at 15, they are going to pay him millions of dollars.

    If you are unsure, pick a player you are sure about.

    How do QBs play out in the draft ?
    1st round – 57% will be a starter
    2nd round – 12%
    3rd-5th – 12.3%
    6th – undrafted – 18%

    That data tells me, if you want a starter, you need to take one in round one. Sure, you might find one in later rounds but odds are against you.
    But if you decide to go first round, you better be sure

  25. By Scott H on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply

    Darren –

    Barwin? Did he visit? Is he scheduled?

  26. By Darren Urban on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Barwin

    I read somewhere he was going to be today. We’ll see.

  27. By JTDG on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply

    To take it a step further, lets look at past first round drafted QBs;
    we will skip 2017 as it is still developing.
    Let’s see the difference in top 5 QBs and ones in round one outside the top 10.

    2016 – top 5 – Goff and Wentz, not top 5 – Paxton Lynch

    2015- top 5 – Winston and Marriota, not top 5 – none

    2014 – Top 5 – Bortles, not top 5 – Jonny Manzel and Teddy Bridgewater

    2013 – Top 5 – none , not top 5 – EJ Manual

    2012 – Top 5 – Luck and Griffin, not top 5 – Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weedon

    2011 – Top 5 – Cam Newton, not top 5 – Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder

    2010 – Top 5 – Sam Bradford, not top 5 – Tim Tebow

    2009 – Top 5 – Mathew Safford and Mark Sanchez, not top 5 – Josh Freeman

    2008 – Top 5 – Matt Ryan , not top 5 – Joe Flacco

    So, the last 10 years has in the top 5 , 10 starting QBs, while after the 5th pick, only Tannehill (pick 8) and Flacco (pick 18) are starters.

    So, out of 12 QBs picked in the top 5 over the last 10 years, only RG3 and Sanchez are not starters., although RG3 was a pro bowler before injuries hindered his career.

    While the players picked after the 5th pick, out of the 12 , only 2 are starters, and there are rumors that their replacements might be chosen this year.

    So, 24 QBs have been taken in round 1. 83% of those in top 5 are hits, and only 17% picked outside top 5 are hits.
    Players picked in the top 5 overwelmingly have a chance to be a starter and players outside the top 5 overwelmingly will be over drafted. Data doesn’t lie.

    So, either that QB is your guy that you want in the top 5 or pick a different position.

  28. By Jerry on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply

    Hmmmm….really nice data, JTDG, and hard to dispute. Guess I better forget about taking L. Jackson at #15? Love the kid’s athleticism though.

  29. By JTDG on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply


    I was thinking the same thing.

    Of course, he could be that 17% that makes it.

  30. By Scott H on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG –

    With the acquisitions of Bradford and ( ugh ) Glennon…..does it feel to you like the Cardinals are really in must-find-our-QB-in-the-draft mode? To me, it does not. Not this year, anyway.

    I think the Bradford acquision is a shot at trying to get lucky with another veteran QB, albeit a much younger one than Palmer. I think it is more of the same from this GM. Hey, if it works out, great.

    Keim is going to have to draft the right QB one of these years. Almost feels like he is trying to avoid it for another year or two with Bradford. Just me.

  31. By JTDG on Apr 11, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H ,

    100% agree.

    I think Keim can’t or doesn’t want to pay the price for moving up to get one of the top QBs.

    So, yes, I think he is trying to catch lightning in a bottle again. He has been with the cards and watched them draft Leinert and sign Warner and trade for Palmer.
    I see him trying to hit a third time instead of drafting that QB outside the top 5 (see above- btw, Leinert was outside the top 5. )

    If Bradford stays healthy, he will win games here. No doubt in my mind, this team will have a winning record with a healthy Bradford.

    A draft of a CB, center, Rt, safety and the team will be in good shape.

    That.has never been my issue. Putting together a 9-10 win season isn’t what this league is about. Super Bowls is what it is about and obviously Minnesota didn’t think they could win it all with Bradford.

  32. By Scott H on Apr 13, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Neither did the Eagles. Heck, neither did the Rams, for that matter. But never mind that. Never mind the fact that the three NFL teams that have employed Sam Bradford so far in his career have apparently not believed they were going to win a SB with him. That is irrelevant.

    All that matters, apparently, is that you and I believe he is not good enough to win a SB. That’s negativity. We shouldn’t think or say that.

    Makes sense, right?

  33. By CARDS62 on Apr 13, 2018 | Reply

    Cowboys release Dez and I think Jeremy Maclin is still available in free agency. If the price is right will like to have both of these guys as WRs for 2018. I really think Larry can keep Dez in check for 2018 with his skill set and experience of watching C Carter keep Randy Moss focused. Maclin is getting up there in age, but I just have always liked his game.

    I know we have risk with Dez, but just want to see our Cardinals do something this off season that I can get excited about.

    GO Cards!

  34. By Scott H on Apr 14, 2018 | Reply

    CARDS62 –

    I’m very leary of Bryant, I gotta be honest with you. He has not been able to adjust to a change of QB in Dallas and having a different role in their offense. I think Bryant is a guy who was able to dominate for a period of years because of his size, speed, and strength. And I think he took for working hard to be a better WR for granted because of it. He was never ( still isn’t ) a good route runner. And he always had that tendency to tune out or become frustrated when he isn’t getting the ball.

    In other words, he was / is everything that Larry Fitzgerald isn’t. That is why Fitz still continues to put up 1000 yard seasons and be among the league leaders in catches at 34 while Bryant appears to be in decline at 29.

    Bryant was able to dominate when Romo was there and would feed him the deep balls. Exit Romo and Bryant hasn’t been the same since. The Cowboys have actually been a better team and a better offense as Bryant had declined. It’s like they moved on and haven’t needed him.

    He continued to be a very heavily-targeted WR last season, yet his production declined.

    None of that is good.

    At 29, he should still have plenty left in the tank. And it would seem there should still be enough there physically for him to be productive. But I don’t think his problem is from the neck down. I think his problem is from the neck up.

    I’m leary of Dez Bryant being fixed by a change in scenery. And given the history of his sideline antics, I’m not sure I want to saddle a first-time HC with a player like that.

    I think he is a risk and I’m not sure his up-side is worth it. Hard to say what his up-side even is at this point.

    AND what do we think Bryant is going to want in terms of years / money with a new team? I don’t see him taking a one-year flier, ya know?

    But I hear ya, I couldn’t think help thinking about him, too. PHYSICALLY, he looks like what we need.

  35. By CARDS62 on Apr 15, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks Scott I know what you are saying about Bryant being a risk and I agree, but my friend we need to be able to throw the ball to someone other than Larry and DJ. We need some players and I am thinking Larry could control him for a year or two. I do like the receiver, Calvin Ridley out of Alabama and I will not be upset if we draft him at # 15, but I am still pulling for Lamar Jackson, QB with our first round pick.

    GO Cards!

  36. By Jerry on Apr 16, 2018 | Reply

    I’m also still hoping for L. Jackson at #15, although JTDG’s recent QB historical data kinda dampened my enthusiasm. As he said, maybe LJ will be in the 17% category? Sure hope so….

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