Levi to IR and moves to get to 75 on roster

Posted by Darren Urban on August 24, 2012 – 3:56 pm

The Cardinals have trimmed their roster to the requisite 75 by cutting 12 players today, in addition to waiving injured fullback Jared Crank (neck) and running back Thomas Clayton (knee) and putting on injured reserve tackle Levi Brown, which officially ends Brown’s season. The Cards had until Monday to make the moves. The cut to 53 players must come a week from today, the day after the Cards close out the preseason with a game against Denver.

The 12 released were:

— DE Landon Cohen

— WR Gino Crump

— S Eddie Elder

— WR Tre Gray

— CB Marshay Green

— WR Jaymar Johnson

— FB Reagan Maui’a

— LB Marcus McGraw

— LB Zack Nash

— CB James Nixon

— K/P Ricky Schmitt

— LB Paul Vassallo

On a side note, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin was fined by the NFL $21,000 for hitting a defenseless player in the head/neck area, in this case, Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart. It’s a hefty sum for a guy who has yet to collect anything more than a practice squad paycheck in the league. (Kicker and NFLPA player rep Jay Feely informs us the fine is not collected unless Lumpkin makes a roster.)

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Pushed by Fitz

Posted by Darren Urban on May 9, 2012 – 11:54 am

The other day, running back Ryan Williams was finishing up with his three sets on the military press — 10 reps each with 50-pound dumbbells — when veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald told Williams he wasn’t done yet. There would be three more sets, with the 80-pound dumbbells.

“He don’t let me slack at all,” Williams said. “When I say I love working with Fitz and I hate it at the same time, I mean, that’s the best way I could put it.

“I did three more sets of 80 with him. That’s the stuff I’m talking about. To have someone do that, who’s been in the game for a minute, I don’t care who your favorite is. You can’t leave Fitzgerald out. That’s how I want to be.”

Fitzgerald isn’t the only veteran doing such things. There are reasons so many of the defensive backs look like they’ve added muscle, and one of them is having veteran Adrian Wilson looking their way and insisting they continue to work hard even in the offseason. You really don’t want to let down A-Dub.

But for Fitz, pushing his teammates is about more than just leadership. Or even about making the team better. It’s about making Fitz — who leaves tomorrow to Malaysia on a Starkey hearing mission — better too.

“I’m just an extremely self-motivated person, that’s all,” Fitzgerald said. “Every day I am trying to run faster, jump higher, lift more. I have always been that way. Especially young guys like (Williams) … yesterday Patrick Peterson, we had a squat competition. I do it with (receivers) DeMarco Sampson, Jaymar (Johnson). I am into that. I love the competition, no matter if it is on the field, the basketball gym, the bowling alley, competition always makes the cream rise to the top. So I love to compete.”

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Odds and ends on a Friday afternoon

Posted by Darren Urban on January 13, 2012 – 4:13 pm

A few tidbits as we head into a long weekend in which we see if Tebow-mania lives another week in this NFL season and where I don’t expect anything to happen in Cardinals World (so don’t hold your breath waiting for news on the coaching staff, Todd Haley or otherwise.)

— The Cardinals added a couple of players to the roster Friday, bringing back a couple of wide receivers that have been here before: Isaiah Williams and Jaymar Johnson (actually, Johnson was here basically all season, while Williams was cut after training camp).

— The news Jeff Fisher was hired as Rams coach wasn’t unexpected. It means, at least right now, that Ray Horton will be staying in Arizona (I am assuming he won’t come up as a candidate anywhere else). It also makes less likely that Cards’ director of player personnel will be the Rams’ GM, because the expectation is that Fisher’s arrival will mean Lake Dawson, with whom Fisher worked in Tennessee, will probably get the GM job. We will see. (On a side note, Mike Jurecki said on XTRA 910 today that former Cards coach Dave McGinnis could end up in St. Louis on Fisher’s staff. McGinnis has been with the Titans ever since Fisher hired him after McGinnis was fired from the Cards following the 2003 season.)

— If you missed my Twitter link, and if you want to start looking at names, here’s a good free agent tracker as we move toward the March 13 beginning of the new league year.

— I know I said we shouldn’t be talking about this right now, but Charley Casserly, who created a big dust-up on national TV last weekend suggesting Peyton Manning would be a good fit in Arizona if he were cut by Indy, said on XTRA 910 with Mike Jurecki and Dan Bickley his comments were “strictly my opinion.” Not that it’s a shock, but anyone suggesting it was based on fact and not just connect-the-dots can put that in their back pocket.

— Former Cardinals defensive end Michael Bankston is going to be running for a spot in the Arizona Legislature.

— If you didn’t see it, posted an update on the rehab of the chronically optimistic RB Ryan Williams. I don’t know how he will do when he starts playing, but it’s hard not to think he’ll do well when you talk to him. (And I also liked this story around Rex Hadnot and his late brother, if you missed it).

That’s all for now. We’ll have updates over the weekend if there is anything to update (but I’ll probably be crawling around Twitter @cardschatter if you’re looking for me).

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Adding bodies for the offseason

Posted by Darren Urban on January 5, 2012 – 2:36 pm

The Cardinals added nine players to the offseason roster Wednesday, signing them to “futures” deals. That included six from the Cards’ practice squad: C Ryan Bartholomew, CB Korey Lindsey, DT Ricky Lumpkin, RB William Powell, TE Steve Skelton and LB Quan Sturdivant (WR Jaymar Johnson, the seventh member of the practice squad, was not signed).

The Cardinals also brought in three new players: G Chris Stewart, who spent a little time with the Jets last season;, pass-rushing linebacker Antonio Coleman, who spent time with the Bills and Giants (and is pictured below); and tight end Martell Webb, who was briefly with the Eagles, Jets and Bucs.

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Cards promote offensive lineman

Posted by Darren Urban on December 27, 2011 – 1:47 pm

With tackle Brandon Keith gimpy with a bad ankle — he sat out last week — the Cardinals made a roster move, releasing wide receiver Jaymar Johnson (re-signing him to the practice squad) and promoting tackle D.J. Young to the active roster. I don’t necessarily expect Young to play Sunday. This might have been one of those “Here’s a pat on the back and a full NFL week’s paycheck for working so hard this season” moves.

While cornerback Patrick Peterson is hurting with his left Achilles tendon injury, the Cards could have but didn’t replace him. Maybe that’s a hope he will still play. He said Tuesday he was “50-50” to go against the Seahawks.

The Cardinals have had some games where three receivers have been inactive, so Johnson wasn’t going to have a good chance to play anyway.

If there is any chance Peterson can play, maybe this will be a reason he should — Fox is sending play-by-play man Sam Rosen to call the Cards-Seahawks game. Rosen has called four Cardinals games already this season, and in each of them, Peterson has a punt return for a touchdown.

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Kolb starts, Heap sits, Jaymar Johnson’s chance

Posted by Darren Urban on December 4, 2011 – 12:46 pm

As expected, Kevin Kolb will start at quarterback today for the Cardinals. Not as expected: tight end Todd Heap is inactive again, thanks to his hamstring problems. The Cardinals will give wide receiver Jaymar Johnson a chance to play too, inactivating not only Stephen Williams but also Chansi Stuckey at the position. Heap’s absence, after playing last week in St. Louis, has to be disappointing. This season has not turned out the way anyone expected for him.

Jeremy Bridges will remain in the starting lineup at right tackle, having usurped Brandon Keith.

Besides Heap, Stuckey and Williams, the Cards have put four others on the inactive list:

  • QB Rich Bartel
  • T D’Anthony Batiste
  • S Kerry Rhodes (foot)
  • LB Joey Porter (knee)

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Cards cut FB Maui’a, promote WR Johnson

Posted by Darren Urban on November 29, 2011 – 11:22 am

With fullback Anthony Sherman back to health, the Cardinals released fullback Reagan Maui’a today. That was expected once Sherman had recovered from his ankle injury. To fill Maui’a’s spot on the roster, the Cardinals have promoted wide receiver Jaymar Johnson from the practice squad — interesting in the fact the Cardinals already had six receivers on the active roster and one — Stephen Williams — is a healthy scratch every week. Johnson has speed and has spent time with the Vikings. We’ll see if he gets a chance to play on Sundays.

Filling Johnson’s spot on the practice squad will be tight end Steve Skelton, who was brought back for a third time this season.

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Butler done for season, Talley brought up

Posted by Darren Urban on September 20, 2011 – 12:56 pm

As expected, the season for cornerback Crezdon Butler is over. Butler dislocated his ankle last week at practice, and the Cardinals put him on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season. To fill Butler’s roster spot, the Cardinals are bringing back defensive lineman Ronald Talley from the practice squad. Talley’s practice squad is expected to be filled by Wednesday.

The Cardinals did make a practice squad move Tuesday, however, signing former Viking receiver (and close friend of Larry Fitzgerald) Jaymar Johnson, while releasing wide receiver Brandyn Harvey.

Butler did play on special teams in the opener but the health of veteran Michael Adams likely meant it would have been tougher for him to find the field. The Cardinals probably were overstaffed at defensive back as well, given the presence of fellow waiver-wire acquisition Korey Lindsey.

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Peterson up for award, and some other stuff

Posted by Darren Urban on September 13, 2011 – 3:52 pm

Some afternoon Tuesday notes:

— After his 89-yard punt return for a touchdown, rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson is up for the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award, voted on right here by the fans. Of course, it was a pretty big week for rookies — among the other choices are Packers return man Randall Cobb (108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown) and Cam Newton, who may have had a good day in his debut.

— Not that it necessarily means anything, but Larry Fitzgerald broke some news Tuesday on Twitter that former Vikings receiver Jaymar Johnson — who is close with Fitz and Fitz’ s brother Marcus — had a workout with the Cardinals. Teams work out players all the time; it doesn’t mean they will sign them right away or ever sign them. I know Richard Bartel worked out for the Cards last year weeks before he signed. Plenty have come through here for a work out never to be heard from again.

— The 130.0 passing rating for Kevin Kolb was the Cards’ best since Kurt Warner had a 132.9 during a five-touchdown day in Chicago in 2009. And everything didn’t click for Kolb.

— Another note on Kolb, when it comes to ESPN’s new passer rating. The attempt by ESPN to truly value a QB’s game and include everything positive and negative is worthy. A quarterback shouldn’t overly benefit on a 50-yard pass when it’s a dump in the flat and the running back, for instance, gains 45 of the yards on his skill. That said, Kolb was “hurt” by the catch-and-runs from tight end Jeff King (48 yards total) and wide receiver Early Doucet (70), and while those guys ran with the ball for most of the gains on those plays, Kolb’s cool under pressure to get the ball there with the blitz seems to me should count for more than it did.

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