It’s the first day that teams can officially speak to the agents of free-agents-to-be, and as always, there’s plenty of early info floating around about certain players and certain teams. It does not mean anyone is locked in to signing anywhere, and certainly, there is the possibility agents are leaking interest publicly to drive their client’s market price up. With those caveats, the Cardinals were mentioned in a couple places thus far:
— Trent Cole, who would be a linebacker/pass rusher and who was cut by the Eagles already (and could sign at any time) has been making multiple visits, but the Cardinals are reportedly among the teams interested.
— Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is “leaning toward” the Cards, according to Rand Getlin. Weatherspoon, who would be a nice addition as an inside linebacker, has had it rough injury-wise of late — he missed all of last season with a ruptured Achilles tendon and played only seven games in 2013. If healthy, however, it’d upgrade the front seven. The Cards liked Weatherspoon coming out in 2010.
— The same reporter who broke Darnell Dockett’s release is saying the Cards have interest in Ravens UFA Pernell McPhee as a Dockett replacement. Not sure if McPhee would be a linebacker or defensive end for the Cardinals, given his 6-foot-3, 280-pound frame (although the Cardinals already have Alex Okafor and Matt Shaughnessy as linebackers at that size.)
— Perhaps interest in Bears DT Stephen Paea.
Again, free agents can’t even set up visits before Tuesday, and the Cards would have guys take physicals before they’d ever sign them. So there will be speculation like this for a couple of days. In the meantime, we see what is thrown out there as teams and players maneuver for the best deals possible.
— Last thing. I (surprisingly) have gotten multiple questions about Reggie Wayne. Yes, I know he played with Bruce Arians. But why would the Cardinals do that? Makes zero sense. They have their elder statesman receiver in Fitz. Arians said walking in the door he wanted to turn Fitz into what he turned Wayne into in Indy — so why would the Cards need another one of those guys? Plus, you wouldn’t want someone blocking the development of Floyd and the Browns, nor do you want someone else who would be unhappy if he wasn’t getting the ball.
Tags: Alex Okafor, free agency, Matt Shaughnessy, Pernell McPhee, Reggie Wayne, Sean Weatherspoon, Stephen Paea, Trent Cole
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Coach Ken Whisenhunt was on Sirius XM NFL radio today with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon, talking not only about his upcoming trip to the Persian Gulf, but also his team. Not surprisingly, he was asked about the quarterback situation. Also not surprisingly, no names were specifically mentioned, save for John Skelton, whom the coach did not rule out as potential 2011 QB. Whisenhunt did say, however, the Cards will be adding a quarterback (of course) and that when the labor stoppage ends, the Cards will be ready and need to be ready to make a move quickly.
As for who, “We are going to get the best player we can get based on how we have them rated,” Whisenhunt said, “and then we will have to adjust (the playbook) based on what kind of time frame we are looking at.” Whiz added later, “If you had a chance to get a young quarterback you think could develop into a great player for you for a decade, as opposed to a veteran player you think could come in and help you right now, you’ve got to go with your evaluation and the player you have rated higher.”
Could that mean Kevin Kolb? It could, but obviously, lots of room for speculation, since it’s impossible to know how the Cards have the (potential available) QBs ranked. Whisenhunt said a labor stoppage into August “possibly could” affect what quarterback the Cardinals chase. But “let’s say your number one(-rated) player is a player you think can help that position for a long time to come, you’ve got to take that shot. It’s hard to find a guy to play that position in this league. … Whether that player is already on the team, I don’t know.”
Whiz said he still “feels good” about Skelton. He also wouldn’t touch the recent comparison of Kolb to Tom Brady, made by current Kolb teammate/Eagles defensive end Trent Cole. All Whisenhunt has, he said, was evaluation from game video and what little he had gleaned talking about Kolb with people before the lockout started.
A few other tidbits from the interview:
— Whisenhunt said the Cards are “going to pick our spots” in free agency. The successful teams he has been a part of historically build teams through the draft and add a couple of critical free agents. That isn’t going to change. “We’re not going to go overboard,” Whisenhunt said, adding “it’s always good when you can get a couple of free agents who can make an impact not only as a player but as a leader.” The Cards will “aggressively pursue” what is needed to return to the playoffs, he said.
— Based on the length of the labor stoppage and how long teams will have training camp, the Cards have a number of different installation plans for their playbook, and the Cards are ready to pare down the playbook depending on prep time for the season. Probably obvious, but always interesting to hear.
— As for the doubters about the in-flux offensive line, “quite frankly, I like what I hear about our offensive line being poor and not being able to play very well because that’s going to motivate our guys.”
Tags: free agency, John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Tom Brady, Trent Cole
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