Tag:Arizona Cardinals
Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:59 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 6:07 am

Report: Fitzgerald's contract forbids tagging

FitzgeraldPosted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting tidbit in the contract of Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald was discovered by the sources of ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Basically, as Schefter reports, the Cardinals will not have the opportunity to place the franchise tag on Fitzgerald once his contract expires after this season.

Obviously, this is a very Fitzgerald-friendly clause, because assuming it could slap the tag on Fitzgerald, Arizona could keep him another season without having to sign him to a long-term deal (the caveat there is that the Cardinals would have to pay him the average of the top-five WRs in the league). That still would give the team plenty of leverage.

Most players hate this maneuver because it restricts their flexibility -- where they can play and how much they can play for. But somehow, Fitzgerald got it written into his four-year, $40 million contract that he signed in 2008 that the franchise tag is moot in his case.

The Cardinals and Fitzgerald are apparently working on a long-term deal, and with the addition of a few key free agents -- which, conveniently, you can check out in our Free Agent Tracker! -- it seems that Fitzgerald actually is interested in staying in Arizona long term.

Apparently, giving Fitzgerald some help at the TE spot (Todd Heap) and the QB spot (Kevin Kolb instead of, ugh, Derek Anderson) made him more willing to tie himself to Arizona for the future.

“Life is good. WWe have a QB, TE and I couldn’t be happier with the way this team is coming together” Fitzgerald told Xtra 910 AM earlier this month.

And luckily for Fitzgerald, it sounds like the Cardinals want to give him a ton of money.

"We want Larry to end his career as an Arizona Cardinal," GM Rod Graves told The Associated Press earlier this month, "and we are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in team history and one of the highest-paid players in the NFL."

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Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 6:26 pm

Bills trade Lee Evans to Ravens for 4th-rounder

Posted by Will Brinson

Lee Evans, on the trading block for just over 24 hours, has a new home: the Baltimore Ravens.

We speculated earlier that the Panthers, Dolphins, Ravens and Cardinals could be interested in trading for Evans, but Baltimore announced on Friday that they had dealt a 2012 draft pick in exchange for Evans.

"He’s a quality veteran receiver who stretches the field and gives us a significant downfield presence," Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said Friday. "He's the type of person you want on your team. He brings leadership and maturity to the locker room."

Ravens Preseason

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, that draft pick is a fourth-round selection.

It's not a tremendous haul for Buffalo, per se, but they were able to unload a receiver who's underperformed for most of his career in a market that saw a heavy need for wide receivers.

Evans also won't be leaned on in Baltimore the way he was in Buffalo (at least prior to the emergency of our Super Bowl buddy and would-be rapper Stevie Johnson) thanks to the presence of Anquan Boldin, which should make him a much more viable threat.

Plus, despite what Ravens fans think of Joe Flacco, it's pretty clear he's an upgrade over either Trent Edwards or Ryan Fitzpatrick.

For the Ravens, this is a huge move -- it was noted that rookie Torrey Smith struggled during Thursday night's action, and receiver was a clear-cut need for Baltimore as the season nears.

Now they've addressed it, and if Evans can produce, he'll be a tremendous value in exchange for a fourth-rounder.

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Posted on: August 12, 2011 10:51 am

David Gettis tears ACL, no Lee Evans for Carolina

Posted by Will Brinson

We've speculated here -- and at length on Twitter -- that the Panthers should have been interested in Jerricho Cotchery, who eventually signed with the Steelers, because of their need for veteran wide receiver depth.

That need grew exponentially on Friday, when it was learned that second-year wideout David Gettis would miss the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL.

This is a huge blow for Carolina, and not just because Gettis was primed -- if the Panthers could generate some quarterback play -- to break out in the coming year.

Their depth at wideout is questionable at best, as after Steve Smith (who's already suffering from a serious finger injury) comes Gettis, than Brandon LaFell, followed by Armanti Edwards (!) and the decent-but-not-startable Legedu Naanee/David Clowney combo.

So, yeah, Cotchery would have been nice. So would Buffalo's Lee Evans, whom the Bills are rumored to be interested in dealing.

The problem is that the Bills, according to Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed at the Gaston Gazette, reportedly want a third-rounder for Evans. Reed reports that "there was some initial interest from the Panthers" but that it's highly unlikey the Panthers will pursue the 30-year-old Evans.

That's primarily because of the cost for Evans, even though he'd be a huge upgrade for Carolina heading into 2011. Additionally, there's a solid chance that Buffalo can stir up a little bidding war for the deep-threat wideout.

As our own Ryan Wilson noted yesterday, there are plenty of teams -- the Ravens, the Dolphins, and the Cardinals most notably -- who still need wide receiver help.

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 8:24 pm

Report: Bills willing to trade WR Lee Evans

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Buffalo Bills selected Lee Evans with the 13th pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He's been a deep threat his entire career, even if the Bills weren't able to actually find a quarterback who could consistently get him the ball. Still, in seven seasons, Lee has 377 receptions for 5,934 yards (15.7 yards per catch) and 43 touchdowns.

And now, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bills are willing to trade Evans. No word yet on which teams might be interested in his services but you'd expect the Ravens to be at the top of the list.

Baltimore, who currently have Anquan Boldin and rookie Torrey Smith atop the depth chart, lost out on Malcom Floyd last week when he signed with the Chargers. And Jerricho Cotchery paid the team a visit but was never offered a contract, perhaps because he had offseason back surgery (that said, Cotchery eventually signed with the Steelers, a team with much more depth at wide receiver). Derrick Mason and Todd Heap, both go-to guys for Flacco during the first three years of his career, are now with the Jets and Cardinals, respectively.

Evans would add an experienced down-the-field threat the Ravens so desperately need. Earlier Thursday the Baltimore Sun's Jamison Hensley wrote that "the Ravens have never ruled out a trade (for Evans) but I would be surprised if it happened based on the team's increasing confidence in rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss and its history."

Hensley added: "In their 16-year existence, the Ravens have made 17 player trades. Only three times did it involve a receiver (the attempted acquisition of Terrell Owens in 2004, the draft-day trade for Kevin Johnson in 2004 and the trade for Anquan Boldin in March 2010)."

Other possible suitors: the Miami Dolphins, and the Arizona Cardinals.

Evans makes a lot of sense in Arizona, where he'd line up opposite Larry Fitzgerald, and for the first time in his career wouldn't be the focal point of the passing game. (If that's what you want to call JP Losman and Trent Edwards short-hopping throws in Lee's general direction a "passing game.")

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Posted on: August 11, 2011 7:29 pm

2011 NFL Preseason Live Chat, Week 1

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Hey, hey, hey, the NFL is back. Sure, it's only preseason but let's be honest, a month ago we'd take anything and, well, we got it. There are five games on the slate -- Seahawks-Chargers, Jags-Pats, Ravens-Eagles, Broncos-Cowboys, and Cards-Raiders -- and we'll be keeping an eye on all of them.  

Feel free to stop by and let us know which games you're watching because tonight we're all fans of the same thing: the return of football.

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 2:32 pm

Adrian Wilson has torn bicep muscle, back Week 1?

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite losing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles via the Kevin Kolb trade, the Cardinals still have a pretty stout secondary for 2011. So the report Monday that Pro Bowl safety (and High Point, North Carolina native!) Adrian Wilson has a torn muscle in his bicep is pretty disturbing.

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Wilson "is determined to try and play with" the tear in the muscle and is going to get a second opinion on the injury.

Wilson also told, per Kyndra de St Aubin of 620 KTAR, Patrick Peterson that he would be back in time to play for Week 1.

Paul Calvisi of KTAR cites sources who tell him that a "non-surgical option exists" that would allow Wilson to "rehab [and] play most of the season."

Don't expect to see Wilson play in the preseason, and there's a very good reason why the Cardinals re-signed free agent safety Matt Ware, who played 14 games for Arizona last year.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:41 am

Dockett on Kolb: 'It's like night and day'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Arizona Cardinals have been an active participant in free agency and for good reason: the 2010 starting quarterbacks included Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall, a group that combined for 10 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, a 51 percent completion rate and five wins.

So when offseason rumors about landing Eagles' backup Kevin Kolb became a reality shortly after the lockout ended, it came as a surprise to absolutely no one.

And in just a few days of practice, Kolb has has already made an impression on his teammates. Defensive tackle and alligator caretaker Darnell Dockett got right to the point.

"It's like night and day from last year," Dockett said, according to ESPN.com's Mike Sando. "I don't want to disrespect nobody, but I mean, he's good."

We suspect Anderson, Skelton and Hall wouldn't disagree.

"He's the leader, goes out there and gets the job done," Dockett said. "You can tell the last couple days when he wasn't practicing, he was just so anxious to get out here. That is what you want from a quarterback. You want a true leader that is going to get the ball there and lead the offense down the field, no matter what pressure -- just go ahead and get the job done."

It's early, but this is a huge deal. One of our concerns about any team trading for Kolb wasn't that he could be a legit NFL starter but that it would cost too much to find out. The Cards had to part with starting cornerback and former first-rounder Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a high-round draft pick, and give Kolb a $63 million deal (including $20 million in guarantees).

But maybe for head coach Ken Whisenhunt, no price was too steep after watching Arizona's offense last season.

"I have been impressed with how he has handled himself, his demeanor," Whisenhunt said. "I think he'll quickly adapt and get better as we go, and that is exciting. He has the right makeup mentally and physically to be successful."

You know what might help Kolb get better sooner? A new (old) pass-catching weapon. PFT.com points us to recent comments from former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner who, appearing on 620 KTAR, made the case for Arizona adding Randy Moss, who is quickly becoming the retired wide receiver equivalent to Brett Favre.

“I don’t think there’s any question he could help,” Warner said, via PFT. “I still think there’s something in the tank for Randy. . . . He has a great relationship with Larry Fitzgerald. That could be a huge plus coming to this organization. I think a deep threat is something that they need. They need somebody that can stretch the field. As good as Larry is, that’s not the player that he is.”

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:21 am

Cardinals DC Ray Horton makes very cool move

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In what has to be the coolest story you’ll read this week, former Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton, now the Cardinals defensive coordinator, sold his sweet ride to Maurice “Mo” Matthews, a cafeteria worker inside Pittsburgh’s team facility.

What’s the big deal? Well, read what happened in this Pittsburgh Post Gazette story:

Horton parked his car -- a red 1999 Mercedes Benz SL500 convertible roadster -- in front of the team's office complex and went inside to say goodbye to the cafeteria staff.

When he saw Matthews, he said to him, "Hey, I need a favor from you. How much money you have in your pocket?"

Matthews said, "I got $20."

Horton took the money, looked at it and said to Matthews, "Sold for $20!"

And then Horton handed Matthews the keys to his car and told him to keep it.

And Horton was serious. When Matthews drove Horton to the airport the next morning, Horton produced the deed to the car and told him the car was in his possession now.

"I'm still in shock," Matthews said. "I don't think it has hit me yet. I still pinch myself. I look out the window when I bring it to work and I just go, 'Man, that's mine.'”

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