Tag:Arizona Cardinals
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Would the Cards trade DRC for Kolb?

D. Rodgers-Cromartie is rumored to be traded to Philadelphia (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Cardinals, without question, need a quarterback for 2011. The Eagles, without question, would like a cornerback to play opposite Asante Samuel.

So, what would make more sense than a trade for Eagles QB Kevin Kolb and Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie?

And with all the rumors, started by a Philadelphia radio station, that have occurred the past couple days linking these two teams together for an impending trade, it almost seems like the swap is just about complete.

Except it’s not, according to Arizona’s official website.

Writes Darren Urban: “To begin with, the Cards, who have been looking to solidify their third cornerback spot, finally seem to have that lined up with (Patrick) Peterson, DRC and Greg Toler. That becomes an issue all over again if DRC is dealt. Peterson hasn’t even proven he can play cornerback yet – remember, there are some who think he’ll be better suited as a safety, a la Antrel Rolle – and giving up the team’s best current corner is a pretty big risk in today’s pass-happy NFL. Also, for whatever DRC’s faults might be, his resume is still more complete than Kolb."

And so continues the idea of Kolb as the biggest potential acquisition of the offseason. But, like Urban, I don’t see why the Cardinals would make this move, especially since nobody really knows if Kolb is any good. That’s the point that’s baffling to me. Kolb has started seven games in his career and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. Is that enough to know for sure? Would you want to give up one of your starting cornerbacks to take a chance that Kolb is that much better than Derek Anderson or John Skelton or, if the Cardinals go the free agent route, Marc Bulger?

I don’t see why Arizona would take that chance. It doesn’t sound like the Cardinals will.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:04 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Fox: Orton, Tebow, Quinn will compete for QB job

Posted by Ryan Wilson

New Broncos coach John Fox may not have access to his players, but he's used the lockout to watch film of every game of each player on Denver's roster.

"I like the guys on our team right now, but I can't tell you how much yet," Fox told the Denver Post. "I've only spent one day with them. You find out how much you like them when you get on the field with them. There's nothing like seeing them with the naked eye."

And despite the rumors that Kyle Orton could end up elsewhere when the 2011 season starts, Fox still contends all three quarterbacks -- Orton, Tim Tebow and even Brady Quinn -- will compete for the starting job.

"I've said it before and I mean it: It'll be a competition," Fox said. "Competition is what this game's about, whether if it's an opponent or a depth chart. It's been this way as long as I can remember."

Fair enough, but Tebow seems to be the favorite; Orton appears destined to be traded; and Quinn, as has been the case for most of his NFL career, could be the odd man out.

Not that it means anything because players from around the league often work out together in the offseason, but Orton trained with Larry Fitzgerald recently. That the Cardinals are in the market for a new quarterback only fuel the rumors.

Depending on when the lockout ends, there's also the slim possibility that Fox might want to acquire veteran QB Jake Delhomme (they were together in Carolina) to serve as a mentor. And since Orton is entering his seventh year in the league, it's safe to assume Delhomme would be working with Tebow. That's another sign that Orton might not be long for Denver. But that's less surprising than Fox saying Quinn has a legit shot at the starting job.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 19, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Leinart could reunite with Carroll in Seattle

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Nothing like a lockout to artificially inflate Matt Leinart's value. The former Cardinals first-round pick in the 2006 draft, Leinart has been underwhelming by any measure. After five starts as a rookie, he toiled mostly as a backup. Leinart was also occasionally characterized as disgruntled, and that eventually led to Arizona releasing him before the 2010 season.

"In fairness to Matt, I think that it would be a tough position for him to be in a backup role," coach Ken Whisenhunt said at the time. "Maybe a fresh start for him is what would be a good thing, for all of us."

Leinart signed with Houston, where he took exactly zero snaps.

Now, according to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, "the Texans would love to have him back" but admits "Leinart wants to play for a team that'll give him a chance to start. I see him being reunited with Pete Carroll."

Which is the latest evidence that Matt Hasselbeck, who spent the previous 10 seasons in Seattle, will be hawking his wares elsewhere in 2011.

Dan Pompei, writing for NationalFootballPost.com, echoes McClain's thinking that, ultimately, Leinart could end up with Carroll. But just like Whisenhunt in Arizona and Gary Kubiak in Houston, Pompei doesn't think Leinart will be the starter in Seattle, either.
Chances are looking good that the Seahawks may have two new quarterbacks by the time camp opens. They tried to re-sign Matt Hasselbeck before the lockout started and couldn’t come to terms. Now they may move on if they can find a better alternative (hello, Kevin Kolb) as a starter. Getting hurt in each of the last three years has left Hasselbeck vulnerable in Seattle. And it would almost be an upset if the Seahawks didn’t sign Matt Leinart to come in as a backup. The Seahawks might not be crazy about what they have seen of Leinart on tape, but coach Pete Carroll has won a lot of games with him, and he thinks he can win some more.
With the Cardinals, the knock against Leinart wasn't his ability (although his inconsistent efforts in practice didn't help); it was that he wasn't considered a leader.

ESPN.com's NFC West blogger Mike Sando wrote last September that "Leinart could have made this work if he had played by Whisenhunt's rules. He wasn't willing (or possibly able) to do that under difficult circumstances. He complained and pouted and made it impossible for Whisenhunt to name Leinart the leader of a locker room filled with players more closely aligned with the Whisenhunt mindset."

As Whisenhunt said last fall, maybe a fresh start will be good for Leinart, even if he's destined to be a backup. A bit of advice, Matt: try to avoid burning bridges like your former college teammate, LenDale White.

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 8:58 am
Edited on: June 17, 2011 4:11 pm
 

Kyle Orton works out with Larry Fitzgerald

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Save the few hours during the April draft, we haven't officially had an offseason. It's left plenty of time for speculation, mostly about which players will end up where once free agency begins.

On Thursday, we wrote about Kevin Kolb, currently with the Eagles but likely to end up elsewhere, perhaps Arizona. But Cardinals coaches are reportedly concerned about Kolb's decision making, and if he's a good fit for Ken Whisenhunt's offense.

Which brings us to contestant No. 2: Kyle Orton. We haven't heard much from him lately, but like Kolb, he has previously been linked to Arizona because he's a) available, and b) an above-average quarterback, something the Cards haven't had since Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season.

With Tebow-mentum building in Denver, there's probably nothing left for Orton, at least as a starter, even though he's proven he can run an offense. (More than that, as a rookie in Chicago, he replaced an injured Rex Grossman and went along for the ride on an 11-5 season and the playoffs. We said yesterday that the Cardinals don't need Tom Brady, they just need someone to steer clear of the icebergs; Orton can do that.) So it's not altogether surprising to see that he's working out with … Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Actually, players -- despite their team affiliation and even sometimes their professional league -- work out all the time. During an appearance on NFL Network's Total Access this week Hines Ward admitted that he trains with Calvin Johnson. What does that mean? Well, that he trains with Calvin Johnson. Hines isn't going to the Lions and Megatron isn't coming to the Steelers.

And Fitzgerald tweeted as much Thursday, admitting that he's known Orton for a while. (Also on hand for the workouts: Eric Decker, Laurent Robinson, and Kyle Orton's dad. Funny, we don't hear about those guys potentially ending up in Arizona.)

So while these workouts aren't out of the ordinary, it raises another question: If you're the Cards, do you want Kolb, an unproven starter who has drawn comparisons (OK, comparison, singular) to Tom Brady? Or is Orton, a player with a ton of starting experience but perhaps a lower ceiling, the better fit?

We're leaning toward Orton. The free-bowl-of-soup haircut screams franchise QB. (But it looks good on him! That's a joke, obviously, but we really do think Orton makes the most sense for Arizona.)

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:06 am
 

Beanie Wells surprised by Cards draft strategy

WellsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Cardinals took RB Ryan Williams in the second round of April’s draft, it caught Arizona’s current No. 1 RB Beanie Wells off guard.

And while it seems somewhat odd that the Cardinals would tell Wells he was on very thin ice only two years into his career – especially after making him a first-round pick in 2009 and because he suffered from a knee injury last year – what other message could management have been sending by taking Williams when it did?

“I didn’t think we really needed a running back, especially in the second round,” Wells said on the Fan AM 1060 (via the Arizona Republic). “But obviously they did. I just take it on as more competition and prepare the same way. … I wasn’t angry. You know the ins and outs of the business. If they don’t like the production at a position, they’re probably going to get another one. This game is like a candy store – if you don’t like the candy you taste, you get another piece.”

He then was asked what he thought the move meant for his job security as the top RB.

“I wasn’t the starting running back; Tim (Hightower) was,” Wells said. “I was just trying to compete to become the starting running back.”

That’s a strange attitude, considering Wells was the featured back until he injured his knee late in the preseason last year – which affected him the entire season – and considering how badly Hightower struggled holding onto the ball. It’s strange because Wells absolutely SHOULD consider himself the starting RB.

During the draft, Williams talked about touching base with Wells, saying, “When the Cardinals told me they were going to pick me, they gave me Beanie Wells’ phone number. I didn’t use it, but now I might give him a text for some help. … I hope so. I heard he’s a good guy. He’s a team player, and I’m part of the team. Hopefully, he’ll be willing to help.”

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Trent Cole compares Kevin Kolb to Tom Brady

Posted by Ryan Wilson

If super agent Drew Rosenhaus can call Terrelle Pryor a first-round pick, then Eagles defensive end Trent Cole can compare teammate Kevin Kolb to Tom Brady. Appearing Wednesday on SiriusXM Blitz with Adam Schein, Cole spoke glowingly of Kolb, who has played in just 19 games since Philadelphia selected him in the second round of the 2007 draft.

“Kolb can play," Cole said. "He is very, very accurate. I compare him to Tom Brady. I really do. They can both throw it downfield. But they both know how to use the entire field. They can take five yards and work with that, make it 10 or 15 with yards after the catch. Kolb can make every throw. He knows where his players are. He, like Brady, is a great leader.”

Kolb seems well liked by his teammates, and by most accounts, he has the talent to be an NFL starting quarterback. It's just that the few opportunities he's had to prove it have either ended in injury or poor showings.

Even if Cole is laying it on a bit thick with the Tom Brady talk, "potential" will keep teams interested long after they have any reason to be. In February, before we entered the NFL's version of "Operation Shutdown," Kolb was often mentioned as a possible trade target for QB-needy teams. Here's what Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell said about Kolb at the time:

"Kolb's raw statistics look worse than [Michael] Vick's -- especially his 3.7 percent interception rate, more than twice Vick's rate of 1.6 percent -- but a lot of that has to do with Kolb's Week 17 start against the Cowboys," Barnwell said. "That game came with rookie Austin Howard making his first career start at left tackle against DeMarcus Ware, and the Eagles left LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson on the bench. Kolb threw three interceptions, two of which came on Hail Mary passes. Take out that game and the Eagles' pass offense DVOA with Kolb under center was 28.9 percent; with Vick, it was 29.9 percent."

Schein suggested Wednesday that Andy Reid's tutelage makes Kolb "the perfect fit in Ken Whisenhunt’s offense." If the conversation is "Do you think Kolb is an upgrade over Derek Anderson?" the answer is a resounding yes. But that's a far cry from "a perfect fit."

Last month, Scout.com theorized that the Cardinals "wonder about [Kolb's] decision making," adding: "But mostly the Cardinals' brass wonders if Kolb is the right fit for ... Whisenhunt's offense. … In theory at least, the Arizona passing design is more vertical than that in Philadelphia, takes some pages from the Mike Martz passing game and expects quarterbacks to drive the ball into the intermediate and deep windows with accuracy."

If there's a new CBA in place in the coming weeks and free agency follows, it's a good bet that Kolb will be traded. We can all agree that he's not the next coming of Tom Brady, but he's certainly better than anyone currently on the Cardinals' depth chart. And sometimes you don't need a Hall of Famer to get you to the postseason, just someone to avoid the icebergs. At the very least, Kolb appears capable of that.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:57 am
 

Report: Cardinals enforcing 1-week furlough

Posted by Will Brinson

There's always chatter about who's to blame for the lockout (everyone), and who's the biggest loser in this labor struggle (fans), but what doesn't get enough attention: many lower-level employees of NFL teams are getting absolutely hosed in this whole deal.

For instance, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that, beginning at 12:01 local time on Sunday, "non-contract Cardinals employees" will be placed on an involuntary, one-week furlough.

Arizona's already slashed coaches salaries by 35 percent, so this news only compounds the embarrassment of the offseason. For whatever reason, the Cards apparently planned these furloughs a while back, but didn't believe that the lockout would last this long.

That, of course, was a big mistake. And poor planning that's going to result in people, who probably can't afford to miss paychecks, missing paychecks.

The best solution is having this not happen, of course. The second-best solution is planning ahead for it.

And if that fails, at least the Cardinals and the Bidwell family should be prepared to trim the fat in areas that aren't involving the lowest-level employees.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Kolb to Arizona a 'slam dunk' after lockout?

Posted by Will Brinson

The lockout is probably the greatest thing ever to happen to Kevin Kolb. With each passing day, his value seems to grow more and more.

But, he's been specifically attached to one team in recent days: the Arizona Cardinals. In fact, some are calling Kolb to the Cards a "slam dunk."

"Arizona ... a slam dunk as much as you can have a slam dunk," ESPN's Sal Paolantonio told Peter King (on Sirius Radio, I believe, though I cannot confirm).

There was actually some chatter that a Kolb-Cards deal was already done, with the principle parts being Kolb for Patrick Peterson (aka "2011 first-rounder") and a 2012 second-rounder.

Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now
That rumor was probably based on Roger Goodell's recent statements that teams could trade during the brief period in between lockouts. However, Andy Reid shot the rumor out of the sky before it really every took its metaphorical wings and started flapping too high.

Still, even if there isn't a deal now, there's almost certainly going to be one before 2011 starts. There are too many teams that have a need at quarterback -- yes, still! -- and too many good fits for Kolb for the Eagles to wait and try to utilize him as a backup.

And yes, for those wondering, yes, every story about the NFL eventually ends up in some sort of discussion about Kolb's value to other teams.

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