Tag:Arizona Cardinals
Posted on: September 6, 2010 9:57 am

Leinart headed to Houston

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Matt Leinart has a new home, and once again, he’ll be a backup to another quality starter.

The much-discussed former Cardinals backup, who couldn’t beat out Derek Anderson for the starting job in Arizona, signed a one-year deal with Houston this morning, various outlets – including ESPN.com and the Houston Chronicle – are reporting.

And heck, he might not ever be the backup to Matt Schaub quite yet. Chris Mortensen of ESPN writes he’ll be the No. 3 quarterback behind Schaub and Dan Orlovsky for the time being – at least until Leinart can learn the offense.

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 9:22 am

The next Cardinals QB of the future?

M. Hall was the best QB that Arizona had in the preseason, coach Ken Whisenhunt said (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The biggest beneficiary of the entire Matt Leinart/Arizona saga is the quarterback who now is being looked upon as the Cardinals potential QB of the future. And he’s a rookie who was undrafted out of BYU. So, don’t worry if you hadn’t heard of Max Hall before Leinart was released.

Not many people had.

"Coach (Tom) Landry used to say there were guys who had 'it,'" Danny White, a former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowler (and Hall’s uncle), told the Arizona Republic . "If you asked him what 'it' means, he'd say 'I don't know. Just “it.”’

"You might sit back and watch Max play, and after his team wins you'd say, 'Well, the defense played great. The running game was going good. That's just luck.' You know what? It isn't luck.

"There are guys who other guys just feed off of. The way he played the other night (in the Cardinals' final preseason game) was prototypical Max Hall. All of a sudden, the whole team was playing better - the special teams, the defense, the offensive line. You can't explain that."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Hall was the best of the team’s four quarterbacks in the preseason, and apparently he inspired more confidence in his teammates than Leinart ever did.

Now, it stands to reason that starter Derek Anderson, who hasn’t been very good since 2007, won’t have a huge margin of error once the season begins. So tell me: why did all 31 other teams pass up the chance to draft Hall, a potential starter this season?

From the story:

"The draft isn't an exact science," White said. "It works for defensive linemen and receivers and linebackers.

"But so much of the quarterback position is intangibles - leadership, confidence, decision making – that you can't measure.

"A quarterback has a lot of options. Throw to the primary receiver. Check down. Throw it into a tight spot or throw it away. Move around to buy time. Run with it. And he has to factor in field position, the time, the score.

"Max factors those options so fast, as well as anybody I've seen. And he's right most of the time."

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 9:41 pm

Another reason Leinart was let go

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Just because we can’t get enough of Matt Leinart’s disastrous blow-up in Arizona, columnist Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic has the analysis of why the Heisman Trophy winner never could nail down the starting QB job.

And it might be the most brutal reason a player can imagine. Simply put, his teammates didn’t believe in him.

From the column:

In the end, the only person who truly failed Matt Leinart was Matt Leinart. It doesn't make him a bad person, and it doesn't mean he won't succeed elsewhere. But it was becoming painfully obvious that his teammates had lost confidence in him.

They weren't lining up to voice their support.

They weren't serving up atta-boy slaps on the sideline.

They weren't drawing inspiration in the huddle.

They just were.

"Just were" isn't good enough for this team anymore.

One word: ouch.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 4, 2010 2:11 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 3:33 pm

Leinart to be released; where will he go?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Matt Leinart has less than four hours remaining in his disappointing Cardinals career. The Cardinals have released the former No. 10 overall pick. Ken Whisenhunt has decided to go with Max Hall as the backup to Derek Anderson.
M. Leinart
Though not at the JaMarcus Russell level, this puts Leinart in the “biggest bust this decade” discussion. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic pours some salt into the Bidwell Family’s wounds by pointing out, “The Cardinals don't have to pay Leinart's $2.485 million salary this year, but Leinart has collected about $17.6 million from the club since being the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft.”

Leinart will be free to join any team, though he’ll have to be willing to do so as a backup. Earlier this week, the Raiders, Giants and Bills were rumored to have interest.

Don’t overlook the Seahawks as a possible destination for the former Heisman Trophy winner. Pete Carroll, we’ll assume, is a Leinart fan. Seattle just parted ways with J.P. Losman. Of course, the Seahawks also invested fairly heavily in Charlie Whitehurst over the offseason. If Leinart were to sign there, he’d likely be settling for zero playing time in 2010 and a mere promise for a chance to compete for the task of replacing Matt Hasselbeck in 2011. (And that’s assuming the Seahawks decide to replace Hasselbeck in 2011.)

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: September 4, 2010 9:23 pm

NFL cut day: updating the latest noteworthy moves

Posted by Andy Benoit & Josh Katzowitz

On this NFL cut day, we're monitoring all the media outlets and waiver wire action like a hawk so that you can make this is your one-stop shop for instant news and analysis on all the latest noteworthy cuts. Stay with us throughout the day.

Troy Williamson, WR, Jaguars
This isn't a hugely surpising move, because it never seemed that Williamson had a chance to make this team. The Jaguars are stocked with talented young receivers, and in the end, there wasn't a need for a former first-round pick who's had such a disappointing career (eight catched in the past two years with Jacksonville).

Dre Bly, CB, Lions
The Lions secondary has been brutal the past few years, and Bly was signed in the offseason to add a veteran presence. Bly wasn't that bad last year with San Francisco, but if he can't make a Detroit squad that's still in need of secondary help, that's not a real good sign for the health of his career.

Justin Hartwig, C, Steelers
He'd been the starter the previous two seasons in Pittsburgh, but along came rookie Maurkice Pouncey and took away his starting spot. Now, Hartwig's spot on the roster is gone. The team apparently had been trying to work out a trade for him but obviously failed to do so.

Spencer Havner, TE, Packers
Perhaps you haven't heard of Havner, who has recorded only seven catches in his two-year career. But reporters close to the team expressed surprise that Havner was sent packing, mostly because of his versatility and because he was decent-to-pretty good in so many different areas (receiving, blocking, special teams).

Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Eagles
This was an interesting transaction and didn't have much to do with his performance in the preseason. Since the Stacy Andrews trade occured after the 6 p.m. cutdown deadline, the Eagles had to cut Jean-Gilles to complete the 53-man roster. The Eagles are expected to sign him Sunday - Jean-Gilles is a vested veteran that doesn't have to clear waivers. Unless, that is, somebody else comes to him with a better offer.

Chase Coffman, TE, Bengals
The 2009 third round pick of the Bengals didn't see any playing time last year, because even though he was a strong receiver, he had tons to learn on how to block (he never really had to do it in college at Missouri). Though we didn't know it at the time, the first-round selection of Jermaine Gresham this year and the comeback by Reggie Kelly probably sealed Coffman's fate

Sam Aiken, WR, Patriots
He was the special teams captain for New England, and it appeared he had landed one of the final WR spots. But apparently his deficiencies as a WR were too much for the Patriots to handle. Plus, he lost his gunner job on special teams earlier in the preseason.

Derrick Burgess, LB, Patriots
He had a league-leading 16 sacks in 2005, and he was a Pro Bowler that year and the next. But his skills have steadily declined since then, and against the Giants in New England's final preseason game Thursdasy, Burgess was terrible. He couldn't defend the run or rush the passer. And if you can't do either, New England - which will struggle to rush the passer this season - doesn't want you.

Trent Guy, WR, Panthers
Not a big-name guy, but he's got a great story. In July 2008, Guy was shot in the back while leaving a nightclub, and he barely escaped paralysis and/or death. Read the complete story here on the Charlotte Observer web site. Alas, he'll likely end up on Carolina's practice squad.

Troy Smith, QB, Ravens
After signing Marc Bulger in the offseason, the Ravens shipped away John Beck and now have released Smith. The former Heisman Trophy winner had wanted a trade in the offseason, but the Ravens never got around to it. But who would take him? He's got speed but his accuracy is questionable, and he doesn't appear to have the tools to be an NFL starter. The Ravens will keep only two QBs on the roster for now.

Chad Jackson, WR, Bills

Thought to have first-round potential, Jackson was picked in the second round of the 2006 Draft by the Patriots. So far in his career, he's made exactly 14 catches. Jackson was out of football in 2009, and that's exactly where he's going in 2010 as well.

Kraig Urbik, OG, Steelers
A third-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2009, Pittsburgh expected big things out of the 6-foot-5, 325-pounder. But he had a rough preseason last year, and he struggled while adjusting to the NFL speed. He eventually lost his backup spot, and apparently, the Steelers - who even tried him out at center in the offseason - have no use for him anymore.

Tank Tyler, DT, Panthers
The Panthers gave up a fifth-round pick to get Tyler last season. He had his moments but, as was the case in Kansas City, he never put it all together.

James Hardy, WR, Bills
The 6’5”, high-leaping ’08 second-round pick has not been the same since blowing out his knee. The Bills were hoping he could capture the starting job vacated by Terrell Owens.

Rhys Lloyd, K, Vikings
He was brought in to be a kickoff specialist. Vikings likely decided he wasn’t worth the extra cost (perhaps because they’re already paying a little extra to that old guy playing quarterback). Ryan Longwell will be pleased – he didn’t want to give up the kickoff duties in the first place.

Jay Richardson, DE, Raiders
He was a starter a few years ago but has tailed off as of late. Teams should take a look at him, though. At his best, he’s one of the more impressive run-defending ends in football.

Will Blackmon, CB, Packers
The athletic but oft-injured cornerback/return specialist reached an injury settlement with the team.

Pierre Woods, LB, Patriots
We mention Woods only because the Patriots spent four years waiting for him to come around. Most non-achievers don’t last four months in New England. In the end, Woods never did come around. He was given an opportunity to work with the first unit last season, but in five starts he recorded zero sacks. (In fact, in four years total, he recorded just one sack.)

Chris Simms, QB, Titans
Known more for his name than anything. Would have been nothing more than the third-string option in Tennessee. Recent legal problems certainly could not have helped his cause. Titans will likely keep sixth-round rookie Rusty Smith as the No. 3.

Chevis Jackson, CB, Falcons
The competition for the starting cornerback job opposite Dunta Robinson has been so fierce that you forget about any Falcon corners being on the roster bubble. This explains the mild sense of astonishment we’re all feeling when we hear that Jackson, a third-round pick in 2008, has been waived. In his two years with Atlanta, Jackson mostly competed for reps at the nickel position. Jackson was never awful for Mike Smith; it’s a virtual guarantee that some team will quickly snatch him up.

Ian Johnson, RB, Vikings
By no means a big-name NFL player. But remember the Boise State running back who proposed to the cheerleader after scoring the winning touchdown against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl? This is him.

Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals
What a disaster this whole saga turned out to be. Leinart is officially a first-round BUST. For more, click here .

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks
Given that his $7 million salary was already guaranteed, the Seahawks basically said they simply didn't want the veteran wideout around. You have to figure attitude played a part . What else could result in the sudden release of a surefire 70-plus catch weapon?

Brandon Stokley, WR, Broncos

He was everyone’s favorite “scrappy slot receiver” before Wes Welker. But at 34 and having caught only 19 passes last season, he’s expendable. The Broncos have been impressed with Brandon Lloyd, and they figure to develop high-drafted rookies Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
Note: Stokley has a groin injury and, according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post, is still working out an injury settlement with the club. He's been placed on Injured Reserve, but when that's healed, he'll be released.

Jarron Gilbert, DT, Bears
Remember the San Jose State draft prospect who jumped straight out of a swimming pool last year? That’s about all the athletic defensive lineman is known for. Gilbert was drafted in the third round last season but hardly got on the field.

Allen Barbre, OL, Packers
Barbre, a fourth-round pick in 2007, showed up dripping with raw talent. However, things never materialized. Barber was victimized as a starter early last season and was never much of a factor in the ongoing job competition at guard.

Myron Rolle, S, Titans
The sixth-round rookie Rhodes Scholar was a favorite of the coaches. However, he lacked the necessary athleticism to thrive in the NFL. If he wants to continue with football, he could probably sneak on to a practice squad somewhere.

Jarvis Green, DE, Broncos
Seriously!? Green signed a four-year, $20 million free agent deal with the Broncos in March. He was a key contributor for eight years as a versatile downlineman in New England’s 3-4 scheme. But in Denver, Green eventually lost his starting job to Ryan McBean; the Broncos must have felt he was too expensive to be a backup (Green wound up walking away $3.225 million). With Ty Warren out for the season, the Patriots may want to consider bringing Green back.

Michael Clayton, WR, Buccaneers
Clayton has had one of the most enigmatic careers in recent NFL memory. He caught 80 balls for 1,193 yards as a rookie but has failed to top 38 receptions or 484 yards in the five seasons since. Injuries have never been a factor. Coaches say Clayton is the most impressive player in practice each week, but on Sundays, he pulls a Houdini. Bucs GM Mark Dominik must watch a lot of practice, as he gave Clatyon a new contract with $10 million in guarantees just last year.

Pat White, QB, Dolphins
The biggest name to get the ax (or is it axe?...why hasn’t society agreed on one spelling yet? ) thus far. Talk about wasting a second-round pick. White suffered a bad concussion late last season and was rumored to be questioning his football future earlier this summer. He wound up competing in camp, but the Dolphins no longer had a need for him after retaining Chad Pennington and bringing in Tyler Thigpen. Running back Ronnie Brown can continue to be the wild cat ace.

Josh Reed, WR, Chargers
This was to be expected after the trade for Patrick Crayton. Both are underneath possession receivers; Crayton, however, is a bit quicker and has been more productive in recent years.

Dave Rayner, K, Bengals
This means Mike Nugent has won Cincy’s kicking job.

Shayne Graham, K, Ravens
The longtime Bengal was expected to beat out Billy Cundiff for the Ravens kicking job. Apparently he didn’t. Cundiff has the stronger leg.

Donald Thomas, G, Dolphins
Arguably the most surprising cut thus far today – not because Thomas is a particularly good player (he’s not), but because he’s a third-year pro who started 12 games last season. Thomas badly struggled with his footwork and was too much of a plodder at times. The Dolphins signed Richie Incognito and drafted John Jerry to fill the guard spots over the offseason. Looks like Cory Proctor will wind up being the top backup inside now.

Darrell Reid, OLB, Broncos
The veteran special teams ace was on PUP all preseason with a bad knee. Even with Elvis Dumervil on IR, Denver still saw fit to move on. This tells you Reid probably had little chance of physically being ready to play anytime soon. The coaches also really like soaring newcomer Jason Hunter.

Travis Fisher, CB, Ravens
Fisher’s NFL career has been hanging by a threat the past few seasons. The former Ram is an experienced veteran, but the Ravens saw no place for him after trading for Josh Wilson.

J.P. Losman, QB, Seahawks
Could be back to the UFL for the underachieving former first-round pick.

Willie Parker, RB, Redskins
It’s common knowledge that running backs hit a wall around age 30. Parker hit his last year at 29. Parker’s yards per carry had decreased every season in his career until 2009 (when he had very few touches with the Steelers). He was hoping for a resurgence behind Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme, but with his speed diminished and body dinged up (injuries have hounded Parker the past few years), he couldn’t climb out from the fourth spot on the depth chart.

Brandon McDonald, CB, Browns
McDonald is best known for his disgraceful tweet about Terrell Owens earlier this offseason. Looks like his reputation will remain there for a while. McDonald’s playing career in Cleveland is over. He struggled mightily in man coverage as the Browns starting cornerback last season and was benched on more than one occasion. Throw in his flashy, irritating attitude and he became an easy player for Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren to dump.

William Joseph, DT, Raiders
The 2003 first-round pick of the Giants could be on done for good. Joseph is 31 and has never achieved consistent success at the pro level. Then again, he’s been shuffled on and off the Raiders roster since 2008 – maybe this is just another shuffle. He was fifth on the depth chart at defensive tackle. The news here is that Joseph’s release could mean John Henderson makes the final roster. We’ll find out.

Matt Jones, WR, Bengals
The only thing he had going for him was a history of legal problems (which seems to be an attribute Bengals owner Mike Brown covets in a player). Jones is too lethargic off the line to be a quality NFL receiver. The Bengals found that out.

Patrick Turner, WR, Dolphins
Turner was a third-round pick just one year ago. The Dolphins thought they’d found the next Marques Colston. Instead, they found the next Joe Nobody. Turner never earned the respect of coaches and teammates.

Jon Jansen, OL, Lions
No surprise here. Jansen is a sagacious veteran, but at 34, he has reached his physical end. He was a major liability wherever he lined up last season.

Bear Pascoe, TE, Giants
Thanks to injuries to starter Kevin Boss, Pascoe spent a great deal of the offseason working with the Giants first team offense. Because Pascoe played in only four games as a rookie last season, he is eligible for the practice squad if he clears waivers.

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 10:02 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2010 10:05 pm

A couple of suspicious trades...

Posted by Andy Benoit

A story about two rookie late-round picks getting traded for one another rarely creates a ripple. But when those rookie late-rounders get cut almost immediately after the trade, it’s worth noting. Why? Because when a team cuts a player the same year they drafted that player, that team is required to put 85 percent of the player’s salary into a rookie pool. The money from the pool goes back to rookies early next year based on the number of downs played in 2010.

But when a player is traded and then cut by his new team, no money goes into the pool. In other words, teams circumvent the rule.

This is why the NFLPA is closely examining two recent trades made by the Redskins and Rams. The Redskins sent sixth-round pick Dennis Morris to the Rams for a conditional, undisclosed draft pick. The Rams sent fifth-round pick Hall Davis to the Redskins for a conditional, undisclosed draft pick.

Shanahan said that Morris was traded because he wasn’t going to make the 53-man roster. But, apparently, neither was Davis. The Redskins cut Davis one day after acquiring him. If you don’t believe they were trying to avoid paying 85 percent to the rookie pool, then, by default, you believe that they traded  for a guy and, after just one practice, determined he wasn’t going to make their team.

Morris is still on the Rams roster, but that could change Saturday.

The Cardinals and Eagles also pulled off a similar trade. The Cardinals swapped sixth-round rookie Jorrick Calvin for Philly’s sixth-rounder, Charles Scott. Both are still on their new rosters…for now.

Again, the NFLPA is examining both situations. If it’s determined that these four teams are pulling a fast one (and, honestly, it appears fairly obvious that they are) then it will be interesting to see whether there will be any repercussions. It could just wind up leading to a few more paragraphs in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2010 7:02 pm

Notable cuts from Friday

Posted by Andy Benoit

With teams having to trim their rosters to 53 by Saturday, we’re seeing some familiar names showing up on the cut lists. Here are some of the headliners so far…
B. McCray (US Presswire)
Cody Brown, OLB, Cardinals

He was a second-round pick just one year ago. Second round! But injuries and bankrupt playmaking skills led to his quick release. This speaks volumes about Brown. The only other backup outside linebacker on Arizona’s roster who was even drafted is Will Davis (sixth-round pick 2009).

Bobby McCray, DE, Saints

No surprise here – the Saints cut him once already in June. They brought him back in July, but anyone who has dated their ex-lover knows how scenarios like these generally play out. McCray still has quickness off the edge – any team looking for pass-rushing help should give him a look.

Damione Lewis, DL, Patriots

Lewis has spent his entire career as a 4-3 defensive tackle. At 32, he was trying to make the transition to 3-4 defensive end. The Patriots are fairly thin on the edges up front after the loss of Ty Warren, but obviously not thin enough to keep the ex-Panther/Ram. Lewis started 31 games over the past two seasons. Don’t be surprised if he becomes one of those regular mid-season veteran acquisitions (ala Darwin Walker, Hollis Thomas or Grady Jackson).

Monty Beisel, ILB, Cardinals

This one is a true shocker. Beisel is by no means a star, but the Cardinals are by no means stable at inside linebacker. Obviously, they feel good about second-round rookie Daryl Washington. And, they must feel a lot better about Paris Lenon then those of us who have watched the fairy-footed veteran on film the past few years. The Cardinals are counting on Washington and Lenon to start, as inside linebacking mainstay Gerald Hayes is on PUP with back problems.

One would think Beisel would have started ahead of Lenon – or, in the very least, would have provided veteran experience off the bench. Instead, it looks like the Cards are prepared to roll the dice with former undrafted free agents Pago Togafau and Reggie Walker.

Jason Hill, WR, 49ers

Hill, a third-round pick in 2007, was a developing possession receiver, but he never quite developed rapidly enough. The Niners have recently grown fond of Dominique Zeigler, which made Hill expendable. Also, the Niners said goodbye to backup running back Michael Robinson. This suggests that Brian Westbrook will make the final roster.

Kris Brown, K, Texans

Texans newcomer Neil Rackers has won the team's kicking competition. Brown was the last original Texan.

Ladell Betts, RB, Saints

Half of you realize this is probably the end of the road for Betts. The other half of you are still surprised to learn that he’s been on the Saints roster these past few weeks.

Anthony Becht, TE, Cardinals

The long-armed veteran is a reliable blocker, but with younger, more athletic options Ben Patrick and Stephen Spach both healthy, Becht became expendable.

Kraig Urbik, G, Steelers

Maybe you don’t recognize this name. That’s precisely the problem. Urbik was a third-round pick last season. With the Steelers being resoundingly mediocre at right guard, it was expected that Urbik would push for playing time right away. Instead, he did absolutely nothing.

Al Afalava, S, Bears

Afalava saw time as a starting sixth-round rookie last season, but he did nothing to stand out. The Bears are crowded in the secondary anyway. Still, we’re talking about a young player with starting experience getting cut.

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 2:46 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2010 3:41 pm

Cardinals trade Reggie Wells to Eagles

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Arizona Cardinals finally got their man off the trading block. Nope, not Matt Leinart – offensive lineman Reggie Wells. The versatile veteran has been traded to the Eagles for an undisclosed draft pick. R. Wells

It’s curious why the Cardinals were eager to deal Wells. He started every game over the past five seasons and is capable of operating at all four non-center positions up front. Wells has struggled at times in pass protection, but he’s always offered solid mobility in the ground game. Plus, it's not like the Cardinals have the most reliable guys replacing Wells. Right guard Deuce Lutui loses control of his weight every so often, and right tackle Brandon Keith has never played meaningful snaps at the NFL level.

The Eagles could look to make Wells a starter. They’ll likely continue to go with oversized Todd Herremans at left guard (even though Herremans has trailed off from his near-Pro Bowl form of ’07). At right guard, however, Stacy Andrews has struggled to pick up Philly’s system and blocking techniques, and he hasn’t been the same since blowing out his knee in 2008.

If Wells doesn’t capture Andrews’s job, he’ll surely be the offensive line’s sixth man.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com