Arizona Cardinals related news is starting to pile up, as coverage is starting to ramp up as the NFL draft nears (just over 31 days away) so here's a dump truck full of stories both Cardinals-related and overall draft coverage:
- Kent Somers says the Cardinals are turning their free agent focus inward now and will look at some in-house decisions that must be made including the contract situations with Boldin, Adrian Wilson and Karlos Dansby.
- Darren Urban catches up with Travis LaBoy who recently cut eleven inches off his hair for "Locks of Love," an organization that collects hair for those who lost theirs due to cancer treatments.
- Urban also looks at the hefty bonuses that Lyle Sendlein and Steve Breaston received for 'outperforming' their contracts. No word on if Boldin was standing in line as well.
- The Cardinals currently have just $1.5 million under the cap, according to Somers, but says that they can still free up plenty of room by releasing Edgerrin James and/or reworking the current contracts of Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle. He also hints that adjustments could be made in Chike Okeafor and Mike Gandy's contract considering that they both entering the final year of their deal and count more than five milion a piece against the cap.
- Even though most of us expected Edgerrin James to be released more than a month ago, he's still a member of the Cardinals and doesn't look to be headed out of town anytime soon. Somers catches up with Ken Whisenhunt who says that he isn't closing the door on Edge returning in 2009 and that everyone is fairly certain that Edge won't be released before the draft.
- The transition of the Cardinals defense from a 4-3 base to a 3-4 base has been a slow one and Urban says that Whisenhunt and new defensive coordinator, Bill Davis, are still being patient with the transition.
- Mike Sando takes a look at the draft history of Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt with a focus on running backs and says that the two might have to start a new tradition in Arizona.
- Peter King continues to pound his drum to the beat that Anquan Boldin will be traded. He says that the Cardinals might be willing to go as high as eight or nine million per season but wonders if that'll be enough for Boldin. He also speculates that the Cardinals will listen to any trade offers that include a mid to late first round pick.
- Boldin also made an appearance at Wake Forest's Pro Day (his brother is a WR for the Demon Deacons) and talked to Steve Wyche of NFL.com. Boldin still wants some resolution but he's softened his stance all around and "would like" a contract extension, but that he didn't expect anything (trade or extension) to happen before the draft.
In some generic draft talk, National Football Post has been running a series of articles focused on the most important workout drills for each position. Their main goal is prove that the 40 yard dash isn't the end-all, be-all of a prospects ability to play the game. With that in mind, here's what they've come up with......
- For an edge pass rushers (or OLB for our purposes) the 10 yard split is the most important 'combine drill' because it's the best measurement to see how quickly they can get around the corner. Among those with a great (1.55 and under) to good (1.56-1.59) split: Clay Matthews (1.49), Aaron Maybin (1.55), Connor Barwin (1.57), Everette Brown (1.58) and Clint Sintim (1.59).
- For middle linebackers, they argue, short area quickness and the ability to read and react on the fly are far more important that straight line or top end speed. They look to the short shuttle to gauge quickness and they list prospects with great shuttle times as 4.2 or under and good times as 4.21 to 4.30. Of the guys who worked out at the combine, Dannell Ellerbe (4.23) and James Laurinaitis (4.24) were the only to post good times while Jasper Brinkley and Gerald McRath posted 'average' times (remember that Rey Maualugu didn't work out at the combine but his pro day is 4/1).
- For corner backs, they look to the three cone drill because while elite speed shouldn't be overlooked the position relies on body control, footwork, balance and flexibility which in turn allows corners to more consistently close on the ball out of their breaks. The results in this category are especially surprising because the best three cone drill at the combine was turned in by Malcolm Jenkins (6.59) and Sherrod Martin (6.60) also slipped into the 'great' tier. In the good category (6.61 to 6.89) is Vontae Davis (6.75).