There's plenty of Cardinals news floating around the web right now with player contracts, free agency and the combine all joining into one mass of news and headlines. It's sure to grow as everything actually begins. The Cardinals are on the brink of changing their roster into a whole new form. Right now it's in their best interest to get key players re-signed and to be prepared for free agency. Links are below.
Cardinals have big 'off-season' ahead
Speaking of that mess of headlines, Somers talks about what the Cardinals are about to face this offseason: "The Cardinals won't play a game that counts until September, but given the challenges they face over the next few months, it's hard to call this the "off-season." Two key defensive starters, inside linebacker Karlos Dansby and free safety Antrel Rolle, likely will be unrestricted free agents on March 5. Matt Leinart is the only quarterback under contract. Receiver Anquan Boldin could be traded, and defensive end Darnell Dockett wants more money."
azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - KentSomers - A critical few months
Somers also discusses the Cardinals' approach to free agency, and the potential switch for Levi Brown to left tackle: "The club's approach in free agency won't vary much from the past few years. The Cardinals aren't going to jump in and pay big money for a player right away. They will wait to see how the market shakes out. With an uncapped year looming, no one is quite sure how free agency will look this year."
"Right tackle Levi Brown likely is going to move to the left side, since it looks as if Mike Gandy won't be re-signed. Brandon Keith and Herman Johnson will battle for the starting job on the right side. The team wants to re-sign Jeremy Bridges to compete for a starting job, or at least to be a backup at guard and tackle."
Word From the Birds Blog
Darren Urban talks about the Cardinals and the franchise tag: "By Thursday, teams must decide whether or not to use their franchise and/or transition tag on scheduled free agents. The Panthers aren’t going to tag defensive end Julius Peppers and the Cards aren’t (and never were) going to tag linebacker Karlos Dansby. In both cases, that’s because their salaries had grown so much that to use the franchise tag (or transition tag, which simply gives a team the right to match any contract offer) would be guaranteeing obscene amounts of money for a single season."
Stability Within The Staff
Urban also looks at the Cardinals coaching situation: "The Cardinals had just two staff changes this offseason. Tommie Robinson was hired to coach running backs after Curtis Modkins left to become the Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator under new head coach Chan Gailey. Donnie Henderson was brought in to coach defensive backs after Teryl Austin took the defensive coordinator job with the University of Florida."
Few old running backs around here - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Mike Sando looks at the RBs ages in the NFC West in relation to Westbrook and Tomlinson being released: "Jamal Lewis, LaDainian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook had one thing in common when their teams released them this offseason. Each was 30 years old."
Cardinals bring back Dykes - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Also from Sando: "The Cardinals have re-signed defensive lineman Keilen Dykes to help fill out their numbers heading into offseason minicamps. Dykes, undrafted in 2008, has spent time on the Cardinals' practice squad."
KTAR.com - Dansby willing to give Cards a chance
Karlos Dansby stated he'd hear the Cardinals out: "'If that's what they need, for validation to find out how much I would make on the market, I'll give them the opportunity, I'm not going to close that door on them,' he said."
DE/OLB Travis LaBoy reportedly visits with 49ers - Niners Nation
At Ninersnation, they discuss the possibility of former Cardinals' defensive end Travis LaBoy being signed: "According to the Nashville Tennessean, free agent linebacker Travis LaBoy recently visited with the 49ers. Laboy was out of football this past season due to a pretty rough ankle injury that required surgery last offseason. Last April, the Arizona Cardinals cut LaBoy just before this ankle surgery and we ended up having a brief discussion as to whether the 49ers should attempt to sign him."
Rotoworld - Darnell Dockett
The Cardinals are not expected to seriously discuss a contract extension with Pro Bowl DE Darnell Dockett before the 2010 season starts.
Rotoworld - Matt Leinart
The Cardinals are expected to pursue a veteran quarterback to compete with Matt Leinart this offseason. Chad Pennington has been mentioned as a possibility, and Marc Bulger could be an alternative.