The Arizona Cardinals appear to be on the verge of losing their top free agent as free agent begins. According to what Arizona Republic reporter Kent Somers has heard, the Cleveland Browns have offered linebacker Karlos Dansby $24 million for four years, including $14 million guaranteed, $10 million the first year.
That is twice what the Cardinals reportedly had offered (two years, $10-12 million), and more guaranteed than the Cards put in their entire offer.
ESPN's Josh Weinfuss tweeted this:
Dansby told me repeatedly last season he was wanted $10 million. Well, looks like he did.— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) March 11, 2014
Many Cardinals fans will be upset with Dansby leaving for a bigger payday, as it is the second time he has done so.
However, can anyone really blame him? While Cleveland is not a winner yet, there is talent and they can get a big time quarterback in the draft. With Pittsburgh and Baltimore having cap issues and the Bengals having turnover on their coaching staff, a quick turnaround isn't out of the question.
Dansby was the team's unquestioned locker room leader on defense and its most productive player.
If the rumor is true, there is some uncertainty at linebacker. The team released Jasper Brinkley, but Daryl Washington and Kevin Minter should be the starters. But that isn't without uncertainty. Minter will be getting NFL defensive playing time for the first time in his career and Washington's status for 2014 is still a bit up in the air. He has a pending trial for domestic abuse charges and could either go to jail and.or have league discipline.
For a team trying to win now, this is a huge blow. Unless Minter proves to be special in his first year, it will be a setback defensively.
Can the offense and rest of the defense make up for his loss? That is for us to debate until the season begins.
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