In his second offseason, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has shown that he can get a deal when it comes to player contracts. Last offseason it was not terribly difficult, as it was not a good market for veterans. This offseason, with $10 million added to the salary cap, that has not been so much the case.
However, so far Keim has been very solid in his contract planning and negotiations.
Let's look at some of the deals he has made so far.
Here are the 2013 signings and re-signings:
Rashad Johnson: three years, $3.6 million (re-sign)
Lorenzo Alexander: three years, $4.62 million
Jerraud Powers: three years, $10.5 million
Drew Stanton: three years, $8.2 million
John Abraham: two years, $4.6 million
Jasper Brinkley: two years, $3.5 million
Matt Shaughnessy: one year, $1 million
Karlos Dansby: one year, $2.25 million
Frostee Rucker: one year, $950,000
Yeremiah Bell: one year, $905,000
Antoine Cason: one year, $1.5 million
Eric Winston: one year, $1.25 million
Paul Fanaika: one year, $630,000, given an extension through 2014 $830,000
Notice how the only deal that created any dead money is Brinkley's, and that was only $200,000. Powers and Alexander aren't out of the woods yet, but the team did not hurt themselves with their contracts.
Now look at 2014 -- the signings and re-signings:
Larry Fitzgerald: restructure, $12.75 million salary given as bonus, salary reduced to $1 million, cap hit reduced by about $10 million
Dave Zastudil: two years, $2.95 million (re-signing)
Jay Feely: one year, $1.02 million (no signing bonus, $65K roster bonus if he makes team) (re-signing)
Jake Ballard: one year, unknown so far (re-signing)
Frostee Rucker: two years, $2.145 million (re-signing)
Matt Shaughnessy: two years, $4.4 million (re-signing)
Marcus Benard: one year, unknown yet (re-signing)
Jared Veldheer: five years, $35 million
John Carlson: two years, $3.2 million
Ted Larsen: two years, unknown yet
Jonathan Dwyer: one year, unknown yet
Of the deals done, only Larry Fitzgerald's contract is an issue. The cap hit jumps to more than $23 million in 2015. Feely can be cut with no consequence. Carlson's deal only had a signing bonus of $100K, so there is no real risk if he is a flop this year.
Keim got to work his first big deal with Veldheer, and even that deal was cap friendly, as it only has a hit of $2.5 million this season.
There is work still to be done, but Keim has not been giving out huge contracts. He has been protecting the team's current and future salary cap situations.
Will the trend continue? That has been the case with free agents. The big deal will be how he handles other negotiations -- like the extension for Patrick Peterson that could come this offseason or next offseason. There is also the matter of Fitzgerald's contract next offseason. Something will have to be done.
Is Keim a financial genius? We still have to wait and see.
- Larry Fitzgerald talks about loss of Karlos Dansby and looking ahead at the offense for 2014
- NFL free agency: Arizona Cardinals announce signing of Jonathan Dwyer, 2 others
- Matt Shaughnessy returns to Arizona Cardinals for two seasons
- Jared Veldheer deal is salary cap friendly in 2014, is only $2.5 million hit in first year
- Jared Veldheer agrees to 5-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals