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3-17-11: Bird Droppings - Cardinals pay cuts, Kolb risk, Draft

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Links, including stories about pay cuts for the Cardinals staff, A-Dub's injury, Draft stuff, the risks with Kevin Kolb, the worst free agent QB signings ever (which features a certain someone we got to know last year), and another frustrating loss by the Suns.

Arizona Cardinals coaches, staff to take 35 percent pay cut on April 11, source says - ESPN
Starting April 11 -- 30 days after owners locked out the players -- Arizona Cardinals coaches and front-office members under contract will lose 35 percent of their bi-weekly salaries, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Wednesday. Cardinals ownership has the right to refund the money if no games are missed. However, if so much as one game is missed, the Cardinals are under no obligation to refund any of the money. - Playing hurt might have hindered Cardinals S Wilson in 2010
Was the torn abductor that SS Adrian Wilson recently revealed he played all season with at least partially responsible for what daily team observers considered a subpar season, despite his third consecutive Pro Bowl berth?

Draft Watch: NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: draft rewind -- examining the past five drafts. Blogs " Blog Archive Pick Six: Worst free-agent QB signings "
A lot of quarterback-needy teams like to bypass the draft to go with a known commodity, a veteran quarterback. That is not always the wisest decision. Here are six examples of teams that should have considered other options before going with the veteran, as we count down the top six free-agent quarterback busts in NFL history.

(Including Derek Anderson!) news: Eagles' Kolb might be more of a risk than sure thing
It seems inevitable that at least one NFL team ends up falling under the intoxicating influence of the "Scott Mitchell Effect." You remember Mitchell, don't you?

Phoenix Suns lose to New Orleans Hornets in Steve Nash's return
Steve Nash came back but the Suns just fell farther back. The Suns' playoff light turned dim when the lost a crucial playoff race game Wednesday night at New Orleans, 100-95, for their fourth consecutive defeat.

Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill takes the high road after peers' comments in ESPN Fab Five documentary
Grant Hill is nearing 40. He's shutting down kids nearly half his age. His remarkable season has gone mostly unnoticed because the Suns are largely irrelevant. And now someone just called him a bitch? That's just wrong.

Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye hopes to return against Golden State Warriors

When Channing Frye separated his right shoulder March 20, the timeline for the Suns forward to be sidelined was two to three weeks, but he said he wanted to beat the forecast. He just might. Frye could play Friday night, two days shy of the two-week mark, at home against Golden State if he reacts well to the increased amount and distance of shooting and Thursday's practice contact.

2011 NFL Draft: Three NFC West mocks - NFC West Blog - ESPN
My thoughts on three recently released 2011 NFL mock drafts from ESPN's Todd McShay, NFL Draft Scout's Rob Rang and National Football Post's Wes Bunting:

The connection of Matson and Bidwill
Last month, Hall of Famer and former Cardinal Ollie Matson passed away and as Mike Sando noted this morning, Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill sent a letter to the family offering condolences and memories. It made sense — apparently Bidwill and Matson remained close over the years, even after the Cardinals traded Matson mid-career.

Cheap, cheap? Cards have company on cuts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few thoughts on the report detailing scheduled pay reductions for the Arizona Cardinals, set to begin next month if the lockout continues:

NFC West wheeling and dealing, a year later - NFC West Blog - ESPN
While draft classes can take multiple years to fully assess, free-agent crops tend to produce more immediate results, for better or worse. Let's take a look back at what NFC West teams got -- and still might get -- from their wheeling and dealing last offseason.

That's the ticket: Giants and NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The New York Giants look good for letting season-ticket holders defer payments until the labor situation is resolved. This admirable gesture toward fans also qualifies as an exercise in practicality and possibly even a smart marketing strategy. blogs - Kent Somers - Competition committee to make three proposals
NFL owners will begin meeting this weekend in New Orleans, and negotiations with the (former) players union will be the main news topic, I'm sure. The owners will consider other items, however, including three major rules changes proposed by the competition committee, which is chaired by Rich McKay. Here they are, according to a conference call this morning.

Bidwills will be Bidwills | National Football Post
The NFL lockout will hit the bottom line for those working for the Arizona Cardinals.

Beyond those QB Wonderlic scores - NFC West Blog - ESPN
There was but one thing to do once ESPN's Chris Mortensen passed along Wonderlic scores for top 2011 NFL draft quarterback prospects.

Couple Gets Keys To Home Won At Game - Valley News Story - KPHO Phoenix
Who doesn't remember the way the Arizona Cardinals began their game against the Oakland Raiders last September? The touchdown on the opening kickoff was an even bigger play for one Valley couple.

Tweaking the rules
Ahh, some football to talk about. The competition committee — of which Ken Whisenhunt helps as part of the coach’s subcommittee in making rule-change recommendations — is considering a couple of changes for this season, which will be voted upon during the upcoming owners’ meetings.Committee chairman Rich McKay, GM of the Falcons, was part of a conference call yesterday talking about the issues.

Kurt Warner echoes Kevin Mawae’s comments about quality of 2006 CBA | ProFootballTalk
In January 2011, former NFL center and NFLPA (no asterisk at the time) president Kevin Mawae said that, in 2006, the players "got such a great deal" at the bargaining table. And the league has consistently bludgeoned Mawae with his words ever since. The NFL surely wishes that former quarterback quarterback Kurt Warner had a greater role in the NFLPA*, given Warner’s recent comments on the 2006 CBA.

Two WRs to play Arena football during lockout - ESPN
With the league in a lockout, NFL players aren't permitted to use team facilities and are working out on their own. Two players will try to stay in football shape by playing the game -- in the Arena Football League. news: Illegal hits draw more scrutiny; replays, kickoffs under review
The NFL will be more aggressive in suspending players next season for illegal hits, and the league also could make changes to instant replay and kickoffs. Blogs " Blog Archive Proposed rule changes marginalize special teams "
The proposed rules changes for special teams under review by the competition committee would destroy a huge part of the strategy involved in the game. Sometimes, special teams is where teams excel. The proposed rules would eliminate advantages for teams whose strengths are on special teams and help other teams cover their weaknesses.

Workers set to begin replacing Metrodome roof Thursday - ESPN
Work begins Thursday on replacing the Metrodome's roof, which collapsed after a December snowstorm.

More doubts about Blaine Gabbert as potential No. 1 pick | ProFootballTalk
In a pair of stories yesterday, we examined whether Blaine Gabbert was a little overhyped and whether Cam Newton is already locked in to the No. 1 overall pick. The more that we hear on and off record, the more we think the Panthers prefer Newton to Gabbert.