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7-20-11: Bird Droppings - Our Two Favorite Subjects

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I have a buttload of links for you guys today. As you can guess, most of them relate to the controversial Kolb for DRC trade suggestions, and the lockout which will hopefully end before the week is over.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Ken Whisenhunt on Cardinals trading for QB: No one is untouchable
Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie might be the fastest player on the Arizona Cardinals roster, but he can't out-run reports and speculation that he'll be traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb whenever a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

Does trading DRC for Kevin Kolb make sense?
The possibility of the Cardinals trading cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb sprouted in the spring. It has blossomed throughout the summer. From a Cardinals perspective, plausible arguments for and against the deal can made.

Word From the Birds Blog - More and more Kolb
When Kevin Kolb went on the "Dan Patrick Show" this morning and talked about how he has "envisioned" himself as a Cardinal, that probably isn’t a surprise. We’ve been sitting around talking about this possibility for so long, it’s only natural Kolb himself was going to do so. Do I think the Cards will make a play for Kolb? Yes. Do I know what they will offer? No. The DRC thing seems to be gaining speculative steam, not that it sits well with everyone (Tweeted Adrian Wilson today, "Everyone need to stop with the DRC for KOLB trade rumors… Ridiculous!!!! Can we get to football first. Just stop it already" and new DRC/Wilson teammate Patrick Peterson retweeted the sentiment.) Kent Somers broke down his thoughts on such a swap and I already had mentioned what I thought.

More details a possible Kevin Kolb deal for Rodgers-Cromartie | ProFootballTalk
The chatter regarding a possible trade between the Cardinals and Eagles involving Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Kevin Kolb continues to pick up steam. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Eagles will want more for Kolb than just DRC, likely a mid-round draft pick.

Arizona Cardinals star Adrian Wilson burning for football, vengeance
Adrian Wilson doesn't do well without football. The lockout has made him angry. The criticism has made him hungry. Someone is going to pay for all the aggravation. news: Kolb would help Cardinals, but immediate impact is unlikely
If the Cardinals successfully pry Kevin Kolb from the Eagles, don't immediately pencil in Arizona as NFC West champions. When you consider Kolb's inexperience (seven career starts) and potential learning curve transitioning into Ken Whisenhunt's offense, it is not a given he will blossom into the elite quarterback the Cardinals envision.

Kyle Orton: Too expensive for Broncos, right price for Cards? -
It was once thought that while the Denver Broncos were looking to trade Kyle Orton, if they couldn't get a good deal they'd be happy to keep him around to backup Tim Tebow. Think again. According to Pro Football talk, Orton is due almost $9 million in 2011, meaning he could be just a bit expensive to keep around as a backup. So, a trade may not only be an idea, but a necessity.

Joey Porter may become a cap casuality -
The new NFL salary cap will mean that some teams will have to spend money and others will have to save money. While the Arizona Cardinals are $37.3 million under the salary cap, they may part ways with Joey Porter.

Driving up the price for Kevin Kolb? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The lockout prevents the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals from formally discussing a trade for quarterback Kevin Kolb or anyone else. Nothing is stopping them from communicating through the news media.

Kolb to Cards: Ever More Likely | Eagletarian | 07/19/2011
The Kevin Kolb-to-the-Cardinals deal is looking pretty likely. After making some calls today, I'm thinking that if the Eagles can get corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a draft pick (which almost certainly wouldn't be a first-rounder) for their former quarterback of the future, they'll gladly do the deal.

Adrian Wilson weighs in on Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals rumors -
Commenting on the Kevin Kolb for Domnique Rodgers-Cromartie trade rumors isn't reserved for media members anymore. One Arizona Cardinal Pro Bowler has decided to offer up his opinion on the subject as well. Adrian Wilson took to Twitter on Tuesday to share his thoughts on the speculation that has filled the Internet the last few days -- and really the last few months. His take was reminiscent of his on field play, hard hitting.

Damn you Kevin Kolb -
Kevin Kolb has not played a down for the Arizona Cardinals. He has not thrown an interception. He has not fumbled a snap. He has not taken a sack and he has not missed a wide open receiver. Hell, he isn't even on the Arizona Cardinals roster. And yet, he's done something only people like Jake Plummer, Matt Leinart, Dennis Green and Bill Bidwill can claim to have accomplished: turn Cardinals fans against each other.

Cardinals defense has potential -- when it's in sync -
The Arizona Cardinals defense struggled last season, ranking 23rd against the pass and 30th against the run. Those numbers were as disappointing as they were horrifying. With players like Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Joey Porter, Clark Haggans, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes on the team, there would appear to be little reason for the Cards defense to be among the league's worst. But they were.

Calais Campbell says big contract leads to recognition -
Big things were expected out of Calais Campbell last season. After collecting seven sacks in 2009, the 6-food-8, 300 pound defensive end was expected to be an impact player for a defense that lost a couple in the offseason. Instead, Campbell finished with just six sacks, playing 15 games in what could be described as an uneven season.

Eagles want more than DRC -- really? -
If the latest round of rumors is to believed, the Arizona Cardinals are ready to send cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philadelphia in exchange for quarterback Kevin Kolb. Surprisingly, though, it appears the Eagles may want more than just the defensive back if they are to part with their backup QB.

Croc files: Sorry, Darnell, no pets allowed - NFC West Blog - ESPN
So, the Arizona Cardinals' Darnell Dockett hopes to bring along his controversial pet crocodile to training camp at Northern Arizona University. Darren Urban of suspected NAU might have a policy against such things, and he's right. You could look it up, or I could do it for you.

Whisenhunt hears rumors, laughs at them -
Ken Whisenhunt is not dumb. He hears all the rumors surrounding his team, especially the ones about which quarterback he's going to get. However, as he told the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers, he's not sure where any of the speculation starts -- especially the DRC for Kevin Kolb rumors. He did, though, say no one is untouchable.

Re-up or Reject: Gabe Watson -
Gabe Watson has had an up-and-down career with the Cardinals, and as a free agent it could come to an end once the lockout ends.

Kevin Kolb may not have the immediate impact Arizona Cardinals fans expect -
Many think the acquisition of a serviceable quarterback will all but guarantee the Arizona Cardinals the NFC West crown. However, as's Bucky Brooks writes, that may not be the case. Although Kolb has shown potential he only has seven career NFL starts and has thrown more interceptions, 14, than touchdowns, 11.

One-on-one with the Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald -
Just try and keep up with Larry Fitzgerald, right? From NFL defenders to members of the media, the frenetic Fitz always gets a step, maintaining a pace that keeps the Pro Bowler on a constant fly pattern. So, instead of getting beat, we got smart. "Hey, Larry, if you can't sit down long enough for an interview, how 'bout fielding questions via text message? Sure. Just text your answers during down time in your day..." Here we go. Ready, break!

Word From the Birds Blog - Growing the negotiating team
Whenever this lockout wraps up, there will be a lot of work to do in a short amount of time before training camp. There will be so many players/agents to contact/negotiate with — from drafted rookies to undrafted rookies to the Cards’ own free agents to universal free agents — that it was going to be difficult if not impossible for general manager Rod Graves and salary cap administrator Justin Casey to get everything done.

Kevin Kolb envisioning being in Arizona shows how far the Cardinals have come -
On Tuesday the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback told a national radio host that "Arizona would be a great place. I've obviously envisioned myself there." While those eleven words seem pretty straight forward, they should have a Deuce Lutui -- feel free to insert Kirstie Alley there if it makes you feel better -- sized impact on Cardinals fans reading them. news: Kolb has tremendous respect for Reid but wants to move on
Eagles QB Kevin Kolb says he would be thrilled to play in Arizona alongside Larry Fitzgerald, but will be sad to leave the Eagles and head coach Andy Reid.

Kolb likes Arizona? Here's why that matters - NFC West Blog - ESPN
We shouldn't automatically downplay Kevin Kolb's comments to Dan Patrick regarding his eagerness to join the Arizona Cardinals.

Kevin Kolb: Arizona would be a great place -
It feels like we've heard from everyone about the Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals rumors over the last four months. While it's nice to know what NFL analysts think and hear the coach speak from Ken Whisenhunt and Andy Reid in regards to the quarterback position, it's even better to get it straight from the signal caller's mouth.

Could the Arizona Cardinals be on Antonio Cromartie's radar? -
The Arizona Cardinals could be interested in a cornerback with the surname Cromartie, but it may not be of the Rodgers variety. If rumors -- emphasis on rumors -- that Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie could be dealt for Kevin Kolb turn out to be true, the Cards will be in the market for another defensive back (there's a chance that even with DRC they could still be looking for depth). One possibility, according to Fox Sports' Adam Schein, could be Rodgers-Cromartie's cousin Antonio.

What we can expect for the Arizona Cardinals' rookies
The Cardinals' eight draft picks will have to quickly find their places.

NFL Videos: Is Kolb changing his feathers?
Will Cardinals trade for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb? Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, and Lombardi debate.

Arizona Sports News:

Barry Enright, Arizona Diamondbacks routed by Milwaukee Brewers
Before he could even establish a rhythm, balls were sailing past Diamondbacks starter Barry Enright into the outfield and beyond Tuesday night. One home run, then another and another. It took nine batters and 36 pitches before Enright could get through the first inning, but the direction of the game already was set in place. After a six-hit, five-run first inning, the Milwaukee Brewers cruised to an 11-3 victory in front of 17,831 at Chase Field.

Arizona Rattlers bracing for losing WR Rod Windsor and K Fabrizio Scaccia as playoffs approach
Receiver Rod Windsor and kicker Fabrizio Scaccia both practiced with the Rattlers on Tuesday. But their days are numbered with the NFL lockout expected to end soon. Windsor is property of the Cleveland Browns, and Scaccia the San Francisco 49ers. As soon as the lockout ends, their season with the Rattlers ends and they will report to their NFL teams.

Broadcaster Dave Strader set to leave Phoenix Coyotes for NBC/Versus
Dave Strader, the television play-by-play voice of the Coyotes, is expected to leave his position and accept a job with NBC/Versus, according to an NHL source.

Arizona's Juron Criner expected to be ready for fall camp
Wide receiver Juron Criner is working out on campus and is expected to join the Arizona Wildcats when they open training camp Aug. 4, coach Mike Stoops told the Star on Monday.

NFL News:

NFL lockout -- NFLPA to vote today on settlement, source says - ESPN
There will be a vote on a proposed deal that would include a new collective bargaining agreement and settlement of all legal issues later Wednesday, a NFL Players Association source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

NFC West has most projected cap room - NFC West Blog - ESPN
John Clayton's list of potential salary-cap casualties under the expected labor agreement features a couple of names from the NFC West. Clayton also provides team-by-team figures for projected salary-cap room, not counting as-yet-unknown salaries for players likely to become restricted free agents. NFC West teams have a combined $131.3 million in projected cap space, more than any of the seven other divisions.

Report: CBA more "tenuous" than widely believed | ProFootballTalk
As the powers-that-be with the NFLPA* meet in Washington to digest the proposed labor deal and as the owners prepare to do so tomorrow, Don Banks of has sprayed some cold water, Javon Walker style, on the optimism that the agreement will be approved.

Condon thinks players will approve labor deal | ProFootballTalk
Rarely if ever does an NFL agent give us any good news. Today, NFL agent Tom Condon did. news: NFLPA officials say players don't have hard deadline for deal
Two NFL Players Association officials emphasized Wednesday morning that the 32 player reps won't be rushed as they review paperwork that could lead to an end to the lockout.

Bart Scott blasts "wimping out, making football more soft" | ProFootballTalk
The news that the NFL players are asking the owners to agree to eliminate two-a-days isn’t being welcomed by every player. Jets linebacker Bart Scott says players who are advocating the elimination of two-a-days aren’t being committed to player safety. They’re being wimps.

Approval of CBA by players should be a no-brainer | ProFootballTalk
As the NFLPA* Executive Committee and the NFLPA* board of player representatives gather in Washington to consider the proposed labor deal, there’s a chance that things could get (even more) interesting.

Seventy-five ex-players sue NFL over concussions, report says - ESPN
Seventy-five former players are suing the NFL, claiming the league intentionally withheld knowledge of the damaging effects of concussions for 90 years, reported Tuesday.

Report: NFL sued for concealing brain injury risks | ProFootballTalk
As one major legal entanglement for the NFL nears a conclusion, another one reportedly begins.

Report: NFLPA* will recommend no special treatment for named plaintiffs | ProFootballTalk
After a hectic day of reports that had its roots in an ominous item on Sunday from Ron Borges of the Boston Herald, Borges now shovels dirt onto the storm of something other than dirt (but also brown) that he kicked up when suggesting that Patriots guard Logan Mankins would seek free agency or compensation in exchanging for agreeing to settle his portion of the Brady antitrust lawsuit. Specifically, Borges reports that the NFLPA* has decided not to pursue special treatment for the named plaintiffs in the Brady case.

Manning, Brees, Mankins, Jackson need to quit trying to cut their own deals | ProFootballTalk
Earlier today, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that Patriots guard Logan Mankins and Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson have requested either free agency or $10 million each in exchange for their signature on the settlement of the case. Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe later reported (as we had pointed out several weeks ago) that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Saints quarterback Drew Brees want to be exempt from the franchise tag.

The Manning, Brees, Mankins, Jackson backlash begins | ProFootballTalk
With four of the 10 named plaintiffs who supposedly are representing all players trying to cut their own deal, possibly at the risk of blowing up the entire settlement, the other 1,896 players can’t be all that happy about this. Now, at least one of them has gone on the record. (Sure, he’s a punter. But he’s still technically a player.)

Report: Brees, Manning, Jackson soften stances after backlash | ProFootballTalk
Reports that four of the named plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust lawsuit have made a push for special treatment just as the labor deal is close to being resolved has triggered a widespread reaction from fans, some members of the media, and at least one player. Now, Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that three of the men have privately softened their stances, due to the backlash.

Drew Brees decries "false media reports" | ProFootballTalk
We’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a great quarterback, and a truly good guy. But we can’t look the other way in the wake of reports that Brees, or someone on his behalf, is trying to leverage his status as a named plaintiff in the Brady antitrust action into a lifetime exemption from the franchise tag, which would make Brees an unrestricted free agent in 2012. If it’s happening, it’s wrong. And Brees and any other named plaintiff who is trying to exploit the situation for personal gain should abandon those efforts.

Report: Some Executive Committee members were "infuriated" by reports of benefits for plaintiffs | ProFootballTalk
As the dust settles on Tuesday’s unexpected brouhaha regarding the efforts of four named plaintiffs in the Brady antitrust lawsuit — or agents and/or lawyers working on their behalf — to get something for themselves as a settlement of the case approaches, one of the guys who reported that an effort was made to block the franchise tag from ever being used on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Saints quarterback Drew Brees reports that the issue ultimately was dropped based in part on the reaction from other players.

The NFL Lockout Is Almost Over, And Free Agent Chaos Is About To Begin -
The NFL Lockout is nearly over, which means we're inching closer to the craziest free agent season the NFL's ever seen. You know the offseason that usually lasts all summer? Now it all happens in about ten days.

Retired players won’t get in the way of a settlement | ProFootballTalk
The bad news is that it remains to be seen whether four high-profile current players will prevent a new labor deal from being finalized. The good news is that the thousand of retired players won’t.

NFL must satisfy Tom Brady antitrust plaintiffs to seal deal - ESPN
The agents for Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson and Patriots guard Logan Mankins reportedly are demanding their clients become unrestricted free agents or receive $10 million payments as part of the settlement of the Brady antitrust suit.

Audio: Covering every NFC West team - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Our friends from 101ESPN St. Louis have made available audio from our conversation earlier Tuesday.

Michael Vick of Philadelphia Eagles takes anti-dogfighting mission to Congress - ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick brought his anti-dogfighting message to Congress on Tuesday, backing legislation that would penalize those who knowingly attend animal fights and allow minors to attend.

Madden NFL 12 Rookie Ratings: Top Running Backs
Today we’re looking at the top rookie running backs in Madden NFL 12 according to ratings. Running to daylight should be the same in the NFL as it was in college, right? We’ll see as these ball carriers adjust to the speed and tackling ability of NFL defenders.

2. Ryan Williams - ARZ - 73 OVR

NFL prepares for Free Agent Frenzy -
If all goes well the NFL is on the precipice of a spectacle unlike anything the league has ever seen before: a condensed "free-agent frenzy" that may start on Friday and end next Friday, July 29th. And this forced spectacle may become the NFL's newest component to dominating the offseason like no other sport in history. The lockout is going to end and most experts are saying the league-season could begin as early as Friday.

Report -- Peyton Manning of Indianapolis Colts won't be ready for camp start - ESPN
Peyton Manning, still recovering from offseason surgery on his neck, reportedly won't be ready for the start of training camp.

Orton’s salary makes him tough for Broncos to keep | ProFootballTalk
The plan in Denver appears to be for Tim Tebow to start at quarterback, even if the Broncos won’t say it yet. The team figures to shop Kyle Orton around for a mid-round draft pick. The expectation is that the Broncos would be happy to keep Orton if they don’t get the right price, but it’s worth considering if they can afford him.

NFL players make most of lockout summer | time, lockout, players - Sports - The Orange County Register
On the first day of elementary school, teachers typically ask their students a simple question: What did you do on your summer vacation? The answers might include trips to Disneyland, a weekend with the grandparents or maybe a camping trip. And when the NFL lockout finally ends, which is expected to happen as soon as this week, players from around the league will make their way back towards their teams' facilities, armed with their own stories about how they spent their lockout vacation. Some went back to college, some traveled and some spent extra time with their families. And some even brewed their own beer. But left without the structure of organized team activities (O.T.A.'s) and minicamps, every player was left to his own devices as he tried to get ready for the season.

The Scariest Washington Redskins Rumor Yet - Half Smokes - SB Nation DC
From Sports Illustrated's John P. Lopez: Mike Shanahan insists he's good with John Beck at QB, but OC Kyle Shanahan covets Texans backup Matt Leinart, who could be available.