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8-21-11: Bird Droppings - Larry Gets Paid

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There was some news yesterday that Ryan Williams is going to have surgery shortly, and that it is possible for him to fully recover and still be able to do most if not all of what he was able to do on the field before the injury. But the REAL big news is Larry Fitzgerald getting paid with his eight year contract extension that gives him a boatload of money.

Arizona Cardinals News:

New 8-Year Contract For Fitzgerald
Pro Bowl receiver should retire a Card after latest deal

Arizona Cardinals reach deal with Larry Fitzgerald
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald is about to sign his third huge contract with the Cardinals, so he could afford to put diamonds in the soles of the cleats he brought to a news conference on Saturday. Instead, he joked that he was ready to put those cleats to use on a day off, given that he had agreed to terms on an 8-year contract that could be worth a maximum of $120 million.

Arizona Cardinals to re-sign Larry Fitzgerald for eight years, record $120 million, sources say - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals will sign wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to a record eight-year, $120 million deal, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The deal includes close to $50 million guaranteed. Fitzgerald, 27, would be under contract through 2018. The six additional years after 2012 would be worth $17 million each.

Tests confirm Arizona Cardinals RB Ryan Williams' knee injury
Running back Ryan Williams had not played in a meaningful NFL game, yet the Cardinals face a tough challenge in replacing him. Tests Saturday confirmed that Williams ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee Friday night against the Green Bay Packers and will be out for the season. A second-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, Williams is expected to undergo surgery early this week. blogs - Kent Somers - Ryan Williams shouldn't "miss a beat"
A ruptured patellar tendon is such an unusual injury that a busy orthopedic surgeon might see only a handful of them in a year. Cardinals running back Ryan Williams suffered one in his right knee on Friday night and is expected to undergo surgery early this week, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. I was able to reach Dr. Daniel Kharrazi, orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, to briefly explain the surgery and the rehab timeframe Williams faces.

Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams out for season -
Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams will miss the entire season with a ruptured right patella tendon, Coach Ken Whisenhunt confirmed in a Saturday press conference.

Signs Of Pressure
Notebook: Pass rush flashes in Green Bay; Housler takes advantage

What's Next At Running Back
In a quiet and nearly empty locker room late Friday night, Alfonso Smith returned from his own stint in the training room to get dressed for the long plane flight home from Green Bay, realizing his professional life had just changed. Smith, who was back and forth on the Cards’ practice squad and roster last season, suddenly went from possibly cut to possibly playing a big role for the team in 2011 once rookie Ryan Williams was carted off with a knee injury during the game.

Video: Larry Fitzgerald contract fallout - NFC West Blog - ESPN
ESPN's Adam Schefter thinks Larry Fitzgerald's new deal with the Arizona Cardinals will raise expectations for holdout Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson. I have no doubt that is the case.

As usual, devil will be in details of Fitzgerald deal | ProFootballTalk
The basic numbers were eye-popping. Eight years, $120 million with $50 million guaranteed for a receiver who’ll turn 28 in 10 days. That’s an average of $15 million per year, a huge jump over Larry Fitzgerald’s previous high-water mark of $10 million annually, which he set three years ago — and which others have claimed to have duplicated but only have imitated.

Despite Williams injury, Cardinals draft still went well -
As the Cardinals try to recover from the season-ending injury to rookie running back Ryan Williams, they can take heart in knowing they still have a solid draft class. According to ESPN's NFC West blog, the loss of Williams does not affect the success of the Cardinals' 2011 draft.

Cards weren't kidding: They'll pay Fitz - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Money wasn't going to be an object for the Arizona Cardinals when it came to re-signing Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. That was the word, and now it's confirmed.

With Williams out, a look at Cardinals' draft - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Ryan Williams' confirmed season-ending injury will prevent the Arizona Cardinals' 2011 draft class from reaching its expected potential this season. Williams, injured while carrying the ball against Green Bay in the Cardinals' preseason game Friday night, was pushing Beanie Wells for playing time. He projected as a potential starter, perhaps as early as this season. The Cardinals should still expect significant contributions from their 2011 draft class.

Word From the Birds Blog - Fitzgerald deal gets done
Nothing official — unless you want to take the fact there is a press conference in a short bit featuring team president Michael Bidwill and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, which is a huge tell — but Fitz has got his extension. Reports have it as an eight-year contract with $50 million guaranteed and worth as much as $120 million (although that’s the agent talking, so there is always the case of waiting to see the actual deal).

Word From the Birds Blog - Whiz delivers expected R. Williams news
There were no miracles. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that running back Ryan Williams does indeed have a ruptured patella tendon after further examination, and he is out for the season. Surgery should come in the next few days, and they hope to have him back for training camp in 2012. They will add a running back, although Whisenhunt isn’t sure to what level — he could just be a camp body taking needed extra camp reps/preseason plays, or it could be someone more. Any vet has to be researched, Whisenhunt said. Chemistry is a big deal, and the newcomer has to know his role. Current fourth-stringer Alfonso Smith is a "viable candidate" Whisenhunt said.

Report: Cardinals sign WR Larry Fitzgerald to record deal -
The Arizona Cardinals said they were prepared to dish out a record contract to keep wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and they followed through with that. Oh boy, did they follow through with that.

Larry Fitzgerald gets $50 million guarantee from Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
The Arizona Cardinals have locked up Larry Fitzgerald with an enormous new contract.

Cards Daily: Postgame from Green Bay
Video Gallery -

Fitz In The Cards Through 2018
Video Gallery -

Arizona Sports News:

Diamondbacks' losing skid reaches four after rout
Dan Uggla homered twice and drove in three runs, Brandon Beachy gave up only one run in six innings and the Atlanta Braves continued to feast on the top teams in the NL West by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-1 on Saturday night.

Phoenix Mercury capture victory without Diana Taurasi
The Mercury missed Diana Taurasi on Saturday night. They missed the fire she displays on the court and the points she puts up on the scoreboard. But, as it turned out, the Mercury didn't need her. In a game between two teams jockeying for postseason positioning, the Mercury beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 87-81 on Saturday night in front of 10,134 at US Airways Center.

ASU football fans should be thankful for a clean program
A Sun Devil occasionally puts an index finger in the air. Sometimes, Arizona State wins a championship in golf or softball. Maybe it ranks No. 1 on lists of party schools and porn-star alumni. But until the sport of college football is quarantined and scrubbed clean, it's unreasonable to think the football program will ever compete for a BCS championship. There's just not enough interest on campus, money in the laundry room or scumbags showering players with impermissible benefits. It's sad, but that's the nature of the game. It's also a mirror to our country, where the bedrock principle of fair play seems to be under siege.

QB Brock Osweiler plays well in ASU football scrimmage
These days, with so many key players out nursing injuries, it's hard to get a proper assessment of where Arizona State stands 12 days before its season opener against UC Davis. But so far, through almost three weeks of practice, one development should put ASU fans at ease: Brock Osweiler, about to start his first full season at quarterback, seems up to the challenge.

Trophy or not, Diamondbacks' Justin Upton finally an MVP
Postseason awards have no relevance inside a pennant race. The conversation makes Kirk Gibson cringe. Alas, some things are unavoidable. "Do I care if Justin Upton gets his MVP right now? Hell, no," Gibson said. "Do I care if Ian Kennedy gets his recognition? Hell, no. All I care is if we come out every day and go after our goal, which is a team thing. It's really dangerous when you start to look for credit." To Gibson's dismay, credit has come looking for the Diamondbacks. That's what happens when a broken franchise goes from worst to first, when a baseball icon morphs into an impact manager, when a former Yankees prospect becomes a Cy Young candidate, when the next Willie Mays begins to look the part.

NFL News:

Peyton Manning's availability for Indianapolis Colts' opener in doubt - ESPN
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says his team must be prepared to start the season without injured quarterback Peyton Manning, and the club might need to find a veteran backup.

Two shot in Candlestick Park parking lot after Oakland Raiders-San Francisco 49ers game - ESPN
Two men were shot and wounded in the parking lot of Candlestick Park after a preseason NFL game Saturday night between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, police said.

Three things revisited: 49ers-Raiders - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back upon three things discussed here before the San Francisco 49ers' 17-3 victory against the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night:

Three things revisited: Seahawks-Vikings - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back upon three things discussed here before the Seattle Seahawks' 20-7 preseason loss against Minnesota on Saturday night:

Three things revisited: Rams-Titans - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Looking back upon three things discussed here before the St. Louis Rams' 17-16 preseason victory over Tennessee on Saturday night:

Lawyer Milloy makes case for Charlie Whitehurst | ProFootballTalk
In a move that would be more compelling if safety Lawyer Milloy had been signed for a third season with the Seattle Seahawks, Milloy took to Twitter after Saturday night’s loss to the Vikings and declared that Charlie Whitehurst, not Tarvaris Jackson, should be the starting quarterback.

Fan violence mars Raiders-49ers game | ProFootballTalk
Saturday night’s Raiders-49ers preseason game was marred by violent incidents involving fans, including one man being badly injured in a beating in a Candlestick Park restroom, and two men getting shot in the parking lot afterward.

Bills running back Johnny White taken off on stretcher | ProFootballTalk
It’s been a night of rough hits in Denver.

Jason Campbell leaves game | ProFootballTalk
Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell left Saturday night’s game with an undisclosed injury.

Quinn makes strong bid for Broncos backup spot | ProFootballTalk
Kyle Orton took care of business early in Denver’s preseason win over Buffalo, showing why he’s on top of the Broncos depth chart. Then the real competition started. (Or at least it was supposed to.) Brady Quinn got his crack to run the No. 2 Broncos offense, and he looked good overall. Tim Tebow, on the other hand, barely played.

NFL says Ochocinco can’t reimburse Foster | ProFootballTalk
Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco has offered to reimburse Buccaneers linebacker Mason Foster if Foster is fined for his hit on Ochocinco in Thursday night’s game. If Ochocinco follows through on that offer, he could be fined himself.

Tebow in danger of sliding to No. 3 on the depth chart | ProFootballTalk
With the question of whether Tim Tebow will be the starting quarterback for the Broncos in 2011 now settled (he won’t be), the next question becomes whether Tebow will hold the No. 2 position behind Kyle Orton. Tebow possibly won’t.

Polian on Manning’s return: "It’s impossible to predict" | ProFootballTalk
It's actually a little surprising there hasn't been more concern this month about Peyton Manning's surgically repaired neck. He hasn't practiced in camp and the Colts backup quarterbacks have taken turns looking inept in the preseason.

Chad Ochocino promises to reimburse Mason Foster’s (potential) fine after hard hit - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Last Thursday, the New England Patriots absolutely crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 31-14 win that wasn't anywhere near as close as the score indicated. Tom brady was rolling his offense along so well, the young Bucs had trouble keeping up — and had no trouble admitting it after the fact. But on at least one play, they gave as good as they got.

Todd Haley upset with John Harbaugh | ProFootballTalk
Chiefs coach Todd Haley was upset with Ravens coach John Harbaugh after Friday night’s preseason game, telling Harbaugh that he didn’t appreciate the Ravens running up the score in their 31-13 win.

The rest of the story on the Saints blitzing the Niners into oblivion | ProFootballTalk
The Harbaugh brothers aren’t quite as loud as the Ryan twins. (Then again, who is?) But John and Jim Harbaugh are making a stir in the NFL. And we like it.

Pryor runs a fast 40 | ProFootballTalk
Our source at the Terrelle Pryor Pro Day says that Pryor ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds. That’s not too shabby for a guy who is six-foot-five and weighs 230-plus pounds.

NFL Game Recaps:

Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks - Recap - August 20, 2011 - ESPN
New Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson saw far more of his former team than he wanted. Minnesota's new starter, Donovan McNabb, got on the field just long enough to put together one impressive drive and call it a night. Reserve cornerback Marcus Sherels returned a deflected pass from Jackson 64 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, Ryan Longwell added a pair of field goals, and the Vikings beat the Seahawks 20-7 on Saturday night.

Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos - Recap - August 20, 2011 - ESPN
Brady Quinn leapfrogged Tim Tebow, at least for one night. Kyle Orton, who has rendered the quarterback drama in Denver a question of who will be his backup, led the Broncos on two touchdown drives in a 24-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night.

Tennessee Titans vs. St. Louis Rams - Recap - August 20, 2011 - ESPN
Josh Brown's winning last-second field goal couldn't erase the bad taste from the St. Louis Rams' poor first half. Coach Steve Spagnuolo didn't mince words after the starters got dominated on both sides of the ball, needing the backups to rally for a hollow 17-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.

Oakland Raiders vs. San Francisco 49ers - Recap - August 20, 2011 - ESPN
About the only thing new for Alex Smith in his return to Candlestick Park was the coach on the sideline. Considering the offense's performance last week, that was a major improvement. Smith threw for 126 yards and an interception in coach Jim Harbaugh's home debut, getting showered with a mix of boos and cheers in the San Francisco 49ers' 17-3 preseason victory over the cross-bay rival Oakland Raiders on Saturday night.

New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans - Recap - August 20, 2011 - ESPN
Ben Tate gave Houston coach Gary Kubiak one less decision to make before Saturday night's preseason game against New Orleans. Tate, a second-round pick in 2010, rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown in his first game action in more than a year, and Arian Foster ran for two more scores in Houston's 27-14 win over the Saints. (Tate was actually knocked out for the season last year against us in the Preseason)