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4-26-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Draft Day

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Who will be in Patrick's place today? (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Who will be in Patrick's place today? (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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Time for some links as we finally arrive at draft day and the massive storm of news that will come from it. Also a few links that I missed in yesterdays post.... sorry about that.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Decision Time Has Arrived
Cards wait to see how draft plays out before knowing what's available

It's All In The Cards
Months of draft prep boiled down to a few letters and numbers

Arizona Cardinals eye best fit in 1st round
The Cardinals obviously liked cornerback Patrick Peterson when they drafted him with the fifth overall pick last season. They liked him a little more when he told them on the phone that day: "I'm going to come in and I'm going to help you guys." And when he backed it up, starting 16 games and returning four punts for touchdowns, he established a high standard for first overall picks. Expecting that much from this year's No. 1 pick is unrealistic, but it never hurts to ask.

Word From the Birds Blog | Changing Bradley’s contract
There has been so much talk about the contract of linebacker Stewart Bradley. The news came down Tuesday, first reported by Adam Caplan, that Bradley had his $5 million salary reduced to $2.5M this season. Kent Somers added the detail that Bradley could recoup the money in incentives, but it is a cut. As we have talked about before (ironically, using Bradley as an example) a player doesn’t usually mind restructuring a contract because that doesn’t cost the player any money. In this case, Bradley does lose money. In reality, he probably wouldn’t get a $2.5M salary at this point on the open market so it’s still worth it for him to take a cut. And the last three years of his contract remain, for now, unchanged, meaning he can get back to a $5M salary next year if he plays well enough. blogs - Kent Somers - Looking at the 13th overall pick
The Cardinals could go in several different directions with the 13th overall pick in the drafgt this week. We knew that before participating in numerous mock drafts, but those exercises hammered the point home.

Word From the Birds Blog | A chance to mock
Here it is, the long-awaited-and-yet-not-any-more-likely-to-be-anything-but-mocked mock draft from yours truly. To be clear, I have not sat back and broken down hours of tape nor do I know what’s on anybody’s draft boards, including the Cards. This is about making educated guesses, which as we all know when it comes to the draft usually means little. It doesn’t include any trades, which would/could blow it up quickly (although as I write this comes the rumor the Bills are willing to trade from 10 to 3 to get T Matt Kalil; If I am the Vikings, you better be sure you like a guy at 10. You don’t want to give up a potential stud just for a draft pick.)

Cardinals have options, here's three I like -
Cardinals have options, here's three I like

Podcast: Ken Whisenhunt on 'The Herd' - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Passing along : Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt with comments to ESPN's Colin Cowherd regarding the team's draft strategy and quarterback John Skelton. Whisenhunt, himself at Eagle Scout, said he's a big believer in drafting for character.

Zoom: My Draft Story
Several Arizona Cardinals players reflect on their NFL Draft day memories.

Arizona Sports News:

San Antonio Spurs beat Phoenix Suns in what might be Steve Nash farewell
Patty Mills scored 27 points and the depleted San Antonio Spurs beat Phoenix 110-106 on Wednesday night in a game overshadowed by the fact it could have been Steve Nash's last in a Suns uniform. The crowd stood and chanted "We want Nash" with about 5 minutes to go, leading coach Alvin Gentry to put the 38-year-old point guard in the game for a few plays before removing him to rousing cheers. Nash is a free agent after this season and plans to evaluate what options are open for him this summer. The Spurs sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- as well as coach Gregg Popovich -- home earlier in the day. The four will also miss San Antonio's regular-season finale at Golden State on Thursday night. The Spurs, already guaranteed the No. 1 playoff spot in the Western Conference, won their ninth straight to remain tied with Chicago for the best record in the NBA with one game to play.

Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels shuts down Arizona Diamondbacks
Just when manager Kirk Gibson thought his offense was about to start sparking again like a diamond, it turned right back into coal on Wednesday afternoon. He can thank Cole Hamels for that. Hamels pitched a gem for eight innings, retiring 18 consecutive batters at one point, and his four-hitter helped the Phillies hand the Diamondbacks a 7-2 loss and their third consecutive series defeat at Chase Field.

Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash saying goodbye?
Steve Nash looks like a bundle of nervous energy before every Suns game's tipoff, running in place, slapping teammates' hands and wiping his brow. This time, it looked like a player who realized the moment could be special. He just won't know whether it was until July. If that was Nash's last introduction as a Phoenix Suns player in 10 seasons over two stints, it was met with an appropriately resounding, standing ovation as he raced out to the team huddle to beat the intro Wednesday night at US Airways Center.

Vontaze Burfict calls Mike Mayock’s assessment "hurtful" | ProFootballTalk
When NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock referred to Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict as "a non-draftable kid," it seemed to perfectly encapsulate what had happened to Burfict over the last several months: Once considered an elite talent, Burfict combined off-field problems, a lack of production on the field late in his college career and terrible performances at the Combine and his Pro Day to make himself look like he doesn’t belong in the NFL. Burfict says he knows Mayock is just doing his job, but he also wants Mayock to know that his comments stung.

Report: Burfict, Hosley failed drug tests at Combine | ProFootballTalk
Well, it’s time for another memo from the Commissioner.

NFL News:

Asante Samuel Trade Announced: Falcons Send Draft Pick To Eagles -
The Atlanta Falcons announced they've completed a trade to send an undisclosed pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for cornerback Asante Samuel. It was reported earlier in the day that Samuel has agreed on a three-year, $22 million restructuring of his deal.

Madden 13 Cover Goes to Calvin Johnson - From Our Editors -
Terrible news for Detroit Lions fans; a fan vote between Cam Newton and Calvin Johnson to see which player would be featured on the cover of Madden NFL 13 ended up with Johnson taking the honors along with, of course, the hypothetical Madden Curse that goes along with it. It's been a decent off-season for Johnson: first the wide receiver signed an 8-year, $132 million contract with the Lions, now he's on the cover of a video game:

Tim Tebow Will Be Used As Blocker On Special Teams, Jets Tell QB -
Tim Tebow looks like a fullback, runs like a fullback and hits like a fullback, so he's going to be used on special teams like a fullback.

Sports Bro Vs. Douchebag: Quarterback Edition - From Our Editors -
In the second installment of the Webby-eligible Bro vs Douchebag, SB Nation's Dan Rubenstein and Matt Ufford debate the respective bro and douchebag merits of our nation's notable quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez, Matt Stafford, Stephen Garcia and Matt Leinart are this week's esteemed subjects.

Sad, miserable, first-round draft flops for all 32 teams | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
You know why the NFL draft is so popular? Because it's the NFL's season for optimism. Everyone can feel good, because hey, you're about to get a future Pro Bowler, right? At the very least, a starter? Because that's what good teams do. They draft well. Bad news, though: Your team can screw this up dreadfully, and they've done it before. There's no team out there that hasn't botched a first-round draft pick. In fact, some teams make a habit of it. There's no team that's immune from it this year, either. So, on the eve of the draft, here's a reminder for all 32 teams of just how poorly things can go.

ESPN anchor didn’t like suggestion that she was flirting with Wes Welker | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
At the end of a Tuesday edition of "SportsCenter," Steve Weissman jokingly told his married co-anchor that she appeared to be flirting with Wes Welker during an earlier interview. It went over about as well as you'd expect.