Sitting here writing this before the Cardinals playoff fate is even in the books, though our fate rests in the hands of a Tampa Bay Bucs team that is quite bad, think how happy would it make them to completely kick New Orleans out of the playoffs (think if we could do the same to San Francisco boys). I am usually the one to say focus on this year, don't look to next while we are still playing games and this is still true, the Cardinals have a game on Sunday vs San Francisco, but even that win would not be enough, so it is out of our hands.
No matter when the season ends, whether it is Sunday or Super Bowl Sunday, we need to keep this team together for two or three years. In 1998, the Arizona Cardinals shocked everyone and made the playoffs, the team was good --not great, but good. In the playoffs we faced the evil empire in the Dallas Cowboys. In the game we were supposed to be a speed bump to Dallas' last great run through the playoffs with the big three still intact. Of course we know how that ended.
Looking at that offseason, it will serve as a blueprint of how not to do things. They lost their top linebacker (Jamir Miller) to a huge contract to Cleveland, and let one of their best linemen leave (Lomas Brown, also to Cleveland) while over paying for people that had one good year but were average players nevertheless, and losing several coaches and somehow going from 15th in the league in scoring, to 30th. That was a bad off season. Arizona followed up their 1998 playoff team with a 1999 6-10 failure
Now I think they have learned their lesson from that offseason by signing their core players at really good numbers. Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell and Daryl Washington all have been signed with good numbers over the past few years and they still produce at a high level that can justify the numbers, but I'm looking at Steve Keim squarely in the face and saying Karlos Dansby needs to be offered a minimum of three years and $15 million this offseason. But do not over pay...he will probably get more from someone else, but we are so close to a ring at this point, what does he want more?
I don't know how we are going to make the numbers work. I love Larry Fitzgerald, he is a great person and for his past performances and has earned every single cent of his contract as far as I'm concerned.... that being said if somehow he can restructure to knock $2 million off the cap every year it would go a long way in keeping this core together for another run in 2014.... PP needs a contract, Dansby needs a contract... those should be the two most important signings of the off season....