A report came out recently saying the Arizona Cardinals had begun talks to extend quarterback Carson Palmer's contract, which will void five days after the Super Bowl if he is on the roster.
As a guest on The Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7, general manager Steve Keim was asked about where the process are at and how things got started with the veteran quarterback.
Keim was not about to play his hand and simply said, "I won't get into specifics with any negotiation."
So Cardinals fans will have to wait for any sort of update through underground channels with unnamed sources and the like.
However, he did say when dealing with contract negotiations, dealing with the quarterback "certainly takes precedence."
But instead of giving any insight into negotiations, he did indicate his desire to keep some potential free agents from hitting the open market.
"We look at everything from a three-year view from a cap standpoint and, not only Carson Palmer, but there are several other players that are on our roster that contracts expire after the season and we'd love to have them back and we're looking to extend those players as well," said Keim.
Who are the players whose contracts expire after this year?
There are a few who don't have any control. They have one or two years in the league and they can't sign anywhere else unless the Cardinals release them. They will be extended exclusive rights tenders. Chandler Catanzaro is one such player. He'll be back.
There are a few who will be restricted free agents. The Cardinals can bring them back if they want.
Who are the upcoming unrestricted free agents? They include:
- QB Carson Palmer
- NT Dan Williams
- LB John Abraham
- CB Antonio Cromartie
- LS Mike Leach
- TE Rob Housler
- LB Sam Acho
- LB Thomas Keiser
- DT Tommy Kelly
- LB Larry Foote
- RB Jonathan Dwyer
- G Paul Fanaika
- LB Desmond Bishop
So looking at that group, who would be a Cardinals target?
I think right off the bat you eliminate Keiser and Bishop. They have been inactive. Abraham is probably done with his career. Dwyer's situation makes negotiations dumb, actually.
Mike Leach is 38. If they want him back, they won't have to extend him during the season. He'll be available and will want to come back once the offseason comes around. But at 38, will he keep playing and will the team want to pay him $1 million a year?
Rob Housler and Sam Acho are nice depth players, but I don't think there is any way they get contract talks. They likely will be gone after this season. However, Acho could get a Rashad Johnson contract, one that is workable either as a starter or backup.
Larry Foote? He's old. They have Kevin Minter, Kenny Demens and Glenn Carson.
The players I think they consider are Cromartie, Kelly, Williams and Fanaika.
Fanaika got a contract extension extension last year. Aside from his play while banged up, he has been solid this year, looking much better than a season ago. He won't likely be expensive and if a young guy like Earl Watford or Jonathan Cooper beat him out, he will be good depth.
Cromartie will be a little dicey. He came here on a steep discount, much less than he wanted. He considers himself one of the best corners in the game and Patrick Peterson counts for a ton of money. Can they extend him and still pay him what he wants?
Tommy Kelly is like Frostee Rucker. It would be wise to bring him back. I don't think it would take much to bring him back.
Williams is interesting. This year is the first year he is playing more than in base packages. Will he be too expensive? Plus, they have Alameda Ta'amu who is still underteam control for next year and they have rookie Bruce Gaston. I would say Williams is a very important player. How much will he command? He would be one of my targets.
Who would your targets be, outside of Palmer?