azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Bob McManaman tackle the Cardinals and the draft and the latest with Roger Goodell and the NFL.
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Shot Clock: Why isn’t Paul Goldschmidt playing? Will Cardinals draft QB Mitchell Trubisky? Kurt Warner also had a Super Bowl jersey stolen? The Shot Clock tackles the burning topics in Arizona sports.
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Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins says he did not demand a trade away from the team, but instead asked about the franchise’s plans after having the franchise tag placed on him.
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The MMQB’s Andy Benoit takes a look at the on-field problem facing free agent QB Colin Kaepernick.
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Free agent kicker Phil Dawson signed a 2-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals on March 10, 2017 at the Cardinals training facility in Tempe.
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Shot Clock: NFL free agency moves, including Chandler Jones staying and Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson likely leaving the Arizona Cardinals. Video: azcentral sports
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The Texans have traded quarterback Brock Osweiler and a 2018 second-round draft pick to the Browns, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news.
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Quarterback Tony Romo posted a message on Instagram to say goodbye to all the Dallas Cowboys fans who supported him during the course of his 13-year career.
USA TODAY Sports
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Washington Quarterback Kirk Cousins reportedly asked Dan Snyder to trade him, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting Snyder told Cousins not to get his hopes up.
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Shot Clock: The beginning of the new NFL year, what the Cardinals’ chances are for keeping Calais Campbell and Tony Jefferson and who might make an impact around the league. Video: azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero fills you in on how the top quarterback prospects fared during Day 4 of the NFL Scouting Combine.
USA TODAY Sports
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Clemson QB Deshaun Watson said he could benefit from backing up a veteran when he enters the NFL. Video: Kent Somers/azcentral sports
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Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 5,052 total and 41 TDs with 10 INTs in 2016 at Texas Tech. Video: Kent Somers/azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes gives insight as to which teams will be searching for a quarterback at the NFL Scouting Combine.
USA TODAY Sports
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John Ross, former wide receiver from the University of Washington, broke Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record at the NFL Combine.
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Washington receiver John Ross in 2016 was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 standout with 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 TDs . Video: Kent Somers/azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports’ Lindsay H. Jones says that San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch spoke very highly of a number of high-profile quarterback prospects.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley break down the NBA MVP race and a possible reunion in the Cardinals defensive backfield.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with GM Steve Keim about how the Cardinals conduct business at the NFL combine and how they will handle their free agents.
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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians discusses finding the team’s future quarterback in the draft.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers discuss Cardinals free agency and Larry Fitzgerald’s reaction to an extra NFL preseason game. Video: azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis gives us his top five picks of the 2017 NFL draft.
USA TODAY Sports
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Not everyone is happy that ex-Cardinals WR Michael Floyd, who was waived by the Cardinals three days after an arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence, is a Super Bowl champion. Video: azcentral sports
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Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald skates for the first time with Arizona Coyotes’ Shane Doan. (Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports)
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Third time is the charm for former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, as he and four others were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 4, 2017. Hannah Gaber/azcentral.com
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Atlanta and New England will face off in Houston after winning the NFC and AFC championships, respectively.
USA TODAY Sports
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Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Mike Iupati talks about his experiences of growing up fishing on a small island. Video: Michael Chow and David Wallace/azcentral sports
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Arizona Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson is also an impersonator, and, was once haunted by a ghost. Video: Michael Chow and David Wallace/azcentral sports
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Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kevin Minter sits down with Steve Benson of The Republic, and admits a weak spot for good food. Video: Michael Chow and David Wallace/azcentral sports
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Cardinals players reflect on the 2016 season as they clear out their lockers on Monday. Nick Oza/ azcentral sports
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Cardinals Insider Kent Somers says Bruce Arians is high on younger backups who got a chance to play last week. Michael Chow/azcentral sports
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Here’s a look at some of the top underclassmen planning on entering the 2017 NFL Draft.
USA TODAY Sports
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A time-lapse view from field level during the pre-game introductions for the Arizona Cardinals: Video: David Kadlubowski/azcentral sports
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Watch video of the Cardinals field rolling into University of Phoenix Stadium before the start of the first practice of the 2016 training camp. Video by Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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Shot Clock: Which QB do Cardinals draft?
USA Baseball, Trubisky to Cards, Kurt Warner’s stolen jersey
Kirk Cousins says he did not demand trade from Redskins
The issue with Colin Kaepernick
Phil Dawson talks about joining Cardinals
NFL free agency and how it affects the Arizona Cardinals
Reports: Texans trade QB Brock Osweiler to Browns with second-round pick
Tony Romo says goodbye to Cowboys fans
Report: Kirk Cousins asked Dan Snyder to trade him
Shot Clock: Key issues for Cardinals in NFL free agency
NFL Scouting Combine: Quarterbacks show off their skills
Deshaun Watson says it’d be awesome to learn from a veteran NFL quarterback
Patrick Mahomes: I’m a competitor and I want to play
NFL Scouting Combine: Teams looking for quarterbacks
John Ross runs fastest 40-yard dash ever at NFL Combine
Washington Huskies receiver John Ross on his versatility
NFL scouting combine: 49ers high on Kizer
Shot Clock: NBA MVP debate, Cardinals DBs
Cardinals GM Steve Keim on combine process, free agency
Arians on finding quarterback of the future
Shot Clock: Tough free agency decisions looming for Cardinals
NFL mock draft: How will top 5 picks shake out?
Michael Floyd’s message for his critics
Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald skates for the first time with Shane Doan
Kurt Warner inducted to Pro Football Hall of Fame
Falcons and Patriots advance to Super Bowl LI
On the drawing board: Cardinals lineman Mike Iupati
On the drawing board: Tony Jefferson of the Arizona Cardinals
On the drawing board: Cardinals linebacker Kevin Minter
Cardinals players clear out lockers, reflect on season
Cardinals looking to play several younger backups
Top underclassmen entering the NFL draft early
Time-lapse: On the field during pre-game festivities
Grass field rolls in at University of Phoenix Stadium
Losing five defensive starters in free agency normally wouldn’t be an encouraging vital sign in determining the health of an NFL team’s personnel and coaching departments.
Yet, that’s how General Manager Steve Keim views the departures of tackle Calais Campbell, safety Tony Jefferson, safety D.J. Swearinger, cornerback Marcus Cooper and inside linebacker Kevin Minter.
Bear with Keim as he explains.
“You can see we’ve obviously done a good job of identifying players,” Keim said before a fundraising dinner Wednesday night for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. “When guys like Marcus Cooper get five-plus million dollars (from the Bears) or D.J. Swearinger are getting big contracts, These are guys we took off the street that nobody else wanted. Our personnel department does a fantastic job and our coaches do a good job of developing these guys and getting them ready.”
MOCK DRAFTS: Cardinals picks after free agency moves
The Cardinals traded a seventh-round pick last year for Cooper. They signed Swearinger in December 2015 after he’d been cut by two teams. Jefferson was signed as a rookie free agent four years ago. Campbell and Minter were draft picks.
Implicit in the above quote by Keim is that the Cardinals have found players before, they’ll do it again. So the beads of sweat on the shaved heads of Keim and Arians Wednesday night were caused by the sun, not concern over losing nearly half the starting defense.
The team has known for two years that it probably wasn’t going to re-sign Campbell, Arians said, and it was clear during last season that Jefferson was going to command more than the Cardinals wanted to pay.
So it was no surprise Campbell left for Jacksonville for an average of $15 million a year (provided he plays out the contract), or that Jefferson went to Baltimore for $19 million guaranteed.
NFL FREE AGENCY GRADES: How did Cardinals fare?
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to continue to stack this roster and put in place guys who can make a difference not only on the field, but off the field,” Keim said.
That was the main factor in the Cardinals’ decision go with age over youth in signing free agents from other teams.
New safety Antoine Bethea turns 33 this summer. Inside linebacker Karlos Dansby turns 36 in November and kicker Phil Dawson is 42.
It’s the second consecutive year in which the Cardinals have made significant changes in the secondary. A year ago, cornerback Jerraud Powers and safety Rashad Johnson left via free agency. Safety Tyrann Mathieu struggled all last season to come back from ACL surgery.
Signing Bethea, who was with the Colts when Arians was an assistant there in 2012, stabilizes the group, Arians said.
“Antoine, I’ve known forever,” Arians said. “We needed more leadership out of our safety position. Ty couldn’t be Ty last year so he couldn’t lead, either.”
Dansby is expected to do much the same thing at linebacker, and for the defense as a whole.
This is Dansby’s third stint with the team. When Dansby entered team headquarters to sign his contract two weeks ago, Keim detected sort of an electrical surge.
“There was an energy in our building that was missing in some degree,” Keim said. “It was exciting to have him back; he couldn’t shut up.”
But signing players older than 30 carries risk. They tend to break down and miss practices and games. Age was one factor in the Cardinals’ decision not to re-sign Campbell to another large, multiyear deal. He turns 31 in September.
But Keim and Arians reasoned that the leadership Bethea, Dansby and Dawson will provide was worth the risk of moving forward without Campbell.
The upcoming draft is deep in safety and inside linebacker talent, so the Cardinals could add rookies who will study under proven mentors, Arians said.
Paying big money to quarterback Carson Palmer, receiver Larry Fitzgerald, cornerback Patrick Peterson and Mathieu means there “are only so many slices of pizza to go around,” Keim said.
PODCAST: Cardinals free agency discussion
Campbell and the others found ample slices elsewhere, and Keim wished them luck.
“I’m proud of them,” he said, referring to Campbell and Jefferson. “Good for them. That’s the business and those are the tough decisions we have to make.
“Unfortunately for our fan base they won’t see ‘93’ and ‘22’ out there any more, but you never know when there is going to be a chance. We got a guy back for the third time this year.”