Dealing Cards: Decisions, decisions, decisions

Jan 1, 2018, 2:27 PM
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, right, talks with general manager Steve Keim during pr...
Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, right, talks with general manager Steve Keim during practice at the NFL football team's training camp Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TEMPE, Ariz. – The decisions are many.

Much like an election-year ballot with seemingly endless propositions, the Arizona Cardinals face a number of highly important decisions this offseason.

One—and a big one—has already been made.

But now the Cardinals need to find a head coach, not to mention a coaching staff. Plus, they may be in the market for a starting quarterback and No. 1 wide receiver depending on what Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald decide to do, respectively.

And there are several other big-name talents whose futures are in question, as well.

In other words, what happens over the next several weeks and months will likely impact the organization for years to come.

Consider it the Cardinals’ version of Decision 2018.

Someone had better call CNN’s John King. His “magic wall” may be needed in Tempe.

The Cardinals ended 2017 with a win in Seattle to finish 8-8, but for the second straight year they missed the postseason.

Players cleaned out their lockers on Monday.

“Unfortunately we didn’t accomplish our goals of trying to get into the playoffs. Ultimately that’s what we do each and every year and we fell short of that. Steve is going to go in there and make some decisions and figure out what’s going to be best,” quarterback Drew Stanton said, referring to general manager Steve Keim.

“Player wise, there’s a lot of good talent in here of varying ages and different things,” Stanton continued. “You pick up the pieces when the year is done and you try and plug guys into different spots and make a run at it. There’s an imperfect science to all of this.”

19 free agents

Once the new head coach is in place, and perhaps even beforehand, the Cardinals will begin the process of going through their long list of free agents. There are 19 of them.

“It’ll be interesting to kind of see what’s out there for me, who’s interested and what the market is looking like,” cornerback Justin Bethel said. “It’ll be interesting to go and see kind of what this new year brings for me.”

Bethel is one of seven defensive free agents, three of whom—Josh Bynes, Karlos Dansby and Kareem Martin—are linebackers.

Offensively, the Cardinals’ biggest hole could be at quarterback. Palmer is the only signal-caller currently under contract for 2018.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” Stanton said. “If it’s done, then I’ll look back on it with really fond memories. If it’s not, then I’ll come back and get to work.”

Jared Veldheer committed

Among the players who made an appearance during the media’s 45-minute locker-room availability was offensive lineman Jared Veldheer.

Placed on injured reserve after cracking his ankle in the Tennessee game, Veldheer walked in with the aid of a scooter. The cast on his right leg will come off this week, he said, and then the focus will turn to next season, fulfilling his commitment to the Cardinals.

Back in training camp, Veldheer had briefly considered retirement.

“This is the team that I’ve been apart of the last four years,” he said. “I love all the guys in this room and going out there and playing with them on Sundays and get another year to do that.”

A bone bruise only

According to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Stanton played, and won, the final two games with a torn ACL.

Told of Fitzgerald’s social media reporting, Stanton smiled.

“Yeah, I’m not telling him any secrets, apparently,” he said.

Stanton called his injury a bone bruise, and nothing more.

It was Week 10 against the Seahawks when Stanton hurt his knee, and for the next five games he backed up Blaine Gabbert. Stanton returned Christmas Eve to beat the Giants.

“My knee felt great to be able to get back out there,” he said, adding surgery is not necessary. “I’m ready to go and looking forward to start coaching flag football on Wednesday.”

Life Changer Loans


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

D.J. Humphries #74 of the Arizona Cardinals on the field during pregame warm-ups before the game ag...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals’ D.J. Humphries takes last spot in PFF’s 2022 top OT rankings

Fresh off an extension with the Cardinals, LT D.J. Humphries took the last spot in Pro Football Focus' top offensive tackle rankings.
1 day ago
Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against Byron Murphy Jr. #7 of the Arizon...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals rank No. 30 on Football Outsiders’ under-25 talent list

The Cardinals head into the 2022 season lacking talent under the age of 25, coming in at No. 30 in Scott Spratt's rankings.
10 hours ago
(L-R) Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys talks with owner Michael Bidwell of the Arizona Cardi...
Arizona Sports

Sportico ranks Cardinals No. 28 on list of most valuable NFL teams

The Arizona Cardinals ranked No. 28 in Sportico's franchise valuations at $3.165 billion, an 18% increase from 2021.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore warms up ahead of practice Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Tempe. (T...
Nikash Nath

Pro Football Focus: Rondale Moore is Cardinals’ most intriguing player

PFF's Ari Meirov went through all 32 NFL teams' rosters and selected one player from each team as their most "intriguing player."
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals' Greg Dortch runs drills during the NFL football team's training camp at State Fa...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: Greg Dortch among Red & White practice standouts

Greg Dortch continues to impress over the course of training camp, with his most recent showing coming during the Red & White practice.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals DL Kingsley Keke looks on during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler D...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals DT Kingsley Keke placed in COVID-19 protocols

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Kingsley Keke has been placed in COVID-19 protocols, head coach Kliff Kingbury said at practice Saturday.
2 days ago
Dealing Cards: Decisions, decisions, decisions