The Cardinals added a number of big names this offseason, including rookie defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and linebacker Chandler Jones. While the two players have a relatively tumultuous past, the organization believed it was worth the risk to acquire the duo.
“You have to take some risks,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said (via Tom Pelissero of USA Today). “Let’s be honest: Not every player out there that is extremely gifted has done everything right in his life. Yet at the same time, we want to create a culture in the locker room of positive guys, good people in the community.”
Jones made the news last season following a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana, while Nkemdiche was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession.
“We feel like we got two high-character guys who made mistakes and know that they made a mistake and don’t feel like it’ll happen again,” said coach Bruce Arians.
“Each person’s an individual. You look at Nkemdiche’s history and the family he comes from and everything. He had a bad night in Atlanta. And we all have bad nights. You don’t condemn them for that. You find out why, and what are you going to do about it? Chandler’s episode was bizarre – but he went to the police.”
Let’s take a look at some other notes from the NFC…
- Pierre Thomas ended last season with the Redskins, and ESPN.com’s John Keim believes the team could still use the free agent. The team has some talented running backs in Matt Jones, Keith Marshall, and Chris Thompson, but the writer believes the organization may still be seeking some reinforcement at the position. Considering his experience and familiarity with the organization, Thomas would appear to be a natural fit.
- After being activated from the PUP list, Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis missed the majority of this past week’s practices. The veteran admitted that he was relieved that the lingering injury popped up during the preseason, and he added that he doesn’t anticipate a trip to the injured reserve. “I ain’t (going on) IR,” he told Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. “That definitely ain’t my plan. I worked too hard this offseason. I stayed in New Orleans the whole time and grinded. So, offseason is definitely not on my calendar or in my notebook.”
- Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz took quite the hit during his team’s first preseason game, leading Bob Ford of Philly.com to write that the coaching staff should do a better job of protecting the generational talent. Meanwhile, considering the presence of veteran signal-callers Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel, Jeff McLane of Philly.com wonders how long it will take for the Eagles to become Wentz’s team.