Cardinals Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/27/21

We’ve collected today’s minor moves below:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Football Team

Cardinals To Sign Daryl Worley

On the eve of training camp, the Cardinals are adding some depth to their secondary. Arizona is expected to sign free agent cornerback Daryl Worley, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets.

Worley worked out for the team on Monday, and they apparently liked what they saw. Worley bounced around a bit last season, and started his career as a third-round pick of the Panthers back in 2016. He started 11 games as a rookie in Carolina, and then 14 the following year. Traded to the Eagles the next offseason in exchange for Torrey Smith, he was then released by Philly after getting arrested.

He quickly signed with the Raiders, and after serving a four-game suspension became a starter for them. Worley started 15 games for the Raiders in 2019, which earned him a $3MM contract from the Cowboys last offseason. He appeared in seven games with Dallas and started four, but was cut in October along with a couple other members of their struggling defense.

He then had short stints with the Bills and Raiders again to close the season. Although he seemingly has a fair amount of tread on his tires, the West Virginia product only turned 26 earlier this year.

It can never hurt to have too much experience, and Worley has 54 NFL starts under his belt. The Cardinals’ cornerbacks room received a big makeover this offseason, as the team let Patrick Peterson walk while adding Malcolm Butler and Darqueze Dennard.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: WR Reece Horn

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Placed on IR: DT Rob Windsor (out for year)

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: TE Carson Meier
  • Cut with injury settlement: TE Jibri Blount

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: DB Chris Cooper

Tennessee Titans

Chandler Jones Requested Trade

Cardinals star pass rusher Chandler Jones requested a trade this offseason, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Jones is said to be unhappy with his contract situation — which has apparently been the case for a while now — and while the club expects him to report to camp, it remains a situation worth monitoring. 

Jones flirted with a holdout during minicamp in June, putting pressure on the front office for a new pact. Still, his decision took many by surprise, given his track record of showing up to practice and participating in all of the offseason’s voluntary work. Jones, 31, is currently set to enter the final year of his contract. As it stands, he’s scheduled to make $15.5MM. Given his age, he won’t beat Joey Bosa‘s five-year, $135MM re-up, but a shorter deal in the $20MM AAV neighborhood would make sense.

The Cardinals do not want to trade Jones, Fowler hears. Still, the three-time Pro Bowler is sending a clear message — he won’t be a happy camper unless the team pays him what he’s worth.

After acquiring him from the Patriots in 2016, the Cardinals gave Jones a five-year, $82.5MM deal in 2017. During his first four seasons in Arizona, Jones didn’t miss a game while averaging 15 sacks per season. He appeared in the first five games of 2020, collecting 11 tackles, one sack, and seven QB hits. However, a torn bicep forced him to miss the rest of the season. That didn’t help his leverage, but he’s doing a good job to try and recoup some of it this summer.

Rory Parks contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: CB Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Waived: DE Nick Coe, LS Rex Sunahara

New England Patriots

  • Signed: TE David Wells

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL: Unvaccinated Players Could Lead Forfeited Games 

The NFL isn’t forcing players to get vaccinated, but they are finding other ways to encourage it. In a memo to teams, the league explained that teams with outbreaks among unvaccinated players will be required to forfeit if their game cannot be rescheduled inside of the 18-week season (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). The forfeit would impact playoff seeding for the team. And, in that event, players would be paid for the game.

If a game is cancelled/postponed because a club cannot play due to a Covid spike among or resulting from its non-vaccinated players/staff, then the burden of the cancellation or delay will fall on the club experiencing the Covid infection,” the NFL said in the memo. “We will seek to minimize the burden on the opposing club or clubs. If a club cannot play due to a Covid spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams.”

We do not anticipate adding a ’19th week’ to accommodate games that cannot be rescheduled within the current 18 weeks of the regular season.

Furthermore, the team responsible for the cancellation would be responsible for covering costs. There could also be additional discipline from the league office.

Every team has at least 50% of its players vaccinated, Pelissero hears. Presumably, teams will be working harder than ever to get the number towards 100%.

The new guidelines weren’t received well by everyone. Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was among those to speak out on social media in a since-deleted tweet.

Never thought I would say this, But being in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL,” Hopkins wrote.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Waive OL Lamont Gaillard

Lamont Gaillard‘s stint in Arizona has come to an end. The Cardinals waived the center today, according to veteran reporter Howard Balzer. The move will save the organization about $800K in 2021 and $900K in 2022.

The 2019 sixth-round pick out of Georgia didn’t appear in a single game during his rookie season, but he was able to secure a role on the 2020 squad. Gaillard ultimately saw time in 13 games with two starts, appearing in 19-percent of his team’s offensive snaps. The 25-year-old also appeared in 16-percent of his team’s special teams snaps.

The Cardinals have completely revamped their center position this offseason. The team acquired Rodney Hudson in a trade with the Raiders, and that ultimately led to the trade of former starter Mason Cole, who was dealt to the Vikings. Gaillard would have been competing for the same rotational/backup spot in 2021, but seventh-round rookie Michal Menet will now have the inside track at the gig.

As Balzer notes, the team could still be in the market for another center. The Cardinals are currently rostering only 14 offensive lineman, a modest number for training camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ted Ginn Retires From NFL

Veteran wide receiver Ted Ginn has announced his retirement from football. Ginn, the No. 9 overall pick in 2007, enjoyed 14 seasons in the NFL with six different teams. 

It was a hard decision, but it was one that had to be made,” Ginn said at a Friday press conference (via News5 Cleveland). “I’ve been gone 20 years, not being able to have some of the joys that you’re supposed to have as a man —being able to enjoy your parents, being able to enjoy your kids, your wife and just yourself,” Ginn said.

Ginn’s blazing speed made him one of the most intriguing prospects in the ’07 class. He didn’t quite live up to all the hype, but he outlasted many of his first-round peers. Over time, Ginn found his footing as a return man, racking up seven touchdowns on special teams plus countless highlights.

Last year Ginn spent some time with the Bears but see much action in his six games. His last full season came in 2019 with the Saints, when he caught 30 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. After that, New Orleans signed Emmanuel Sanders, and Ginn was pushed out.

All in all, Ginn leaves football with 33 receiving touchdowns for the Dolphins, 49ers, Panthers (2x), Cardinals, Saints, and Bears. We here at PFR wish Ginn the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 Cap Space For All 32 NFL Teams

There are still plenty of quality free agents left on the board as we look ahead to training camp. Cornerback Steven Nelson, tackle Russell Okung, and longtime Legion of Boom leader Richard Sherman headline the list, along with accomplished edge rushers like Justin Houston, Melvin Ingram, and Olivier Vernon. That list will only grow larger, of course, as more teams shed veterans to redirect their funds elsewhere.

With that in mind, here’s a look at every NFL team’s cap situation, starting with the league-leading Jaguars:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars — $32.7MM
  2. Denver Broncos — $28.9MM
  3. New York Jets — $28.5MM
  4. Cleveland Browns — $20.6MM
  5. Los Angeles Chargers — $19.9MM
  6. Detroit Lions — $17.9MM
  7. San Francisco 49ers — $17.8MM
  8. Cincinnati Bengals — $17.4MM
  9. Washington Football Team — $16.7MM
  10. Indianapolis Colts— $14.3MM
  11. Carolina Panthers— $14.3MM
  12. Minnesota Vikings — $13.5MM
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers — $13.1MM
  14. New England Patriots — $13.1MM
  15. New Orleans Saints — $11.4MM
  16. Arizona Cardinals — $11.3MM
  17. Buffalo Bills — $10.5MM
  18. Baltimore Ravens — $8.8MM
  19. Atlanta Falcons — $8.6MM
  20. Seattle Seahawks — $8.3MM
  21. Tennessee Titans — $8.3MM
  22. Kansas City Chiefs — $7.9MM
  23. Los Angeles Rams — $7MM
  24. Chicago Bears — $6MM
  25. Dallas Cowboys — $6MM
  26. Miami Dolphins — $5.3MM
  27. Green Bay Packers — $5MM
  28. Houston Texans — $5MM
  29. Las Vegas Raiders — $3.3MM
  30. Philadelphia Eagles — $3.2MM
  31. New York Giants — $2.4MM
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — $489K

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fitz Remains Undecided On Playing An 18th Season

With the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals, the national media has descended upon the Cardinals’ home turf. The franchise’s most famous Arizona-era player made himself available for a status update Friday but offered little on this front.

During an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (via Pro Football Talk), Larry Fitzgerald said he has not made a decision on retiring or playing an 18th NFL season. He has been a free agent since March.

I haven’t decided anything,” Fitzgerald said. “Training camp starts in a few weeks. I’m excited. It’s going to be another great year for the NFL.”

The future Hall of Fame wide receiver’s phrasing here is interesting, but he has yet to publicly commit either way. At the American Century Classic celebrity golf tournament Saturday, Fitzgerald added that he has stayed in shape for a possible return (h/t Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). So the door still appears to be open here.

The Cardinals may have made Fitz’s decision — at least regarding a return to the team — for him. With Fitz undecided in March and April, the Cards signed A.J. Green and drafted Rondale Moore in the second round. They will team with DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk.

Fitzgerald has taken a year-to-year approach with his career since 2016, but the latest he previously decided on returning was late January (in 2019). Going into mid-July with the same uncertain stance he had in February is not a great sign for the soon-to-be 38-year-old star’s prospects of playing in 2021. In each season since 2016, Fitzgerald has made $11MM in salary. His numbers from 2020 — 54 catches, 409 yards, one touchdown reception — and the juncture of the calendar would require him to sign for substantially less.

Although Fitzgerald has said in the past he would only play for the Cardinals, it will be interesting to see if he would entertain a return elsewhere — potentially if a contender loses a key target in training camp — now that the Cards added multiple key receiver reinforcements. Jerry Rice and fellow Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner are the only wideouts to play at least 18 seasons. Joiner played 18; Rice played 20.

The expectation around the league in April pointed to Fitz retiring, and while that would make sense, the NFL’s second-leading all-time pass catcher continues to keep fans in suspense about his choice.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.