- The Cardinals did not view Karlos Dansby as a backup plan despite his age, contacting the 14th-year linebacker in the opening minutes of free agency, Kent Somers of AZCentral.com reports. Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal, the 35-year-old Dansby is expected to take Kevin Minter‘s place alongside Deone Bucannon at inside linebacker. The Cards allowed Minter to walk, and he signed a one-year, $4MM deal with the Bengals.
- Both the Chargers and Cardinals have hosted Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman on visits, as Peterman himself explained on Pro Football Talk Live. Peterman, who is likely to be selected on Day 2 of the draft, is viewed as a high-floor signal-caller in the vein of an Andy Dalton. Los Angeles and Arizona each employ veteran quarterbacks in Philip Rivers and Carson Palmer and could be looking to find long-term successors under center. The Chargers, notably, have been more open about their desire to land a youthful passer in 2017, and are reportedly putting in “ample work” on the 2017 class.
- Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer worked out for the Cardinals on Wednesday, according to Dianna Russini of ESPN (Twitter link). Arizona was already familiar with Kizer before Wednesday, having met with him April 10. The Cardinals own the 13th pick, with which they could take Kizer, though questions about his attitude and maturity might force him out of the first round. With veteran starter Carson Palmer set to take each Wednesday off during the upcoming season, Kizer or any other QB the Cardinals select will be in position to helm the first-team offense once a week in practice.
- With the Kizer workout in the rearview, the Cardinals will turn their attention to a meeting with Temple linebacker Haason Reddick, tweets Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910. Like Kizer, Reddick is a prospective first-rounder. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com regards Reddick as the 20th-best player in this year’s class, noting he’s “a three-down linebacker with the versatility to play inside or outside depending on the scheme or game plan.”
- If the Cardinals were to draft a quarterback, that player would step into a “unique” situation, head coach Bruce Arians told Darren Urban of the team’s website (Twitter link). The Cardinals will rest aging starter Carson Palmer each Wednesday during the season, enabling the rookie to helm the first-team offense in practice once a week and perhaps expedite his development. Arizona owns the 13th overall pick and has shown interest in several draft-bound QBs, including prospective first-rounders Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Davis Webb and DeShone Kizer.
- Patriots tight end Matt Lengel, Cardinals offensive tackle John Wetzel and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre, and Seahawks running backs Terrence Magee and Troymaine Pope have signed their exclusive rights free agent tenders, per Howard Balzer of BalzerFootball.com and Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is one of the more divisive prospects in the 2017 draft. While he received a second-round grade from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee, reports have indicated Mahomes could possibly be a top-three selection. Mahomes seems unlikely to slip out of the first round next week, and several teams have emerged as potential suitors.
The Cardinals are in search of Carson Palmer‘s long-term successor, and they “like” Mahomes, according to Peter King of TheMMQB.com, who adds Arizona may indeed “love” the Red Raider signal-caller. That jibes with reporting from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, and Mahomes would seemingly be a good fit in head coach Bruce Arians‘ vertical offense. The Cardinals, who own the 13th pick in the first round, attended a Mahomes workout in March.
The Texans, too, are in need of a quarterback, and head coach Bill O’Brien “absolutely loves” Mahomes, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported last week Mahomes is unlikely to fall past Houston at pick No. 25, and the Texans are meeting with Mahomes today. Following the trade of Brock Osweiler, Houston only has two quarterbacks — Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden — on its roster.
Finally, Mahomes was scheduled to meet with the Bears last weekend, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago inked Mike Glennon to a three-year deal last month, but that may not eliminate the club from selecting another passer with the third overall pick, according to Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Entering the 2017 draft in slightly worse shape, depth-wise, at cornerback than they appeared last season, the Cardinals have identified that area as a place to target in the upcoming draft, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com notes.
Still housing a throng of uncertain cogs alongside Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals lost Marcus Cooper to the Bears and did not make any notable additions to the position group. Bruce Arians, though, identified cornerback as one of the positions the team could target a player to learn behind current veterans this season. The fifth-year Arizona coach also included wide receiver and inside linebacker in that category.
Arizona again has Justin Bethel and 2016 third-rounder Brandon Williams as top in-house candidates to start opposite Peterson. Arians could be counting on the Cardinals’ recent ability to unearth some Day 2 and Day 3 standouts to help out this group, however.
“I don’t know if we can get all those high picks, but we’ve been really, really lucky from round three to round six, I think, of getting some quality guys, and as college free agents, too,” Arians said, via Weinfuss.
The Cardinals added the likes of Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown, David Johnson, J.J. Nelson and Rodney Gunter in Rounds 3-5 over the past four years. Arians also called this draft “loaded with corners.” While ESPN.com’s Todd McShay (Insider link) placed Marshon Lattimore and Kevin King as second- and third-tier players in this draft, respectively, the ESPN draft guru put six corners — Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Quincy Wilson (Florida), Tre’Davious White (LSU), Marlon Humphrey (Alabama), Jourdan Lewis (Michigan) and Adoree’ Jackson (USC) — on his next tier of draftable prospects. McShay also includes Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu, whom some teams like as a corner, in this group.
Arizona added veterans in recent years to team with Peterson, with Antonio Cromartie, Cooper and Mike Jenkins — the latter of whom did not play after a season-ending injury in camp — but Weinfuss notes the Cardinals may not want to go that route again. Some interesting options are out there if the Cards don’t like what they see early in the offseason, though. Tramon Williams, Shareece Wright, Alterraun Verner, Sam Shields and Darrelle Revis are UFAs. Teams are also monitoring former 49ers starter Tramaine Brock, should he not be charged with domestic violence for the alleged incident that prompted his Niners exit.
Furthering this sense the Cardinals may go with what they have: Arians also appears to have softened his stance on Bethel, whom he called a “failure in progress” last season. Bethel did accept a paycut this offseason, though.
“I think Justin Bethel is going to play a hell of a lot better if he can finally practice,” Arians said, via Weinfuss. “He hasn’t practiced for two years on that broken foot. I think he’s going to really, really take off with it this spring so I feel fine with those guys.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- Both the Cardinals and Chiefs “really like” Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, two sources have told Miller. The Cardinals are reportedly interested in trading up from No. 13 for Trubisky, but they could perhaps stay where they are and grab Mahomes. As for the Chiefs, who own the 27th pick, Mahomes visited them last month.
“With the 2017 season getting started and teams are preparing to be the best they can be, I think it’s time for me to walk away from the game,” Powers writes. “The last 8 years have been a joy and wonderful ride. Even though I can still compete and play at a high level, mentally, I’m ready for the next chapter of my life.”
As Powers alludes to, he almost certainly would have found a job at some point despite not having been linked to any teams thus far during the free agent period. In 2016, Powers appeared in 13 games for the Ravens (six starts), posting two interceptions and five passes defensed while grading as the league’s No. 67 cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus. PFR, meanwhile, ranked Powers as the sixth-best corner still available on the market.
Instead, Powers will hang up his cleats three months before he turns 30 years old. Originally a third-round pick, Powers played for the Colts and Cardinals before joining Baltimore on a one-year deal prior to 2016. All told, Powers played in 100 NFL games (88 starts), put up 13 interceptions, and scored one touchdown.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
- Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson has a workout scheduled with the Cardinals, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Arizona currently boasts Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, free agent signee Jarvis Jones, Kareem Martin, and Gabe Martin on the edge, but Anderson would give the club yet another option to get after opposing quarterbacks. Anderson, who managed 8.5 sacks in 2016, has also met with Houston and Carolina. Anderson is a likely Day 2 prospect, and was compared to San Francisco’s Ahmad Brooks by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.