Cardinals Rumors

Cardinals No Longer Trying To Trade Up?

Multiple reports have emerged this week about the Cardinals trying to trade up to acquire a quarterback. Well, either those efforts have proven fruitless before the draft actually begins, or the team may now believe it can land one of the top signal-callers at No. 15.

With three hours to go until the Browns’ clock starts, the current view is the Cards are not going to be making a move north from No. 15, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes.

With the Browns and Jets essentially locked into drafting quarterbacks, two will be unavailable for the Cardinals at No. 15. And it’s not out of the question for the Giants and Broncos to select one, which could make the Browns’ No. 4 pick valuable for teams seeking to trade up — this would be where the Cardinals, Bills and Dolphins come into play. With the Bills and Dolphins picking ahead of the Cards, they could be in precarious territory regarding a quarterback pick.

The Cardinals saw both the Chiefs and Texans trade in front of them last year to draft Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, respectively, and Arizona endured a rough year at QB. The Cards now have Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon but are in need of a longer-term answer.

Perhaps the franchise’s efforts to make a move will ramp back up once the draft starts, but for now, it looks like it’s quieter on this front.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Continue To Pursue Trade-Up

  • Maybe a team representing Allen’s floor, the Cardinals are considering moving up for the right price, Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com tweets. This is the latest out of Arizona, which has been linked to trade-up rumors this week. The Cardinals are in need of a long-term quarterback answer, and it’s possible none of the top four will be there when their No. 15 window opens.

Cardinals LB Gabe Martin Ruptures Achilles

Gabe Martin‘s chances of making the Cardinals roster took a major hit. Mike Jurecki hears that the linebacker ruptured his Achilles during offseason workouts (Twitter link).

The 2015 undrafted free agent out of Bowling Green initially signed with Arizona as a rookie. In 2016, he compiled four tackles in eight games, but that season ended prematurely due to a knee injury. He briefly caught on with the Saints practice squad, but Arizona signed him again in November. Martin went on to appear in three games for the Cardinals this past season, collecting two tackles.

Fortunately for the Cardinals, they have plenty of depth at inside linebacker. Behind projected starters Josh Bynes and Deone Bucannon, the team is also rostering Gabe WrightScooby Wright, and Bryson Albright.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns, Colts Lead League In Cap Space

The Browns and Colts have the most cap room of any team in the NFL heading into draft, as Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter) notes. Here’s the official rundown of every team’s cap space for 2018 on the eve of draft weekend:

  1. Browns – $69.5MM
  2. Colts – $59.8MM
  3. 49ers – $43.8MM
  4. Titans – $35.8MM
  5. Texans -$35.6MM
  6. Bears – $24.1MM
  7. Jets – $21.9MM
  8. Bills – $19.4MM
  9. Jaguars – $18.6MM
  10. Cardinals – $18.1MM
  11. Redskins -$17.1MM
  12. Bengals – $16.8MM
  13. Packers – $16.2MM
  14. Vikings – $15.5MM
  15. Broncos – $14.6MM
  16. Patriots – $13.8MM
  17. Buccaneers – $12.3MM
  18. Cowboys -$11.9MM
  19. Chargers – $11.4MM
  20. Lions – $9.4MM
  21. Giants -$9.4MM
  22. Ravens – $8.8MM
  23. Seahawks – $7.6MM
  24. Chiefs – $6.7MM
  25. Saints – $5.7MM
  26. Panthers – $5.2MM
  27. Dolphins – $2.9MM
  28. Eagles – $2.2MM
  29. Steelers – $2MM
  30. Raiders – $1.8MM
  31. Falcons – $1.3MM
  32. Rams – $264K

Cardinals Looking To Move Up In Draft

As of this writing, the Cardinals are set to pick at No. 15 overall. That might not be the case when the draft rolls around on Thursday. The Cardinals are “making a lot of noise about moving up,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to be their starting quarterback in 2018 and Mike Glennon is on hand as a backstop. In the long term, however, Arizona needs to consider the future of the QB position. At No. 15, the Cardinals are unlikely to land any of this year’s top four QBs, but they could be in range for one of them if they move up into the top 10. To solidify the possibility of landing Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Rosen, they may need to go as high as No. 5 or No. 6.

Of course, the Cardinals have other major needs to address in the draft, including finding a cornerback and wide receiver to pair with star Patrick Peterson. Cornerbacks such as Minkah Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward could be available if the Cards can find their way into the back half of the top 10. They could also be pressured into moving up for a wide receiver like Alabama’s Calvin Ridley or Maryland’s D.J. Moore, though one or both of those players could be on the board at their original pick.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals To Exercise Fifth-Year Option on D.J. Humphries

The Cardinals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option in left tackle D.J. Humphries‘ contract, AZ Central’s Kent Somers writes

Taken with the 24th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Humphries will be owed $9.625MM in 2019 with Arizona exercising the option.

The move isn’t a surprising one, as the Cardinals have been impressed with Humphries’ progress at the position after picking it up in 2017. Though he shows solid potential, he has had trouble staying on the field.

He was inactive for every game as a rookie and began the following season at right tackle before moving to the opposite side of the line. After playing in 13 games in 2016, Humphries was limited to just five games in 2017 after suffering a knee injury against the 49ers in November.

He underwent surgery to repair a torn MCL and dislocated knee cap and expects to return to the field at the start of the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Sign DE Benson Mayowa

The Cardinals have signed defensive end Benson Mayowa, according to a team press release. Mayowa has been on the market since early March when he was released by the Cowboys. It’s a one-year, $1.6MM deal, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Mayowa has five seasons under his belt after spending time with the Seahawks, Raiders, and Cowboys. Statistically, his best season came in 2016 when he notched six sacks with Dallas. Last year, he had just 31 tackles and one sack in 381 snaps.

The Cardinals are moving from a 3-4 look to a 4-3 under Steve Wilks and Al Holcomb, both of whom oversaw parts of the Panthers’ 4-3 scheme over the past several years. Mayowa has played as a 4-3 end throughout his NFL career and Arizona believes that he’ll be a strong fit for their front seven.

Arizona already has edge rushers Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, and Robert Nkemdiche in the mix, but Mayowa could be in for a sizable role if Jones and Golden spend the bulk of their time at outside linebacker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Won't Trade Thomas To Cards

Despite the Seahawks expecting Earl Thomas not to hold out, they still have him on the trade block, John Clayton of ESPN said during a radio appearance with KESN in Dallas (via the Dallas Morning News). Clayton added that the Seahawks would likely be willing to move their three-time All-Pro safety for less than a first-round pick, indicating they would probably trade Thomas for a package featuring second- and fourth-round selections and perhaps something in the 2019 draft. Clayton indicates the Cardinals could use a free safety but that the Seahawks were not going to trade Thomas to an NFC West team. The Cowboys moving Byron Jones to cornerback would open a spot there, and Thomas was vocal about being receptive to a Dallas deal, and they strike Clayton as the top suitor for the 28-year-old defender’s services.

Extra Points: Brothers, Edmunds, Kirk, Marshall, Poll

Vikings linebacker Kentrell Brothers released a statement following his four-game suspension by the NFL for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“While it was not my intention to violate any league policies, I understand that it is up to me to be aware of what goes in my body, and I take full responsibility for that. I sincerely apologize to the Vikings organization, my teammates and our fans for my mistake. I take my job as a professional seriously and will continue to support my teammates during this time.”

It has still yet to be revealed what Brothers, a fifth-round pick in 2016, tested positive for. He’ll be able to take part in the team’s entire offseason program, including preseason practices and games.

Brothers appeared in just nine defensive snaps in 2017 but was also a contributor on special teams.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is nearly a lock to be taken in the first round of the upcoming draft. But Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (on Twitter) has been hearing that his older brother, Terrell Edmunds, a safety from Virginia Tech, could also go in the first round.
  • While at a charity event Saturday in Phoenix hosted by Larry Fitzgerald, Texas A&M wide receiver Christian Kirk said he’d visited with the Cardinals, who hold the No. 15 overall pick of the upcoming draft, via Mike Jurecki (on Twitter).
  • Free-agent wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was recently released by the Giants, was also at the charity event and declined comment on his free agency, via Jurecki (on Twitter).
  • USA Today’s Jarrett Bell and Lindsay H. Jones polled 25 agents from around the league on a variety of topics when it comes to dealing with NFL front offices. The 49ers graded out at No. 1 when it came to which team was most prepared in free agency and the Bengals graded out as the worst. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was graded to be the most-trusted executive and Redskins president Bruce Allen was found to be trusted the least.