Cardinals Rumors

NFC West Teams Add Players Via International Player Pathway Program

This year was the NFC West’s turn to participate in the International Player Pathway program, which allows teams to carry an additional international player on their practice squads. This year’s players include (via NFL.com):

  • Cardinals: TE Bernhard Seikovits, Austria
  • 49ers: OL Alfredo Gutierrez, Mexico
  • Rams: OL Max Pircher, Italy
  • Seahawks: LB Aaron Donkor, Germany

Per the league’s website, the “program aims to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.”

These players will sit on their respective team’s roster until the end of training camp, at which time the teams will be granted “an international player practice squad exemption.” Assuming these players land on the practice squad, they’ll be ineligible to be activated during the 2021 campaign.

Each of the four players from the 2020 program will head into the preseason with the same teams: OT Isaac Alarcon (Cowboys), DE David Bada (Washington), DE Matt Leo (Eagles) and RB Sandro Platzgummer (Giants).

Cardinals To Use Zaven Collins At ILB

  • Despite Cardinals first-round pick Zaven Collins checking in at 270 pounds this offseason, the team is not planning to use him as a Chandler Jones complementary pass rusher. The second hybrid linebacker to join the Cards as a first-round pick in the past two years, Collins is ticketed for an inside linebacker role alongside 2020 first-rounder Isaiah Simmons. GM Steve Keim fashions Collins as a middle linebacker, via AZCardinals.com’s Darren Urban. Simmons, whom the Cards deployed as more of a hybrid player, did not assimilate immediately as a rookie and ended up playing less than 35% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. But the Cards will use Collins, who did work as more of a chess piece at Tulsa, off the ball to start his career. The Cardinals have invested plenty at the off-ball ‘backer spots in recent years, having stationed Haason Reddick there upon drafting him in the 2017 first round and signing Jordan Hicks last year.

2021 NFL Draft Results By Round

The 2021 NFL Draft is here! We’ll be keeping tabs here, from pick No. 1 through No. 259:

Round 1

1) Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB (Clemson)
2) New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB (BYU)
3) San Francisco 49ers (from Texans via Dolphins): Trey Lance, QB (North Dakota State)
4) Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
5) Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase, WR (LSU)
6) Miami Dolphins (from Eagles): Jaylen Waddle, WR (Alabama)
7) Detroit Lions: Penei Sewell, OT (Oregon)
8) Carolina Panthers: Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
9) Denver Broncos: Patrick Surtain II, CB (Alabama)
10) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cowboys): DeVonta Smith, WR (Alabama)
11) Chicago Bears (from Giants): Justin Fields, QB (Ohio State)
12) Dallas Cowboys (from 49ers via Dolphins via Eagles): Micah Parsons, LB (Penn State)
13) Los Angeles Chargers: Rashawn Slater, OT (Northwestern)
14) New York Jets (from Vikings): Alijah Vera-Tucker, OL (USC)
15) New England Patriots: Mac Jones, QB (Alabama)
16) Arizona Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
17) Las Vegas Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL (Alabama)
18) Miami Dolphins: Jaelan Phillips, DL (Miami)
19) Washington Football Team: Jamin Davis, LB (Kentucky)
20) New York Giants (from Bears): Kadarius Toney, WR (Florida)
21) Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, DL (Michigan)
22) Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley, CB (Virginia Tech)
23) Minnesota Vikings (from Seahawks via Jets): Christian Darrisaw, OT (Virginia Tech)
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Najee Harris, RB (Alabama)
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Travis Etienne, RB (Clemson)
26) Cleveland Browns: Greg Newsome II, CB (Northwestern)
27) Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnes0ta)
28) New Orleans Saints: Payton Turner, DE (Houston)
29) Green Bay Packers: Eric Stokes, CB (Georgia)
30) Buffalo Bills: Gregory Rousseau, DL (Miami)
31) Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs): Jayson Oweh, DE (Penn State)
32) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Tryon, LB (Washington)

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2021 NFL Draft Results: Team By Team

The 2021 NFL Draft has arrived! As the picks come in, we’ll keep track of each team’s haul right here:

[RELATED: 2021 NFL Draft Order By Round]

Arizona Cardinals

Round 1: No. 16 Zaven Collins, LB (Tulsa)
Round 2: No. 49 Rondale Moore, WR (Purdue)
Round 4: No. 136 (from Ravens) Marco Wilson, CB (Florida)
Round 6: No. 210 (from Ravens) Victor Dimukeje, LB (Duke)
Round 6: No. 223 (from Vikings) Tay Gowan, CB (Central Florida)
Round 7: No. 243 James Wiggins, S (Cincinnati)
Round 7: No. 247 (from Bears through Raiders) Michal Menet, C (Penn State)

Atlanta Falcons

Round 1: No. 4 Kyle Pitts, TE (Florida)
Round 2: No. 40 (from Broncos) S Richie Grant (Central Florida)
Round 3: No. 68 Jalen Mayfield, OT (Michigan)
Round 4: No. 108: Darren Hall, CB (SDSU)
Round 4: No. 114 (from Broncos) Drew Dalman, C (Stanford)
Round 5: No. 148 Ta’Quon Graham, DT (Texas)
Round 5: No. 182 Adetokunbo Ogundeji, DE (Notre Dame)
Round 5: No. 183 Avery Williams, CB (Boise State)
Round 6: No. 187 Frank Darby, WR (Arizona State)

Baltimore Ravens

Round 1: No. 27 Rashod Bateman, WR (Minnes0ta)
Round 1: No. 31 (from Chiefs) Jayson Oweh, DE (Penn State)
Round 3: No. 94 (from Chiefs) Ben Cleveland, G (Georgia)
Round 3: No. 104 Brandon Stephens, CB (SMU)
Round 4: No. 131 Tylan Wallace, WR (Oklahoma State)
Round 5: No. 160 (from Cardinals) Shaun Wade, CB (Ohio State)
Round 5: No. 171 Daelin Hayes, LB (Notre Dame)
Round 5: No. 184 Ben Mason, FB (Michigan)

Buffalo Bills

Round 1: No. 30 Gregory Rousseau, DL (Miami)
Round 2: No. 61 Carlos Basham Jr., DE (Wake Forest)
Round 3: No. 93 Spencer Brown, OT (Northern Iowa)
Round 5: No. 161 (from Raiders) Tommy Doyle, OT (Miami (Ohio))
Round 6: No. 203 Marquez Stevenson, WR (Houston)
Round 6: No. 212 (from Saints via Texans) Damar Hamlin, S (Pittsburgh)
Round 6: No. 213 Rachad Wildgoose, CB (Wisconsin)
Round 7: No. 236 (from Panthers) Jack Anderson, G (Texas Tech)

Carolina Panthers

Round 1: No. 8 Jaycee Horn, CB (South Carolina)
Round 2: No. 59 (from Browns) Terrace Marshall Jr., WR (LSU)
Round 3: No. 70 (from Eagles) Brady Christensen, OT (BYU)
Round 3: No. 83 (from Bears) Tommy Tremble, TE (Notre Dame)
Round 4: No. 113 Chuba Hubbard, RB (Oklahoma State) (signed)
Round 5: No. 158 Daviyon Nixon, DT (Iowa)
Round 5: No. 166 (from Titans) Keith Taylor, CB (Washington)
Round 6: No. 204 (from Bears) Shi Smith, WR (South Carolina)
Round 6: No. 222 Thomas Fletcher, LS (Alabama)
Round 7: No. 232 (from Titans) Phil Hoskins, DT (Kentucky)

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Cardinals Draft Purdue WR Rondale Moore

The Cardinals used the No. 49 pick in the draft to select wide receiver Rondale Moore. Depending on Larry Fitzgerald‘s big decision, the Purdue product could be in line for a significant role in 2021.

Moore dominated as a freshman in 2018, totaling 1,471 scrimmage yards and 14 touchdowns en route to Big Ten freshman of the year acclaim. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury ended the Boilermaker’s second season after just four games. Rather than enter the NFL only on the strength of his abbreviated underclassman run, the 5-foot-9 standout returned for one more year.

This summer, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler tabbed Moore as his No. 3 wideout prospect for the 2021 class. He wound up playing just three games this past year, but he made the most of them, going off for 35 catches and 270 yards.

Moore is a big-play threat who can make plays in space, and also has been an elite return specialist. His selection could be a sign that Fitzgerald is planning to hang up his cleats.

Arizona also signed A.J. Green this offseason, and this move is only pouring more fuel on the fire that Fitz is leaning toward retirement. With DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk also in tow, Kyler Murray is going to have quite the receiving group at his disposal in 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Draft Tulsa LB Zaven Collins At No. 16

This is breaking news. Please refresh for updates.

At No. 16, the Cardinals selected Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins. Collins, long believed to be among Arizona’s top targets, will step in to the role previously filled by Haason Reddick.

The Cardinals were reportedly keeping their fingers crossed for Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain, Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, or South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn. In reality, those three players were probably higher on their board than Collins. Still, Collins is one heck of a consolation prize.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 3 to officially pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. In a change from years past, fifth-year option seasons are fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement, and specific performance metrics:

  • 2-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • 1-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

Updated 4-30-21, 4:24pm CT

  1. QB Baker Mayfield, Browns: Exercised ($18.858MM)
  2. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants: Exercised ($7.217MM)
  3. QB Sam Darnold, Panthers (via Jets): Pending ($18.858MM)
  4. CB Denzel Ward, Browns — Exercised ($13.294MM)
  5. LB Bradley Chubb, Broncos — Pending ($12.716MM)
  6. G Quenton Nelson, Colts — Pending ($13.754MM)
  7. QB Josh Allen, Bills: Pending ($23.106MM)
  8. LB Roquan Smith, Bears: Exercised ($9.735MM)
  9. OT Mike McGlinchey, 49ers: Exercised ($10.88MM)
  10. QB Josh Rosen, Cardinals: N/A
  11. S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (via Dolphins): Exercised ($10.612MM)
  12. DT Vita Vea, Buccaneers: Exercised ($7.638MM)
  13. DT Daron Payne, Washington — Exercised ($8.529MM)
  14. DE Marcus Davenport, Saints: Exercised ($9.553MM)
  15. OT Kolton Miller, Raiders — N/A (extension)
  16. LB Tremaine Edmunds, Bills: Pending ($12.716MM)
  17. S Derwin James, Chargers: Exercised ($9.052MM)
  18. CB Jaire Alexander, Packers: Exercised ($13.294MM)
  19. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys: Pending ($9.145MM)
  20. C Frank Ragnow, Lions: Exercised ($12.657MM)
  21. C Billy Price, Bengals: Declined ($10.413MM)
  22. LB Rashaan Evans, Titans: Pending ($9.735MM)
  23. OT Isaiah Wynn, Patriots: Pending ($10.413 MM)
  24. WR D.J. Moore, Panthers: Exercised ($11.116MM)
  25. TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons (via Ravens): Pending ($5.428MM)
  26. WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons: Pending ($11.116MM)
  27. RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Pending ($4.523MM)
  28. S Terrell Edmunds, Steelers: Pending ($6.753MM)
  29. DT Taven Bryan, Jaguars: Pending ($7.638MM)
  30. CB Mike Hughes, Vikings: Pending ($12.643MM)
  31. RB Sony Michel, Patriots: Pending ($4.523MM)
  32. QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens: Exercised ($23.106MM)

2021 NFL Draft: Team By Team

The 2021 NFL Draft has arrived! Soon, picks will soon be swapped and shuffled at lightning speed. But, before the trading frenzy starts, here’s a look at the draft picks owned by each team:

[RELATED: 2021 NFL Draft Order By Round]

Arizona Cardinals – Picks: 6

Round 1: No. 16 overall
Round 2: No. 49
Round 5: No. 160
Round 6: No. 223 (from Vikings)
Round 7: Nos. 243, 247 (from Bears through Raiders)

Atlanta Falcons — Picks: 9

Round 1: No. 4 overall
Round 2: No. 35
Round 3: No. 68
Round 4: No. 108
Round 5: Nos. 148, 182, 183
Round 6: Nos. 187, 219

Baltimore Ravens – Picks: 10

Round 1: Nos. 27, 31 (from Chiefs) overall
Round 2: No. 58
Round 3: Nos. 94 (from Chiefs), 104
Round 4: Nos. 131, 136 (from Chiefs)
Round 5: Nos. 171, 184
Round 6: No. 210

Buffalo Bills — Picks: 7

Round 1: No. 30 overall
Round 2: No. 61
Round 3: No. 93
Round 5: Nos. 161 (from Raiders), 174
Round 6: No. 213
Round 7: No. 236 (from Panthers)

Carolina Panthers — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 8 overall
Round 2: No. 39
Round 3: No. 73
Round 4: No. 113
Round 5: No. 151
Round 6: Nos. 191 (from Broncos), 193, 222

Chicago Bears — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 20 overall
Round 2: No. 52
Round 3: No. 83
Round 5: No. 164
Round 6: Nos. 204, 208 (from Seahawks through Dolphins), 221, 228

Cincinnati Bengals — Picks: 8

Round 1: No. 5 overall
Round 2: No. 38
Round 3: No. 69
Round 4: No. 111
Round 5: No. 149
Round 6: No. 190
Round 7: Nos. 202 (from Dolphins through Texans), 235 (from Lions through Seahawks)

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Cardinals’ Marcus Gilbert Retires From NFL

Cardinals tackle Marcus Gilbert has retired from the NFL (Twitter link). The veteran joined the Cards in 2019, but never actually played a down for them.

The Cardinals acquired Gilbert from the Steelers via trade in 2019, with the intention of installing him as their starting right tackle. Unfortunately, a knee injury forced Gilbert to injured reserve in the first month of that season. Then, last year, Gilbert opted out due to the pandemic.

Before all of that, Gilbert started in 87 of his 88 game for the Steelers across eight seasons. Towards the end of that run, he was limited by injuries, appearing in just 12 total games from 2017-18 — his last full slate came in 2015.

With Gilbert out of the picture, the Cardinals will look for new blockers to back starters D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum. That’ll factor into their draft plans this week, along with needs at cornerback, wide receiver, tight end, and the defensive line.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Larry Fitzgerald’s Decision Won’t Impact Cardinals’ Draft Plans

The Cardinals are waiting to hear whether Larry Fitzgerald will play in 2021. But, in the interim, his retirement decision will not impact the team’s board in this week’s draft, GM Steve Keim says. 

[RELATED: Cardinals Eyeing CBs, Waddle?]

No matter what Larry decides, it does not affect our draft plans,” Keim said (via ESPN.com). “Again, to me, you can’t have enough good players at one position. There [are] guys on a one-year contract. So, again, as far as building your team and the type of depth that you have, you can never have enough good players and, obviously, Larry Fitzgerald is a great one, so you wouldn’t say no to him either.”

The 37-year-old hasn’t tipped his hand to anyone — including Keim. Technically speaking, Fitzgerald is a free agent, but it’s believed that he’ll either return to the Cardinals or call it a career. For what it’s worth, executives “anticipate” that Fitzgerald is going to retire.

Either way, the Cardinals have to start thinking about the future of the position beyond Fitzgerald, who turns 38 in August. With that in mind, Keim anticipates that there will be five or six receivers taken in Round 1, which would leave plenty of quality options for them at No. 16 overall.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.