Cardinals Rumors

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/18/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: CB Jonathan Moxie

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: S Chris Cooper

Cleveland Browns

  • Signed: OL Kyle Friend

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: DE Farrington Huguenin

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/18/18

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Signed off Patriots’ practice squad: T Eric Smith

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Cardinals Considering Sweeping Changes, Expected To Fire Steve Wilks

  • At the beginning of this month, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said the Cardinals were going to reassess their front office and coaching staff at the end of the season, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reaffirms that report today. JLC writes that Arizona is mulling sweeping changes, and some sources say it would be a “major surprise” if first-year head coach Steve Wilks keeps his job. The bigger question, according to those sources, is whether GM Steve Keim is retained, but if he is not, he is a strong candidate to join the Raiders‘ front office.

Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends GM Candidates

The Fritz Pollard Alliance has released its annual list of minority candidates for general manager vacancies. Much like the latest batch of recommended coaching hires, the suggested GM list is more than twice as long as last year’s. 

[RELATED: Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends Head Coaching Candidates]

Here’s the full rundown, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link):

  • Ray Agnew (Rams)
  • Joey Clinkscales (Raiders)
  • Quentin Harris (Cardinals)
  • Alonzo Highsmith (Browns)
  • Brad Holmes (Rams)
  • Champ Kelly (Bears)
  • Martin Mayhew (49ers, ex-Lions GM)
  • Will McClay (Cowboys)
  • Jimmy Raye III (Lions)
  • Jerry Reese (ex-Giants GM)
  • Doug Whaley (ex-Bills GM)
  • Doug Williams (Redskins)

 

Clinkscales, Highsmith, McClay, and Williams were all featured on last year’s list, but none of those executives landed GM jobs. The only executive from the last round of recommendations who did not carry over to this year was Ray Farmer, the former Browns GM who is currently serving as a senior consultant with the Rams.

Of the dozen suggested executives on this list, only three sat for GM interviews in the last cycle: Mayhew (Panthers), Raye (Texans), and Whaley (Packers). McClay was asked to interview for the Texans opening, but declined the opportunity and instead signed a two-year extension to stay with the Cowboys. McClay may garner consideration again this time around, but he might not be interested in leaving Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/13/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: G Oni Omoile

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: WR C.J. Board

New Orleans Saints

  • Signed: WR Martez Carter

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: OL Roubbens Joseph
  • Placed on injured list: OL Casey Dunn

Cardinals DT Robert Nkemdiche Suffered Torn ACL

The Cardinals placed defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche on injured reserve earlier this week, but declined to give details on the nature of his injury. Today, Arizona head coach Steve Wilks announced that Nkemdiche actually suffered a torn ACL against the Lions (Twitter link via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com).

The revelation of Nkemdiche’s ACL tear has numerous implications, beginning with his availability for the 2019 campaign. ACL recovery times can vary in length, with most players taking anywhere from six-to-twelve months to regain full health. Clearly, that timeline creates a wide range of outcomes for Nkemdiche’s 2019 season. If he can heal quickly, the former first-round pick could be ready for training camp. If not, Nkemdiche could potentially miss most or all of next year.

New of Nkemdiche’s knee injury will likely also affect his future earnings. The Cardinals hold a 2020 fifth-year option on Nkemdiche, and they’ll have to make decision on that option by May 2019. It’s guaranteed for injury only, and given Nkemdiche’s ACL tear, it seems highly unlikely that Arizona will exercise the option. Were Nkemdiche unable to pass a physical in 2020, the Cardinals would be on the hook for his salary (which will be in excess of $7MM) regardless of whether he can play or not.

Whether Arizona would have any interest in exercising Nkemdiche’s option even if he were at full health is an open question. After being selected 29th overall in 2016, Nkemdiche hasn’t done much in the NFL. Health questions have kept him off the field for much of his career, and he’s only played in 27 total games over three years. This season, Pro Football Focus graded Nkemdiche as just the No. 102 interior defender among 118 qualifiers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/11/18

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Rams

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed off Cowboys’ practice squad: S Tyree Robinson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Promoted from practice squad: TE Tanner Hudson
  • Placed on IR: LB Kevin Minter

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 12/11/18

Here’s the latest from the NFL’s workout circuit, all links going to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account (unless otherwise noted). The first day teams can sign players to reserve/futures contracts is New Year’s Eve.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • DB Tevaughn Campbell (link)

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

  • LB Sam Eguavoen (CFL tryout) (link)

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Broncos Promote Trey Marshall

The Broncos will waive safety Shamarko Thomas in order to promote rookie safety Trey Marshall from the practice squad, league sources tell Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). While the Broncos value Thomas’ special teams acumen, they were compelled to make the move in order to prevent the Cardinals from signing Marshall off of the taxi squad. 

The Cardinals wound up with an open roster spot on Monday when they were forced to place defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche on injured reserve. Marshall won’t turn 23 until February and would have been worth a look for Arizona’s 2019 roster, but the Broncos stepped in to prevent that from happening. He’ll now have a chance to make his NFL debut with Denver after compiling 135 tackles, one sack, and six passes defensed while at Florida State.

Thomas, a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2013, will become a free agent if he is not claimed on waivers. He appeared in six games for Denver this year and recorded seven total tackles.

The Broncos are 6-7 after Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, but they technically still have a shot at reaching the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals To Place Robert Nkemdiche On IR

Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is going on IR, coach Steve Wilks announced on Monday. Wilks declined to give details on the injury, but he did say that Nkemdiche will require surgery. 

[RELATED: Cardinals Place D.J. Humphries On IR]

Nkemdiche, 24, was a first round pick of the Cardinals back in 2016. His bruising physique had the team excited back then, but he has been unable to put it all together as a pro. Injuries have kept him off the field for much of his three-year career and he’ll end this campaign with just 27 appearances out of a possible 48 games.

Nkemdiche recorded 4.5 sacks this year – including 2.5 agains the Chargers a few weeks ago – but his run defense has left much to be desired. Nkemdiche currently ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 102 ranked interior defender out of 118 qualified players.

The Cardinals will have Nkemdiche under contract for 2019 and they’ll have to decide on his fifth-year option for 2020 in May. Last year, the option cost for non Top-10 defensive tackles was $7.154MM. The cost will rise this year, and the Cardinals will have to think long and hard about whether they’re willing to roll the dice on Nkemdiche given his injury history.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.