FOXBORO MA - JANUARY 16: Braylon Edwards #17 of the New York Jets catches a pass over Darius Butler #28 of the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16 2011 in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Braylon Edwards Friends Involved In Weekend Bar Fight, Receiver Headed To 49ers

Deuce Lutui will return to the Cardinals for his sixth NFL season after failing a physical with the Cincinnati Bengals. Running back Tim Hightower, meanwhile, is off to Washington in exchange for defensive end Vonnie Holliday and a draft pick.

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Braylon Edwards Contract Demands Holding Up Deal With Cardinals, Reports Say

Kerry Rhodes might think that his buddy from the New York Jets is on his way, but it's not over yet.

You see, Braylon Edwards wants to be paid. Braylon Edwards wants to be paid for as long as possible, preferably until the end of time (although he'll probably settle for four-five years). The Arizona Cardinals think otherwise, and that's why these negotiations are at an impasse. Kent Somers with the report.

Cardinals still talking to Braylon Edwards' agent. Possible issue could be Edwards wants long-term deal; cardinals prefer short one.

Clearly, if Arizona can't meet Edwards's demands, that opens him back up to the rest of the market. And a host of other teams might be willing to shell out for him.  Mike Jurecki has the list of teams that are interested in him: The Minnesota Vikings (although that interest might be muted now) the Cardinals, the Washington Redskins, and the Tennessee Titans.

Edwards is a valuable player, but he has had legal issues in his previous stops in Cleveland and New York. Can he be trusted with a long-term deal?

For more on Cardinals free agency, check out Revenge of the Birds.


Braylon Edwards Coming To Cardinals, Kerry Rhodes Has The Scoop

The big rumor floating around Cardinals practice Monday morning centered on free agent wide receiver Braylon Edwards. The highly unconfirmed chatter is that Edwards, who had already been rumored as a Cardinals' target, was in Arizona already. To get more info on the Edwards situation, SB Nation Arizona spoke with Edwards' good friend, safety Kerry Rhodes.

Asked specifically about the rumor that Edwards was already in Arizona, Rhodes smiled and said, "I can't comment on that one yet."

Note the use of the word "yet".

Rhodes made the rumor even a bit more titillating when he added, "Just stay tuned, check on twitter."

Kerry Rhodes twitter is @kerryrhodes

Rhodes might have also let a little something slip with his choice of words when asked about the idea of reuniting with his buddy from the NY Jets, "I'll be happy. He'll come here and give this team a weapon. He's one of the best receivers in the game."

Then again, he also used a more speculative framing in another comment, "I hear that we're in discussions and talking with him. If he comes here he'll be a great addition."

One thing Rhodes was clear about was his desire and involvement in making it happen.

"I may have, I may have gotten involved a little bit. I may be doing a little "Coach K" recruiting right now to try and get that done," Rhodes said about the role he's playing in the recuitment of the talented free agent wide receiver.

Should the Cardinals land Edwards, the passing attack that already features Larry Fitzgerald and now Todd Heap will become even more potent for new quarterback, Kevin Kolb.


New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards tosses a ball during NFL Football practice Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets are scheduled to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 23, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)


Arizona Cardinals Release List Of 51 Players Signed Since Wednesday

Like most team, the Arizona Cardinals have had a busy week. They started with 41 players under contract when the lockout ended. Since Wednesday when they were allowed to start signing undrafted free agents, they've added 51 players to their ranks. Of course, they've lost players as well via trade.

Here's the full list of 51 players signed by the Arizona Cardinals in the first week of the 2011 NFL season.


UFA's from Other Teams                      Previous Team

#97 LB Stewart Bradley                          Philadelphia

#71 G Daryn Colledge                           Green Bay

#98 DE Nick Eason                               Pittsburgh

#86 TE Todd Heap                                Baltimore

#87 TE Jeff King                                   Carolina

#22 CB Richard Marshall                        Carolina

#17 WR Chansi Stuckey                         Cleveland

#78 G Floyd Womack                            Cleveland

Players Acquired Through Trades        Previous Team

#4 QB Kevin Kolb                                  Philadelphia

#91 DE Vonnie Holiday                          Washington

Players Re-Signed by the Cardinals

#21 S Hamza Abdullah

#27 CB Michael Adams

#74 T D'Anthony Batiste

#63 C Ben Claxton

#5 P Ben Graham

#76 G Deuce Lutui

#45 FB Reagan Maui'a

#63 C Lyle Sendlein

#83 TE Stephen Spach

Restricted Free Agents Re-Signed

#85 WR Early Doucet

#72 T Brandon Keith

Draft Pics                                                        

First-round        #31 CB Patrick Peterson

Second-round   #44 RB Ryan Williams

Third-round       #84 TE Rob Housler

Fourth-round     #94 LB Sam Acho

Fifth-round        #35 FB Anthony Sherman

Sixth-round       #54 LB Quan Sturdivant

Sixth-round       #79 DE David Carter

Seventh-round   #89 WR DeMarco Sampson

Rookie Free Agents

#32 S Jared Campbell

#16 WR Daiveun Curry-Chapman

#43 CB Desia Dunn

#9 P Derek Epperson

#41 CB Tae Evans

#33 S Tommy Irvin

#15 WR Sean Jeffcoat

#39 LB Duke Lemmens

#60 DT Ricky Lumpkin

#69 T Eric Mensik

#13 WR Aaron Nichols

#64 G Greg Niland

#29 CB Bryant Nnabuife

#60 C Kris O'Dowd

#37 RB William Powell

#38 S Andrew Rich

#80 TE Stephen Skelton

#47 LB Kendall Smith

#61 T Jason Speredon

#66 T Brad Thorson

#79 G Jake Vermiglio

#67 T D.J. Young


Tim Hightower Traded To Redskins For Vonnie Holliday, 2012 Draft Pick

The Tim Hightower experiment has ended in Arizona. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Hightower is on his way to the nation's capitol, traded for defensive end Vonnie Holliday and a draft pick that's supposedly based on Hightower's playing time in Washington. If the Redskins maintain their current roster, they'll have seven running backs on their team: Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams, James Davis, Shaun Draughn, rookies Roy Helu and Evan Royster, and now Hightower. Mike Shanahan sure does like to make life hell for fantasy football owners doesn't he?

As for Arizona, they get an old defensive end (Holliday is 35) and a draft pick. They must think Hightower is done, because otherwise it's hard to understand this move. Perhaps the Cardinals are so assured that Ryan Williams is the real deal that they felt that Hightower was no longer indispensable; pairing Williams with the promising Beanie Wells might be exactly what Arizona needs to get the run game going in Phoenix.

For more on the Cardinals, go to Revenge of the Birds. For more on the Redskins, check out Hogs Haven.


Arizona Cardinals Re-Sign Guard Deuce Lutui To One-Year Deal After Contract With Bengals Falls Through

The Arizona Cardinals have agreed to a one-year deal with guard Deuce Lutui. The 28-year-old Lutui had agreed to a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals but surprisingly failed to pass the physical. The deal fell through, and now Lutui is set to return to the only team that he has played for during his five-year tenure in the NFL.

Lutui is a native of Mesa, AZ, and he played his college ball at USC. Drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft with the 41st overall pick, Lutui has started 72 of 78 regular season games. The six games that he did not start came during his rookie season, when he was still adjusting to the transition from college to the NFL.

Lutui is one of three Cardinals offensive linemen to start every game since the 2008 season- the other two are Levi Brown and Lyle Sendlin. Of course, Lutui will have pass the physical with the Cardinals before he can officially join training camp and begin his sixth NFL season with the team.


Deuce Lutui Flunks Physical With Bengals, Returns To Cardinals On One Year Deal

Poor Deuce Lutui. Just when it looked like he'd found the deal of a lifetime in the NFL, in a flash it was all but gone.

The free agent guard had just signed a sizable deal with the Cincinnati Bengals. Two years, $8.75 million is pretty good bank for an offensive lineman, particularly as he enters the prime of his career. But one primary concern with the deal was his weight--he is a big guy. And when big guys become too big, you just don't know what they'll do on the field. Food comas, cravings for sweets, getting bowled over by James Harrison...all these things become natural possibilities.

And that's exactly what happened with Lutui. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters Lutui failed his physical on Sunday, and many news outlets are confirming he'll be returning to Arizona on a one year deal. And I'd have to guess the amount will be a little bit smaller than the money Cincy was tossing at him.

For more on Arizona free agency, head to Revenge of the Birds. For more on Bengals free agency, Cincy Jungle is your spot.


NFL Rumor: Braylon Edwards Reported Target For Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals have made several big moves including Sunday's signing of TE Todd Heap. They added a solid linebacker in Stewart Bradley and a dependable and durable offensive lineman in Daryn Colledge. But it seems the Cards aren't done yet. The team that entered free agency with almost $39 million to spend is now rumored to be making a play for wide receiver Braylon Edwards according to XTRA 910's Mike Jurecki.

Mike Jurecki (mikejurecki) on Twitter
The player I'm talking abt is Braylon Edwards, still working on the deal, it could fall through... Stay tuned!

Edwards, 27, would add another big-play threat alongside Larry Fitzgerald and Todd Heap in a passing attack that would give Kevin Kolb plenty of weapons. 

As the report says, the deal's not done yet but even before Sunday's Heap news and the Edwards rumor, Larry Fitzgerald was already pleased with the moves his team has made. And with Fitz on the final year of his deal keeping him happy is considered to be extremely important. 

"This is the most active I've ever seen the team in free agency and I think that's really exciting," Fitz said after Saturday's practice. "We addressed a couple of needs. We lost some guys in free agency and obviously a starting cornerback but I think the team is doing a good job addressing the needs that we have. We're going to continue to make acquisitions, that's what they say."

In his five-year NFL career, Edwards has amassed 5,142 receiving yards in 90 games. He played for the NY Jets last season after playing the prior four years in Cleveland.


Arizona Cardinals Sign Pro Bowl TE Todd Heap To 2-Year Deal

In a somewhat surprising move, the Arizona Cardinals signed Todd Heap, a tight end who has played the first ten seasons of his career as a member of the Baltimore Ravens.

Heap, who grew up in Mesa and played football for ASU, is a welcome addition for a Cardinals team that was sorely lacking a big play threat from the tight end position in 2010. With the signing of Heap and the draft selection of Rob Housler, the Cards should be stocked at the position for years to come.

Here's more from the official press release:

A two-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, Heap (6-5, 252) comes to the Cardinals after spending the first 10 years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. A Mesa, AZ native who starred at Mountain View High School and Arizona State, Heap had 40 receptions for 599 yards and five touchdowns last season for Baltimore while starting all 13 games that he played in. His 15.0 yards per catch average was the best of his career and in the postseason, he led the Ravens with 13 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown in two games played. His 10 receptions for 108 yards against the Chiefs in Wild Card round last year were franchise postseason records.

For his career, Heap has played in 133 games (128 starts) with 467 receptions for 5,492 yards (11.8 yard avg.) and 41 touchdowns. He is the Ravens career-leader in receiving touchdowns and second in receptions and receiving yards. Since entering the league in 2001, Heap's 467 receptions rank fifth among tight ends behind Tony Gonzalez (808), Jason Witten (617), Antonio Gates (529) and Jeremy Shockey (510) and his 41 touchdowns rank fourth among tight ends behind only Gates (69), Gonzalez (64) and Dallas Clark (44).

Heap was released by the Ravens last week. The terms of his contract with Arizona have not yet been released.

For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.


Patrick Peterson Headed To Camp, Inks 5-Year Deal; Cardinals Also Add OL Floyd Womack

Remember years gone by when the Arizona Cardinals were always one of the last teams to agree to terms with their top draft picks? No longer. The team took advantage of the new rookie scale and signed third overall pick Patrick Peterson to a five-year deal. While he missed the first day of practice, he's expected to arrive in Flagstaff Sunday evening according to coach Ken Whisenhunt.

The deal is reported to be worth $18.5 million with a team option on the fifth year. The only unsigned Cardinals rookie is now running back Ryan Williams. The second-round pick, however, is said to close to a deal that could be done as soon as Monday.

The Cardinals also announced the signing of another offensive lineman. With Deuce Lutui going to the Bengals in free agency, there was definitely a need to fill on the right side of the line. Floyd Womack will be that guy. Womak is an 11-year NFL veteran. He was originally drafted by Seattle in the fourth round in 2001. Womack most recently played for the Cleveland Browns where he started all 16 games last season.

Nicknamed "Pork Chop," Womack has played in 107 regular season games with 61 starts at both guard and tackle in addition to seven postseason contests with two starts. 


Arizona Cardinals, Rookie Tight End Rob Housler Agree To Four-Year Contract

The Arizona Cardinals have signed third-round draft pick Rob Housler to a four-year contract. The exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Housler was the Cardinals' third-round pick and the 69th selection overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He played for Florida Atlantic in college, becoming only the fourth tight end in school history to amass over 1,000 total receiving yards. In his senior year, Housler grabbed 39 receptions for 629 yards and four touchdowns. He was named a second-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection.

Though Housler has signed a contract, the status of fellow rookies Patrick Peterson (first-round pick, fifth overall) and Ryan Williams (second-round pick, 38th overall) remains in question as they have yet to agree to contract terms with the Cardinals.

According to Kent Somers of AZ Central, though, it looks like Patrick Peterson is set to sign a contract with the Cardinals within the next 24 hours.


Cards Find A Cornerback In Former Panther Richard Marshall

Despite rumors (given steam by people like’s Jason LaCanfora) that the Arizona Cardinals might be interested in helping the Philadelphia Eagles uncrowd their now-crowded cornerback corps by perhaps taking Asante Samuel off their hands, the Cards went another direction.

The team reportedly agreed to terms with former Carolina Panthers secondary mainstay Richard Marshall. The deal is expected to be for one year.

In his past two seasons, Marshall started all 32 games and had 7 interceptions and 176 tackles. For comparison, newly traded Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had 9 interceptions and 94 tackles in his last two seasons. Marshall is a more physical corner, which would seem in line with new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s MO. He’s only 5’11" but has done well for his size. Marshall comes with a reputation similar to last year’s secondary pickup, Kerry Rhodes: he is seen as very talented, and, while productive, has not performed up to potential.

In addition, he has had contract squabbles with the Panthers over the last couple of seasons that may have affected his play, though obviously that will not be a concern with the Cardinals since they signed him outright as a free agent, on a short-term basis.

It is expected that Marshall will compete with first-round choice Patrick Peterson and “veteran” Greg Toler for the starting role. However, it would seem the likely starting duo will be Peterson and Marshall, with Toler in the nickel slot, where he is probably a better fit. Marshall is certainly not Nnamdi Asomugha or Asante Samuel, but he is a solid pickup that will do a decent job of filling the hole left by the Kevin Kolb trade.


Former Cardinals OG Deuce Lutui Signs With Bengals

It's official: Deuce is officially loose. After spending the better part of the 2010 preseason in a money-fueled holdout that didn't get him the results he was looking for, Deuce Lutui has left the Cardinals to sign a two-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.

A Mesa, Arizona native, Lutui helped the Cardinals during the Kurt Warner years, helping the team win back-to-back NFC West titles and get to Super Bowl XLIII against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The holdout in 2010 likely contributed to his departure this offseason, as the Cardinals are looking to shift directions away from a 6-10 season and towards the goal of winning the West with Kevin Kolb under center.

There's very little depth at the offensive guard position for the Cardinals currently, with Alan Faneca retiring and Lutui signing elsewhere. Rex Hadnot and Jeremy Bridges will battle to start at right guard in 2011. Daryn Colledge was recently signed to take over Faneca's spot at left guard.

For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals Have Yet To Sign Peterson, Williams; Rookies May Miss Start Of Camp

With the start of training camp set to kick off tomorrow, it is starting to seem unlikely that the Cardinals' top two draft picks will be present and ready to go. According to Arizona Republic beat writer Kent Somers, both Patrick Peterson and Ryan Williams have yet to be contacted about any form of contract negotiations.

Peterson is reportedly at his home in Florida, awaiting any phone calls from the team. Likewise, Williams is still in Washington D.C., and his agent -- Malik Shareef -- commented that he hasn't heard from the Cardinals organization since Wednesday.

At this point, it's unclear why the Cardinals are waiting so long to sign the two rookies. Though it's possible that the franchise was just too busy setting up the many stipulations of the chaotic Kevin Kolb deal, as Somers (perhaps sarcastically) suggests. Regardless, with both locations existing across the country from Flagstaff, it becomes less and less likely with each passing minute that the pair will make it to day one of Cardinals' training camp.

For more on the Arizona Cardinals offseason signings, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit the Revenge of the Birds Blog.


Seahawks Sign Former Cardinals DT Alan Branch To Two-Year Deal

The Cardinals defense lost their Pro Bowl cornerback to the Philadelphia Eagles this afternoon via trade, and ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that one of their defensive tackles has left the team as well -- this time through free agency.

Alan Branch collected 35 tackles, two sacks and forced two fumbles during Arizona's 2010 campaign. The Seattle Seahawks decided to offer him a two-year deal worth $8 million -- $4 million of that is guaranteed.

The loss of Branch is another significant blow to the defensive core of the Cardinals, who didn't draft a defensive tackle in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Branch, while a good lineman, is not anyone to truly fret over. While showing flashes of greatness, consistency was never something you could rely on. While it's never good to lose a starting position player to an interdivisional rival, $8 million is way too much to pay for Alan Branch.

Lets see what Rod Graves can grab on the free agent market this week.

For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds.


Nick Eason To Sign Free Agent Deal With Cardinals, Brings Defensive Line Depth

The Arizona Cardinals free agent feeding frenzy seems to have been unleashed now that the organization has completed its big trade for Kevin Kolb. Next up on the parade is backup defensive end Nick Eason who was signed as a free agent away from the Pittsburgh Steelers according to a report by ESPN's John Clayton and relayed via twitter by Arizona Republic's Kent Somers and conveyed to you here by SB Nation Arizona's Seth Pollack.

Eason, 30, is a journeyman defensive end who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He's played a total of seven years split between Cleveland (2004-06) and Pittsburgh (2007-2010 with 85 games and just 14 career starts to his name.

Over the course of his seven years playing on the defensive line, Eason's racked up five sacks which might not sound impressive until you consider that he also has a kick return of 10 yards on this resume. 

In better and totally non-related news, Cardinals fans will be glad to learn this:

Michael Crabtree Expected To Miss 49ers Preseason With Foot Injury - SB Nation Bay Area
Michael Crabtree will likely miss at least some (if not all) of his third straight preseason for the San Francisco 49ers.

For more on the Arizona Cardinals free agency and quarterback situation, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit the Revenge of the Birds Blog.


Lyle Sendlein Agrees To Terms With Arizona Cardinals, Center Secured

The Arizona Cardinals notched another notch in their free agent belt if a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter turns out to be true. In this case the belt would have to be rather large since we are talking about starting center Lyle Sendlein who agreed to a multi-year deal to stay with the Cardinals.

The report from Schefter prompted this response from Darnell Dockett (himself subject of inflammatory Baltimore rumors): 

Twitter / @ddockett: RT @AdamSchefter: Cardinal ...
ayyyyeeeee! #YES

Ayyyeeeee! Yes indeed.

Sendlein, 26, has been the starting Cardinal's center for the last three seasons. Sendlein went undrafted in 2007 but caught on the with Arizona and earned the starting job by his second year. He's a native of Scottsdale, Arizona and the son of former NFL player, Robin Sendlein.

This is an important signing for the Cardinals to provide some stability on the offensive line that has seen the addition of left guard Daryn Colledge to replace the retired Alan Faneca and is still awaiting word on free agent Deice Lutui who according to at least one report, might not be in the Cardinals plans.

For more on the Arizona Cardinals free agency and quarterback situation, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit the Revenge of the Birds Blog.


Daryn Colledge To Join Arizona Cardinals Offensive Line

The Arizona Cardinals had a couple of big needs to fill in free agency or through the trade market before starting the 2011 NFL season. Quarterback is the high profile need (Kevin Kolb? Not yet? Soon? Waiting...) but just behind that is the offensive line. Center Lyle Sendlein and guard Deuce Lutui are free agents who may or may not return and Alan Faneca has hung up the cleats after a long and distinguished career. To fill one of the holes on the O-line, the Cardinals have reportedly agreed to terms with free agent guard Daryn Colledge formerly of the Green Bay Packers.

Colledge, the first player ever to be drafted from the state of Alaska, was picked by the Packers in the 2006 NFL Draft (47th overall). He played in 16 games each of his five seasons with the Packers for a total of 80 games with 76 starts including starting each game of the past three seasons.

Daryn, 29, is listed at 6-4 and 308 pounds and with a deal reportedly worth $27.5 million over five years will certainly be slotted as the starting left guard. The contract is said to include $10 million guaranteed.

Here's some thoughts on Colledge from hard corps Packers fans:

Green Bay Packers Free Agency 2011: Daryn Colledge Headed For Arizona Cardinals - Acme Packing Company
I think a lot of us expected Colledge to eventually become a Pro Bowl-caliber guy a few years back, but he's stagnated a bit over the last couple of years and it appears that serviceable starter/top-notch backup is now Colledge's ceiling.

I hope I speak for everyone when I say that I wish him nothing but the best in Arizona. Though he's caused us some frustration in the heat of games, he seemed like a good guy who worked hard and who appreciated the fans, so I hope he does well in Arizona.

For more on the Arizona Cardinals free agency and quarterback situation, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit the Revenge of the Birds Blog.


Green Bay Packers guard Daryn Colledge takes images out of the window of a bus as the NFL football team returns Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., the day after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Steve Breaston First Major Free Agent Loss For Cardinals (Reportedly)

With so many free agents to sign in so little time it was inevitable there would be some losses and for the Arizona Cardinals it seems that the first to go will be wide receiver Steve Breaston. According to a report from the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers, Breaston is getting a lot of attention in free agency and will not be returning the Red Birds. blogs - Kent Somers - Steve Breaston won't return to the Cardinals
An unrestricted free agent, Breaston has received interest from numerous teams, including Arizona, which drafted him in the fifth round in 2007.   But Breaston has apparently received more lucrative offers, and the Cardinals are out of the running for his services. The Chiefs are believed to the favorite to sign him.

Breaston's role increased last season once Anquan Boldin was moved to Baltimore. He finished the season with 753 yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns, 47 receptions in 13 games played.

According to Somers, the Cardinals will try and replace Breaston's role as the second receiver with Early Doucet (a restricted free agent) and / or Andre Roberts who showed some flashes in his rookie season. The Cardinals also could look for a veteran wide receiver in free agency.

If this report turns out to come true, we wish Stevie B all the best. We'll miss his entertaining food-related tweets.

Twitter / @SBreaston15: The early bird gets to McDonalds breakfast...

Kansas City has been named as a possible landing place for the escaped bird Steve Breaston. He could reunite with his former offensive coordinator and current Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.

For more on the Arizona Cardinals free agency and quarterback situation, stay tuned to this StoryStream and visit the Revenge of the Birds Blog.


GLENDALE AZ - DECEMBER 05: Wide receiver Steve Breaston #15 of the Arizona Cardinals is unable to catch a long pass against the St. Louis Rams during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 5 2010 in Glendale Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 19-6. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


Arizona Cardinals Release List Of 21 Rookie Free Agents Added For Camp

The Arizona Cardinals, as expected, were busy over the last few days filling out their roster with undrafted rookie free agents. These are the guys that help fill out the 90-man training camp roster. Certainly it's possible that some will make the team but mostly likely they are destined for the practice squad or the waiver wire.

These guys have technically "agreed to terms" with the team but won't be formally be signed until Friday per the NFL timeline. They will be eligible to practice immediately when camp starts on Saturday as opposed to veteran free agents who aren't allowed to start practicing until August 4.

Here's the full list as released by the Cardinals that includes the brothers of two current players, Calais Campbell and John Skelton:

Miami safety JARED CAMPBELL (6-0, 200), the brother of Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell, played in 26 career games with six starts and was a big special teams contributor. Last season, he played in 10 games at safety after playing in all 13 games (six starts) as a junior in 2009. He finished his Hurricane career with 36 tackles (21 solos), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two tackles for loss.

 Northern Arizona wide receiver DAIVEUN CURRY-CHAPMAN (DAY-VEE-an) (6-2, 195) appeared in 41 games (19 starts) in four seasons with the Lumberjacks and collected 107 receptions for 1,066 yards and 13 touchdowns during his collegiate career. His best season came as a senior when he earned All-Big Sky second-team honors after starting all 11 games and led the team in receptions (69), receiving yards (738) and receiving TDs. His 6.3 receptions per game average led the league and ranked 14th in the FCS last season.

 Cornerback DESIA DUNN (Dee-see-uh) (5-9, 195) from Fresno State is a former walk-on for the Bulldogs who worked his way to become the team's top corner. Over his final three seasons, he appeared in 38 games with 34 consecutive starts to conclude his collegiate career. He totaled 155 tackles, three interceptions and 18 passes defensed in three seasons at corner and posted career-highs with 65 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed as a senior last season.

 Baylor punter DEREK EPPERSON (6-3, 240) was a second-team All-Big 12 performer as a senior after punting 55 times for 2,406 yards (43.7 yard avg.) with 15 punts inside the redzone. A first-team All-Big 12 selection as a junior and a 2008 Ray Guy semifinalist for the nation's top punter, Epperson finished his Baylor career with the third-most punting yards (9,574 yards), third in punting average (42.7 yard avg.) and second with 49 career punts of 50-plus yards. He also finished with 54 punts inside the redzone. 

 Safety TOMMY IRVIN (6-0, 212) from Wofford was a three-year starter who played at both strong and free safety. In four seasons with the Terriers, Irvin played in 46 games, including starting the final 33 games in which he appeared. He totaled 209 career tackles and led the team in tackles in both his junior (74) and senior (65) seasons. Irvin also collected seven interceptions, including a career and team-high four interceptions as a senior in 2010.

 Elon wide receiver SEAN JEFFCOAT (6-2, 200) set career highs with 72 receptions for 1,025 yards (14.2 yard avg.) and seven touchdowns as a senior. A Fayetteville, N.C. native, Jeffcoat also contributed on special teams, including blocking two kicks as a sophomore in 2008 when he was named the team's most outstanding special teams player. For his career, Jeffcoat played in 46 games and had 139 receptions for 1,826 yards (13.1 yard avg.) and 11 touchdowns.

 Florida linebacker DUKE LEMMENS (6-3, 250) started all 13 games last season, contributing on the defensive line and at linebacker and finished the season with 43 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. A former high school teammate of Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen at Oaks Christian, Lemmens saw action in 45 games (14 starts) during his career at Florida and finished with 66 tackles (32 solos), five sacks, nine tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

 Defensive tackle RICKY LUMPKIN (6-4, 306) from Kentucky played in 44 career games for the Wildcats and finished his career with 82 tackles and three sacks. A native of Clarksville, TN, Lumpkin had his most productive season as a junior when he started all 13 games and had 26 tackles. 

 Oklahoma tackle ERIC MENSIK (6-6, 288) started all 14 games last season at right tackle for the Sooners and finished his collegiate career at the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Rosenberg, TX native also played tight end in college and was recruited to Oklahoma as a tight end. He started two games at tackle as a junior in 2009 and one other contest at tight end. He finished his career by playing in 37 games with 16 starts at tackle and one at tight end.

 Cornerback DA'MON MERKERSON (6-1, 184) from Syracuse was a three-year starter for the Orange, including seeing action as a wide receiver as a sophomore and freshman. Last season he started all 12 games played at cornerback and had 23 tackles, two interceptions and 2.5 tackles for loss. For his career, Merkerson appeared in 46 games (31 starts) and had 59 tackles (38 solos), two interceptions, and four tackles for loss in addition to 14 receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns on offense. 

 Wide receiver AARON NICHOLS (6-0, 185) from Oregon State played in 12 games with 10 starts as a senior last season and had 31 receptions for 336 yards and one touchdown. A former walk-on who earned a scholarship for his senior season, Nichols played in 13 games as a junior, 11 games as a sophomore and five games as a freshman. He finished his career at Oregon State with 42 receptions for 512 yards and two touchdowns.

 UMass guard GREG NILAND (6-5, 305) played his final season with the Minutemen after spending the first three years of his college career with Northeastern University. He started all 10 games last season at guard for UMass as their offensive line ranked second in the CAA in fewest sacks allowed (1.3 per game). While at Northeastern, Niland was a three-year starter at left tackle and helped block for an offense in 2009 that averaged 130.8 rushing yards per game.

USC center and Tucson, AZ native KRIS O'DOWD (6-4, 304) was a Parade All-American offensive lineman at Salpointe Catholic High School prior to playing with the Trojans. While at USC, O'Dowd appeared in 41 games (36 starts) and was an All-Pac 10 first-team selection as a sophomore in 2008 when he started all 13 games and was named USC's Offensive Lineman of the Year. He finished his career by starting in 38 of the 40 games he appeared in including all 12 games as a senior last season when he was named All-Pac 10 second team.

Running back WILLIAM POWELL (5-9, 207) played two seasons at Kansas State after transferring from Navarro Junior College. While at Kansas State, Powell played in 15 games and had 23 carries for 250 yards (10.9 yard avg.) and four touchdowns to go along with 21 kick returns for 726 yards (34.6 yard avg.) and one touchdown. At the junior college level, Powell had 937 rushing yards on 139 carries and eight touchdowns in two seasons.

BYU safety ANDREW RICH (6-3, 217) was a first-team All-MWC selection as a senior when he started all 13 games and led the team with 110 tackles, the third-highest total by a BYU player in the last 20 years. He also led the Cougars last season with 63 solo tackles, 47 assists, five interceptions, eight passes defensed and three forced fumbles. He finished his collegiate career with 221 tackles (127 solos), 10 interceptions, 12 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two sacks in 39 career games (26 starts) in three seasons at BYU.

Fordham tight end STEPHEN SKELTON (6-5, 250) is the brother of Cardinals quarterback John Skelton. He started 11 games as a senior last season and had 42 receptions for 443 yards and three touchdowns. As John's favorite target in 2009 while the pair were together at Fordham, Stephen set career highs with 63 receptions for 634 yards (10.1 yard avg.) and six touchdowns. The 63 receptions were the most all-time in school history for a tight end and the fifth-best single-season total in school history. For his career, Skelton had 127 receptions for 1,313 yards (10.3 yard avg.) and 10 touchdowns in 40 games played.

Florida State linebacker KENDALL SMITH (6-0, 235) was a two-year starter at middle linebacker for the Seminoles and ranked second on the team as a senior with a career-high 97 tackles and a team leading 55 solos. He also had 3.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception and one pass defensed last season in 14 games played. He finished his Florida State career with 210 tackles (121 solos), four sacks, 15 tackles for loss, four passes defensed, and two interceptions in 53 games played.

BYU tackle JASON SPEREDON (SPEER-eh-duhn) (6-5, 308) was an All-MWC honorable mention selection as a senior guard after starting all 13 games while helping BYU rank third in the MWC by averaging 168.1 rushing yards per game. After missing the 2009 season due to injury, Speredon was able to come back in 2010 and regain his starting spot. For his career, Speredon played in 34 games with 13 starts.  

Tackle BRAD THORSON (6-5, 310) from Kansas started the final 24 games of his collegiate career after transferring from Wisconsin prior to the 2008 season. A versatile lineman, he made starts at center, left guard and right tackle for the Jayhawks. He was named KU's top offensive lineman and earned Academic All-Big 12 first team honors as both a junior and senior. After redshirting in 2006, he saw playing time at center for the Badgers in '07 before transferring to KU.

N.C. State guard JAKE VERMIGLIO (Vuhr-MIGG-lee-oh) (6-5, 325) was a two-year starter for the Wolfpack and was an All-ACC honorable mention selection as a senior after starting 12 games and only allowing two sacks all season. After attending the same high school as Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (Milford Academy), Vermiglio finished his collegiate career with 45 games played and 32 starts at tackle. 

Michigan State tackle D.J. YOUNG (6-5, 298) started 23 games on the offensive line in two seasons with the Spartans after transferring from Bowling Green State University, where he played in 17 games (four starts) between 2006-07. After a season at Lansing (MI) Community College in '08 following his transfer from BGSU, Young went on to start the final 11 games at right tackle during his first season with the Spartans and all 12 games at left tackle as a senior last season. Young's father, Duane, spent six seasons in the NFL as a tight end for the San Diego Chargers (1991-95) and Buffalo Bills (1998).


Arizona Cardinals To Re-sign Punter, Add Free Agent Blocking TE

While the first day of free agency was expected to be a busy one for the Cardinals, it didn't happen. No real news about the next quarterback, as the Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles are trying to see who gives in on the other's demands. However, Arizona did make two moves that are important, but understated moves. 

The first free agent move they made was to come to an agreement with blocking tight end Jeff King, who previously played for the Carolina Panthers

The second, per teammate Jay Feely, was that the team agreed to re-sign punter Ben Graham.

King is known primarily as a blocking tight end. He has even played offensive tackle when it was needed in an emergency. However, he is not one-dimensional. While he caught just 19 passes in 2010, he has caught as many as 46 in a season. 

The signing all but eliminates the possibility of local product Todd Heap coming to Arizona. The Cardinals already have 2010 draft pick Jim Dray and 2011 third rounder Robert Housler. Stephen Spach is a free agent and unlikely will not return.

Perhaps with the addition of King, the Cardinals can shift their offense a little more towards one that runs the ball regularly. 

In re-signing Graham, they bring back a guy who has been effective for the team. He was not quite as good in 2010 when the offense struggled and he was asked to flip the field. He is one of the best punters with a short field and he can pin the opponent back. Hopefully there will be more chances to that.

More announcements and signings are sure to be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

For more Arizona Cardinals coverage, visit Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals Begin Adding UFAs, BYU Safety Andrew Rich, OK OL Eric Mensik Reported

The Arizona Cardinals, like the rest of the NFL, is now free to begin the process of filling out their roster. The Cards have only 41 players under contract and have just a few days to add 49 more to fill out the 90-man training camp roster. The first thing the schedule allows teams to do is sign drafted and undrafted rookie free agents. 

The drafted rookies are a known factor and will get signed under the terms of the new CBA in due course. The undrafted free agent signings that normally take place after the NFL Draft is where the real action is. Teams are scrambling to fill holes and you can image the amount of phone calls being made between front offices and agents and the made dash decisions that will come in this compressed time frame.

The Cardinals are just getting into the process and three undrafted rookie free agents names have already been reported. BYU safety Andrew Rich, Oklahoma OL Eric Mensik and NC State OT Jake Vermiglio have both been reported by the media as the first of many more additions to come.

Mensik is listed at 6-6, 288 pounds and played in 23 games for the Sooners and started just three. Rich is a 6-3, 220 pound safety coming off a shoulder surgery. Vermiglio, 6-5, 315 pounds, was selected All-ACC Honorable Mention for the 2010 college football season.

None of these signings are confirmed at this point.



Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Walks Careful Line With Philly Trade

If you believe all the trade rumors cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has already been dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Kevin Kolb. Of course, trade rumors and actual trades are two completely separate things but that won't stop us in the media from speculating and no one speculates better than sports talk radio with their hours and hours and time to fill.

In an interview with a Philly show, hosts Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow rolled out the full cheese steak welcome for DRC starting with a "happy birthday" to his mom and ending with an offer to secure his preferred jersey number.

For his part, DRC did a great job walking the line and avoid an Amare Stoudemire-like situation where he tells every city he talks to how much he'd love to play there. He understands that he might be dealt to Philly and wants to get off to a good start with the fans should that happen.

He's also smart enough not to take the bait when asked about playing in Arizona, which according to the Philly radio host, "is not a great football have the opportunity to come here to a team which is, we think is a real Super Bowl contender and a town that's passionate about it's football."

Note: Screw you, Philly sports talk radio guys. Arizona fans are passionate about their football (as long as the roof is closed if the temperature is under 60 or over 80 degrees). And Super Bowl contender...really?

"As far as just the atmosphere itself, yeah, that would (excite me)," DRC said with diplomacy. "But you know, I was drafted by the Cardinals so that's where I really started at. But if they're talking about trading me, I can't do nothing about that because it's a business."

Is Kevin Kolb worth trading Rodgers-Cromartie? Is that deal even on the table? We'll find out the answers to these questions and more in the next exciting episode of, How The NFL Turns. Also keep up on things over at Revenge of the Birds.


TEMPE, AZ - APRIL 29: Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #29 of the Arizona Cardinals talks with the media as he leaves the team's training center on April 29, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


NFL Free Agency List: 22 Cardinals Players Classified As Free Agents By League

With the end of the lockout, the NFL has released a list of free agents and their designations. Among them, there are 22 Arizona Cardinals players.

Three Cardinals are tendered restricted free agents: WR Early Doucet, RB Tim Hightower and T Brandon Keith. Hightower and Keith can be signed away for second-round picks will Doucet would be compensated with a third-round pick. The Cardinals will have a chance to match any offer sheets that another team puts forward for any of these players.

The Cardinals also have 19 unrestricted free agents:

  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Michael Adams
  • T D'anthony Batiste
  • DT Alan Branch
  • FB Nehemiah Broughton
  • WR Steve Breaston
  • C Ben Claxton
  • DT Kellen Dykes
  • P Ben Graham
  • G Deuce Lutul
  • DE Kenny Iewbema
  • FB Reagan Maiu'a
  • CB Trumaine McBride
  • TE Ben Patrick
  • NT Bryan Robinson
  • C Lyle Sedlein
  • TE Stehpen Spach
  • S Matt Ware
  • NT Gabe Watson

The Cardinals have just over two weeks until the preseason starts, and you can bet that the front office will be hard at work assembling the roster.

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