Offseason News

The Cardinals were able to restructure Bertrand Berry’s final season under his current contract to help alleviate some salary cap issues.  Much of his salary was converted to incentives, particularly due to the fact that Berry has missed the 2nd half of the past 3 seasons due to injuries.  Both Cardinals’ staff and Berry are glad he will be staying in Arizona next year.

Talks are still underway regarding Larry Fitzgerald’s proposed contract restructuring; however, I’m sure this will be resolved soon.  Negotiations with Calvin Pace also continue with hopes of reaching an amicable solution before free agent-to-be Pace is allowed to entertain offers from other teams.

Arizona has released Terrence Holt, Oliver Ross, and Chris Cooper to make room under the salary cap.  While Ross missed all of last season due to injury and Cooper is a backup, the release of Holt – the Cardinals’ starting free safety – raised some eyebrows.  While Holt did manage 75 tackles last season, he had no INTs.  The Cards moved CB Antrel Rolle to safety, and along with strong safety Adrian Wilson, Holt, unfortunately, became expendible.

 (Source: azcardinals.com)

Bertrand Berry


Super Grass!!!

(No, I’m not blogging about marijuana…..)

In fact, the NFL, with help from the Cardinals, donated the turf used for Super Bowl XLII to Phoenix’s Moon Valley High School, as their existing turf was in pretty sad shape (dead grass and dirt as it was ‘lovingly’ referred to by the team.)  Even remnants of the festive paint decor was still visible two weeks after the game ended.

Needless to say, the team and coaching staff are excited.  “We definitely have to take care of this better than we took care of our old grass,” stated one of the players.

The grass was grown in Alabama, then transferred to Glendale for the Super Bowl.  Plans were in motion to donate the turf to a school who would be able to care for it long term.  And, in addition to the football team, the soccer team will be able to enjoy it as well.

Big props to the Cardinals and the NFL for ‘giving back to the community.’

(Source: AZCardinals.com)


Early Off-Season News and Musings

The Cardinals have placed their franchise tag on Karlos Dansby this week, assuring that he will remain in Arizona for at least another season.  This is the first time they have used the tag since 2002 (for safety Kwamie Lassiter.)  If Dansby – who is still allowed to explore his options with other teams – gets an offer, the Cardinals can either match it or let Dansby go in exchange for 2 first round draft picks; a hefty price indeed for the star linebacker.  Negotiations are currently underway to work out a long-term contract.

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My apologies to Darnell Dockett.  I neglected to notice that due to Chicago’s Tommie Harris pulling out of the Pro Bowl, Dockett got his spot.

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Both Calvin Pace and Larry Fitzgerald are smack dab in the middle of contract negotiations as well.  Pace will be a free agent at the end of the month, while the Cardinals are attempting to restructure Fitz’s contract to help with salary cap issues. 

Let’s all hope they remain Cardinals for a very, very long time.

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(Source: AZCardinals.com)


Larry Fitzgerald Key in NFC Pro Bowl Victory

Fitz played a major role in cementing the NFC’s victory over the AFC last Sunday, scoring one of the team’s 6 TDs en route to a 42-30 win.

Game balls were awarded to rookie sensation Adrian Peterson for the NFC and the AFC’s Antonio Cromartie.  Other players responsible for scoring included Terrell Owens, T. J. Houshmenzadeh, Chris Cooley, Lorenzo Neal, and 49er punter Andy Lee who tossed his first NFL pass for a TD.

Fitz TD


WR Urban’s 2008 Potential (Fantasy and Otherwise)

With fellow WR Bryant Johnson an unrestricted free agent, Jerheme Urban is poised to make a significant effect with the Cardinals next season as the team’s #3 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.  Last season, Urban had 22 receptions for 329 yds and 2 TDs.

Urban is a 4th year player out of Trinity University in Texas who started his career with the Seattle Seahawks (not previously mentioned Trinity College – and thank you to Fred who pointed out my error.)

Jerheme Urban 


Thank Goodness it’s OVER!!

I’m sure all the folks in Phoenix are glad the hooplah is over and their city can take the ridiculous amount of money earned this week and get back to some semblance of normalcy (while we up here in northern Arizona are smack dab in the middle of a blizzard!)

What a game!  17-14 and (drum roll please) the New York Football Giants UPSET the previously-undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

So, for an NFC city like Phoenix, I suppose it was nice for an NFC team to win another Super Bowl this, oh, decade (Tampa Bay in 2002 and, I suppose for sticklers, the Rams win in 2000 although it was for the 1999 season counts as a win this decade.)  Anyway, congrats to the Giants and to MVP Eli Manning (it should have been either David Tyree or Justin Tuck, in my opinion.)  Congrats to Tom Coughlin, who gets to keep his job another year after narrowly being canned after the 8-8 season last year.  Hmmm, Tiki’s gone, they win (jump to your own conclusions here, folks.)

Jordin Sparks did a fabulous job singing the National Anthem (I voted for her last year!) and she looked beautiful, but a bit nervous too. 

Mike Carey officiated well, as usual (except for that one playoff game this year which, in my mind, was a bit questionable.)

Even Tom Petty’s halftime show was entertaining.  Much better than Prince’s last year.

Tom Brady looked constipated through most of the game….well what I could see of his face when he wasn’t lying on the turf.  And King Classless Bill Belichick left the field early….such sportsmanship.

All in all, it looked like Glendale did a wonderful job this season and will, undoubtedly, earn several more Super Bowls in the future.


Home Depot NFL MVP Awarded

Congratulations to Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons for winning the inaugural Home Depot NFL MVP Award.  Read more here

At least the Falcons, with their difficult season have something positive to take away this year.  The Warrick Dunn Foundation has assisted with first time home ownership for 74 single parents and over 192 children/dependents since 1997.

Props to all of the finalists, including Kurt Warner, for being such outstanding role models off the field (where it counts the most!)

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Oh What A Circus….

January 30, 2008 – a regular day for most of us – however; in Glendale, Arizona, said date was the “media day” precursor to Sunday’s Super Bowl XLII.

The league reported an estimated 4,786 media credentials were issued (200 more than last year’s event.)

Jokingly, Cardinals’ executives state that their only method of getting into a Super Bowl was to build a stadium and host it – something they are doing very well.  In fact, representatives from future Super Bowl host cities are in town to “take notes” on how Arizona is handling all the hoopla; from airport security to lodging to stadium-held, pre Super Bowl events.  And why not?  Estimations that the big game will “pump in” over $400 million into the local economy – a staggering figure indeed.  Such estimates make me wonder why other NFL cities have not renovated or rebuilts state of the art stadiums in order to draw hosting privileges for a future Super Bowl (foremost in my mind:  San Diego.)

The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee estimates approximately 125,000 visitors will come to Arizona this week/weekend.  Hotel rooms are ranging from $300-500/night. 


Lombardi Trophy Anyone?

It has been decided.  The NFL gods have spoken.  The Super Bowl, being held in Phoenix, ahem Glendale, AZ this year will be the (drum roll please)….

New England Patriots (whoa, big surprise there)

AND

New York Gians (huh?)

Yes sirreeee boys and girls, another Wild Card team makes it to the big one.  But can they win it like Pittsburgh did 2 years ago?  I have to say no, although I hope they do.  Eli Manning isn’t really a postseason player, not enough experience although pretty good genes.  And judging by the way the officials have GIVEN the Patriots a few of their wins, it is very likely that will occur again.

Frankly, the Giants don’t stand a chance.  That is, unless they can overcome the what I’m sure will be horrifically biased refereeing in favor of the mighty Patriots.

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Goodbye Georgia…

Rams’ owner Georgia Frontiere passed away today in Los Angeles at the age of 80 after a long battle with breast cancer.

The “first lady of sports” in her native St. Louis fought for years with the NFL to move the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis; a move which finally occurred in 1995.  Since the Cardinals left St. Louis for Arizona in 1988, and civic leaders constructed a taxpayer-financed $260 million domed stadium in St. Louis but failed to get an expansion team, Frontiere agreed to move, becoming a hero in her hometown (and annoying the fans in Los Angeles to boot.)

Her Rams won the Super Bowl after the 1999 season, led by Kurt Warner.

Everyone who knew here praises her for being loyal, kind, and generous; and she will sure be missed.

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(AP file photo, Bill Boyce)