Player News - Cardinals

Date: Team: Pos:

Cardinals re-signed exclusive rights free agent TE Darren Fells to a one-year contract.

He'll make the minimum salary and be a restricted free agent in 2017. Turning 30 in April, Fells easily held off Troy Niklas for the Cardinals' starting job this past season, collecting 21-311-3 receiving. Fells blocked poorly in both the run and pass games, however, and should not be guaranteed first-string status in 2016. Niklas needs to get healthy and stay healthy.
Feb 1 - 3:45 PM

AzCardinals.com expects the team to seek an "upgrade" on free agent C Lyle Sendlein.

Sendlein was one of the league's worst centers this season, getting blown off the ball in both the pass and run game. Two months shy of his 32nd birthday, Sendlein has been the Cardinals' center since 2008, but if he's back, it sounds like it will be as a reserve.
Jan 28 - 5:53 PM

AzCardinals.com expects the team to "look hard" at extending 2016 contract-year CB Tyrann Mathieu this offseason.

Mathieu is recovering from a torn right ACL, but has proven to be one of the league's best players when healthy. Mathieu's injury also opens a window for the Cardinals to seek a discount from their star cornerback. It's possible Mathieu won't play ball, and bet on a robust recovery and big 2016. That's far from a guarantee, of course. It's a complicated situation.
Jan 28 - 5:50 PM

Cardinals in-house reporter Darren Urban believes suspended ILB Daryl Washington has played his final down for the team.

Now 29, Washington has been indefinitely suspended since May 2014. There have been no indications reinstatement is on the table even though he's technically been eligible for over eight months.
Jan 28 - 1:08 PM

Cardinals LS Mike Leach announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old has been long-snapping since breaking into the NFL with the Titans in 2000. He hasn't missed a game since 2002. Leach snapped for the Broncos for 6.5 seasons before spending his final seven in the desert.
Jan 27 - 10:39 AM

Including the playoffs, Cardinals RG Jonathan Cooper was benched for the final seven games of the season.

Cooper missed two games with a knee injury, and was then banished to the bench because Ted Larsen was "playing better," in the words of coach Bruce Arians. The No. 7 overall pick of the 2013 draft, injuries and ineffectiveness have limited Cooper to 11 total starts through three seasons. With Larsen heading to free agency, Cooper should get another shot at a starting job, but it's far from a guarantee he earns it.
Jan 26 - 6:59 PM

Cardinals first-round OT D.J. Humphries was a healthy scratch for all 16 games as a rookie.

Coach Bruce Arians criticized Humphries all summer, and wasn't any more impressed with what he saw once the season started. Arians did admit earlier this week that Humphries could have played if needed. Humphries believes he made progress on the bench. "Sitting down and talking to the older guys and getting messages from (Arians), it’s just took me a little longer than most," Humphries said. "It’s starting to click for me." With RT Bobby Massie likely to walk in free agency, Humphries has the inside track to a starting job in 2016.
Jan 26 - 6:51 PM

Cardinals SCB Tyrann Mathieu said he is not going to rush his recovery from December ACL surgery.

Mathieu struggled in 2014 after suffering a torn ACL in December of his rookie season. "The first time I was kind of rushing it," Mathieu said. "I wanted to get back so fast I didn’t come back quite how I wanted to. Now I want to take my time with this, so I can come back 100 percent and not have one of those 2014 seasons." Despite "rushing" his rehab in 2014, Mathieu missed Week 1 and was limited for several more games. It would be surprising if he is all systems go by Week 1 this time around.
Jan 26 - 9:13 AM

Coach Bruce Arians said first-round pick OT D.J. Humphries was ready to play in the second half of his rookie season.

Arians said he "wouldn't have hesitated" to play Humphries "had he been needed" down the stretch. The Cardinals felt comfortable with Bobby Massie at right tackle, however. As Massie is now ticketed for free agency -- where he seems likely to get overpaid -- Humphries figures to be groomed as a starter this spring. Humphries was the 24th overall pick in last April's draft.
Jan 25 - 3:50 PM

Coach Bruce Arians believes he should have held Carson Palmer (finger) out of Week 17, but insists Palmer was fine for Sunday's loss in the NFC Championship Game.

Arians did bench Palmer in Week 17, but not until halftime. Palmer began playing through the issue in Week 16. He threw eight interceptions in four games with the ailment, compared to nine in 14 games without it. He is sitting out the Pro Bowl. The injury clearly had an effect on Palmer's play, but should be healed up long before the offseason program starts.
Jan 25 - 3:20 PM

Cardinals GM Steve Keim said he feels "strongly" Carson Palmer will "bounce back" next season.

The Cardinals' season ended unceremoniously Sunday night with Palmer turning the ball over six times in a blowout loss. Palmer was shaky against the Packers the week before as well and played poorly while dealing with a dislocated finger over the final few games of the season, although Palmer consistently denied the finger was an issue. The ending is tough to swallow, but Palmer was a legitimate MVP candidate and plays in an offense with ascending playmakers outside and at running back. He should once again be a solid QB1 next season.
Jan 25 - 11:25 AM

Cardinals GM Steve Keim said his top offseason priority will be to "create a pass rush."

The Cardinals pass rush was paced by 35-year-old Dwight Freeney, who recorded eight sacks in 11 games after being signed in October. No other Cardinal had more than five sacks, and Arizona finished 20th in the league in takedowns. Freeney is a free agent and not likely to recreate his 2015 success even if he is brought back. 2015 second-round pick Markus Golden was disruptive despite landing just four sacks and should only get better, but the Cardinals need more talent on the edge. It would not be surprising if they used another high draft pick on an edge rusher this year.
Jan 25 - 11:17 AM

J.J. Nelson caught 2-of-3 targets for 25 yards in the Cardinals' NFC Championship Game loss to the Panthers.

The extent of Nelson's contributions were a pair of catches that went for 15 and 10 yards. He tacked on a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Nelson showed positively game-breaking speed in his first NFL season and could become a 2016 asset if something happens to one of Arizona's top-three wideouts.
Jan 24 - 10:32 PM

Andre Ellington rushed once for no yards and missed his lone target in the Cardinals' NFC Championship Game loss to the Panthers.

Ellington was spotted on a second-quarter breather series after David Johnson ripped off a 23-yard run. Ellington proceeded to get stuffed on his carry and miss a poorly thrown target from Carson Palmer. Ellington continued to battle foot injuries in 2015 and lost his starting job to Johnson. Ellington will be nothing more than a late-round stab in 2016 fantasy drafts.
Jan 24 - 10:30 PM

Darren Fells caught 2-of-4 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals' NFC Championship Game loss to the Panthers.

Fells' most notable first-half play came on a hurdling run after catch that resulted in Panthers WLB Thomas Davis' game-ending arm injury. Fells caught Carson Palmer's lone touchdown pass, beating Carolina's zone up the seam for a 15-yard score. Primarily a blocking tight end, Fells is an impending restricted free agent. Fells turns 30 this April.
Jan 24 - 10:29 PM


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