Cardinals Rumors

Cardinals RB David Johnson “Encouraged” By Extension Talks

Cardinals running back David Johnson said earlier this week that he’s been “encouraged” by his ongoing extension negotiations, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com.

“I think that’s what it is — I didn’t play,” Johnson said. “I didn’t play last year. I was hoping my production from my second year and what I did my first year would help out, but the NFL is what have you done for me lately, so hopefully I can prove it once the season starts.”

Johnson, of course, was arguably the NFL’s best offensive player during the 2016 season. In addition to being name first-team All-Pro, Johnson managed 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns plus 80 receptions, 879 yards, and four more scores in the passing game. However, a dislocated wrist forced Johnson to miss most of the 2017 campaign, and that absence will surely affect his upcoming contract.

Johnson skipped Cardinals minicamp earlier this year in something of a mini-holdout, but subsequently reported to training camp. Arizona has reportedly been working towards a contract with Johnson’s camp, and that progress shouldn’t be delayed by general manager Steve Keim‘s team-imposed suspension.

Rams running back Todd Gurley reset the running back market last month by agreeing to a new deal which contains a $14.375MM annual value and $21.95MM in guarantees, but it’s difficult to see Johnson approaching that figure. Not only is Johnson coming off a lost season, but he’s nearly three years older than Gurley. Still, a contract which tops double-digits annually should be expected for Johnson, who will earn just $1.907MM in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Avril, Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers

Cliff Avril indicated earlier this offseason he wanted to resume his career, despite the severe neck injury he suffered in 2017 ending his time with the Seahawks. Three months have passed since reports of Avril interest surfaced, and the 2016 Pro Bowler appears to be moving closer to full retirement.

Avril began dabbling in radio shortly after his Seahawks release, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes he now has an every-day hosting gig. However, the 32-year-old former Lion and Seahawk is mentoring one of the players competing to take his old job. Condotta writes Avril has been mentoring 2016 fifth-rounder Quinton Jefferson while hosting a daytime radio show. It’s uncertain if he’s regained clearance to play again. Should that happen in the near future, Avril may have another chance. But as of now, it looks like Avril’s played his last NFL down.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC West:

  • Josh Rosen looking ready for potential near-future action may not mean Mike Glennon’s roster spot is in jeopardy. The Cardinals’ injuries at quarterback last season serve as a warning of what can happen, Mike Jurecki of ArizonaSports.com tweets. Plus, with Sam Bradford serving as the starter, it’s obviously critical to stockpile depth. Glennon, the Bears’ starter to begin last season, signed for two years and $8MM. It would not save the Cards any money to cut him.
  • Jamar Taylor is still the frontrunner to be the Cardinals’ Week 1 starter opposite Patrick Peterson, Jurecki tweets. The Browns traded the once-embattled cornerback to the Cardinals this offseason – the second time Taylor’s been shipped elsewhere by a new regime – and he’s leading a race for a job that’s been one of the NFL’s biggest trouble spots in recent years.
  • John Lynch said (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle) Jerick McKinnon will be out for the remainder of the preseason because of the calf strain he suffered in the 49ers’ first exhibition game. The 49ers don’t have a deep running back depth chart, and No. 2 back Matt Breida is also dealing with an injury. San Francisco signed Alfred Morris recently. He and Joe Williams figure to see more time while the top two ball carriers are on the shelf.
  • Mike Person’s received the bulk of the first-team work at right guard for the 49ers and is a threat to be the Week 1 starter, despite the franchise having used a first-round pick on Joshua Garnett two years ago and having added Jonathan Cooper this offseason, Branch notes. Although the 30-year-old Person would seemingly be a longshot to claim this job, the injury histories of Cooper and Garnett give him a better shot than he’d have under ordinary circumstances. Garnett spent all of last season on IR, and Cooper has struggled with a litany of maladies in his five-year career. Person was a full-time starter at center for the 2015 Falcons.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/15/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: FB Sam Rogers
  • Waived/Injured: FB Zach Olstad

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

  • Signed: WR Dres Anderson
  • Released: DE Joby Saint Fleur

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/14/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

San Francisco 49ers

  • Waived: OL Alan Knott

Seattle Seahawks

  • Waived from injured reserve: OL Avery Young

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/13/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Signed: DT Simeyon Robinson

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans 

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: C Oni Omoile
  • Waived/Injured: OL Parker Collins

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: WR Dan Williams III

Cardinals Sign LB Gerald Hodges

The Cardinals have signed free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Arizona likely lost fellow linebacker Jeremy Cash for the year on Saturday night, as his knee injury is believed to be season-ending. Cash wasn’t viewed as a starter for the Cardinals, but was expected to play a key role as a reserve and special-teamer, so Hodges, who worked out for Arizona in late July, will likely take over in both capacities.

Hodges, 27, could prove to be even more valuable than a generic backup, as he has plenty of experience (65 appearances, 25 starts) under his belt. A fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft, Hodges entered the NFL with the Vikings before being traded to the 49ers midway through the 2015 season.

The 2016 campaign was one of Hodges’ finest — Pro Football Focus graded him as the league’s No. 21 linebacker — but he garnered scant interest on the open market. He landed with the Saints in October and played mostly special teams snaps down the stretch.

Hodges is capable of playing all three linebacker positions, so he’ll add depth behind starters Haason Reddick, Deone Bucannon, and Josh Bynes. Bynes, for his part, is slated to start at middle linebacker, but he’s been primarily a special-teamer during his career and made just one start in 2017. Hodges, therefore, could conceivably earn more snaps in the middle if Bynes struggles early in the 2018 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jeremy Cash Likely Out For Season

  • Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter) that Cardinals LB Jeremy Cash sustained a knee injury during last night’s preseason game that is believed to be season-ending. That is a tough blow for the Duke product, who has bounced around a few different teams since entering the league but who had a real chance of cracking Arizona’s 53-man roster this season. The Cardinals claimed him off waivers in March.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/10/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Cardinals' Greg Little Likely To Make Cut

  • Cardinals wide receiver Greg Little has a really good chance to make the roster, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. Little, 29, has not seen the field since the 2014 season, but his route-running ability has impressed coaches thus far in camp. Little showed promise during his tenure with the Browns, including a 2011 rookie season in which he hauled in 61 receptions for 709 yards and two scores. Now that he’s healthy, Little believes that he can get back to his old form.

Cardinals Lose A.Q. Shipley For Season

Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley has a torn ACL, head coach Steve Wilks told reporters on Monday. The Cardinals placed Shipley on season-ending IR on Tuesday, allowing them to add another player in his stead. 

Shipley, 32, has been with the Cardinals since 2015 and has started in every game for them over the past two seasons. The injury may lead the team to push rookie interior lineman Mason Cole into the starting job, or consider roster hopefuls Evan Boehm or Josh Allen. Alternatively, they may explore the open market, but there aren’t a ton of established centers left out there.

Shipley re-signed with Arizona on a two-year, $3.5MM deal in March of last year, meaning that he will be a free agent in the spring of 2019. Advanced metrics are a bit tricky when it comes to centers, but for what it’s worth, he graded as the league’s No. 14 center in 2016 and placed 28th last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.