Patience?

Walter Mitchell

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The events of this past week...and RG's call for all of us to "have patience"...are now analogous to Coach McGinnis, with three timeouts at his disposal, his team clinging to a precarious one point lead, letting the clock run down to 24 seconds as the opponent is preparing to kick an easy game winning field goal. Clueless is the word.

I have gone on record in defending Graves' decision to allow David Boston to become an unrestricted free agent...the logic I gleaned from this scenario was twofold: (1) Boston was giving clear-cut signals that he did not want to stay in Arizona...and that holding another player hostage with the f-tag could possibly do more harm than good; (2) that the money it would take to sign a couple of draft picks in return if the team was able to f-tag and trade Boston, could easily be targeted toward free agency instead. Draft picks are a moot point if the team can use the money to sign established NFL players instead.

What I didn't know when I was defending Graves a couple of weeks ago was that he would enter free agency (having more cap space at his disposal than any other GM in the league) with a whimper and not a bang. He told us he has a clear-cut plan...and now he tells us that it takes an extra 48 hours after a free agent visits to gather all the apporpriate information in order to decide whether the free agent is worthy of an offer from the club. To me this is like sitting on three timeouts with the game on the line while precious seconds tick away. Mac was not preapred for that situation . And clearly, Graves is not prepared for free agency. His plan is not clear-cut. If his so-called plan was, interviews would be a moot point.

What Graves doesn't seem to understand is what exactly it is going to take to sign free agents. The preparation HAS to be done in advance...not following a perfunctory interview. One of his peers, Daniel Snyder, seems to get it. He and the Redskins did their homework...they targeted the players they wanted...and came forward with offers, not interviews and discussions.

How does a GM prepare for free agency? There are many aspects to it, but the most simple steps are: (1) reviewing tape on the available free agents; (2) calling around the league to coaches and players for character references; (3) contacting the agents to determine what the asking prices are...answers to those three questions should enable a GM to decide right then and there whether to make a serious and committed effort to sign the player.

Take Roosevelt Colvin, for example. Watching tape of his play, it's clear that this young man is one of the best edge rushers in the game. There is indisputible evidence of Colvin's pass rushing prowess and his sack numbers corroborate the evidence. Mac knows enough people close to the Bears who could give him the heads up on Colvin's character (if he didn't know already)...in fact, Mac could have asked some of the Chicago coaches at the Senior Bowl. There's nothing to suggest that Colvin is a headcase or an attitude problem. Thirdly, even if one didn't ask Colvin's agent what Colvin's contract demands are, a GM could easily assess Colvin's market value and work from there.

If the Cardinals had done their homework on Colvin, why wouldn't they make a contract proposal (pending a physical, which is protocol anyway) at midnight on February 28th? Why instead do they choose to wait for Colvin to come to town...and even worse, wait for 48 hours afterward to finally offer him a contract?...knowing fully well that in that interim Colvin could easily sign with a more aggressive suitor.

If the Cardinals really want Colvin, is it likely that they would have to outbid all other suitors? Yes. Positively, yes. We all know the reasons why. Would it be wise for them to do so? Yes. Positively, yes. Why? Because if the Cardinals have any hope of generating a pass rush next year, they have to go out and get pass rushers. Right now there is not one, I repeat, not one, bona fide pass rushing threat on the roster. Pass rushers are rare commodities in this league and will always command lucrative salaries. Can the Cardinals afford to overpay for Colvin? With $34M of cap space, there never has been a better time.

Had the Cardinals wowed Colvin with a great offer and signed him last weekend, not only would they have made an early statement to the rest of the NFL, they would have improved their chances of signing Colvin's college teammate DE Chike Okeafor and a safety in Dexter Jackson who thrives on having a pass rush in front of him. Now maybe as a bonus DT John Thornton gets excited...and the defense has been immediately upgraded. We'd be hearing from all these guys how psyched they are to play for a motivator like Dave McGinnis.

Instead...new episodes of "48 Hours Investigates"...same ol' same ol'...

In conclusion, do any of you feel embarrassed when ESPN reports..."The Cardinals were very impressed with their interview with Kordell Stewart...but no contract has been offered?" It's an absurd way of doing business...and it certainly doesn't give anyone an indication that the Cardinals have a clear-cut plan. All it further suggests is that the Cardinals, as usual, aren't all that sure of what they are doing. And, make no mistake about it. They aren't. A clear-cut plan is manifested when a club avows..."this is our guy...this is the player we have wanted all along...and that's why we had a contract waiting for him upon his arrival."
 

pinetopred

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I agree with your takes Walter, but disagree with using the Redskins as the team we should pattern ourselves after in FA, they made moves early and often and in most if not all cases they overpaid dearly. If these moves don't pay off they will be back in cap hell in another year or two, with nothing to show for it. I do understand what you are saying as far as targeting a couple of guys and getting the deals done, hopefully we will get off the pot and get Colvin and some other guys signed before long.
 

RedStorm

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a more aggressive suitor.

Absolutely true. We are not aggresive. We talk and then wait to see if they come back.


Graves only plan is more of the same dog and pony show that we have been so accustomed to.

He is just a puppet.
 

Shane

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Originally posted by Walter Mitchell
In conclusion, do any of you feel embarrassed when ESPN reports..."The Cardinals were very impressed with their interview with Kordell Stewart...but no contract has been offered?" It's an absurd way of doing business...and it certainly doesn't give anyone an indication that the Cardinals have a clear-cut plan. All it further suggests is that the Cardinals, as usual, aren't all that sure of what they are doing. And, make no mistake about it. They aren't. A clear-cut plan is manifested when a club avows..."this is our guy...this is the player we have wanted all along...and that's why we had a contract waiting for him upon his arrival."

Sorry Walter I wholeheartedly disagree. So your saying that just because Kordell came in here and said the right things we should throw a butt load of money his way just because it would look like we have a plan?

Bottom line is maybe the Cards are interested but hes possibly not that high on there radar screen. Maybe they would prefer Blake or to make a run at Griese come June 1st. Its called looking at all options and that is a plan. You may not like that plan but thats exactly what it is and IMO a very smart one, why throw all your egs in one basket?

To say because they didnt sign this guy makes it sound like we have no plan is silly!

Bisides do you really want that guy as your field general next year?
 

RedStorm

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Shane,

I read that Walter, and I for one, have a problem with bringing in someone you are interested in then letting them walk away for at least 48 hours.

You should target your guys. Do some checking. If they pass that then invite them in to talk. And if it all goes well then make an offer. Start negotiating. You can always stop. You can always stipulate that it is dependant on a passing a physical.

WE DON'T START NEGOTIATING TILL AT LEAST 48HOURS HAS PASSED!!! (per RG's interview 3/6/2003) How can you compete. All the while other teams are wooing FAs that could upgrade us.

It is like being in the starting blocks of a race, the guns sound but we decide to wait until we count to "3 Mississippi" before we start running. You will never win that way. And it shows.
 

conraddobler

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Sigh... I think it exemplifies how little our lives really mean when everyone gets this worked up about free agency in week one.

Rod Graves hasn't fielded a team yet and he's already failed?

One way to define hell would be to have to work under conditions like that.

Good Lord if someone would have just been that tough on Plummer things could have turned out much differently however he actually did suck and still got passes for years on it.

Graves sucks before he offically fields a team..... Interesting.

Boston is a different matter but rather than assume the Cardinals didn't want him maybe lets assume it was the other way around and that everyone knew it and moved on rather than playing the NFL version of survivor.

Graves job is to constantly improve the team to the point we can take our shots at the Superbowl thats his only job not to make us all get to our happy places in March.

The team is bigger than any one player. The Patriots won the Superbowl with no name players and a guy named Tom Brady....

What are all you going to say if Graves actually turns it around to say 9-7 or 10-6.... next year heck even 7-9 with no Boston couldn't be called a failure?

I mean if Graves fails I can always say well I never said he was great just hadn't decided yet what will you all say?

But I guess it is more important to be able to post next year see I told you so than to give someone a chance to do their job.
 

Ed B

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The idea that we don't make offers right away (we wait for them to come back) proves that the Bidwill philosophy of "We'll only take you on our terms" has not changed.

It's up to you whether you think that's good or bad. You lose out on some players but avoid overpaying. Personally, at this point I'd rather overpay and get some talent in here.
 
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Walter Mitchell

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In the Cardinals' Warroom

BB: So, what did you think of Kordell?

RG: Seems determined. I like the look in his eyes.
What do you think, Mac?

DM: I think he's an NFL quaterback.

BB: He was more articulate than I though he'd be.

RG: Seems intelligent. What do you think, Mac?

DM: I think he can play in this league.

BB: What's his price tag, Rod?

RG: I figure we could offer him the same contract we offered Jake...at say, $3M a year, with the same "competition" clause. What do you think, Mac?

BB: Can we land him for $2M? Maybe if we promise him the starting job?

RG: What about Josh McCown?

DM: Who?

BB: No way he deserves $2M a year.

RG: No, no, Mr. B. I meant, what about the QB competition?

BB: I think it ruffles a player's confidence when he knows he might get the hook. If we can land Kordell for $2M, get it done, Rod.

RG: I don't think $2M will get it done, Mr. B.

DM: Will you guys hurry up, I've got scorpions in my cellar and my wife's due home from work any minute.

BB: I tell you what, men. Let's sleep on it.

RG: OK, Mr. B. Let's sleep on it. What do you think, Mac?

DM: I will, guys, scorpions willing.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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my god conrad, don't you have an opinion? i'll bet you say "let's wait and see" every offseason? how many debacles does it take for you to remove your blinders? this board is all about having opinions, but it seems you're all about criticizing others for having opinions. sheesh, do you not see that graves has been a part of this organization for a long time and, other than resigning shipp and mckinnon (both cheap and easy signings) early EVERYTHING the team has done (except letting their best player go for NO COMPENSATION) has been same old cards? you don't see it? you erally don't? really? truly? are you being honest? with me? with yourself? have you checked yourself into a mental institution lately? or have you recently escaped? no, no, you must be either rod graves' lover or on the cards' payroll . . .
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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sheesh, conrad, i don't understand or even pretend to understand others of your ilk, and i'm sorry if my last post was offensive, i'm more a bit out of sorts over the loss of OUR BEST PLAYER and ONLY IMPACT PLAYER. didn't mean to be insulting. or, i guess i did mean so as i typed it, but it wasn't really directed at you, it was all a passive aggressive attack at rod graves whom i'd love to get in a room, even if i was restrained...
 

conraddobler

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Very funny yet Walter have you not followed the team long enough to realize that signing players before their contract expires is different than in the past?

Have you ever had a management type person do weekly interviews?

Do you feel that Rod Graves is stupid enough to think that he could ever succeed under that type of enviroment?

Maybe he has his own vision and style and that is to think things over after meeting the player. He has been in charge of contracts for a while he's doing it the same way he always has I think now he just gets to choose the players he negotiates with thats the difference.

I have listened to the man and would hardly think he is stupid enough to be in his postion and not know the true score on the team and on Bidwill and then also be stupid enough given your scenario to believe that that was a winning sitution for himself.

I will be 100% with you if things don't improve under Graves but no games have been played yet. Things are not exactly as they always have been and I for one like that Graves stood up to Plummer. No one else ever has.

Whats worse Walter the GM who let Boston go or the GM who thinks Plummer is the answer?

Let's see how time answers that one.

I will be glad to eat crow if Plummer suddenly does a 180 a lights it up or Boston gets a SB ring and during the same period we are still drafting in the top ten without trading for the pick.
 

Brian

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Walter,

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with everything you said. I don't agree with who the Redskins signed or how much they paid, but I wish our organization had 1/4 of their tenacity in FA.

Conrad,

Something to think about that I have posted on here a couple times...................

Rod Graves has been in charge of contract negotiations and contracts for YEARS!

IMHO, when you say " I don't think it's right to judge him when he hasn't fielded a team yet" (or words to that effect) is being, to put it mildly, innaccurate. Every team that has taken the field for the last several years has been put together by Graves.

Period.

Don't lay blame on Fergy, he put together the Bills squad that went to the Superbowl 4 straight years, and he put together the Broncos squad that won the Superbowl. His track record as a talent evaluator is impeccable. Did he make mistakes? Yes, all GM's do, but he is highly respected in the NFL community. He was always hamstrung by Graves and Dollar Bill.

I think it speaks volumes about the organization and what we as fans have come to expect when you say "who knows maybe 7-9 next year"..........................................


Nuff said.
 

RedStorm

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Right on Harley...You can not argue with the facts.

Graves has been in charge of contracts and it is his negotiation and judgement that has been called into question.
 

conraddobler

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Originally posted by PHXSPORTS4LIFE
sheesh, conrad, i don't understand or even pretend to understand others of your ilk, and i'm sorry if my last post was offensive, i'm more a bit out of sorts over the loss of OUR BEST PLAYER and ONLY IMPACT PLAYER. didn't mean to be insulting. or, i guess i did mean so as i typed it, but it wasn't really directed at you, it was all a passive aggressive attack at rod graves whom i'd love to get in a room, even if i was restrained...

I really don't mean to insult anyone.

It's not easy defending Graves right now I will give you that much but he warned everyone that would be the case.

Look I understand being frustrated with this team it's history is horrible.

From time to time however they do attempt to crawl out from under the rock. Buddy Ryan was an attempt like that and he had full control. So the attempt was there the execution was frankly just about what it sounded like an execution without a cigarette.

I understand your points of view it looks bad however fixing things isn't always pretty and if you are looking for Bidwill to ever be the Snyder type you are going to be waiting a very very very long time as in forever.

Grave said Pittsburg was his model I have always contended that the Cardinals lack mainly a GM that had a clue. They spend the same amount as a lot of teams yet still suck.

Having someone else decide who we sign is a good thing it cannot hurt.

I simply haven't been convinced that Graves is just a figurehead and has no power. If that is the case then this is all doomed from the start.

If he has power and is reasonably intelligent it should be very positive I just am not willing to judge him till he fields a team or two then I will be right with you.

Graves has stated he knows what power he needs now and that he basically is implying he has it. Until he is proved to be a liar about that or to be a complete moron in executing it I just choose to see it as a positive thats all.

I don't see the Boston thing as a positive sign just something he more or less inherited that he had minimal options on per my other posts in other threads.

I hope no one is taking my statements as a personal attack because I don't mean it that way at all.
 

Russ Smith

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I sort of see your point but you can't seriously think the Bears coaches would answer any questions from Mac about Colvin? Especially when you say you want it done in advance, you don't think the Bears would be complaining to the NFL about tampering if Mac is calling for a character reference on Colvin before he's a FA?

I'm personally not clear what the hell they need to do beyond a physical and talking money, the guy's played enough that they are not working blind here, if he can pass the physical and you think he's a good player, make an offer!

I mean do they think the Jets would have known about Damien Robinson's penchant for carrying an automatic weapon if they'd interviewed him more before drafting him? Damien do you have any off field pursuits we might object to, "you mean like carrying loaded automatic weapons?"

I must be losing my edge in old age but I was actually impressed with Graves today, he didn't come off as panicking, he has a clear purpose, I'm just not totally convinced yet he can pull it off.
 

conraddobler

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Originally posted by HarleyRider
Walter,

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with everything you said. I don't agree with who the Redskins signed or how much they paid, but I wish our organization had 1/4 of their tenacity in FA.

Conrad,

Something to think about that I have posted on here a couple times...................

Rod Graves has been in charge of contract negotiations and contracts for YEARS!

IMHO, when you say " I don't think it's right to judge him when he hasn't fielded a team yet" (or words to that effect) is being, to put it mildly, innaccurate. Every team that has taken the field for the last several years has been put together by Graves.

Period.

Don't lay blame on Fergy, he put together the Bills squad that went to the Superbowl 4 straight years, and he put together the Broncos squad that won the Superbowl. His track record as a talent evaluator is impeccable. Did he make mistakes? Yes, all GM's do, but he is highly respected in the NFL community. He was always hamstrung by Graves and Dollar Bill.

I think it speaks volumes about the organization and what we as fans have come to expect when you say "who knows maybe 7-9 next year"..........................................


Nuff said.


Yeah you are correct yet what does that have to do with much of anything when you can't choose who to pick to negotiate with or how much to offer in the first place?
 

conraddobler

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Being first has it's downsides too,

First on the Titanic, First worm that crawls out for the First bird of the morning etc.
 

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to those who thing rod graves is nothing more than a well spoken used car saleman and a puppet for the bidwills...

Atlanta wanted to hire him as their GM a couple of years ago..and the cardinals declined to allow them to interview.. they wanted to interview him..and the rumor was that the job was his if he wanted it..this was after reeves arrived (obviously).. He is supposedly well thought of in the league -and he has been in the NFL for something like 20 years...not saying he will be a good gm or that he is currently making good decisions (we will not know for a year or two if he is)...but he is not some total incompetant that is still wet behind the ears..
 

Brian

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I absolutely, positively, have to believe, that the handling of David Boston had to have Dollar Bill's handwriting all over it.

No one, and I mean no one with an ounce of football savvy, can think that letting go the BEST player (and I didn't say best morals) with no compensation is O.K.

I am not defending Rod Graves (I think he's an inept idiot) but I gotta believe he was handcuffed by Dollar Bill on that one. No one in the position of GM can be that stupid.

Can they?....................................

CAN THEY??????????

I am not all over David Boston's jock, what he does on his off time is questionable (yeah I know it was one time, but don't believe the one time he GOT CAUGHT was an isolated incident). But this guy was a freak of nature.

GOD doesn't make men who are 6'2" and weigh 243 run 4.35 40's. He just doesn't. And yet the one time in the draft we got it right and got one of these freaks of nature in a Card uniform, we let him walk with nothing but the door flappin' in our face.

Dollar Bill had to have done that.


p.s. For those of you who may not truly know, and I am NOT trying to be insulting or a know-it-all, but a 6'2" man weighing 243 running a 4.35 is sick and wrong. His time at the combine was the 3rd fastest in it's history behind Deion.
 

nidan

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RG was not in chrage over the last few years, heck we have been complaing bitterly that there was nobody in charge except BB Snr.

Now you want to trash RG because he was in charge, he may have been the frontman but BB was calling the shots.

Now he is supposed to be calling the shots with a plan approved by BB or MB in advance.

For those of you who have not worked at an excutive level in business I can assume you there is a world of difference between

1) Taking somebody else's plan and being the mouth piece

vs

2) Creating the options and then getting buyoff on one

He used to be 1 and now is supposed to be 2
 

Brian

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Nidan,

Rod Graves WAS the man in charge of contract negotiations for years.

Fergy would bring em in and RG would leave em laughing.

Same thing he's doing now.

but your point about him being the executive frontman is my point about the handling of DB

I think.
 
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