What Does Watt Mean to the Cards?

Krangodnzr

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Humphries is good.
Pugh is serviceable.
Cole was bad and Gaillard the same per Kugler.
Murray is what he is which is better than Sweezy but not good.
Beachum is an older vet whose play got worse as the season went on. Struggled in the run game.

I am not getting the feeling we should be counting on Jones being more than a Justin Murray with less experience. Hopefully they are just keeping their options open so they can add either a T or G.

We need to add a top OL in FA. C or RG or RT is fine. I would prefer a C because I think that position is as important as any on the O-Line.

I saw a breakdown of centers drafted over the past decade by a Rams fans site because they are expecting to lose Blythe this offseason.

The breakdown was surprisingly thorough and it was shocking how hard it has been for many teams to find a good young center.

The point I took away for the Cardinals is that:

1) Cole's play is actually the norm for young centers across the league.

2) The bust rate is pretty damn high.

3) If the Cardinals really want to upgrade the position they either hope that one of the young guys gets significantly better this offseason or they sign a veteran.
 

PACardsFan

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1 - Jones has proven nothing so even if you want to pencil him in somewhere, he is a complete unknown. Beachum showed to be just good enough to be your 5th best OL.

2 - You can't survive with Gaillard at C when he can't beat out Cole. That is per the O-Line coach so, I struggle with your logic here.

3 - Stop making money an issue, it isn't.

4 - We found Dre Kirkpatric on the curb last year and he was serviceable. Murphy can be ok where ever. He needs to play snaps. Can't get experience on the bench. CB can't be a strength of this team this year so why try to force it. With an upgraded pass rush, it just needs to be ok.

5 - FA priority and draft priority has to be protect Kyler Murray and give Murray the weapons he needs to execute the offense, and in that order. Anything else is just sticking your head in the sand.
Amen! Great post. My sentiments EXACTLY!
 

GuernseyCard

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It's not only a matter of COULD you get Reddick under the cap, the bigger question is why would you?

You are paying 2 starting Edge rushers $36m. Why would you eat a big chunk of your available cap space on what amounts to a backup / rotation piece?

At the very best if Watt plays DE on 1st down as he tended to do at Texas then Reddick might get outside snaps on first down only in Base. And say CJ and Watt rotate a lot to keep them fresh and only play 80% of snaps (doubtful) then max Reddick might get 50% of snaps if he is lucky and they feel he can play off both sides.

Why would they pay $12m for that? Makes no sense. Why would Reddick settle for it coming off as good a year as he could hope for going into FA?

I'm not saying it's impossible. But Reddick would have to have some really bad FA action and Keim would have to sign him to a long term deal that's heavily back end weighted. Seems like very low odds.

I can live with whatever decision is made regarding Hasson.

That said: your math is way off.

JJ comes in at $4.9m this season, and amount covered by the year over year cap adjustment.

CJ is most likely in line for an extension, which will shave millions off of his 2021 $20m cap hit.
 
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Chopper0080

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I saw a breakdown of centers drafted over the past decade by a Rams fans site because they are expecting to lose Blythe this offseason.

The breakdown was surprisingly thorough and it was shocking how hard it has been for many teams to find a good young center.

The point I took away for the Cardinals is that:

1) Cole's play is actually the norm for young centers across the league.

2) The bust rate is pretty damn high.

3) If the Cardinals really want to upgrade the position they either hope that one of the young guys gets significantly better this offseason or they sign a veteran.
I would not cut Cole and I hope he takes a swing OL deal like Murray did after this year. These have been the types of players we have let go in the past who are nice players to have as your 6th or 7th best lineman who still could develop into more. Say what you want about Senio Kelemete but he has been in the league for 9 years and only made over 2.5 mil twice. Crazy to think we spent a 5th round pick on a guy who has had a 9 year career and only one of those years was with us.

Having Justin Murray and Mason Cole as our 6th and 7th best linemen might be the best 6th and 7th best linemen we have ever had. It is well worth the 5 or 6 mil combined IMO. If you can fill in two key gaps, this is a pretty damn good group.

1 - DJ Humphries
2 - ???
3 - Justin Pugh
4 - ???
5 - Justin Jones (you can insert whatever highly drafted linemen here)
6 - Justin Murray
7 - Mason Cole
8 - Lamont Gaillard
9 - Joshua Miles
 

Brian in Mesa

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This was an astonishing move by Kevin for so many reasons, but that’s a different issue. Right now the question is what’s changed team-wise?

With the Cardinals, I always think of this guy when the name "Kevin" comes up:

You must be registered for see images attach
 

Krangodnzr

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I would not cut Cole and I hope he takes a swing OL deal like Murray did after this year. These have been the types of players we have let go in the past who are nice players to have as your 6th or 7th best lineman who still could develop into more. Say what you want about Senio Kelemete but he has been in the league for 9 years and only made over 2.5 mil twice. Crazy to think we spent a 5th round pick on a guy who has had a 9 year career and only one of those years was with us.

Having Justin Murray and Mason Cole as our 6th and 7th best linemen might be the best 6th and 7th best linemen we have ever had. It is well worth the 5 or 6 mil combined IMO. If you can fill in two key gaps, this is a pretty damn good group.

1 - DJ Humphries
2 - ???
3 - Justin Pugh
4 - ???
5 - Justin Jones (you can insert whatever highly drafted linemen here)
6 - Justin Murray
7 - Mason Cole
8 - Lamont Gaillard
9 - Joshua Miles

I'm with you here.

I think you, or maybe it was @kerouac9 who pointed out that most of the good OL over the years are really built around two REALLY good players, 3 good role players, and then a host of decent interchangeable parts.

As bad as last year's OL was at times, it was actually still one of the better OLs the Cardinals have had since I've been watching the team. Having Gaillard and Murray on the bench really helped, and I think jettisoning a guy just because he didn't make it as a starter initially is real dumb, and it's something the Cardinals have done quite a few times over the years.

Corey Linsley should be a target, but David Andrews might be almost as good and might cost less. Another guy to look at is Ted Karras.

But based on that article I read that cast doubt on the efficacy of expecting a center to be drafted and be good right away (https://www.turfshowtimes.com/2021/2/9/22274770/rams-draft-2021-needs-center-blythe), it's not really a reliable option. I'd rather add a veteran, draft a young guard, and keep the depth the Cardinals already have.
 

Chopper0080

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I'm with you here.

I think you, or maybe it was @kerouac9 who pointed out that most of the good OL over the years are really built around two REALLY good players, 3 good role players, and then a host of decent interchangeable parts.

As bad as last year's OL was at times, it was actually still one of the better OLs the Cardinals have had since I've been watching the team. Having Gaillard and Murray on the bench really helped, and I think jettisoning a guy just because he didn't make it as a starter initially is real dumb, and it's something the Cardinals have done quite a few times over the years.

Corey Linsley should be a target, but David Andrews might be almost as good and might cost less. Another guy to look at is Ted Karras.

But based on that article I read that cast doubt on the efficacy of expecting a center to be drafted and be good right away (https://www.turfshowtimes.com/2021/2/9/22274770/rams-draft-2021-needs-center-blythe), it's not really a reliable option. I'd rather add a veteran, draft a young guard, and keep the depth the Cardinals already have.
I could see a Alex Mack one year deal and then drafting of Creed Humphrey or Quinn Meinerz.

Same with a Gabe Jackson one year deal and AVT in round 1.

Corey Linsley is clearly plan A from what I have seen and heard.

Past that, it is tough to know who is available.
 

cardpa

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It's not only a matter of COULD you get Reddick under the cap, the bigger question is why would you?

You are paying 2 starting Edge rushers $36m. Why would you eat a big chunk of your available cap space on what amounts to a backup / rotation piece?

At the very best if Watt plays DE on 1st down as he tended to do at Texas then Reddick might get outside snaps on first down only in Base. And say CJ and Watt rotate a lot to keep them fresh and only play 80% of snaps (doubtful) then max Reddick might get 50% of snaps if he is lucky and they feel he can play off both sides.

Why would they pay $12m for that? Makes no sense. Why would Reddick settle for it coming off as good a year as he could hope for going into FA?

I'm not saying it's impossible. But Reddick would have to have some really bad FA action and Keim would have to sign him to a long term deal that's heavily back end weighted. Seems like very low odds.

Agree, Reddick isn't going to settle for a secondary role and limited snaps. I imagine he sees himself as a 3 down starter and if Vance decides to utilize Watt in a similar fashion as they did in Texas playing a substantial amount at Edge then it means Reddick isn't going to get on the field as much as he would like. I think Reddick is definitely going to test the waters and some one out there is going to make him an offer that would be too high for the team to match. Look at the Cardinals themselves. They just paid a guy who multiple teams said they wouldn't touch for Watt. Almost all the time there will be one team that will bank up the Brinks truck for a certain player.
 

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I could see a Alex Mack one year deal and then drafting of Creed Humphrey or Quinn Meinerz.

Same with a Gabe Jackson one year deal and AVT in round 1.

Corey Linsley is clearly plan A from what I have seen and heard.

Past that, it is tough to know who is available.
Wanted Gabe Jackson in the draft. Would still take him.
 

Cardiac

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Am I missing something, Reddick plays OLBer and Watt plays Dline. I would expect both on the field together quite often. If Watt is at LDE and Reddick is at LOLB then Reddick's weakness against the run is fixed.
 

Snakester

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Agree, Reddick isn't going to settle for a secondary role and limited snaps. I imagine he sees himself as a 3 down starter and if Vance decides to utilize Watt in a similar fashion as they did in Texas playing a substantial amount at Edge then it means Reddick isn't going to get on the field as much as he would like. I think Reddick is definitely going to test the waters and some one out there is going to make him an offer that would be too high for the team to match. Look at the Cardinals themselves. They just paid a guy who multiple teams said they wouldn't touch for Watt. Almost all the time there will be one team that will bank up the Brinks truck for a certain player.

I hope the Cards are able to sign Reddick. The guy finally shows why we drafted him in the first round and he is just coming into his prime years. It's like letting a young Fitz go just when his career is going to take off.
 

Snakester

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Am I missing something, Reddick plays OLBer and Watt plays Dline. I would expect both on the field together quite often. If Watt is at LDE and Reddick is at LOLB then Reddick's weakness against the run is fixed.

exactly what I was thinking
 

Proximo

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At whatever the cost.

I'm glad you aren't the GM.

Reckless spending like that tanks teams. NO TEAM should spend 10 million on a center. It's just not an important enough position to allocate that much cap space too.
 

DVontel

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I'm glad you aren't the GM.

Reckless spending like that tanks teams. NO TEAM should spend 10 million on a center. It's just not an important enough position to allocate that much cap space too.
You can say the same for you advocating to draft a ILB over a OT.
 

Proximo

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You can say the same for you advocating to draft a ILB over a OT.

Simmons is going to be far more impactful next season than any tackle if he is as good as I think he is.
 

kerouac9

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I hope the Cards are able to sign Reddick. The guy finally shows why we drafted him in the first round and he is just coming into his prime years. It's like letting a young Fitz go just when his career is going to take off.

We drafted him in the first round because we thought he’d do what we’re hoping Isiah Simmons will.
 

Morty

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This was an astonishing move by Kevin for so many reasons, but that’s a different issue. Right now the question is what’s changed team-wise?

Which players benefit most? Well, certainly Chandler Jones does. Teams cannot double team more than one player so somebody who usually faces a double team; won’t. Next in line might be Zach Allen or maybe Angelo Blackmon. Whoever plays the opposite DE with Jones often charging from that side, Phillips in the middle and Watt manhandling people on the other end, the opposing DE’s obstacle should be isolated at best. Of course, Phillips was signed because he demonstrated he could collapse the pocket and pressure the QB up the middle. So he figures to be far more explosive next season. I would think 8 sacks would be a real possibility.

All of this means that if Jones & Phillips can return to form, Watt may also benefit injury-wise. He has been the most double-teamed player in the game. The tremendous exertion of coping play after play leads me to understand part of his injury history. Even if you assume Reddick is gone it only makes sense it will be a much easier game for Watt.

Recent research indicates a great pass rush can’t fully compensate for a weak secondary. Still playing corner has to be easier if the QB is constantly running for his life. Another position just got simpler.

Free agency is impacted. Of course the size of the contract means the cap will effect signing free agents. I can’t imagine the Cards can pay Reddick. In fact he was weak against the run and disappeared almost completely in a few games. They clearly have enough rush without him. A cheaper option is likely. They could afford Golden but he was also not sturdy against he run. They will likely cut Kennard for cap savings. Someone could be signed. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them settle for Golden in the end. He knows the defense. He should be able to contribute to the rush and be more controlled when playing the run. He won’t be All Pro, but should be adequate.

Turning to the draft, keep in mind as I’ve been saying, despite many gurus assigning the Cards an Edge Rusher in the draft, this is a risky draft. Edge Rushers especially in this draft require an extreme amount of projection. This is yet another reason this was such a big signing. Now I would imagine any Edge Rusher chosen by the Cards would be a late round stab.

Of course the major remaining defensive concern is what to do at CB. They don’t have too much opportunity regarding reworking contracts. Plus if they chose to do so, they would compromise future seasons even if the players cooperated. So it looks like the issue is whether money is everything to Peterson. Clearly tagging him at $15 mil is not realistic. He is no longer an elite CB. He is good. Would he settle for $10 mil? Seems unlikely but that’s the sensible offer on a one year deal. If he were to sign I would revise my opposition to Horn. He’s a press corner and I’ve always felt they worked best as a second corner. He is also a ballhawk. With a better rush, those interception opportunities will be there. If Horn lasts until 16, he would be a decent fit. Assuming Peterson passes, and if the Cards can get one of the top 2 CBs in the draft by trading this year’s 3 or next years 2, I’d make the deal. Still in the end I believe the Cards most likely will put together a compromised secondary and have to live with that.

With what I see as an elite defense even with the CB weakness, I’m inclined to go offense with the first pick. Forget RB. Sign a free agent or take one with the third(if they still have it) or the fifth. Either go WR or OL. The talk of Jones at guard, which should work, makes me think they go OL, probably Darrisaw or Vera-Tucker. They could move either of them inside leaving Jones at RT or flip them.

If they go WR, Toney is easily the preferred target. As to additional receivers, Fitz has been saying he’s been staying to get back to the Super Bowl. This is his chance. If he’ll sign for $3 million that gives the Cards a decent 3rd down weapon if Murray will use him that way. Fitz will extend possessions if given the chance. This will be a true test of how badly FItz wants to win.

Whichever way they go with the first pick, round 2 should fill the need they passed on in round 1.

Finally, put out a tweet. Who wants to play for a ring? You won’t get a ton of responses but we’ve seen in the NBA that there are rich vets who will sacrifice for one good chance at the big prize.

All this means the Cards have decided future is now. Forget the contract size. Forget Watt’s durability. The Cards have gone “all in” and hopefully will be rewarded for it. This was the kind of gutsy move teams seldom have the opportunity or courage to make. There are no sure thing roster constructions. I do, however, believe that fortune favors the bold. Look at Tampa’s signing of Brady. The Cards are also gambling Murray & Kingsbury move forward. If not next season will be interesting, but that’s another story.
This was an astonishing move by Kevin for so many reasons, but that’s a different issue. Right now the question is what’s changed team-wise?

Which players benefit most? Well, certainly Chandler Jones does. Teams cannot double team more than one player so somebody who usually faces a double team; won’t. Next in line might be Zach Allen or maybe Angelo Blackmon. Whoever plays the opposite DE with Jones often charging from that side, Phillips in the middle and Watt manhandling people on the other end, the opposing DE’s obstacle should be isolated at best. Of course, Phillips was signed because he demonstrated he could collapse the pocket and pressure the QB up the middle. So he figures to be far more explosive next season. I would think 8 sacks would be a real possibility.

All of this means that if Jones & Phillips can return to form, Watt may also benefit injury-wise. He has been the most double-teamed player in the game. The tremendous exertion of coping play after play leads me to understand part of his injury history. Even if you assume Reddick is gone it only makes sense it will be a much easier game for Watt.

Recent research indicates a great pass rush can’t fully compensate for a weak secondary. Still playing corner has to be easier if the QB is constantly running for his life. Another position just got simpler.

Free agency is impacted. Of course the size of the contract means the cap will effect signing free agents. I can’t imagine the Cards can pay Reddick. In fact he was weak against the run and disappeared almost completely in a few games. They clearly have enough rush without him. A cheaper option is likely. They could afford Golden but he was also not sturdy against he run. They will likely cut Kennard for cap savings. Someone could be signed. I wouldn’t be shocked to see them settle for Golden in the end. He knows the defense. He should be able to contribute to the rush and be more controlled when playing the run. He won’t be All Pro, but should be adequate.

Turning to the draft, keep in mind as I’ve been saying, despite many gurus assigning the Cards an Edge Rusher in the draft, this is a risky draft. Edge Rushers especially in this draft require an extreme amount of projection. This is yet another reason this was such a big signing. Now I would imagine any Edge Rusher chosen by the Cards would be a late round stab.

Of course the major remaining defensive concern is what to do at CB. They don’t have too much opportunity regarding reworking contracts. Plus if they chose to do so, they would compromise future seasons even if the players cooperated. So it looks like the issue is whether money is everything to Peterson. Clearly tagging him at $15 mil is not realistic. He is no longer an elite CB. He is good. Would he settle for $10 mil? Seems unlikely but that’s the sensible offer on a one year deal. If he were to sign I would revise my opposition to Horn. He’s a press corner and I’ve always felt they worked best as a second corner. He is also a ballhawk. With a better rush, those interception opportunities will be there. If Horn lasts until 16, he would be a decent fit. Assuming Peterson passes, and if the Cards can get one of the top 2 CBs in the draft by trading this year’s 3 or next years 2, I’d make the deal. Still in the end I believe the Cards most likely will put together a compromised secondary and have to live with that.

With what I see as an elite defense even with the CB weakness, I’m inclined to go offense with the first pick. Forget RB. Sign a free agent or take one with the third(if they still have it) or the fifth. Either go WR or OL. The talk of Jones at guard, which should work, makes me think they go OL, probably Darrisaw or Vera-Tucker. They could move either of them inside leaving Jones at RT or flip them.

If they go WR, Toney is easily the preferred target. As to additional receivers, Fitz has been saying he’s been staying to get back to the Super Bowl. This is his chance. If he’ll sign for $3 million that gives the Cards a decent 3rd down weapon if Murray will use him that way. Fitz will extend possessions if given the chance. This will be a true test of how badly FItz wants to win.

Whichever way they go with the first pick, round 2 should fill the need they passed on in round 1.

Finally, put out a tweet. Who wants to play for a ring? You won’t get a ton of responses but we’ve seen in the NBA that there are rich vets who will sacrifice for one good chance at the big prize.

All this means the Cards have decided future is now. Forget the contract size. Forget Watt’s durability. The Cards have gone “all in” and hopefully will be rewarded for it. This was the kind of gutsy move teams seldom have the opportunity or courage to make. There are no sure thing roster constructions. I do, however, believe that fortune favors the bold. Look at Tampa’s signing of Brady. The Cards are also gambling Murray & Kingsbury move forward. If not next season will be interesting, but that’s another story.
Harry - I've had a long week at work and stress at home. You made my week with this post. I greatly appreciate the thoughtful effort you put into your posts. I wish I could put into words how enjoyable it is to have this to read and really everyone who contributes to this site. It's odd, but both my adult kids enjoy talking to me about the Cardinals. I think we all underestimate the importance of traditions. Having a home team is a tradition that we all can share with our families. Anyway - thanks again and to everyone who shares their ideas and insights.
 

nashman

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Then you're content for the team to throw KM to the wolves and condemn us to another wasted season. No thanks! We have big needs at CB and WR2, of course, but OL help, especially interior OL help, is essential for this offense. Too many jailbreak interior pass rushes that ruin plays, if not games.

look no further than the super bowl we don’t need our QB running for his life entire games!
 

BritCard

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Am I missing something, Reddick plays OLBer and Watt plays Dline. I would expect both on the field together quite often. If Watt is at LDE and Reddick is at LOLB then Reddick's weakness against the run is fixed.

Yeah. That you only have a LDE and OLB on 1st down.
 

PACardsFan

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Then you're content for the team to throw KM to the wolves and condemn us to another wasted season. No thanks! We have big needs at CB and WR2, of course, but OL help, especially interior OL help, is essential for this offense. Too many jailbreak interior pass rushes that ruin plays, if not games.
Wholeheartedly agree! If the Cardinal's FO isn't 100% thinking along these lines, then we will ultimately waste K1's skills & he'll be pulling a Watson soon enough. And I wouldn't blame him a bit.
 

Chopper0080

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Simmons is going to be far more impactful next season than any tackle if he is as good as I think he is.
This is epic level ignorance IMO. Sorry, but there is no way an ILB can have a greater impact than an OL who helps make the QB better and keeps him healthy.

Simmons could be Ray Lewis and if Kyler gets hurt, the whole season is down the toilet. Simmons could get hurt and a great OL could help Murray carry the team. It isn't even close.
 
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