Monday, March 8, 2010
Reservations on Cardinals' changes
By Mike Sando
Acquiring Kerry Rhodes after losing Antrel Rolle showed the Cardinals could quickly rebound from a disappointing development.
But they still probably downgraded the position, a trend this offseason (Rolle, Karlos Dansby, Anquan Boldin, Kurt Warner).
"I dont get the the Cardinals plan," Dmyth12 wrote in the comments section of this item. "Get rid of Dansby a young elite player to possibly bring in two 30-plus players in (Larry) Foote and (Joey) Porter. Let Rolle walk for an older Rhodes. It seems they are working against themselves."
Rhodes and Rolle are both 27, so the age difference isn't an issue. But the points you raised lined up with comments from Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. during our conversation Monday morning. Porter, 32, and Foote, 29, were expected to visit the Cardinals this week.
"I guess Porter could sort of be a bridge player until (younger guys) are ready," Williamson said. "He is inspirational and well-liked by teammates. He could have some leadership skills. But he is not nearly the player he was. I thought his play was just above average even when he had all those sacks a couple years ago. He played against some bad tackles. But if you are the Cardinals, you have to stop the bleeding. At least he brings in something that helps."
Foote played well for the Lions last season, but he wasn't a fit in their defense. He would fit better in a 3-4.
"Dansby to Foote would be a big dropoff," Williamson said. "You go from Rolle to Rhodes, that is a drop-off. I liked Rolle a lot because everything was in front of him still. He has only been a free safety for a couple years now. He spends offseasons with Ed Reed and is very conscientious about becoming a great player. Rhodes is a finesse player and still an above-average starting safety who at times can look better than he is, but is not a banger, not an elite cover guy and it's going to be a little tougher to do things you want to do with Adrian Wilson. I would rather have Rolle."
The Cardinals can come out of this OK if they develop linebackers Will Davis and Cody Brown into quality players. Davis showed quite a bit of promise last season. Brown, a second-round choice in 2009, is starting over after a wrist injury wiped out his rookie season.
Of course, the Cardinals do not play a game this week. They have time to improve their roster. It's too early to write them off, particularly in the current NFC West.