Sunday, July 31, 2011
Cardinals keep free-agent moves coming
By Mike Sando
Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams could be running behind Deuce Lutui for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011.
Not so for Tim Hightower.
Lutui's return, announced by the Cardinals on Sunday, came after the veteran guard failed a physical examination with the Cincinnati Bengals. Lutui had agreed to terms on a contract with the Bengals after becoming an unrestricted free agent with Arizona. He gives the Cardinals another guard with considerable starting experience. Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack also signed with the team recently. The team previously signed Daryn Colledge from Green Bay in free agency to replace the retiring Alan Faneca at left guard.
Lutui and Womack in particular are massive men. Lutui's battles making weight have concerned the Cardinals over the years.
Hightower's departure to the Washington Redskins returned a conditional late-round pick and 35-year-old defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. Holliday has played in 31 games, starting five, over the past two seasons.
Hightower's fumbling troubles -- he lost four in each of the last two seasons -- cost him playing time. His future with the team came into question when the Cardinals used a 2011 second-round choice for running back Ryan Williams.
Wells, Williams and LaRod Stephens-Howling give the Cardinals a diverse group of backs. Finding a roster spot for Hightower might have been difficult, although Wells' problems with injuries add some risk to the equation for Arizona. The Cardinals have at times favored running Wells from personnel groupings with two tight ends and no fullback. The team could have additional options along those lines after adding tight ends Rob Housler, Todd Heap and Jeff King this offseason.
The Cardinals have been busy over the last several days, adding quarterback Kevin Kolb, among others. The team also has interest in receiver Braylon Edwards, according to Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 AM in Phoenix.
Such activity has surely caught Larry Fitzgerald's attention as the Cardinals work toward convincing him to stay with the organization beyond 2011, the final year of his contract.