Friday, February 3, 2012
ManningWatch: Cards' Kolb commitment
By Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, speaking at the Super Bowl's Radio Row, pointed to improved quarterback play as the team's No. 1 priority for 2012.
Bidwill would not comment on reports suggesting Arizona would have interest in Peyton Manning, citing tampering rules against discussing players under contract to other teams. Bidwill also took care when discussing incumbent Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, inserting qualifiers when saying the team plans to pay a $7 million bonus March 17.
"You sort of cross bridges as you get there, you know, but I wouldn't say we are going to deviate from the plan at this stage," Bidwill said.
Kolb would become a free agent if the Cardinals did not pay the bonus. The Colts have until March 8 to pay a $28 million bonus to Manning. Many other issues remain unresolved, including the most basic ones: whether Manning will be available at all, whether he'll be healthy enough to play, whether he would want to sign with Arizona, whether the Cardinals would pursue him and whether they would meet his demands.
Whatever the Cardinals do at quarterback, assistant coach John McNulty appears likely to play a more prominent role in overseeing the position. The team recently blocked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from pursuing McNulty for their job as offensive coordinator. That could result in additional responsibilities -- and pay -- for McNulty in Arizona. That could diffuse hard feelings.
"We're in discussions to move him over to quarterbacks coach and that will give us an opportunity to address some things with him," Bidwill said. "I don't want to speak for John, but I think we'll be OK."
If McNulty becomes quarterbacks coach, the team will have a vacancy for a receivers coach.
"It was universal that we were going to be a better team with John McNulty with us rather than not with us," Bidwill said in explaining why he prevented the Bucs from pursuing McNulty, "and we needed to make the best decision for the team."