The season is over and that means there is only one thing left to rattle the airwaves for the next 24 days…rumors. Today the Internet and sports radio waves are a buzz with rumors from Karlos Dansby and Bertrand Berry to Matt Cassel and Kansas City. So let’s take a look at what’s being said out there to keep you in the know.
First a programming note, tonight on FinsRadio.net, my partner from “On the Fin Side” will be hosting with Pat Catello at 8:00 PM Eastern time. You can listen live and join their chat-room by clicking the Finsradio link above. Catch up on the latest Miami Dolphins news and news from the Super Bowl as the off-season coverage continues. Finsradio.net…what are you listening to?
The Karlos Dansby talk.
The Arizona Cardinals are in a bit of bind heading into the off-season. They have a disgruntled WR in Anquan Boldin who has asked for a trade and likely will ask again in the coming weeks (trades can not be completed until the start of the league new year, Feb. 27th). They have a free agent issue with QB Kurt Warner who is 50/50 on the fence of return, and they have 2 stellar defensemen who are scheduled to become free agents. LB Karlos Dansby and DT Bertrand Berry.
In the case of Dansby, the Phins could have some interest as the LB simply fills a serious need that looks to be one less short of depth with the possible departure of incumbent starter Channing Crowder as the LNY looms closer. Dansby has said that he has more respect for Miami EVP Bill Parcells than anyone else and has said he would love playing for him.
The Dansby talk is only going to get stronger as the LNY gets closer but Dansby will likely travel the same route as last years Cardinal LB FA Calvin Pace. He will literally make the rounds and see what’s out there.
The Cardinals have two choices, sign Dansby to a new deal which will be very lucrative, or franchise him and pay him the top 5% salaries of all LB’s. For the Cardinals the real problem is the contract that they layed out for Larry Fitzgerald last season. Money is tighter than it was.
Dansby’s future will rest on what the Cards plan to do with Warner, Boldin, and Berry. Berry is likely to be passed on by the Cards as he is expendable, but should the Cards decide to pay Boldin…they won’t have the money for Dansby which could put him on the market. My prediction is that the Cards will either sign or tag Dansby before the start of free agency.
In the cold northeast city of Boston, the rumblings surround the QB situation of the New England Patriots. Will they franchise Matt Cassel and then trade him away or will they franchise him and let him ride the bench behind a still recovering Tom Brady? Is Tom Brady really going to be ready to play come September? Is 3rd string QB Kevin O’Connell ready to step in should Brady fall to the turf again holding his knee?
The rumor pages are alive with everything from a blockbuster deal that would send Dwayne Bowe and Larry Johnson to NE for Cassell, Gaffney, and Maroney, to the Kansas City Chiefs putting up their first or 2nd round pick for Cassel straight up. I would chalk this one up in the “not-likely” category.
The rumors won’t die anytime soon and will likely continue throughout the free agency period up until the draft. Most are started by the belief that new KC President and GM Scott Pioli who came from NE wants a new QB so bad and knows that Cassel is the real deal.
The Chiefs need an answer at QB and Scott Pioli is one of the best in talent evaluation. So it’s a rumor match made in heaven. Detroit, Carolina, San Francisco, and the New York Jets are all also rumored to have interest in Cassel.
Speaking of the Chiefs, and the Cardinals, it appears that at least some believe that the soon to be new HC of the Chiefs will come from the Cardinals. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley will interview with the Chiefs this week according to sources and to some is the lead candidate for the job. Haley worked with Pioli during the 1997-1999 seasons with the New York Jets.
On the other HC front, the Oakland Raiders are rumored to be close to naming Tom Cable the permanent HC. Cable replaced Lane Kiffin during last season and the Raiders have yet to make an announcement on their coaching situation. Rumors say that Cable will be named by weeks end.