Cardinals Take Temple LB Haason Reddick with 13th Pick in NFL Draft

In need of help on the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals with the 13th pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft snagged Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.

Reddick made several NFL visits during the pre-draft process and the Cardinals were the last team he met with.

“I knew it,” Reddick said about his selection by Arizona.

Having his selection come in Philadelphia made it more special.

“It means a lot, especially to hear the uproar from the crowd when my name was called, that was beautiful,” Reddick said. “I didn’t know it was going to be that loud.”

Reddick, who hails from Camden and spent his final two injury-plagued high school seasons at Haddon Heights, said he was considered a third-to-fifth round pick after Temple’s season.

Why that was the case is confounding since he set an American Athletic Conference record of 221/2 tackles for losses for an Owls team that went 10-4 and won the league championship. Reddick also added 91/2 sacks as an undersize 6-foot-1, 237-pound defensive end.

Cardinals Pick Up Fifth-Year Option on LB Deone Bucannon

A source confirmed Wednesday that the Cardinals have picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of linebacker Deone Bucannon, extending Bucannon’s deal through 2018, Darren Urban of Azcardinals.com reports.

Bucannon, the team’s first-round pick in 2014, will make $1.47 million in salary and roster bonuses in 2017. A 2018 option for a linebacker picked 27th in the draft would be slotted at $8.7 million.

The decision had been considered all but a foregone conclusion. Bucannon has been an important part of the defense, building on a role that started as a rookie.

Bucannon missed the last three games of 2016 with an ankle injury with which he had been playing much of the season. He still led the team with 100 total tackles from his hybrid position that encouraged a league-wide trend toward putting certain bigger defensive backs as a pseudo-linebacker.

No surgery was needed on the injury.

“I’m going to come back stronger next year,” Bucannon said the day after the season.

A Look at the 2017 Cardinals Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out, and here’s a look at the Cardinals slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 at Detroit Lions 10:00 AM

Sep. 17 at Indianapolis Colts 10:00 AM

Sep. 25 Dallas Cowboys (Mon) 5:30 PM

Oct. 1 San Francisco 49ers 1:05 PM

Oct. 8 at Philadelphia Eagles 10:00 AM

Oct. 15 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:05 PM

Oct. 22 at Los Angeles Rams (London) 10:00 AM

Oct. 29 BYE

Nov. 5 at San Francisco 49ers 2:05 PM

Nov. 9 Seattle Seahawks (Thu) 6:25 PM

Nov. 19 at Houston Texans 11:00 AM

Nov. 26 Jacksonville Jaguars 2:25 PM

Dec. 3 Los Angeles Rams 2:25 PM

Dec. 10 Tennessee Titans 2:05 PM

Dec. 17 at Washington Redskins 11:00 AM

Dec. 24 New York Giants 2:25 PM

Dec. 31 at Seattle Seahawks 2:25 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: Three weeks in a row at home, November 26th to December 10th – the Jaguars, Rams and Titans. Two of those three should be against weaker teams in the Rams and Jags, while the Titans will be an interesting test.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: Two straight road games to start the season, at Detroit and at the Colts, two possible playoff teams that will be looking to get off to quick starts.

Cardinals RB David Johnson Says He Can Handle 30 Carries a Game

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians last week broached the idea of getting running back David Johnson the ball 30 times per game in 2017.

The number is lofty and could be hard to hit. Furthermore, there are cautionary tales about running backs that declined after getting a heavy workload early in their careers.

Johnson, though, has no qualms about high usage. Kyle Odegard of the Cardinals team website reports.

“I’m still young,” Johnson said. “I’m still on my first contract. So I feel I can definitely handle 30 touches. I did it last year, basically, with running the ball and catching it out of the backfield.”

Johnson said he didn’t feel worn down near the end of games last season, even as he became the clear focal point of the offense. He led the NFL in touches, averaging more than 23 per game.

“I never really got fatigued,” Johnson said. “Those tough defense games against Seattle and the Rams, those games might feel a little sore, but that’s not until the adrenaline comes down. I never really feel too bad.”

Cardinals to Move Andre Ellington From RB to WR in 2017

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Andre Ellington will be a wide receiver next season and compete for playing time there, instead of at the running back position, ESPN reports.

Ellington, 28, was the Cardinals’ leading rusher in 2014, when he ran for 660 yards and three touchdowns.

But the 5-foot-9, 199-pound Ellington has seen his role in the backfield reduced dramatically over the past two seasons, largely due to the emergence of David Johnson.

The Best Ever Combined Cardinals Team

With the free agency upon us, and moves happening across the board, there is a ton of speculation, betting news and odds on which players will be the next to switch teams.

The first day of the free agency brought a shake-up to the Cardinals roster. Former 49ers safety Antoine Bethea whilst kicker Phil Dawson agreed terms, effectively ending Chandler Catanzaro’s chance of a return. Centre A.Q. Shipley has signed a new deal and inside line-backer Karlos Dansby will also join the team.

Calais Campbell will also depart the Cardinals as he heads for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 6ft 8” defensive tackle will leave somewhat of a legacy in Arizona.

Despite his large frame, Campbell had feet like ballerina and boasted some flawless agility. And along with his admirable athleticism, he had the personality to match. He was truly grateful for the hand that life had dealt him having made his way from homelessness to an $11 million-a-year career.

Campbell will be remembered at the Cardinals for some time but he’s not the only player to leave a legacy.

Wide receiver Roy Green may have been heading towards the end of his career following the Cardinals move to Phoenix but that didn’t stop the two-time All-Pro receiver from becoming the main man for Arizona’s newest sports franchise.

During his three years in Phoenix with the Cardinals, Green tailed 2,597 receiving yards along with 18 touchdowns. Green has since made his way into the Cardinals’ ring of honor and understandably so.

Fast-forward a few decades and Darnell Dockett is selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2004 draft. Having played defensive tackle for his first five seasons, he was switched to defensive end after the team shifted to a 3-4 defensive formation.

Dockett has been named to three Pro Bowls and racked up a total of 36 sacks including four interceptions and seven forced fumbles. Dockett left the Cardinals after ten years at the franchise and signed for the San Francisco 49ers but was released after just six months.

Less than a year later, Dockett announced his retirement signing a one-day contract with Arizona so he could retire at the Cardinals.

Aeneas Williams was a third-round draft pick by the Cardinals in 1991 and proved to be a bright on the defensive side during a ten-year stint of below average teams in the desert.

During his rookie campaign, he drew level for the league lead in interceptions with 46 behind him. Traded to the St. Louis Rams in 2002, Williams has six Pro Bowls under his belt and was named as an All-Pro three times.

During his career, Williams was regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league and is undoubtedly one of the best defensive players the Cardinals have ever had on their books, the fact he is on the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor speaks volumes.

Though Kurt Warner spent just four short years at the Cardinals, that in no way means he can’t make this list. The signal caller arrived at Arizona in 2005 as a free agent.

And he far from got off to a dream start as he became plagued by injury nightmares before losing his starting place to Matt Leinart. Warner made a comeback in 2006 and the 2007 season saw a dramatic improvement in the team.

His side missed the playoffs but still managed to improve their record 8-8 with Warner finishing with 3,417 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. But Warner was just warming up and in 2008, his offensive prowess exploded.

He finished with 4,583 yards passing and 30 touchdowns and to lead the Cardinals to a 9-7 record, a playoff run and most importantly, their first Super Bowl final in franchise history.

His last season with the Cardinals ended with a 10-6 record and a second consecutive vie for the playoffs, though a second-round loss to the New Orleans Saints proved fatal for Warner’s career when he was injured on a cheap hit in the opening stages of the game.

Warner left the Cardinals with 15,899 passing yards and 100 touchdowns to his name, an incredible record.

Could the Cardinals Take a Look in Free Agency at Veteran WR Pierre Garcon

Cardinals Beat writer Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic “would not be surprised” if the team showed interest in veteran free agent wide receiver Pierre Garcon.

The Cardinals will need to get in line because plenty of teams are interested in Garcon. The receiving corps was one of the biggest strengths for the Cardinals as recently as 2015 but injuries and off-field issues have decimated their depth. Larry Fitzgerald is still playing at a high level but is close to retirement, former first-round pick Michael Floyd was released during the season after another drunk-driving incident, and speedster John Brown could never get his hamstrings healthy last year due to sickle-cell issues.

The 30-year-old Garcon is not a No.1-type receiver but has great hands, runs great routes, and has for the most part stayed healthy during his nine-year NFL career. Garcon posted another 1,000-yard season in 2016 and is expected to command close to $9 million per year in free agency.

Michael Floyd Opens Up About Release From the Cardinals

Former Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd said in his first in-depth public comments on ESPN Radio’s “Weekend Observations.”that he didn’t expect to get cut after he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and failure to obey a police officer in mid-December, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.

Speaking with former Notre Dame teammate Mike Golic Jr. and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, Floyd said he expected some sort of punishment to be coming from the Cardinals, but never thought the team would release him.

“It hurt actually,” Floyd said. “It sucked, but I knew something was going to happen, but I did not actually think I was going to get released at all.

“When I did, obviously because of the decision that I made, they made that decision. I went home from work and I felt bad about everything. I felt bad from the beginning, knowing I was in trouble, and I knew there was going to be some punishment. I just felt terrible.”

Floyd showed remorse throughout the interview, at one point saying he “100 percent” wished the incident didn’t happen so he could’ve stayed in Arizona for the remainder of the season instead of going to New England and winning the Super Bowl (he was a healthy scratch for the game).

“That feeling is great knowing that you can stay on one team for your whole career, so obviously it was heartbreaking the stuff that happened,” Floyd said. “If I could go back, definitely I would love to be where I was.”

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