Previewing the 2014 Arizona Cardinals Schedule Release

The Arizona Cardinals had a rough 2013 season, but not in the sense some losing teams did – they finished 10-6 and still didn’t make the playoffs. It was still a moderate success for rookie head coach Bruce Arians, and he and his Cardinals will walk into 2014 knowing they can compete in a tough NFC West division.

 

To do more than just compete, though, Arizona will need to become a better team on the road, where they were just an average 4-4 a year ago. That won’t be easy against the likes of the Cowboys, Giants, Falcons, Broncos and Raiders – not to mention all three road games within the division.

 

The Arizona Cardinals schedule at home really isn’t a walk in the park, either, as they get to take on the Eagles, Redskins, Lions, Chiefs and Chargers. While they were a solid 6-2 on their own field in 2013, the Cards may need to be even better at defending their own turf to take the next step in 2014.

 

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Report: RB Rashard Mendenhall To Retire

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks

It’s one and dome for running back Rashard Mendenhall has decided to retire at the age of 26 according to ESPN, as he will not come back to play in 2014.

Mendenhall had a tough go of it in his first season in Arizona, rushing for just 3.2 yards per carry despite the team thriving going 10-6.

He was a former first-round pick of the Steelers, rushing for 4,236 career yards and going for 39 touchdowns in six NFL seasons.

Mendenhall tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2011, and he hinted at retiring in a Huffington Post blog post called “The Vision.”

“The journey I envisioned is the two years of rebuilding that would follow,” Mendenhall said. “And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.”

Mendy’s best NFL season came back in 2010, when the Steelers got to the Super Bowl behind a solid year for the back, as he went for 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Video: Fox Sports’ Cardinals Offseason Outlook

The Cardinals surprised everyone with a 10-6 record, but that was only good enough for 3rd in the loaded NFC West. Our panel discusses what they need to accomplish in the offseason to keep pace in the league’s toughest division.

Cardinals Talking With Free Agent LB Karlos Dansby

Karlos-Dansby.dolphins.400

Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby is a priority for the team to keep as a free agent, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports.

“There’s no doubt,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told 98.7 FM in Arizona. “We offered Karlos a contract the day after the season. ..

“We’re still in the negotiation process, but, yeah, he’s a major priority because of what he brought to the table for us as a leader. We definitely would love to have him back.”

Dansby recently said he expects to remain with his current team for at least another season.

He led the Cardinals in tackles and interceptions and recorded 6.5 sacks.

“I definitely expect to be an Arizona Cardinal next year,” Dansby said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “We don’t have long here (before free agency), so we’ll get to talking and try and hammer something out.”

Happy Tuesday! Enjoy Some Great Shots Of Cardinals Cheerleaders!

The offseason is always a good time to give the brain a break from the stress and struggles of rooting for the Cardinals.

Today we take a break from talking about what’s going on for Cardinals players and coaches, and give our favorite Cardinals Cheerleaders some love in this great pictorial!

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Free Agent To Be Dansby Expects To Stay A Cardinal

Karlos Dansby

Cardinals linebacker and free-agent-to-be Karlos Dansby remains optimistic he will stay for the 2014 season, Darren Urban of Azcardinals.com reports.

“I definitely expect to be an Arizona Cardinal next year,” Dansby said during an interview on Sirius XM NFL radio Monday night. “We don’t have long here (before free agency) so we’ll get to talking and try and hammer something out.”

The Cardinals want him back. Why wouldn’t they, after he had a career-high four interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), 6½ sacks (second-best in his career), a career-best 21 passes defensed and was credited by coaches with 135 total tackles.

But, after Dansby made $2.25 million last season, finding the right contract will be paramount for both sides. Dansby, not surprisingly, wants a raise and a long-term deal. General Manager Steve Keim will be careful not to hamstring his club as he works toward the bigger salary cap cleanup he has undertaken since being promoted.

Under that framework, megadeals aren’t coming to players – even productive ones – who will turn 33 in November, as Dansby will.

It doesn’t hurt that Dansby is already coming off an offseason of realization, after he was surprised in getting cut by the Dolphins and then finding a tepid market for his services. He didn’t sign his one-year contract with the Cardinals until May, after the draft. At the time, Dansby seemed to understand his circumstances within the league had changed.

“The numbers situation right now with the new CBA is totally different,” Dansby said then. “The numbers have changed, they flipped, and you have to make the best decision for you.”

2014 NFL Free Agents – Cardinals Have $5.7 Mil Of Cap Space

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos

Unrestricted Free Agents

Quarterbacks

Derek Anderson CAR
Jimmy Clausen CAR
Josh McCown CHI
Jordan Palmer CHI
Jon Kitna DAL
Shaun Hill DET
Matt Flynn GB
Chad Henne JAX
Josh Freeman MIN
Luke McCown NO
Curtis Painter NYG
David Garrard NYJ
Michael Vick PHI
Charlie Whitehurst SD
Tarvaris Jackson SEA
Colt McCoy SF
Kellen Clemens STL
Brady Quinn STL
Dan Orlovsky TB
Rusty Smith TEN
Rex Grossman WAS

Running backs

Rashard Mendenhall ARI
Bernard Scott BAL
Willis McGahee CLE
George Winn DAL
Knowshon Moreno DEN
Kahlil Bell GB
James Starks GB
Ray Graham HOU
Jonathan Grimes HOU
Deji Karim HOU
Chad Spann HOU
Ben Tate HOU
Ahmad Bradshaw IND
Donald Brown IND
Tashard Choice IND
Tauren Poole IND
Delone Carter JAX
Maurice Jones-Drew JAX
Toby Gerhart MIN
LeGarrette Blount NE
Andre Brown NYG
Peyton Hillis NYG
Darius Reynaud NYJ
Rashad Jennings OAK
Darren McFadden OAK
Jonathan Dwyer PIT
Felix Jones PIT
La’Rod Stephens-Howling PIT
Ronnie Brown SD
Anthony Dixon SF
Spencer Larsen TB
Brian Leonard TB
Jackie Battle TEN
Leon Washington TEN

Fullbacks

John Kuhn GB
Lex Hilliard NYJ
Chris Gronkowski SD
Michael Robinson SEA
Erik Lorig TB
Greg Jones TEN

Wide receivers

Andre Roberts ARI
Jacoby Jones BAL
Brandon Stokley BAL
Brandon Kaufman BUF
Ted Ginn CAR
Domenik Hixon CAR
Brandon LaFell CAR
Devin Hester CHI
Brandon Tate CIN
Andre Caldwell DEN
Eric Decker DEN
Kevin Ogletree DET
Micheal Spurlock DET
James Jones GB
Deion Branch IND
Darrius Heyward-Bey IND
Josh Lenz IND
Taylor Price JAX
Kyle Williams KC
Terrance Cooper KC
Chad Hall KC
Jerrell Jackson KC
Dexter McCluster KC
Marlon Moore MIA
Jerome Simpson MIN
Joe Webb MIN
Austin Collie NE
Julian Edelman NE
Robert Meachem NO
Louis Murphy NYG
Hakeem Nicks NYG
Julian Talley NYG
Josh Cribbs NYJ
Jacoby Ford OAK
Riley Cooper PHI
Jeremy Maclin PHI
Plaxico Burress PIT
Jerricho Cotchery PIT
Emmanuel Sanders PIT
Seyi Ajirotutu SD
Danario Alexander SD
Lavelle Hawkins SD
Arceto Clark SEA
Golden Tate SEA
Bryan Walters SEA
Anquan Boldin SF
Mario Manningham SF
Kassim Osgood SF
Adam Henry STL
Tiquan Underwood TB
Kenny Britt TEN
Marc Mariani TEN
Kevin Walter TEN
Damian Williams TEN
Dezmon Briscoe WAS
Josh Morgan WAS
Santana Moss WAS

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Larry Fitzgerald Has Contract Restructed

larry

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald restructured his contract according to the Arizona Republic. Fitzgerald was expected to restructure his contract and it ended up saving the Cardinals big money for the 2014 salary cap.

Fitzgerald will not be paid no less than his original contract he initially signed. A chunk of his 2014 base salary will become a signing bonus spread over the next five years of his contract. The Cardinals moved $11.795 million of Fitzgerald’s base salary to a signing bonus. Making Fitzgerald’s 2014 base salary now just a veteran minimum of $955,000.

The move drove the All-Pro wide receiver’s cap number to a $2.359 million increase from the years of 2015-2018.

This restructure saved the Cardinals roughly $9 million towards the 2014 salary cap but next season, Fitzgerald will have a cap number of $23.6 million — a price the Cardinals will have a real hard time paying. A restructure next season would not be the answer.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

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