Somewhat surprisingly, one of the key building blocks – a player coach Ken Whisenhunt and offensive line coach Russ Grimm sought two years ago – suddenly arrived Tuesday.
The Cards and nine-time Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca agreed to a one-year contract, which ESPN.com reported was worth a guaranteed $2.5 million.
“We feel like it was meant to be,” Whisenhunt said of getting Faneca to Arizona. “It just took two years longer than we hoped for.”
The Cards would have made an effort to sign Faneca in the offseason following 2007, but salary cap restrictions while the team re-did
But Faneca was cut over draft weekend, and even with the Cards flush with veteran offensive linemen, the Cards looked into signing him. Because he was already still due more than $5 million from the Jets, Faneca didn’t need to break the bank and made him more attractive to the Cards.
“When you talk about making changes in your offensive line, which at this point we are talking about, it’s outstanding to know you have a player like Alan coming into this team, because of what he has accomplished in this league and what he will mean to this team,” Whisenhunt said.
Whisenhunt insisted Faneca is not guaranteed a starting job.
“It won’t be given to him,” Whisenhunt said. “I don’t think Alan would have it any other way.”
Changes to the line could be significant. Until left tackle
But Gandy, a free agent, was not brought back.
Whisenhunt said Tuesday he has not heard from Lutui and doesn’t know if Lutui will sign his tender in time to report to this weekend’s minicamp. “I would hope he will be here for minicamp,” Whisenhunt said.
Faneca, however, will be there assuming there are no setbacks before he signs his contract.
Faneca is 33, but Whisenhunt said he still plays at a high level. “There is a reason he has been to nine Pro Bowls,” Whisenhunt said.
With Brown moving,
On the interior, however, there are three spots and a lot of possibilities now that Faneca has arrived. Faneca has made his reputation as a left guard, but Whisenhunt said he can play either side and even some tackle or even center. Incumbent left guard
Then there is still veteran
“Part of this minicamp is seeing how this shakes out,” Whisenhunt said.
“We understand chemistry is an important component of the offensive line. We’ll go through the process of competition and it will sort itself out.”