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Free Agency Fluid

Posted Mar 15, 2010

Graves still in talks with free agents Porter, Whitehurst, Anderson

 Pro scout Quentin Harris (right) escorts linebacker Paris Lenon (center) and quarterback Derek Anderson through the locker room on their recent visit.
 
 
The Cardinals are still working on getting another quarterback.

And they haven’t forgotten about that veteran pass rusher either.

But free agency remains “fluid,” general manager Rod Graves said Monday, and the Cardinals are continuing to work toward building the roster on multiple fronts. That includes discussions with both unrestricted free agent quarterback Derek Anderson and restricted free agent quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, as well as linebacker Joey Porter.

“Talks are still ongoing,” Graves said. “We’re still exploring all our options.”   

The Cardinals had been looking at linebacker Larry Foote, who agreed to a contract with the Steelers Monday. The Cards signed their own linebacker Monday, bringing in Paris Lenon. The timing was slightly odd, but despite the circumstances, Graves said the Cardinals were considering signing both – not one or the other.

Lenon plays inside like Foote. But Graves said the veteran is actually better suited for the Cardinals’ vacancy at the weak inside spot – created when Karlos Dansby left as a free agent – than Foote would have been. Foote was more natural at the position Gerald Hayes currently plays.
 
There was also some issue with the health of Foote’s foot – an injury that cut short his 2009 season with a couple of games remaining.

Graves said the Cardinals continue to have interest in Porter, who still hasn’t taken any other visits. Graves and Porter’s agent were in contact Monday, although no deal is imminent.

Finding a quarterback has been made a bit more complicated by Whitehurst’s restricted status. The Cardinals are looking to bring in Whitehurst or Anderson – not both – and Whitehurst’s situation could take a while to play out because the Chargers would have seven days to match any offer sheet he signs.

It would also cost the Cards a third-round selection in the draft, while Anderson would cost any picks. The Cardinals still only have one quarterback -- Matt Leinart – under contract. If they sign one, there remains a chance they could take one in the draft, or, at the least, target one of the undrafted rookie quarterbacks in what has been regarded as a generally weak quarterback draft class.

Graves also said the team is in talks to bring back free-agent kicker Neil Rackers.

“After that initial wave of free agency, we’re in that second wave where things don’t move quite as quickly,” Graves said. “Depending on what other teams do, you have to have the ability to adjust.”
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