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Earl Watford, Alex Okafor Sign Deals

Posted Jun 4, 2013

Notebook: Only Cooper unsigned; Brown gets back to football mode after injury

Fourth-round picks Earl Watford (left) and Alex Okafor sign their contracts Tuesday.

The draft class is now down to one.

Fourth-round picks Alex Okafor and Earl Watford signed their four-year contracts Tuesday, leaving first-round pick Jonathan Cooper as the lone unsigned draft pick.

Last year, No. 1 pick Michael Floyd and third-round pick Jamell Fleming were the last to sign and that came on June 11. Cooper is expected to sign sooner rather than later. Under the current rookie slotting system, Cooper will have a salary cap number of about $2.65 million.

Both Okafor and Watford are expected to play roles at least in future years if not immediately. Watford is working at right guard and Okafor at outside linebacker, although both are working on the “rookies” field during OTA practices and not the main field.

“(Signing) just means completing that first step of the dream,” Okafor said. “Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL. Even though I was drafted, nothing is guaranteed, but this is somewhat of a little security.”

“You put the work in,” Watford said. “We still have a lot to do on the field and off the field to be called an Arizona Cardinal.”

LEVI ON THE FIELD, BUT LINEUP NOT SET

Left tackle Levi Brown finally returned to actual football activity Monday as he continues to rehab from last season’s torn triceps.

“It’s been a while since I’ve actually done football stuff and it’s taken some getting used to,” Brown said. “There are new plays as well as adjusting to issues with the arm, getting the confidence back in it, things like that. It’ll come during these few practices.

“It’s a good time to get back out there, with no pads. You can throw the arm out there and see how it feels.”

Coach Bruce Arians said Brown “looked real good.” The starting unit in June is Brown, Cooper, center Lyle Sendlein, right guard Daryn Colledge and right tackle Bobby Massie. But Arians wasn’t willing to commit to that group as his starters.

“There is still so much to decide when we put pads on,” Arians said. “We will solidfy that group in plenty of time to have chemistry.”

TV IN STANTON’S FUTURE?

Every offseason, the NFL puts together a handful of various camps/classes for current and former players to improve themselves. At one point, defensive end Calais Campbell took part in a seminar at the Wharton School of Business.

This year, in the week following minicamp, quarterback Drew Stanton will take part in the NFL’s annual “Broadcast Boot Camp” so players can get a taste of what it would like working in the television business.

“Seeing the game and analyzing film (as a player), this is something I want to experience and see if it is an avenue I want to head down when I  am done playing,” Stanton said. “Being able to articulate it and do it in a manner where people can enjoy the game.

“When you listen to (analysts), you form opinions on ones you like over the others. I want to see how this works out.”

Stanton, who had applied for the camp a couple of times previous without being chosen, is one of 24 former or current players taking part. Ex-Cardinals Jeff Feagles and Tom Knight are also in this year’s class.


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