Linebacker Karlos Dansby (58) is expected to sign his franchise tag tender offer and begin working out with the team sometime soon.
The Cardinals expect linebacker Karlos Dansby, who was given the franchise tag by the club, to sign his tender offer worth a little more than $8 million soon and begin working out at the team facility.
The status of defensive tackle Darnell Dockett is more murky.
General manager Rod Graves said Dansby's agent, Kirk Wood, informed him that Dansby planned on signing the offer sheet. The Cards had been hopeful Dansby would sign and begin working out before talks for a long-term deal began in earnest. (EDIT: Dansby signed the tender Thursday.)
Graves said it is still the team's intention to sign Dansby to a long-term contract.
"It has to be one that the club feels comfortable with," Graves said. "As I said to him, we both have expressed points that are important to us in getting a new deal but I think we both agree he is an excellent football player and an important part of our football team. We want him here for years to come."
The Cards have until July 15 to get a new deal done. Otherwise, Dansby must play 2008 under his one-year contract and the two sides cannot consummate a multi-year pact until after the season is over.
Dockett, meanwhile, is also looking for a new deal. Graves declined to make a connection between Dockett's absence from the voluntary workouts and the desire for more money, but he did say he has been contacted by Dockett's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and been told of Dockett's wishes.
"Our position is he is under contract," Graves said. "We took the initiative back in 2006 to address his contract early (Dockett signed an extension in October of that year).
"Darnell has essentially been into that contract one year, with four years remaining. He has expressed a desire for a new contract, but that's not going to happen. If he continues to play at a high level then that is something we can look at later, but I don't believe the consideration is now."
TRADE DOWN, BUT NOT UP
Graves said the Cardinals may entertain offers to trade down in the first round if the right opportunity came up, but that the team "probably" will not be trading up.
Sitting at No. 16, Graves acknowledged it may be easier to find a trade partner willing to move up than it would be picking in the top five or top 10, where rookie contracts are exorbitant.
But Graves added his preference "is to stay right where we are and make the pick."
LESS TIME BUT LITTLE IMPACT
Even though the picks in the first round of the draft have been trimmed from 15 minutes to 10, Graves doesn't expect it to make a big difference on how teams operate.
"To be honest, 15 minutes seemed like a lot of time," Graves said. "I think in past years, there was a tendency to want to sit and wait and see if the phone would ring. There was plenty of time to get into a discussions, get your paperwork in and notify the league within 10 minutes. Yet we had 15."
Graves added that 10 minutes is usually more than enough for the Cardinals once draft day arrives.
"We set our (top) 120 board and we have drafted off that the last four or five years or more and it has worked out for us," Graves said. "Depending on the position at the top of the list, the way we approach it we take the guy at the top of the list or maybe the next guy, but there isn't a lot of general discussion."
Graves said the positions of wide receiver and cornerback are the two deepest in the draft. At running back – a position the Cards are looking at – Graves said it isn't as deep, "and thank goodness for the juniors." …
One of the players the Cardinals brought in for a pre-draft visit was running back Jonathan Stewart, Graves said, in order to check out the toe on which Stewart recently had surgery.
Contact Darren Urban at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted 4/16/08. Updated 4/17/08.