Edgerrin James didn't spend a long time with the Cardinals -- three seasons -- and it wasn't his stint in Arizona that makes him a strong Hall of Fame candidate. Those were his big years with the Colts. But Edge did have a couple of 1,000-yard seasons, reached his lone Super Bowl with the Cardinals, and also was one of the ones who helped the franchise gain a little respect (and a little swag) when he showed up.
(I was a fan of Edge the person. One of the smartest people I've met.)
The Hall of Fame semifinalists were named Tuesday, and Edge is on the list. He's made the final 10 the previous three years without getting in. James is one of three players among the 25 semifinalists with Cardinals ties. Also on the list are guard Alan Faneca -- who played just one season, his last, in Arizona -- and defensive end Simeon Rice, who most certainly had a love-hate relationship with his time with the Cardinals.
Rice is an interesting Hall case study. He had 122 sacks in his career (51.5 in his five seasons with the Cardinals), and ramped up his play with the Buccaneers for the next six while winning a Super Bowl. He was a key player on the 1998 playoff-bound Cardinals, notching 10 sacks. Then he was franchise-tagged after a 16.5-sack season in 1999, ticking him off. My first full year covering this team, in 2000, was Rice's last, when he missed the first game because he didn't want to sign the franchise offer and infamously led to then-GM Bob Ferguson pounding the table in a Rice-less press conference and yelling, "Don't talk to Mike Jurecki, come talk to me!"
But that's a story for another day.