Linebacker Karlos Dansby, here speaking at an NFC Championship press conference, is not expected to sign a contract extension before the July 15 deadline.
The deadline to get franchised linebacker Karlos Dansby a contract extension comes in just a few days.
The chance a new deal is reached by then is unlikely, general manager Rod Graves acknowledged Friday.
"We still hope to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with Karlos," Graves said. "But there is a considerable gap in our positions."
Graves declined to get into the specifics of the Cardinals' offer or Dansby's contract desire. Dansby did not return a message seeking comment. (UPDATE: Dansby spoke about the situation Monday, saying it was a business decision for both sides that a deal would not be reached. Wednesday, the deadline indeed passed without a deal.)
The notion Dansby probably won't sign a new deal is not a surprise, after his strong hints earlier this offseason he wanted a chance to reach the unrestricted free agent market in 2010.
The deadline to sign a franchised player is Wednesday. Dansby is already under contract for 2009 for a guaranteed salary of almost $9.7 million. Without a deal in place by July 15, Dansby can't sign a long-term contract with the Cards until after the regular season ends.
"I am trying to maximize what I am worth, and I'm not sure I'm going to have another opportunity like this," Dansby said in April, while in the process of changing agents. "It's the ideal position to be in the position I am in right now. I want to make the most of it."
At the time, Dansby pointed out the possibility of the NFL playing without a salary cap in 2010 (along with an uncapped free-agent period). That potential, Dansby said then, could allow him to "make a splash, man. Make a splash."
After those comments, Dansby hired a new agent and has consistently declined to talk about his contract situation. The agent change came amid reports the team and Dansby's former agent were on the verge of reaching an extension agreement, although Dansby denied he was ever close to signing.
Assuming Dansby does play out his one-year contract, Graves declined to get into how the Cardinals will approach the Dansby situation after the season. The Cardinals could, in theory, apply the franchise tag to Dansby for a third straight year. But that is unlikely, given the cost of around $14 million guaranteed for one season.
Graves emphasized the Cardinals see Dansby as "one of the most talented linebackers" in the NFL.
"Karlos is one of our core players," Graves said. "Our efforts will remain trying to reach a long-term contract resolution with him."
Aside from the Dansby deadline, the only pressing contract matters for the team are the Cards' two remaining unsigned draft picks – first-round running back Beanie Wells and second-round linebacker Cody Brown.
After Dansby, the next veteran seemingly in line to talk contract extension is wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Graves wouldn't put a time table on the possibility, reiterating only the team hasn't changed its stance that it wants to address Boldin's contract at some point.
Contact Darren Urban at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted 7/10/09. Updated 7/13/09, 7/15/09.