It looks like linebacker Karlos Dansby will play under a one-year contract for the 2008 season and become a free agent again after the season.
Karlos Dansby will be a Cardinal in 2008, but the chance to guarantee his spot in Arizona beyond that looks – at best – like it will be delayed.
The linebacker, who was given the franchise tag by the Cards this offseason, has until Tuesday to reach a long-term extension with the Cardinals. But general manager Rod Graves, who has been in talks with Dansby agent Kirk Wood, said Friday it was unlikely a new deal would get done before the deadline.
"We were prepared to put (Dansby) on par with (the contracts of) outstanding linebackers like (the Packers') Nick Barnett and (the Rams') Will Witherspoon," Graves said. "And we were prepared to build in incentives and escalators to meet the values of the recent deals of (the Bears') Lance Briggs and (the Seahawks') Lofa Tatupu, both two-time Pro Bowlers."
That, apparently, is not what Dansby is looking for. Graves would not get into specifics of what Dansby was seeking, but Dansby has not made a secret – after his comments during minicamp -- that he liked the deal former Cardinal Calvin Pace received from the New York Jets.
That deal gave Pace more than $20 million in guarantees in the first few years, a contract the Cardinals were surprised to see Pace get.
Dansby signed his tender offer in April, guaranteeing a one-year salary at $8.065 million.
If Dansby does not get an extension before July 15, he must play 2008 under the franchise before being allowed to negotiate with the Cards again at the end of the season.
The Cardinals could also use the franchise tag on Dansby again for the 2009 season if they choose, for a salary of more than $9 million.
Graves declined to address specifics of what could happen after this season.
Graves would not rule out an extension for Dansby before Tuesday. But the difference in philosophies between the two sides will make such a breakthrough difficult.
The Cardinals begin training camp July 23.
Contact Darren Urban at firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted 7/11/08.