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Working On Rookie Contracts

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The Cardinals are working on contracts for rookies Calais Campbell (left) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie before camp starts next week.

With the Cardinals scheduled to report to training camp less than a week away, general manager Rod Graves said contract talks with the team's two unsigned draft picks – first-rounder Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and second-rounder Calais Campbell – are moving in the right direction.

"In my opinion, we are making progress with both," Graves said.

Graves talked to Campbell's agent, Gary Wichard, Thursday and talked to Rodgers-Cromartie's agent, Eugene Parker, as recently as Wednesday.

The Cardinals report to camp July 23.

Only a few players taken in the first two rounds have signed contracts right now. Part of that stems from a dispute between the league and the NFL Players Association over details concerning guaranteed payouts during possible upcoming seasons without a salary cap.

A hearing on the issue was scheduled for Friday and a resolution could come next week. Nevertheless, Graves said the guaranteed money issue was not causing problems in the Cards' negotiations.

"As of right now, it has not emerged as a sticking point for us although we have not focused (during negotiations) in that area yet," Graves said.

Graves said nothing in the contract talks has resembled some of the more difficult stumbling blocks the team has faced the past couple of years, when quarterback Matt Leinart missed a couple weeks in Flagstaff and tackle Levi Brown also missed the opening of camp.

Graves remains similarly optimistic that a pair of other players – wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett – will also be at camp on time. Both Boldin and Dockett skipped all of the offseason's voluntary practices looking for upgrades with their contracts.

"It is certainly my hope they will be there," Graves said, acknowledging he has been in recent contact with the agent to both players, Drew Rosenhaus.

Rosenhaus released a video on YouTube.com Thursday addressing the Boldin situation. While he didn't say if Boldin would or wouldn't be at camp, Rosenhaus noted "We hope we can have a contract extension in place" at the beginning of camp and "good news, there is an open dialogue" between himself, Boldin and the team.

In a similar situation with disgruntled Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard, Rosenhaus told the Philadelphia Inquirer "We're going to keep everything real positive."

EXTRA POINT: Graves said safety Adrian Wilson is expected to be 100 percent for the start of training camp after surgery last season to repair a bad heel. Two players who may not be ready at the start of camp are nose tackle Gabe Watson (knee) and possibly tight end Leonard Pope (ankle), Graves said.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 7/17/08.

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