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You've Got Mail: After Minicamp, It Gets Drafty

Topics include new uniforms, QB draft priority, and holiday games

Hump uniform mailbag 0425

A lot this week. The Cardinals' first minicamp with Jonathan Gannon. The draft starting Thursday. And of course, a mailbag. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. As always, you can send in a question for a future mailbag here.

From Drew Cameron:

"Hey Darren. What do you think of the new duds? For as much as I didn't like the old unis for having too much flair, these new ones are shockingly simple. Don't get me wrong, I like them. Hump was right, that they are clean and classy. I guess my only gripe is the red uniforms. That white 'Arizona' across the chest is kind of unusual. I would've preferred if it were black. Just to mix it up a little bit because man are these things simple. There is not a single stitch of decoration on the pants. Again, I LIKE 'EM! I just am surprised by them. What do you think?"

Let me start with your assessment. It's always interesting with new uniforms because those who like them a lot usually don't say much. And yet there are plenty who don't like them and feel the need to say it -- even though many of them had already been upset the Cardinals hadn't updated sooner. It's funny to me how many are disappointed they are so simple because when the last ones came out so many asked why they had too much and were too busy. I like them. I was ready to see something different. But for anyone who has asked me about this over the years, you know me. I never got worked up about uniforms, and that hasn't changed.

From Paul Court:

"Hey Darren, it's has been a rough ride hearing all the negative press the last few months so I would like to offer some optimism. This team was 7-0, 10-2 not that long ago. I think that we can turn it around just as fast as we ended up 4-12. Although fans want Monti to get splash players I prefer the route he is taking. I like what Monti and JG are saying and hope it comes to fruition on the field. The question I would like to ask is if you think MO and JG would have known ahead of time about the upcoming arbitration? Thanks for the mailbag!"

I can't answer that for certain, but when Ossenfort was asked about it the other day, he said that situation wasn't impacting his work and that makes sense to me. We are all in the same building but truly, the coaches and players are often dealing with a much different environment -- regardless of what it is -- than the rest of the building. It's just how this is all set up.

From Peter Kacmar:

"Hello Darren. A few questions please:

  1. Can I find anywhere which prospects were on a top 30 visit at Cards?
  2. The uniforms presentation - for me it was more important which players were not present. Nuk makes sense. Isaiah was telling. Budda was eyebrow raising. Do you read it the same way that all will be gone?
  3. As an European I have to ask about Seiko. What is his status? His time as an IPP exempt must be long overdue this year.
  4. I have heard nothing about potentially drafting Jalen Carter. Is it out of question due to his off-field issues?"

Here are some answers.

  1. There was nothing official. Some teams push out who visits but the Cardinals do not. I don't know if someone tried to compile a list based on reports but it's likely it wouldn't be complete.
  2. No I don't see it that way. I'm not sure, after the report that came out about Baker that it would've been eyebrow-raising that he wouldn't have participated. I'm sure the Cardinals would've liked to have him there but there are other things to take care of first. I still think Baker is on the team this season. As for Simmons, again, all the work is voluntary this time of year so it's very possible he's not even in town. That would make it hard to be there.
  3. Bernhard Seikovits remains in the IPP program. This will be his final season. Obviously if he can earn a roster spot that'd be a moot point.
  4. No one has ruled him out (and even if someone did or did not, you don't know if it's the truth.) Personally, I think the Cardinals can't take a risk on a player who could have an issue off the field or even that people wonder if he plays hard 100 percent of the time.

From Garth Short:

"Darren, just saw your draft primer on the QB position. You describe the need as low. If Kyler is going to miss about half the season, would change the need from low to medium? And would it go to high if he'll miss most of the season? Thanks."

I don't see how the draft would impact the Cardinals in 2023 at quarterback when Murray is going to miss some games. They aren't going to take one high enough that he would compete for the starting job, and you aren't taking one high because Kyler is coming back. With Colt McCoy along with David Blough and Jeff Driskel, that won't make QB any more than a low priority (especially with all the other roster needs.)

From Greg Painter:

"Thank you again for putting up with me. Are you gonna put out anything before the draft what YOU would do? I think Will Anderson is the can't miss of the draft, with that being said I would trade at least once, twice, or possibly even out of the first, accumulate mass picks this year and future draft picks to be traded for the elite corner or edge we miss this year. What would you do? Okie Greg out and KC bound."

I know I've said this many times, but until I know what I could get, I can't totally answer. For the right deal, yes, I would trade down. I do think they need a lot of pieces. But If they are at 3 and Anderson is there, that's not a bad move at all. If he isn't there, I do think someone will want to trade. Thursday night will be fascinating.

From J-Dog The Aussie:

"Darren mate, you definitely can keep a secret with the uniforms, brother. Sadly no more questions on the way. My question relates to the 'seasonal' games. Yes I know draw comes out soon (thank God as I can then plan trips to USA.) With games like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, do they alternate for teams every year to get a home one? Or Isn't it really taken into account?"

No, they don't alternate. Two of the home Thanksgiving games each year are in Detroit and Dallas. That's tradition. Christmas is just about what games fall that weekend (I think the NFL wanted Tom Brady on Christmas last year; it just happened that the Bucs were in Arizona at that point in the season.) New Year's isn't a "special game," the league treats that like a regular weekend. And yes, the schedule will be out sometime in mid-May, so we will see soon enough.

From Joy Brooks:

"Darren, what's going on with the Cardinals? First D-Hop wants to be traded. Then there's a trade request from Budda. Why? Because he wants to be the highest paid safety in the league. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve it. Budda's the best safety in the NFL and when he signed his last contract that made him the highest paid. But in the two years since salaries have gone up so now he wants another raise. OK, the Cards give him what he wants and in a year or two someone gets more. So then Budda demands another raise or a trade. If you sign a contract, which you do freely, shouldn't you be obligated to play under those terms?"

This would be a good argument if not for one fact -- the contract Baker (or any player) signed is not fully guaranteed. So while it does lock out a player of some leverage, it is not as simple as "you signed the deal, you should honor it" because the way NFL contracts are structured, teams terminate contracts early all the time. Yet that argument is never used against the teams. I have said this before and I will reiterate: This is a business. That's not a cliche, it is fact. I don't have a problem with players doing what they can to maximize their situation, nor do I have a problem with teams trying to do the same. The same thing happens with every employee and company in all walks of life. This just plays out publicly.

From Sol Man:

"Why is Kevin Durant so passive? People rave about how efficient he is, yet the guy only takes 15 shots in the game. I know Booker is on fire right now, and thus should be the No. 1, but I feel every brick Chris Paul puts up should be going to KD. I don't understand it."

To begin with, I'm sorry about this question, Tim Tekulve. But I know you understand. As for KD, and CP3, I see a team up 3 games to 1 when I am posting this. I will assume they will adjust if needed. I understand the desire for more Durant shots, but if the result is a win, I'm not going to parse much.

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