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You've Got Mail: Before #CardsCamp

AZC_CardinalsMailbag

The new season is upon us and, as such, it’s a good time to launch my new weekly mailbag. The plan is for it to run on Tuesdays, in lieu of the chats I used to conduct. That gives me a little more time to be nuanced in some of my answers, and it also gives me a little more freedom on those days instead of being locked into the same time each week. Going forward, you can always send me questions in the comments below stories or on Twitter. Please use the hashtag #CardsQuestions (My Twitter handle is @Cardschatter.)

Let’s get started.

First, Captain, that’s a lot of questions for one tweet. Save some for everyone else. But since this is what we have, I’ll take a shot

1)    No question it’ll be WR2 and CB2 that will get the most attention. If you truly look deep at the potential starting units, those are probably the two that truly up for grabs right now. You can make a case at quarterback, perhaps, and there are other spots where the leader in the clubhouse still has to prove something this next month (for instance, DT Robert Nkemdiche.)

2)    I am assuming you are talking undrafted free agents? Will be curious, depending on who might sign still, if a guy like A.J. Howard or Zeke Turner could sneak in as a last defensive back. Or given the vague depth at wide receiver, a guy there, or at tight end, maybe an Andrew Vollert. Tough to know now. Linebackers coach Larry Foote told us a story of a guy he was sure was going to make the team once – until he couldn’t tackle in preseason games. Things can change quickly.

3)    Hard to tell vets “at risk” for being cut because of so much depth uncertainty. For instance, the numbers seem to say that a running back with a familiar name likely is in danger of being released, just because of numbers – maybe an Elijhaa Penny or D.J. Foster.

4)    In the end, Lou, this is really a deeply personal question that only a fan can answer for him/herself.

David Johnson hasn’t received a contract extension yet because the two sides have yet to agree on the money. It’s that simple. Conversations are going on, but it’s like any negotiation. Eventually, the two sides have to agree on the compensation. The Todd Gurley deal now adds a significant wrinkle to the talks. It was great news that Johnson came in this week. The on-field stuff figures to take care of itself. It’s about hammering out a deal both sides have emphasized they want to get done.

Until the Cardinals do actually have a padded practice – the first being July 30 – any rookie evaluation comes with a considerable caveat. Christian Kirk looked pretty good to me, but again, DBs can’t press in the offseason and there is no pressure on the receiver. Chase Edmonds caught everyone’s eye – I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up Johnson’s top backup – but again, we will see how he performs when the lights come on. As for Mason Cole, I’d be surprised if he supplanted A.Q. Shipley as the starter, especially with the way Steve Wilks has praised Shipley so far. But again, I think this staff is a little more open to rookies being early contributors. So camp matters.

My mind hasn’t changed yet. If Sam Bradford is healthy, I think he’s starting. I don’t see Rosen jumping him on the depth chart. Not yet.

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