The Cardinals are full speed back to work this week -- coaches and front office have returned to the building, and training camp is a week away. The mailbag has been here, of course, and that's not changing. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. As always, you can send in a question for a future mailbag here.
From Lew Franklin:
"Yay! Rodney Hudson is back! I would argue his wins-against-replacement has to be ~2 or 3 at minimum. Dodged a bullet, but with that said, we need to immediately identify a successor yes because he's not long for this league? Also PLEASE extend D.J. Humphries. I have a sick feeling they are going to let Hump walk and I fear this team has forgotten what it was like not having a franchise left tackle. Is he great? No. Is he good enough? YES. PAY HIM."
I have said this before, I think a deal with Humphries gets done at some point. Not having him around long-term would be a problem, no doubt. I wouldn't be surprised if they want to see how he plays this year. As for Hudson, it was crucial to have him return. They do need to think about the future at the position, but for now, things are settled down. There is a season for which to prepare.
From Matthew Stroh:
"Hey Darren thank you again for the mailbag and all you do for Arizona Cardinals news. I know I'm not the only one that loves all the Cardinals news. I know Kyler needs a new contract and national media likes to do whatever they need to do for clickbait. But I think considering some of the other franchises around the NFL it could be a lot worse. Yes Kyler has to grow -- what young person doesn't -- but at least teammates don't call him immature. At least we don't have any crazy investigation on the Cardinals and so I like to think glass half-full. Do you feel lucky we are not some of the other NFL teams out there?"
Well, there's only one team with a crazy QB investigation so that's pretty much an outlier, and frankly, I hope fanbases never have to set the bar so low that "at least we aren't being investigated" is a thing. As far as Kyler, he is ultra-talented and there is a reason it'll be a when and not an if the contract gets figured out (I am guessing soon.)
From Barry Sauce:
"Is public training camp shorter this year? Just over one week? My memories are getting fuzzy but I swear a few years ago it was almost a full three weeks of public practices. Am I misremembering? I'm sure it was longer back in the day."
I'm not sure if you are referring to serious old school -- like back in Flagstaff -- or when the Cardinals first moved to the stadium, but either way, yes, there are fewer open practices than there used to be. The reality is, as camp got deeper into the month, fewer people were there, with kids going back to school and the newness of camp fading with each day. And coaches still like to have some privacy too, as as teams get closer to the season, protecting what goes on at practice from phone videos probably is a factor that didn't used to be a thing. The early practices too - Wednesday through Friday that first week -- are CBA-mandated to either have zero or little contact, so there isn't much to see there either. Finally, camp is a week shorter with the team working out in Tennessee. The Cardinals still have 10 public dates, though, and that's still on the high side in the NFL. I saw the other day that the Titans only have two practices open to the public. The Eagles only have one.
From Sheldon Zinck:
"Are the Cards going to get three big position players at running back, linebacker and center?"
As I've said before, I do think there very much could be a veteran or two added to the roster. Running back? No. Not sure why you would sign a guy there. Outside linebacker? Maybe, although I am guessing they will let training camp play out some to see if they can use some of the guys they already have. Center? With Hudson back, I think they could still seek a backup but we will see.
From AZ Cards House:
"Is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie retired? He could be persuaded to come back on a one-year deal. Also, about veterans like Ndamukong Suh and Robert Alford. Have we not offered them anything yet, or do they just not like the contract?"
DRC is long retired. The Cards don't need to pull a guy out of retirement who hasn't played regularly since 2017. I am not closing the door on Alford but I would doubt he's been offered anything yet. I don't anticipate signing somelike like Suh, in part because of the salary I would guess he would be seeking.
From John Turilli:
"I would be happy to have Alexander Schröder tailgate with me and whomever I am with that game. I park in the red lot and if he wants to join as he is traveling all he will have to do is email me and I will get him my cell phone number so we can meet up for that game and he will not have to worry about anything but himself."
Alexander, the ball is in your court. If you guys want to use me as a go-between on email -- you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org -- I can connect you.
From Matt Bodmer:
"There was some word at, I believe, Mikal Bridges softball game that D-Hop was still looking at options to reduce his six-game suspension. Is this still a possibility and when could we expect final clarity on that?"
It was at JaVale McGee's softball game, but yes, DeAndre Hopkins did make it sound like there was a door open there. But I think we already have that clarity. The league holds off announcing a suspension until after the appeal process has ended, so unless this case is an outlier -- which I don't think it is -- Hop will miss six games. I don't see that changing.
From Robert Liss:
"Will the Cardinals have a season-ticket holder trip to Las Vegas for the Raiders game?"
The team will not be hosting any fan trip to the Raiders game.
From Glenny Henny:
"Why can't we have nice things? What did we do to deserve this? Honestly. Between the Cardinals perpetual struggles and the Suns near-decade of abysmal play only to rise from the ashes and torment us with back-to-back collapses. Now this. My heart can't take it. For the record, I like Deandre Ayton. But why do you say 'had to?' Huh? No, we did not. Yes I would let Ayton walk if it means we can still pursue KD because I would be perfectly happy starting Biyombo at Center. If there's a way we can still get KD, we gotta do it. Give the Nets anything. Give them the Cardinals. You'll get used to New Jersey Darren, it's not cold."
So many things to say here, not the least of which being the Nets have been in Brooklyn and not New Jersey for a number of seasons now. C'mon Glenny. But why did I say the Suns had to match for Ayton? Because they had to match for Ayton. You don't let a No. 1 overall pick -- who is good, make no mistake, even if he isn't worth the max -- walk for nothing in return. I believe that ultimately, the Suns can still get Durant because the Nets didn't want Ayton and it can still be pulled off (yes, the inability to trade Ayton in a multi-team deal makes it harder, but that was out the window as soon as Ayton signed the offer sheet). Although at this point, I'm thinking Durant staying in Brooklyn -- not New Jersey -- is more and more likely.