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You've Got Mail: Minicamp Week

Topics include Colt McCoy, change for K1, and where Paris plays

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We head into minicamp week, and a mailbag one day early with everything happening Tuesday. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. As always, you can send in a question for a future mailbag here.

From Mike Day:

"Regarding Colt McCoy, he is coming back from an elbow injury, he has an injury history and is already looking at broadcasting opportunities. It's clear he isn't ready to hang it up, especially if there's a chance to start. But from a team leadership standpoint, would it not possibly be best if the Cardinals sat Colt, and chose to put Clayton Tune in there? Tune is much more a part of our future than McCoy is, so shouldn't that someone be Tune?"

I'm not sure why you'd think that's the best move from a team leadership standpoint. I would disagree and say it's the opposite, because starting a fifth-round rookie -- barring some kind of incredible training camp -- would not go over all that well in the locker room, I wouldn't think. Now, I get saying Tune makes more sense because McCoy won't be around long-term, but I think we are way too early in the process to know what Tune will be.

From Joe Cardea:

"I'd be satisfied with moves like re-signing Aaron Brewer for the rest of the offseason. I think the only hope for this team in 2024 is a good draft and free agents. That appears to be M.O.'s M.O.. I look on the internet hoping for no major signings. I say run it out there with who you got, evaluate current players and draft and sign free agents next year. Not tanking per se, just not expending resources to get better. What is your take?"

That's a fair way to approach it. Let's be honest, there aren't a lot of "major" signings you'd still make right now anymore. But no, the Cardinals aren't going to sign Dalvin Cook. There will be a lot of evaluation, and a chance to see what rookies might do when you throw them in the deep end of the pool.

From J. Lee Tankersley:

"Thank you for covering the Cardinals for us fans. Really appreciate your work. Great article on JG by the way. Excellent reading. Have all of our rookies signed their contracts? If not, who hasn't? Thanks again. Really appreciate your work."

The only draft pick unsigned is second-rounder BJ Ojulari. I wrote a little bit about his situation, but I have no doubt he will be signed by camp.

From Matthew Stroh:

Hey Darren, I liked Kyler Murray the day we drafted him so maybe I'm biased but I feel like he is going to surprise a lot of people this year when he comes back from injury. Change sometimes isn't easy but a lot time works out for the better in the long run. Do you think the change in offense will be good for K1? Also, when is Cardinals Underground going to be a video instead of audio only?"

There have been talks about making the podcasts video too. Logistics need to be figured out. As far as Murray, I think he needed change, yes. It seemed obvious that Murray would be better off going in a different direction. We will see what that looks like on the field -- and Murray has to be on the field first -- but it will be fascinating to see him in a new offense and how he performs.

From Monty Jackson:

"I'm concerned about Paris Johnson Jr. What is he? Well he's a left tackle and our future left tackle. But what is he today? A left guard? A right tackle? I think it's imperative they have a plan, and not a look-and-see. I think Josh Jones is absolutely going to be a starting tackle somewhere else next year, another failure of Arizona's development and lack of a plan (he was our highest-rated offensive player per PFF, by the way). For his long-term development it's absolute critical he has a home, practicing and playing ONE position. What will that be in 2023?"

I'm sorry you are concerned. He may or may not be the future left tackle. Kid hasn't even put on pads yet. I agree that Jones was solid down the stretch last season, but you have no idea how this new coaching staff has analyzed his game or how he'd fit into this offense. I would guess he will play on the right side in 2023. Whether he stays there or not will probably be based on D.J. Humphries. But here's the deal. You have two ways to play this. You can either draft a young tackle and potentially put him on the right side until Humphries is no longer the left tackle, or you let Humphries (or whomever) play out their time and hope you can find an immediate good replacement in the draft or wing it with JAG replacements until you can. That doesn't seem particularly efficient. And maybe Hump sticks around and you have excellent bookend tackles for a few years.

From Gerry Harthun:

"Will any of the training camp practices be open to the public?"

Yes. As usual, there will be open practices at State Farm Stadium, with free admission and parking. Those dates should be announced sooner rather than later, but camp will start in late July.

From Jason B:

"Like others I know I overreacted to the D-Hop release. However, looking forward, what two positions do you feel we need a guy or two to help with the competition within the team? Also, which rookies do you feel can be the biggest contributors this season? I still feel this team can make the playoff especially with many not expecting a lot from the team."

I think the Cardinals can still use help on the defensive line and cornerback. They've got a ton of bodies both places already, though, so whether there are guys out there that make sense right now, I don't know. As for the rookies, I don't know if Garrett Williams will be ready for the start of the season, but I could legit see a case to be made -- assuming they perform well to earn it -- of the team's top five picks to all have roles: PJJ, Ojulari, Williams, Wilson and maybe even Gaines. Opportunity will be there for rookies this season.

From Devin Lott:

"How are the non-Murray QBs -- specifically Clayton Tune looked? Anyone that looks like they will be a solid season starter? Or will McCoy be the starter? Any other OTA highlights? You check the web for Cards info good or bad, and there is nothing. Thanks."

Here's the deal. One, I put very, very little into how players "look" right now. It's meaningless without pads and contact. We also can't report on most of the OTAs even if we are watching. I expect McCoy to start, yes. Tune hasn't done anything one way or the other to really catch my eye, and as a fifth-rounder, it'd be a long shot to see him be ready to play much when the games count. His preseason performances will be something to watch. The stuff I notice in the offseason is the stuff that has been out there -- Zaven Collins at OLB, the fact McCoy started throwing again, the size of a guy like Michael Wilson.

From Michel Rose:

"Hi Darren, I know it's might early for this but could you give us a WR depth chart projection, in your opinion? I was thinking it's something like this.

  1. Hollywood
  2. Pascal
  3. Rondale
  4. Dortch
  5. Wilson."

Man, it'd be a total guess right now. I wouldn't be shocked if this is how it played out, because I do think this regime is going to want a bigger receiver out there. But if it went Hollywood-Moore-Pascal-Wilson-Dortch I also wouldn't be surprised. I don't think we're going to get a very good sense of some of this stuff until training camp.

From DT Warren:

"What is the status of linebacker Nick Vigil?"

Vigil played under a one-year contract in 2022 and was not re-signed.

From Diego Pene:

"Why does it feel like Kyler gives so few interviews? As our franchise QB he seems oft absent. I remember Carson Palmer was always on Arizona Sports, and I don't think I've heard Kyler on there once in four years."

I think it's safe to say interviews are not one of Murray's favorite things to do. And there are plenty of athletes who prefer not to do interviews on radio; I don't think Kevin Durant does those either.

From John McGill:

"Hey Darren. Hope things are well with you and yours. Is it this year or next that UCLA and USC is moving out of the Pac-12? And do you know if anyone else is coming in to replace them?"

I believe those schools have one year left in the conference before moving to the Big 10. I don't know what the Pac-12 is going to do. I'm pretty sure the Pac-12 doesn't even know what it's going to do (or even if they are going to be able to remain a conference.) I can say for certain the Cardinals will be remaining in the NFC West with the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers, however.

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