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You've Got Mail: The Morphing Into The 53

Topics include Kyler on PUP, the Simmons trade and acquiring Joshua Dobbs

Beachum mailbag 0829

Trades, cuts and it's just beginning. The first 53 (notice I didn't say the final 53, because it won't be) comes later today. First, the mailbag. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. You can send in a question for a future mailbag here.

From Joy Brooks:

"I just read your story about Kyler going on PUP to start the season and Colt being released. Neither were really a surprise once they signed Joshua Dobbs. When JG was hired he said how much he loved Kyler so my question is, does he still feel that way? Kyler seems to have grown and matured so much since his injury and I really want to see him play this year. It seems like the first game was a little quick to expect him back from his injury. I just hope this wasn't a way to get rid of Kyler. As to Colt, i've been a fan since his days at Texas and think he'd make a great QB coach when he's ready to admit his playing days are over."

Kyler Murray isn't ready to play yet, and that really shouldn't be a shock. In the best case a guy can come back nine months after surgery and we haven't even quite gotten that far (and Murray had meniscus repairs as well as ACL.) It doesn't surprise me he's on PUP. I don't think it signifies anything one way or the other. He'll miss the four games but we will see where he is after that. As for McCoy, I agree he'd be a good coach, although I don't know if he'd want that lifestyle with his family -- much like Kurt Warner didn't want to be an NFL coach.

From David Beiber:

"Can you please comment on last week's trades? I'm not questioning getting rid of Isaiah Simmons and Josh Jones, but the value of our return baffles me. I know Simmons has had difficulty living up to expectations but trading a first-round pick for a seventh-rounder seems undervalued. Also, moving Jones, a third-round pick and part-time starter to move from a seventh to a fifth seems very light. Can you explain how that benefitted the team?"

I think, especially in the case of Simmons, it tells you where his reputation is around the league currently. Players don't get traded based on their original draft status, it's based on performance and contract status, and the reality is he hadn't done enough and he's got one year left on his contract. I would guess the Cardinals tried to see if someone wanted to better that offer. Same with Jones. He's going to be a free agent, and the Texans don't even need him to be a starter all year. He's a placeholder until their injured right tackle comes back. Jones wasn't going to play or even be active with the Cardinals on game days; he was the fourth tackle.

From Jon David Lair:

"Why could the Cardinals not get better compensation for Isaiah Simmons? A seventh-round pick doesn't feel like much."

It isn't much. But again, it lets you know how Simmons is viewed around the league. I'm sure everyone would have loved to see Simmons fetch more but it wasn't going to happen.

From Steve Doerk:

"The seventh-round pick sure doesn't feel enough for Simmons, but does that also imply he was destined to be cut if a trade couldn't be found? Was he THAT bad? I went to a couple practices and he was getting starter reps at safety. So it's surprising he fell so far, so quickly. Could it have been a personality issue? Saving $1.1M doesn't seem enough to give up on the guy, so there really seems like there's more to the story beyond 'he wasn't playing well.' At worst he could be a backup for Budda or Jalen. The math doesn't add up."

Monti Ossenfort said it was cumulative, and I would guess that yes, there was probably a lot that went into it than just blowing a coverage. Money has had nothing to do with any of these moves, and they shouldn't -- they have plenty of cap room. I don't know if he would've been released but I think there is a chance -- that's usually why you'd be willing to deal a guy for a low pick, because you plan on moving on anyway.

From Nina Kennedy:

"Hi Darren. With Simmons at safety, Jalen Thompson was playing nickel a lot. Do you think now that Simmons is gone, Jalen moves back to his old role and we have find a replacement for the nickel? Or does Jalen stay nickel and we find a replacement for Simmons? Or do we see a brand new defensive scheme altogether? It seems maybe they were forcing something just to get Simmons on the field."

I think JT's role will be based on who else they want to have out there. I do think Gannon likes how Thompson can play at nickel and I wouldn't rule it out. I think we will see, when there is a nickel package, we will see Baker, Thompson, Marco Wilson and Kei'Trel Clark on the field. The fifth guy could be a cornerback -- Antonio Hamilton? Christian Matthew? -- or a safety. I think who that other guy is might dictate what Thompson does on a given play. They definitely aren't going to suddenly switch to a new scheme.

From Josiah Exford:

"Well, I have a few questions, if you don't mind, and don't worry it's NOT about the QB situation because I know you'll answer multiple of those. Anyway here are mine:

  • What does the energy in the organization feel like heading into Week 1?
  • If you were JG would you focus on stopping the Commanders' ferocious defense or their run game, which is the strength of the offense?
  • Who were your offensive and defensive players of the preseason for the Cardinals this year?"

Here are a few answers.

  • I don't think it's any different than it has been all camp. The players have bought in, and now we see what that means in terms of wins and losses.
  • If I was JG, I'd better focus on both. One or the other isn't going to be enough. That's why you have a whole coaching staff -- plenty of resources to make both happen.
  • If I had to pick one for each, I'll go with Greg Dortch on offense and L.J. Collier on defense.

From Dani Action:

"You didn't give us a roster prediction this year. So in lieu of that, could you give us a roster review once we have one finalized? Just your thoughts on the final decisions, and if there are an surprises? Also, he was on the shelf for all of training camp so rust can be excused, but BJ Ojulari looked rough vs the Vikings. PFF grades don't matter, we know, but his wasn't great. To me, he looked really slow and non-explosive. Speaking of which, do we know who the starting No. 1 and No. 2 pass rushers are? I assume Zaven is one."

If you are asking who the starting outside linebackers are, I would guess Collins and Dennis Gardeck, although Gardeck has been ailing with a knee injury. I do think Ojulari will eventually get into the mix, but he has just started practicing full time and I'm not putting a whole lot of stock into a handful of initial snaps in a preseason game.

From Matthew Stroh:

"Hey Darren. I like the Paul Calvisi mustache. I say if people hate it who cares, but if his wife hates it, then it has to go. I like Monti Ossenfort. Personally I think we had to trade Isaiah Simmons because he can't be trusted to be consistent. In your opinion, what is the biggest reason why Isaiah Simmons is not a Cardinal anymore? Do you think the team was worried about Colt McCoy's injury history? Did you think BJ Ojulari played good or bad during the third preseason game? Thank you Darren."

I think the biggest reason Simmons was dealt was because he didn't fit with what the new staff was looking for in a few areas. It was good for Simmons to get a fresh start, I think. Gannon said the McCoy injury history wasn't a factor, so I don't believe that was part of the release -- I think once they got Dobbs, that was the veteran they wanted to have after watching McCoy all offseason. As for Ojulari, as I mentioned above, I think he didn't play one way or the other. He played 16 snaps. He'll need a lot bigger sample size.

From John McGill:

"Here we go again. This talk about the Cardinals tanking the season because of the trades they made. I think they knew they were not going to re-sign Isaiah Simmons next year. I think the writing was on the wall when they did not pick up his option. He would have had to play like Budda Baker in the preseason to get them to change their mind. I think they wanted to get something for him in return. I wish him the best. He was one of my favorite players. And we do not know if they asked for more and just couldn't get it. What do you think about the trade?"

As I mentioned earlier, I think a fresh start was something Simmons could use at this point. I wouldn't say the decision was made after the option decision, other than the fact that teams that don't pick up an option after three seasons have plenty of video to watch and judge by. I do think they would've tried to see if anyone was interested in paying more.

From Blake Plan:

"Quarterback questions!

  1. Does the Dobbs trade imply Dobbs will be the starter? Let's be honest, Colt and Tune have been terrible. Blough's been pretty good.
  2. Is there a chance Colt gets cut or retires? I've been saying forever I think he has a great career as a coach waiting for him. Would be nice if we could transition him to a QB coaching role this season.
  3. There are rumors swirling that the trade for Dobbs implies Kyler might miss the season. Is there an added pressure to come back and secure his job knowing that the reality of Caleb Williams is a potential option?"

QB answers (and with the caveat you sent these before Monday's Colt-is-cut news).

  1. It implies Dobbs could start. I still think there is a chance Tune starts, but Drew Petzing has history with Dobbs, so that's put him in the mix. I will disagree with you on Tune. I don't think he was excellent, but I don't think he was terrible. Not by any definition.
  2. Obviously, McCoy was cut. He won't be working on this staff, and as I noted earlier I don't know if the coaching life is for Colt right now with all of his young kids.
  3. I think Kyler wants to play because Kyler wants to play. He loves being on the field. I don't think his desire to return is tied to any potential moves at that position. Murray isn't naive. He knows the chatter out there. But I have never thought Murray would miss the entire season. Then again, until he's out there, he's not out there.

From Kerwine Bell:

"In my opinion we are the most needy of backup players that can step up and perform at the level of first-team players. Why keep them if they don't have that ability and just as importantly the desire to be first team? Will we go heavy in the cut wire and bring RB, WR, IOL, DL, OLB and CB players to our team? San Francisco did not wait around for their starting QB to recover from injury! Next man up prevailed and when the smoke cleared he was Purdy darn good! Also Jonathan Taylor is looking for a home! Are we sincerely wanting to accelerate our team's performance so that we can compete in playoff games and eventually the Super Bowl?"

Lot of exclamation points there, Kerwine. I do think the Cardinals will lean into the waiver wire. Will it be for all those positions? Maybe. But people need to remember *players are getting released for a reason.* That said I think the Cardinals are going to add a handful of players. As for Taylor, bringing him in makes little sense, especially since he also wants a giant extension, and I would put the Cardinals in the not-paying-big-money-to-running-backs bucket.

From John Turilli:

"I'm not sure about you as I feel preseason is a total waste of time. I can't stand watching a team show absolutely nothing like we did against the Chiefs. Not one blitz or more than a four-man rush. It's like watching the Pro Bowl of past. The NFL dumped the Pro Bowl so please drop the preseason and go with a strong 18 game season. I love the way college does it. Practice practice practice and get your team all on the same page.

  • Six games in division
  • Four games NFC division
  • Four games AFC division
  • Two games NFC same division spot
  • Two games AFC same division spot

It's 18 games and so easy to schedule with a computer."

So that's fine, except a) owners aren't going to give up two games of ticket revenue; b) players are going to want a bigger piece of the monetary pie if you add a regular-season game; and c) coaches are going to want a preseason game or two to see younger players in game action. On the flip side, you don't have to watch preseason. Just mentally plan on football starting in September, and you'll be set.

From Larry Needham:

"Am I the only one sick and tired of the 'tanking' comments? That said, on with a question. With waiver wire position 3, if they pick a player off waivers, do they stay at that position or go back at the end of the line?"

The Cardinals are third with every player on waivers. For every one they claim, as long as the Bears or Texans don't claim that player, the Cardinals will get him.

From Joey Cammiso:

"Can the team wear the black jerseys with the red pants and the black helmet or does the league prohibit mixing and matching existing uniforms?"

I am sure the Cardinals can mix and match. How much they do that, if at all, I do not know.

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