Players being in the building is part of the 2019 equation again. The Cardinals' voluntary work began this week, and so starts the offseason part of the prep under coach Kliff Kingsbury. Meanwhile, the questions don't stop, I've noticed. As always, if you want to leave a question for next week's mailbag, click here.
From Robert Malicki via azcardinals.com:
"The Cardinals are in the roller coaster's front seat of the sports-world monster PR hype machine called 'The Draft.' Hot-stove schooling began at my father's knee when our Cardinals selected HOF RB Ollie Matson. How has the whirlwind of the buildup to the draft changed, or has it, since you have boarded that train?"
I'd say the draft buildup has changed some, but mostly because of the internet and social media. I've been doing this long enough that the internet was still kinda slow back in 2000 and certainly there was no social media. There was no NFL Network. ESPN played up the draft plenty, but that was still somewhat contained. Now you have Twitter constantly feeding the beast, and the ease at which people not only can read the internet but also post content has exponentially increased coverage -- some meaningful, some not as much. In the end, the problem is that there isn't enough actual meaningful things to talk about for the months between the Scouting combine (and before) through the draft. It inevitably creates a lot of, let's say, non-meaningful content people are digesting.
That seems like a question for the Raiders mailbag, no? All I can tell you is this: I looked recently at one of those draft value charts, which is certainly not set in stone or official, but it said that the points of the No. 1 overall pick would be worth approximately all three Raiders first-round picks plus somewhere between their second- and third-rounders. That doesn't mean anything in real life, but it's something to keep in mind.
This tweet came Monday, the first day of the Cardinals' voluntary offseason program. Rosen was there and the report was that he was the first one there. (I can't say -- it was a little early for me.) I hesitate to read too much into anything, other than the idea that speculation that he is upset in any way seems way off base. I don't know if we will know for sure what -- if anything -- is a smokescreen until the draft. I'll say this, I like that the quarterback is the first one for voluntary offseason work. It'll help (and as Markus Golden, now a New York Giant, tweeted Monday, Rosen was one of the first guys to get to the building last year too.)
From Justin Zahn via azcardinals.com:
"We all know that the months leading up to the draft are all about smoke screens and false reports. So why are all of these 'experts' so sure that the Cards are taking Murray? They haven't said anything about wanting him or trading Rosen but the media is convinced it's a lock. I don't get it."
That is an excellent question. I am not sure. I do not know who they talk to, or what is being said. But if teams and others are willing to lie this time of year -- and there are reams of proof they will, across the league -- you're right, you'd think people would hedge their predictions a bit. The reality is that there is no consequence if someone is wrong, aside from maybe the Twitter account Old Takes Exposed making note. We'll see later this month.
The Cardinals have Gonzalez and they have added Cole Murphy as a second kicker this offseseason. I'd say it is Gonzalez's job to lose.
From Michael Helminski via azcardinals.com:
"Why is everyone so high on Murray when he only had one year as a starter? Rosen proved himself at UCLA and held up under a very adverse situation last year."
Well, I don't know if "everyone" is high on Murray. There are some with concerns. But ultimately, that's the analysis the Cards have to make. How good is Murray, based on one year of play? And how good is Rosen, based on one year without a lot of help?
The Cardinals will only be on the field for three days of on-field work before the draft. That isn't enough time, I would not think, to make a major impact on the thought process of the Cards and their evaluations of Rosen and Murray.
From Brian Sutherland via azcardinals.com:
"Can you give an opinion or an observation the identity change of the Cards since Michael Bidwill took over control compared to the days when his father Bill Bidwill made the day to day decisions. I have known several Attorney's and know the best carry with them a swagger and a fierce determination to win, it's just in their DNA. Thank you for this weekly segment, it is a favorite."
There is no question the team has changed a lot since Michael Bidwill took over day to day work. But it is not a coincidence that that time also came around at the same time that State Farm Stadium opened. The money that was generated from a new stadium changed the whole equation for this franchise.
From Lorna Green via azcardinals.com:
"I was so disappointed that the AAF was discontinued. My husband and I really enjoyed the games and looked forward to attending playoff games, even though we are Cardinal season ticket holders. Many sports have minor leagues. Why can't the NFL support the AAF as a minor league for the NFL?"
I understand what you are saying, but I'm not sure the NFL is really looking for a minor league. Regardless, as many failed leagues over the years have proven, having another football league just isn't something the public gets behind in a big enough way.
From Robert Malicki via azcardinals.com:
"Could Larry's career intent to be the 'and then there was one' member of his draft class? Or is he already its final draftee still active? Secondly, is this the week the 2019 schedule is released?"
- There are still a handful of 2004 draftees still playing, including Cardinals punter Andy Lee. And no, I don't think being the last man standing means anything to Fitz or plays into his thought process.
- I don't know if the schedule will be this week. Next week, the week before the draft, seems more likely.
From James Walsh via azcardinals.com:
"I know you have true thoughts but I'm guessing you don't want to be on the record and be wrong!!! I read all your stuff and I truly feel you KNOW Josh is the man!!! Why can't you admit it? And do you think with the new DC they will bring Cap Capi back into camp?????"