A lot of unknowns as the Cardinals head into the quiet part of the offseason. Some guys were going to get together for work, and then got word that might not be the best idea. We will keep grinding ahead on the mailbag -- certainly the questions aren't going to stop. I only hope the powers-that-be can figure out some of the trickier answers. As always, send in a question for a later mailbag right here.
From Vivo Duwade via azcardinals.com:
"Hi Darren. So this possibility of a 'no fans' season has me worried about contracts. No fans, no gate money. However, all teams would still receive their TV money right? That should cover payroll. These networks make billions airing NFL games. The thing I'm worried about is Hop's new deal, and PP and Budda and Fitz. These guys obviously are lined up for deals. Can we not pay them and thus risk losing them? Or should we not worry about losing them, because no other team can afford them either?"
I wish I had some answers in this regard. You touch on a couple of different things here. Yes, fewer or no fans will impact the salary cap. There will be TV money as long as there are games to televise, and that is indeed the biggest part of the income. But a loss of gate revenue isn't insignificant and it will absolutely mess with the cap -- although that is something the NFL and NFLPA have to negotiate, and with the new CBA, they do have flexibility to spread any short-term pain over a longer span. There is no way to know exactly how this will play out, although I think it'll still mean the players the organizations absolutely want to keep, they will find a way.
From Tim Tekulve via azcardinals.com:
"Darren, Cardinals fan since 1960. Some of us radio fans hear from Ron Wolfley quite often about the value of the fullback on a team. Do you think the fullback is a viable option in Kingsbury's offense and if so do we have that person on the roster? (I like the uniforms as they are 😀)"
As much as I love Wolf, I don't really see the need for a permanent fullback in this offense. I do think you can stick a tight end back there and make it work -- or maybe, in some scenarios, we'll get defensive lineman Leki Fotu to make an appearance back there, like Darnell Dockett and Gabe Watson did once upon a time. There isn't a fullback on the roster now, so even if you want one, you'd have to sign him.
From Camren Lewis via azcardinals.com:
"Hey Darren, just read that article on the Cards making Juneteenth a permanent holiday. Love it. Wish it were a national holiday. My only question is in regards to application. Would June 19th normally be a camp day? Covid has knocked my calendar silly and I'm not sure what the team would be doing right now in normal circumstances."
It's right on the edge. Last week, it would've fallen on the day after the last day of minicamp. But the rest of the office would've normally been open prior to the holiday announcement. I'm not sure what the calendar will look like next year.
From Jay via Twitter:
"What or who do we need the most to complete a Super Bowl team?"
I mean, with who, I can give you a list of superstars that can't fit under the cap or even be available. If you are talking about realistic scenarios, I think the most important thing is for Kyler Murray to blossom into a consistent stud and that alone will elevate the team. Other things -- like health -- have to happen too. Having the 49ers and Seahawks take a step back wouldn't hurt either.
From Jesse L via azcardinals.com:
"Is there a player (or players) that you wished would have spent their entire career with the Cardinals? Some that come to mind for me are Anquan Boldin and Calais Campbell, but I especially remember being disappointed when Aeneas Williams was traded and when Larry Centers was released."
Sure. On a selfish, personal level, all those guys would come to mind. Centers was before my time, but Williams was traded just as I was getting started. I would've loved for Q and Calais to stick around. I wish Steve Breaston and Tony Jefferson had been able to stay. Tyrann Mathieu. But I also understand how this works too. I'm glad it has worked out that Fitz will be a forever Cardinal.
From Garth Short via azcardinals.com:
"There hasn't been much football news lately, so I'm going back to the 2020 Draft. In round three I didn't think that there was any chance that Josh Jones would be available. Zero chance. So, I'm wondering that at the end of the second and start of the third round, what position was Steve Keim targeting before Jones fell into his lap. Did anyone ask?"
Honestly, I don't think it came up. I don't know if there was a particular position per se -- they probably had an idea of a name or two if Jones was scooped up right before they picked. I do know Jones was so far up the board for them that once he was there, there was nothing else to consider. I guess I wouldn't be shocked had they taken another offensive lineman, although looking at round three of the draft right before and after them, there aren't really any names jumping off the page at me.
From Alan N via azcardinals.com:
"Hey Mr. Urban. Someone asked a question in regards to the addition of Everson Griffen. I would have to say that would be quite an interesting pass rush defense with the likes of Jordan Phillips, Devon Kennard, and of course Chandler Jones, who all placed individually within the top 45 of the entire NFL in sacks last year. ... do we have the type of secondary to take advantage of it? I mean outside of Patrick Peterson, who do we have that has the ballhawk capabilities for boosting our interceptions? We seem to be focusing on tackling masters at CB and safety, which is great but I would like to personally see the addition of a ballhawk in the depths of at least safety."
Hey Alan. I apologize for not having both your questions in full, but they got a little lengthy. As for the "ballhawking" abilities of the secondary, I think Byron Murphy definitely has that ability once he learns the game more. Budda Baker is still seeking that first interception, so I don't know if that is ever going to be a big part of his game, but Robert Alford has done it in the past and I think Jalen Thompson can make some plays in that regard.
From Josh Hartman via Twitter:
"Hey Darren. Do you see Lamont Gaillard as a possible replacement for either Sweezy or Pugh (if they felt the need to cut him for salary cap reasons next year) or is he strictly a center?"
Gaillard is a guy who I think they feel can also play guard. Whether he, with basically no experience, would plug right into a starting guard role, I wouldn't think that. I will be surprised if Sweezy and Pugh aren't the starting guards this season. Next year, especially with the incredible unknown because of the coronavirus, I couldn't even begin to handicap.
From Tom Cowley via azcardinals.com:
"Thanks Darren. Do you honestly see the Cards adding any additional UFAs before training camp starts? Do we really need any now?"
Right now, I don't see the need, but that doesn't mean, if an upgrade happened to be there for the right price, I wouldn't want to take advantage. Here's a question for the bigger free agents still on the market -- knowing everything we know about the virus and the unknown of how this season could unfold, are you playing on a "prove-it" salary, given the working conditions? Or might some say I really need "x" amount of dollars to make it worth it?
From Paula Hernandez via azcardinals.com:
"Is training camp open to the public this year?"
That question has yet to be answered. I know that as soon as I have concrete answers, it'll be on azcardinals.com. But that's among many, many things that must be determined -- and when/where camp is going on could be part of the equation.
From Cathy McIntyre via azcardinals.com:
"When is the decision expected to be made on whether or not fans will be allowed to attend games? I am disappointed that the Cardinals went ahead and took the money of season ticket holders without us knowing if we will even be attending games."
I understand the frustration. As I noted about training camp, I don't know when the decision will be made about fans either. There are a lot of moving parts here. I'm sure part of the reason for continuing to sell tickets is that it would be in place if fans do attend. Otherwise you'd be in a tough spot trying to logistically know what seats are being used with the season on top of you. Again, ticketing questions can be asked at 602-379-0102.
From Red Rage via Twitter:
"How will stadiums be able to handle the crowds of fan sitting next to each other drinking beers, eating food? They can't do that without taking their masks off. I'm not sick and I know others who are not sick. I want it to stay that way, but I want to enjoy the game too!"
These are the types of things that must be sorted out before anything official is decided.
From S.W. via azcardinals.com:
"Hey Darren. Heading out to visit the national parks. I hope football starts up soon, and it got me thinking:
- Ron Wolfley is definitely Yellowstone, regularly spouting off like Old Faithful
- Dave Pasch is definitely Yosemite. His voice is as smooth as the granite of Half Dome, and after a dramatic play it soars as high as El Capitan
- Paulie is definitely Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, the smallest national park.
- Kyle is the NASA Space Center Houston (where it is all about the math).
- So, which national park are you? (Yup. We are your readers.)"
The Grand Canyon. In Arizona, and been here a long time. (Yup. These are my readers.)