Cardinals Rumor Mill

With free agency officially underway, the Cardinals' name is popping up all over the place: Alan Faneca here, Michael Turner there, Bryant Johnson and Calvin Pace neither here nor there. One thing is for sure: Larry Fitzgerald isn't going anywhere. Amberly Richardson breaks down which rumors hold weight and which ones are merely smoke and mirrors.

The Cardinals reportedly spoke with Alan Faneca's agent, Rick Smith, to indicate an interest in uniting Faneca with his former coach. Unfortunately, the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and New York Jets showed an interest, as well.

The Jets came out on top, landing Faneca with a four-year, $32-million deal.

Faneca's camp gave no sympathy to the Cardinals, who said they couldn't shell out $8 million a year due to their stalled negotiations regarding Larry Fitzgerald.

That situation could change quickly.

A league source told Scout.com that Fitzgerald and the club are closing in on an agreement. The source told Scout.com's Adam Caplan that the team is very confident a deal can be struck by the weekend.

Caplan reports that Arizona has revised its offer from a six-year deal with around $18 million in guaranteed money to a five-year pact with approximately $25 million in guarantees.

Fitzgerald holds a $16.48 million cap charge this season and the Cardinals' wings are tied until a new contract is in place.


RB Michael Turner
Donald Miralle/Getty

Turner's Turn

If the Cardinals can't afford Faneca, then RB Michael Turner is out of the question. Cardinalinsider.com was in Indianapolis to ask Whisenhunt whether Turner would generate appeal in the desert.

"We are always looking to find players to help carry the load in that position," Whisenhunt said. "That's as far as that goes."

On Pace to Leave

Cardinalinsider.com reported on Feb. 18 that the Cardinals held a less than 50-percent chance of keeping Calvin Pace.

League sources tell Caplan that the division-rival 49ers are the team most likely to pluck Pace from the Cardinals' nest. The New England Patriots are also keeping close tabs on Pace.

The Cardinals don't want Pace to leave, but they are reluctant to overpay for his services.

"Calvin has made it clear he'd like to remain with us and we'd like to keep him, so we're still working to make that happen," Rod Graves said at the Combine.

Bryant to the Bucs?

Bryant Johnson is generating a lot of buzz in the free-agent market and is no longer flying under the radar.

League sources told Caplan that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings and the 49ers are all potential landing spots for the former first-round pick.

Berry Bails Out Accountants

Graves publicly praised Bert Berry for restructuring his deal to help the team, which is something Graves may ask of other players in the near future.

"In many instances we have seen players restructure deals, they're willing to do something that ensures the progress of the team in terms of talent building and added talent that keeps their program going in a positive direction and that's something I expect them to do," Graves said.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications.


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