Contract Issues Still Present in Arizona

Although news is slow in the desert, two of the Arizona Cardinals' most notable players are still unhappy with their current contracts. Both Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett went through the same process a year ago but ended up on the playing field for the duration of the season. Will the same scenario take place in 2009? Brad Wilbricht checks in with the latest.

While WR Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett's contract demands are justified due to their tremendous performance, the Arizona Cardinals' front office has every right to hold them to their current contracts. Both players have already received restructured deals after outplaying their rookie contracts and upping the ante every time further success is experienced is an unpractical business procedure for an NFL team.

Also working against Boldin and Dockett is the fact that they went through the same process a year ago, yet wound up being major contributors towards the Cardinals' first ever Super Bowl berth. Arizona has focused its resources on other players this offseason, such as QB Kurt Warner and SS Adrian Wilson, and is still seeking a long-term deal for LB Karlos Dansby. Dansby was slapped with the franchise tag for the second consecutive year and this could be his final season in the desert if a multi-year deal isn't agreed upon.

Darnell Dockett

While Boldin has stayed out of the spotlight in the recent months, Dockett hasn't shied away from vocalizing his desire to be compensated as one of the leagues top defensive tackles. Dockett's versatility in the trenches makes him extremely valuable and his services would be missed dearly if he were to leave the Cardinals' organization. However, with too much invested in his performance during the upcoming season, a holdout is highly unlikely as Dockett still has plenty to prove on the field.

Meanwhile, Boldin's silence is to be expected, given his business like mentality even with the animosity regarding his current contract. Boldin is an extreme competitor and hails as one of the most resourceful wideouts in all of football. Boldin would be the more likely candidate to holdout during training camp due to fellow WR Larry Fitzgerald's lucrative deal last year and his longer tenure in the NFL. Furthermore, his fearless style on the field leaves him more prone to injury, something that could derail his future negotiations.

Regardless of the outcome, GM Rod Graves must be commended for his ability to work through these issues. The Cardinals have dealt with more pressing areas of need and refused to give in unlike teams in the past. Graves has taken a page out of the Pittsburgh Steelers book when it comes to contract negotiations and fans in Arizona are hopeful it works out for the better. If Boldin and Dockett continue to excel on the field, there's no doubt they'll be rewarded but they may find themselves waiting just a little while longer.

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