Buyer's Remorse in the Cards for Arizona?

The Arizona Cardinals took a cannonball in the free agency pool with the Joey Porter acquire on Friday. Dolphin Digest's Alain Poupart dishes up an exclusive scouting report on the veteran linebacker. Will the Cardinals have buyer's remorse?

From the Desk of Alain Poupart

Upon hearing the news that Joey Porter had signed with the Arizona Cardinals, the first reaction was something along the lines of "good for him." But after reading a published report that put the three-year deal at $17.5 million with a possibility it could go as high as $24.5 million, the reaction moved to, "You have got to be kidding."

In a nutshell, Porter isn't good enough to merit that kind of deal. And that's even without talking about the distractions that he'll inevitably bring.

Joey Porter

Porter is never boring, but trying to keep him is a full-time job and it gets old after a while.

That Porter got a job with a team with Steelers ties for the second time in four years — former Steelers assistant Dom Capers was with the Dolphins in 2007 — says that maybe Porter isn't a difficult a player as his reputation suggests.

But not everyone of his former coaches would go along with that idea. In three years in Miami, he had issues with his two head coaches. The story of how he dressed down Cam Cameron toward the end of the 2007 season is pretty well known by now, and then last year he was suspended for one game by Tony Sparano and later stopped being invited when Sparano met with the team captains — even though Porter and Jason Taylor were the only two of the four initially selected who were not on IR.

It would be easier to put up with Porter's antics — and rest assured, Cardinals fans, there will be antics — if Porter were in his prime. But he's going to turn 33 on Monday, and his best days are behind him.

He's not done, but he's not a dominating player anymore, either. He's coming off a rather ho-hum 2009 season and it might be too much to expect him to rebound and again be the player he was for the first three-quarters of 2008.

But Porter still sees himself as a game-changer, which is why he couldn't deal with the Dolphins having the audacity to replace him at times late last season. That resulted in Porter's well-publicized requests to be let go by Miami if they weren't going to use him as a full-time player.

Porter burned bridges in Miami with his comments, one of which went something like this: "I don't have time to be play these childish games. If you want to put Cameron Wake and them in the game, go ahead. Good luck to you."

Sure Wake loved that one. Oh, and here's the deal, Wake was a much more productive pass rusher than Porter for the Dolphins last season.

Porter finished with nine sacks in 2009, while Wake had 5.5, and there's no way Wake had half the amount of snaps that Porter had. Not even close.

Jason Taylor had seven sacks, but he had to play at strongside linebacker where he had to deal with the tight end and we're thinking he would have had more than nine playing on the weak side.

The truth is even without his comments it's entirely possible Porter would have been released by the Dolphins anyway because of his age, because of his reduced production and because he was due a $1 million roster bonus in early March to go on top of his $3.6 million base salary.

Porter will get some sacks for the Cardinals because he's relentless when it comes to getting after the quarterback. But he also contributes very little when he's not getting sacks and he's not going to have much success against the elite tackles in the league.

It's a splashy signing for Arizona, but the term "buyer's remorse" keeps coming to mind. From this vantage point, we'll take Karlos Dansby over Porter in a minute.

~Alain Poupart

CardinalsSource Top Stories