It’s All In The Numbers Stupid ……………..

It’s All In The Numbers Stupid ……..

Much is being made of the fact that Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is now what is reported to be the largest contract offered to a wide receiver in NFL history to a wide receiver . Cardinals’ GM Rod Graves at team owner Bill Bidwill’s behest gave this all his seal of approval in formally granting this deal. The player’s contract is said to be worth $120 million covering eight years , of which $50 million is guaranteed money.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now pardon me for saying this but at what point did Rod Graves and Bill Bidwill thought it appropriate to simply show their complete stupidity ? The NFL hierarchy , front office executives (general managers) and team owners have simply pled poverty as to their financial plight . Have NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the hierarchy been “juicing” ? This whole idiocy as to the lockout itself and the very fact that we simply have the owners themselves making the most asinine of decisions as it relates to financial matters ! At what point did it not occur to either Rod Graves and the Cardinals’ ownership that this wouldn’t have some serious ramification for the NFL ?

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In this photo taken Aug. 11, 2011, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) smiles in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif. The Cardinals and Fitzgerald have agreed to an eight-year deal that could pay the star receiver as much as $120 million, making it one of the richest deals in the NFL. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …..

There’s no denying that Fitzgerald isn’t one of the most productive and dynamic wide receivers in the NFL as can be proved by his career statistics . But herein lies the caveat , this now raises the bar as to the expectations of other high profiled offensive players looking for their payday. At the same this provides an incentive for agents such as Drew Rosenhaus and Mark Bartelstein to seek even bigger compensation for their clients .

In the midst of this all now stands the impasse between Tennessee Titans’ running back Chris Johnson and the Titans’ front office of which the team’s general manager Mike Reinfeldt has to deal with a dissatisfied running back who feels that he’s not being properly rewarded with regard to his perceived worth. And amongst the running backs in the league Johnson has been one of the most prolific in the past five years . Now with Titans’ owner Bud Adams mocking the player , calling him petulant , one wonders when and how that ongoing saga will now end ?

I’ve always maintained that this most recent stoppage in the NFL had more to do with greed than it had to do with being about a labor dispute ! The NFLPA led by DeMaurice Smith essentially ran over the league hierarchy and all that was left was the road-kill ! To suggest that the owners and the league hierarchy are entirely happy with the outcome of the NFL lockout and its aftermath would be suggest that the French were entirely happy with being invaded by Germany during WWII . In the wake of this all the team owners have are trying to paint a rosy picture as to the present setting but in reality the picture that has been painted on the canvas isn’t quite as impressive as Roger Goodell would have us believe.

If the Arizona Cardinals are to have a successful season then much of that will be predicated upon the play of their new starting quarterback Kevin Kolb acquired in an off-season trade from the Philadelphia Eagles . Now for those who might view Kolb as the answer to the Cardinals’ needs , given the inconsistency of the play last season from the team’s quarterbacks , I would say that while this move could viewed as an upgrade, it isn’t as great as one might perceive it to be on the surface. Kevin Kolb at best, is a moderately talented quarterback who doesn’t even place amongst the top 12 players at the position within the NFL . But such are the vagaries of the game that we have analysts simply lauding mediocrity for the sake of creating a sound byte that resonates with the fans . And nowhere is this more indicative than the rather asinine commentary that’s provided by the wide eyed analysts of ESPN .

Ken Whisenhunt and his coaching staff will be asked to get this team back on track and fighting for at least fighting for the division (NFC West) or at least a wildcard berth within the NFC . Whisenhunt saw fit to players that he feels will be complimentary to this roster . The veterans on this Arizona Cardinals’ team will be asked to lead this young roster as they embark on the season and it remains to be seen as to the challenge that will be mounted amongst their in-house rivals within NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers , St Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks while not being viewed amongst the elite within the conference it has to be said
these teams have their inconsistencies that we have all witnessed throughout the course of last season .

Defensively the Arizona Cardinals are a team that has its deficiencies within its secondary which essentially has become their Achilles Heel . Now while the bone of contention appears to be over the contract signed by Larry Fitzgerald , would we be actually discussing this all were it not a player , playing on a team that has struggled to make their presence felt , albeit that they made an appearance in the Superbowl that ended with a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers . That defeat and the subsequent retirement of Kurt Warner simply led to the Arizona Cardinals’ fall from grace that seemed all the more emblematic of an organization that no longer had a sense of purpose or direction.

I do believe with the additions of Patrick Peterson , Ryan Williams , Robert Housler , Sam Acho , Anthony Sherman , Quan Sturdivant , David Carter and Demarco Sampson we would see some great contributions from these rookies drafted by the organization. Granted, it will be up to the likes of Larry Fitzgerald , Kolb , and the seasoned veterans on this roster to lead by example if this team is to have any semblance of success over the course of this season. Hamza Abduallah , Clark Haggans , Darnell Dockett , Vonnie Holliday , Mike Leach , Todd Heap , Paris Lenon and Joey Porter will have to step up to the plate and contribute greatly . The prevailing thought however, will be that Kevin Kolb has to prove that Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt’s faith in his abilities are justified . From my own perspective I believe that the jury will be out until that first snap of the season is taken and then we will be able to see what the player is truly made of .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

From your own perspective do you believe the contract offered to Larry Fitzgerald was warranted ? Or do you feel that this further typifies the stupidity of the owners and general managers of the NFL , especially given the league hierarchy’s claims of the imbalance of the revenues shared between the league and union ? Simply chime in with a comment on the subject matter and any other points you feel pertinent to this article .

Alan aka tophatal …………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) In this photo taken Aug. 11, 2011, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) smiles in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif. The Cardinals and Fitzgerald have agreed to an eight-year deal that could pay the star receiver as much as $120 million, making it one of the richest deals in the NFL. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(2) GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 19: Ken Wisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the Green Bay Packers in a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …

(3) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) tries to avoid the rush of Green Bay Packers’ Howard Green (95) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. AP Photo/Mike Roemer …….

(4) Kevin Kolb (4) of the Arizona Cardinals looks to hand off against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on August 11, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty ……..

(5) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) can’t come up with a pass while being defended by Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson (21) an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. AP Photo/Morry Gash …..

(6) Bill Bidwill (left) , Cardinals’ team owner is seen alongside Ken Whisenhunt (center) and Arizona Cardinals’ general manager Rod Graves . Getty Images / Nick Doan …….

(7) Chris Johnson (28) of the Tennessee Titans speaks to members of the media after being named the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year at a press conference held at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center as part of media week for Super Bowl XLIV on February 3, 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Getty Images North America/ Doug Benc ……

(8) Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak , left, and general manager Mike Reinfeldt, right, answer questions during a news conference on Friday, July 29, 2011, in Nashville, Tenn. The NFL football team’s training camp begins Saturday. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey …….

(9) Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams who’s said to be aggrieved by the actions of the team’s running back Chris Johnson and his demands for a new contract. Adams has told GM Mike Reinfeldt to hold firm and not acquiesce to the player’s demands . However , further heating up the impasse has been the owner’s intent to resort to name calling and belittling the player . Hardly conducive to creating an environment under which an agreement can be worked out between the two parties . Courtesy of Forbes.com / Matt Holt ……..
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Unresolved Issues Do You Want Me Or Not ?……Is This What Anquan Boldin Ought To Be Asking ?

Unresolved Issues Do You Want Me Or Not ? Is This What Anquan Boldin Ought To Be Asking ?

As much as he may well have bitched and whined last year, as a member of the Arizona Cardinals and their improbable run to last season’s Superbowl. You can’t but help but now wonder, if the Cardinals’ organization is doing the right thing in the stance that they’re taking with regard to Anquan Boldin and his contract negotiations.

From left to right , Arizona Cardinals' owner, Bill Bidwill, the team's coach, Ken Whisenhunt and  the General Manager,  Rod Graves.    picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Paul Talbot ................
From left to right , Arizona Cardinals' owner, Bill Bidwill, the team's coach, Ken Whisenhunt and the General Manager, Rod Graves. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Talbot ................

This situation has dragged on over from last year and while there were cries that the team should’ve traded the player. Calmer heads and common sense prevailed in the end. One would like to think that coach, Ken Whisenhunt and team GM, Rod Graves, may well have thought long and hard mulling the situation over. But in essence, this team without Boldin isn’t near as good, as it could be ! With he , Larry Fitzgerald , Early Doucet , Sean Morey and Steve Breaston. The Arizona Cardinals may well have the best receiving corps in the entire NFL. You’d be hard pressed to find a better duo in all of the NFL , than Bolden and Fitzgerald, at present. And if you can name a team with a better receiving corp , then I’ll stack what the Cardinals have at present against your choice !

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Cards’ Boldin worthy of a pay rise

By Michael Silver, Yahoo Sports

Glendale , Arizona,. – Five minutes into Sunday night’s showdown between NFC contenders on the road to repeating as division champions, the Arizona Cardinals were in trouble.

The formidable Minnesota Vikings had already forced a fumble and taken a seven-point lead on a Brett Favre(notes) touchdown pass, and the 64,121 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium braced themselves for a replay of the Vikes’ blowout victory here a year ago. Having missed the previous game while recovering from a concussion, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner(notes) seemed a vulnerable target for All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen(notes) and the rest of Minnesota’s physical defense.

And then, with an inimitable mixture of blunt force and sublime skill, Anquan Boldin(notes) put the Cards on his back and carried them to their most impressive victory since last January’s NFC championship game.

After that historic triumph, which put Arizona in its first Super Bowl, Boldin threw a bizarrely timed tantrum over his lack of involvement in the offense and left the stadium as if he were auditioning for a role in “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

On Sunday, following the Cardinals’ 30-17 thumping of the Vikings, a far happier Boldin stuck around to talk about the message he and his team had just sent to the rest of the league: While most people have been fixated on the undefeated New Orleans Saints and the Vikings, who’d lost just once before Sunday, as the teams to beat in the NFC, the defending conference champs remain a force to be reckoned with as the stretch run commences.

“I definitely wanted to set a tone,” Boldin said. “When one of us starts out big like that, it puts pressure on a defense and opens it up for everybody, and people feed off each other.”

In this case, “us” was a reference to Boldin and fellow Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald(notes), the NFL’s most dangerous receiving tandem.

Fitzgerald, 26, is in the second year of a four-year, $40 million contract befitting of his status as perhaps the NFL’s best receiver.

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In order to read the rest of Michael Silver’s article just click unto the link provided to read
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As we all know, the 2010-11 NFL season will be an uncapped one and teams will either have to lavish their unrestricted and impending free agents with large sums of money as an incentive to remain with their teams. Or they’ll just have to turn them loose on the ‘open market’. And as to whether or not teams are willing to pay what no doubt will be escalating prices for those players. Well, it remains to be seen. One thing for sure however, is that the deep pocketed franchises, such as the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will do their damned to secure the services of such players. The impending ‘free market frenzy’ that’s liable to take place could well have some serious ramifications, as to the future of the NFL and a number of its franchises.

Anquan Boldin (left) seen here with  teammate, Larry  Fitzgerald at the  Arizona Cardinals'  practice facility in  Tempe, Arizona.  The  two players  are  part  of the  'dynamic duo'  that has  been  often  described as  the  best  receiving  tandem in  the entire  NFL.  It certainly makes  life a great deal  easier  for  Cardinals' quarterback  Kurt Warner having  to  throw  to  either  of the  two  players.      picture  appears  courtesy of ap/photo/  Rob  Pearcey   ...................
Anquan Boldin (left) seen here with teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, at the Arizona Cardinals' practice facility in Tempe, Arizona. The two players are part of the 'dynamic duo' that has been often described as the best receiving tandem in the entire NFL. It certainly makes life a great deal easier for Cardinals' quarterback , Kurt Warner, having to throw to either of the two players. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rob Pearcey ...................

In terms of ‘elite receivers’ in the NFL at present , Boldin would most certainly stand up there alongside his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, as well as the Houston Texans’, Andre’ Johnson , Randy Moss of the New England Patriots,his teammate, Wes Welker , Terrell Owens and the Indianapolis Colts’, Reggie Wayne.Each of whom, I view as consistent performers within the NFL on a week in, week out basis. And their body of work would suggest over that over the last five years, to say the very least. Currently one could add several players to that list merely by looking at their statistics for this year alone but it wouldn’t in any way justify the premise behind my claim.

Clearly, if Rod Graves is prepared to ‘roll the dice’ and gamble on the fact, that he can still work something out with Anquan Boldin. Then he may well have something up his sleeve or he’s prepared to call the player’s bluff. He could well be setting himself and the Cardinals’ organization up for a great fall should they not be able to negotiate an agreeable contract amenable to both parties.

While a great many people viewed Boldin as something of a malcontent, given the fact that he wanted his contract to be reconstructed so that he could be paid in line with that of premiere players at the position around the league. He’d seen his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, resigned to a hefty contract and the team’s quarterback, Kurt Warner receive a two year, $ 24 million deal. Meanwhile , he (Boldin) was being left out in the cold, while management took care of others who they felt it was of an urgency to get something done. If that wasn’t met to be a slight by owner, Bill Bidwill. Then clearly the impression they wanted to create wasn’t met with any great conciliatory response by Anquan Boldin. If it wasn’t a slap in the face, then it may well have felt like a kick to the groin ?

Though the two sides still appear to be at an impasse and it’d be fair to say ,that the Cardinals would not be a better team without Boldin on the field of play. To suggest otherwise , would be to show sheer stupidity by anyone thinking along those lines. Can you hear me Mike Ditka ? At least have the temerity to make a case when putting forth your argument. Instead of just giving ridiculous sound bytes, merely because you’ve got nothing better to say. It just never ceases to amaze me as to the absolute lengths taken by the ‘on air personalities’ on many of the sports magazines and news’ programs. For guys, who are said to have been immersed in the game. They’ll repeatedly come up with something more asinine in the form of a statement, from one moment to the next. All the while, you as a viewer or listener begin to ask yourself ….’did he really just say that’ ?

Arizona Cardinals' Anquan Boldin (81) dives for a touchdown as Minnesota Vikings' E.J. Henderson runs in late to defend in the second quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, in Glendale, Ariz. picture appears courtesy  of ap/photo/ Ross D. Franklin .....
Arizona Cardinals' Anquan Boldin (81) dives for a touchdown as Minnesota Vikings' E.J. Henderson runs in late to defend in the second quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, in Glendale, Ariz. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross D. Franklin .....

As the Arizona Cardinals (8-4) embark on garnering a postseason berth in the NFL playoffs. They’re comfortably leading the NFC West division with some ease. In all likelihood the chances are the team will give a good account of themselves in the playoffs. With them having defeated the high flying Minnesota Vikings with a great deal of ease , end result, 30-17 ,that clearly reflects this. I for one hope, that the team can show the same sort of resolve and attitude shown as last year.
Who’d have guessed that the long suffering fans of the Arizona Cardinals would live to see them make the Superbowl (SBXXXXIII)? Albeit, that they lost in the end, putting up a gallant effort against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team needs Anquan Boldin, just as much as he needs them. He may well be allowed to leave for pastures green but I sincerely doubt that he’ll be to find the type of environment where his teammates and fans made him feel, all the more welcomed ! Money they say … ‘speaks all languages’ but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you the success or happiness you’re said to be looking for. All it really does, is to provide you with the mere luxuries of life. It may well be something that has crossed the player’s mind. But in the end this will all come down to the desire of the parties concerned. As to what that final outcome might be, one can only speculate at this juncture.