Cardinals: Dockett cut for near $7m in savings

| 2 years ago

Cardinals: Dockett cut for near $7m in savings

PFF-headlinesOne of the most well known Arizona Cardinals over the last decade was Darnell Dockett. Now he is available to sign with any other team.

For years he was among the best 3-4 defensive ends as a pass rusher while never threatening to match that level in run defense. He peaked in 2011 where even though he only had four sacks, he collected 15 hits and 35 hurries — those 54 total pressures was second best for the position, just behind Justin Smith. He declined to an average state as a pass rusher at the position in 2012 and 2013, and missed all of 2014.

Assuming he can return to the same level he was at in 2013, he should be able to catch on somewhere or back in Arizona as a situational pass rusher. However, his days of playing 80% or more of a team’s snaps are likely behind him.

Cutting him saved $6.8 million against the cap which contributed to the release. He will be 34 by the time the season starts, and is among the 10 oldest interior defensive linemen remaining in the league. Tommy Kelly did well in Dockett’s place in 2014 and is also a free agent, but Frostee Rucker and Kareem Martin can also fill Dockett’s spot. The Cardinals will be thin on the defensive line if Dockett, Kelly, and Dan Williams aren’t brought back… certainly a situation to keep an eye on.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • Bill Doerr

    Arizona is loaded up front along the defensive line, they will be fine this year. Last year they had they had 3 DE’s rank in the top 20 of 49 DE’s ranked in PFF’s 3-4DE rankings.They have a monster 3-4 DE in Calais Campbell, who is a nightmare pass rusher, an elite DE both in run blocking and rushing the passer & is in his prime. Frostee Rucker is a really good interior rusher , w/ 5.5 sacks playing just 524 snaps. 3-4 DE Tommy Kelly was a really good FA pick-up. In 726 snaps played he ranked positively across the board with a +5.7 overall grade, +4.8 against the run, he was really solid up front run blocking, and +1.2 rushing the passer with 2 sacks, 9QB hits, and his 31QB hits was 5th at his position, he brought a lot pressure on QBs. Kelly is a F/A but the team is most definitely bringing him back likely on a 2 year deal , but set-up to where they can get out of it next year if they need to on a front loaded deal im thinking. As far as Dockett goes I think he is going to remain a Cardinal. I think he is doing what a lot of players do, and using other clubs as leverage for a bigger deal. Arizona offered him 2.5 million with incentives he could make up to 4 million. If a team offers him a bit more , cause he wont make to much coming off injury at 33, he will more than likely take that deal back to AZ , AZ will sign him and that will be that.

    Arizona also drafted two 3-4DE’s last year as well who were ranked relatively higher than Arizona drafted them, getting really good value. Arizona 6″4 , 290 pound Ed Stinson in round 5, but they got really got value in Stinson as he was ranked as a 3rd round prospect & played his entire senior year with a partially torn groin which really affected his play. Healthy last season he was a different player and showed a lot promise. He surprised & showed a solid ability to really pressure the QB, but he was excellent stopping the run, taking up space in the run game and controlling the LOS. Stinson has very good arm and body length w/34in long arms, Outstanding strength at the point of attack. Big stout, power base and superb press strength to set the edge and walk blockers back to the quarterback. Very stout vs. the run. Possesses pop and power in his hands and jolts blockers on contact. Plays square to the line and controls blockers with ease. Physical, drive-through tackler. The good thing about Stinson , is he can play both inside and outside , with the ability to play Nose Tackle. Arizona probably is wanting Stinson to go from 290 to up around 300-305.
    Arizona drafted a very good inside pass rusher in round 3 in Kareem Martin out of UNC. He was projected as a 2nd round pick , for the caliber of player he is, AZ got a very good deal. Steve Keim refers to Martin as Calais Campbell 2.0 type talent. Martin has power and is very long with length for days at 6ft”6.5in with 35 1/2 inch long arms, his 35 1/2inch vertical jump & combine best among D-Line man 130inch broad jump with 4.71 speed , which is fast for a 285 pound man.

    • Bill Doerr

      Martin showed a tremendous amount of explosion off the ball of the snap with his vertical jump & broad jump. Martin’s problem was he was a little light coming out of UNC at 272-275 pounds , but since he was drafted and is now in a NFL strength & conditioning program , he has put on 20 pounds of muscle and is at 292 pounds , with the team wanting him to eventually get up to around 300. He showed a ton of pass rushing potential as a rookie , really giving LT’s a lot of problems , especially LT R. Clady when we played Denver & he still has a ton of room to grow. He only played a limited amount of snaps as a rookie, but looks to play considerably more this season.
      The only player I am worried about not returning is Dan Williams. He only played in Arizona’s base defense , which AZ doesn’t use all that much, meaning he only plays roughly 35-40% of the snaps. At the same time though he is a must have player as he is a beast in the middle of the defense at NT. He ranked as the 14th best DT/NT in the NFL and as a run blocker , he ranked as the 8th best DT/NT in the NFL with a overall grade of +11.7 VS the run. He isn’t very good as a pass rusher , but as a NT he doesn’t need to be. He wants 7 Million per year , which is wayyyy to much for a player who only played 427 snaps or 35%-40% of the defense. Arizona is going to allow him to test Free Agency , and match any offer he gets , but I am hoping AZ gets him for 5-6 million per year , on a 4 year deal. At the same time with him testing FA , Arizona GM S. Keim is going to be looking for a upgrade at NT in Free Agency. One player I think AZ will be very interested in to replace him with is free agent DT Nick Fairley who if signed would make AZs defense significantly better. DT/NT Terrance Knighton is also a FA as is GB’s BJ Raji. Raji would very likely sign a low value one year 1-2 million dollar “Prove It” deal coming off 2 down years. Arizona wouldn’t sign him though, they will either keep Dan WIlliams or bring in a upgrade. One very likely possibility is Arizona really likes a NT in the draft.
      Arizona is going to field a damn good defense next year though. They are very strong along the defensive line and likely will get better in the off-season. GM Steve Keim is determined to upgrade their outside pass rush , they are in the market to sign a big name 3-4 OLB or a 4-3DE who can convert. They have a really good promising young pass rushing OLB IN 2013 4TH round pick Alex Okafor. He basically missed his entire rookie season so in effect last season was pretty much his rookie year. In his 1st year he had 8.5 sacks and 26 hurries, his 8.5 sacks ranked 7th among 3-4OLBs. He had 3 more sacks called back because of teammates fouls. He is very promising as a rusher and will only get better. OLB Sam Acho is a FA but will likely be resigned. He is a role player though, he only had 2 sacks coming off a injury from 2013 but ranked as the 5th best OLB VS the run. He is usually good for 5-8 sacks though, his down year pass rushing only helps AZ price wise though. A few really good pass rushers Arizona will be looking at is likely Brian Orakpo , Greg Hardy , and Jason Worilds who likely would be a bit cheaper than the latter two. Jerry Hughes, Parnell Mcfee, and Brandon Graham are mid tier price targets. I would bet money though Arizona is going to sign a top botch blue chip OLB , likely Orakpo , Hardy , or Worilds who has a lot of potential . They also likely will look to add a cheaper veteran OLB to bolster the depth, I could see GM Steve Keim targeting newly released OLB Trent Cole trying to sign him at a moderately priced affordable 2-3 year deal.
      Overall their front 7 is very good and will only be even better next season as Arizona is looking to add a blue chip free agent high dollar 3-4 OLB along with a power inside RB to pair with Ellington offensively. They more than likely will add a pass rusher drafted in the first few rounds as well. Their secondary is loaded , even if Cromartie leaves. They are set a CB but I am really looking forward to seeing their growth at safety between FS/CB Tyrann Mathieu & 2014 1st round pick SS Deone Bucannon who was used more in the box as a ILB due to his speed n cover ability with ILB DWASH suspended. Their weak spot on defense was ILB & OLB, both will be addressed this off-season. ILB Daryl Washington is one of the top 3-4 best ILB’s in the NFL, and is a beast in coverage & rushing the passer. His suspension is up and he will be back this next year. They drafted Kevin Minter in the 2nd round of 2013 who took some huge steps in his development last year. He ranked 16th VS the run & 14th rushing the passer , playing roughly half the snaps as a rotational ILB. He needs to improve in coverage. ILB Larry Foote was very good last year until the last 2-3 weeks of the season when injuries caught up with him. He was used to much as a 3 down player. He is still a really good ILB vs the run and rushing the QB when healthy as a 2 down player . AZ is likely to re-sign him at the veteran minimum as a rotational 2 down ILB where he plays 300-400 snaps next year. Arizona is most certainly going to draft one of the top ILBs at 24th overall in round 1 or round 2 at the latest. I Think they take Eagles ILB Mycheal Kendricks little brother 6″1 Eric Kedricks out of UCLA .He is a complete 3 down ILB w/ speed and is really good in coverage and in space. Him and Daryl Washington paired together would make for an elite quality ILB Duo. 5″11 240 ILB out of TCU ( same school was D. Washington) could also be a possible 1st or 2nd round draft pick of AZs to upgrade the ILB position. He is a big downhill running back who also has speed , running a 4.61 , and is very good in coverage . Last year he had 129 tackles, 18.5 tackles loss , 5 sacks, 2FF’s , 5 passed defensed and 4INTs. I would rather have Kendricks as he has more upside , but if drafted by the time AZ picks at 24, Dawson is another solid safe pick at ILB. With Arizona’s OLB & ILB solidified , Arizona will have a excellent top 5 defense next season.
      Paired with Arizona’s offense , Arizona will have a really good 12-14 win team next season that should win the NFC-W , They were running away with it last year until Palmer went down. Carson Palmer has thrived under Arians and is making excellent progress in his rehab, already a month and a half ahead of schedule. He will be ready for Mini Camp, but to be safe AZ might not allow Palmer to much activity to July when T-Camp starts. Arizona has a excellent top 10 offensive line with a elite top 5 LT in J. Veldheer, and a above average RT in Bobby Massie who is still growing and should only be even better in year 2 next season of starting in BA’s offense. Arizona is more than likely going to cut C Lyle Sendlein to save his 5 million cap hit and upgrade the Center position in Free Agency or the draft. Arizona is loaded at WR , they have one of the best WR units in the NFL. WR John Brown was one of the steals of the 2014 draft, he was on track to have over 1,000K yards as a rookie when Palmer was healthy. WR John Brown with his elite world class speed is a lethal home run threat, paired with elite route running skills, he consistently beats his man by 2-3 steps. He set a NFL record in game winning TD catch’s as a rookie w/4 , ending up AVG 15.5YDs per catch, 700YDs n 5TDs. They fired Ted Ginn & now they will go with 6″3 215 pound Jaron Brown ( Not John Brown) who has 4.40 speed going into his 3rd year out Clemson. He has elite athleticism & is a excellent outside WR, on most other teams he would be a #2WR. With just 22 receptions last season he had 250 yards n 2TDs, next season he should have around 60-65 targets ending up with 40-50 receptions. At TE Arizona will be far better next season. Arians brought in EX-Basketball player 6″7 275 pound TE Darren Fells in 2013, and he has developed into a top notch blocker and a very good receiver, He was really starting to come on strong the 2nd half of 2013 , and In the playoffs made some big time catchs including a TD. He has worked hard to get where he is , and will play a big role at TE next year. Last year Arizona drafted 6″7 271 pound TE Troy Niklas in round 2 but unfortunately he was hurt early on and went on IR. He will be back next season and has showed tremendous potential as a blocker with excellent, soft hands as a receiver . He is a very good complete TE people compare to Jason Witten. He was recruited as a DE/OLB, playing his first year at Notre Dam as a OLB, So he is a excellent vicious blocker/tackler who finish’s. 6″5 250 Pound receiving TE John Carlson is a solid good receiving TE not so as blocker , next year he will solely be used as a receiver. 6″5 245 TE Rob Housler is a WR in a TE’s body with 4.45 speed , but Is inconsistent. He is a free agent so unless he signs for very little , he likely will be gone. Arizona is looking at replacing him with ex Philly TE 6″3 240 pound James Casey. Casey is a really , really good blocking TE who is very reliable and solid as a receiver , and is somewhat underrated as a receiver. He is a player I hope AZ signs as he will boost the run game. RB Andre Ellington will be back healthy next season. The odds were against Ellington from the start last season , as he was tore a ligament in his foot during the preseason and played all year long with it. Yet even on one foot he still put up 1,100 yards from scrimmage , with just under 700 rushing yards and 3Touchdowns , with 46 receptions and 400 receiving yards with 2 Touch Downs while playing with a bad foot , which for a RB like Ellington who relies on his elite speed & elite lateral speed as wheel as his shiftiness is pretty devastating. Healthy as a rookie he ranked as the NFLs #1 most elusive running back as well as the NFLs #1 ranked highest yards per carry AVG with an AVG 5.5 YPC posting 653 rushing yards in just 118 carries & 3TDs with 40 receptions for 371 yards n 2TDs for over 1,000K+ Yards From Scrimmage as a rookie. Ellington is extremely talented and healthy is a 1500-2000 yards from scrimmage type RB when 100% healthy. Arizona is going to be adding a RB to help Ellington and are looking for a elite power RB to compliment Ellington. Adrian Peterson keeps consistently being linked to Arizona with Peterson himself saying he wants to play for AZ. Steve Keim loves him and wanted to draft him in 07 as a scout , but was over ruled by the moronic EX GM , decisions like that are why he is the ex GM. Keim would love to sign him. Demarco Murray is another RB AZ might sign , and at 6″1 225 pounds is the type of power inside RB Arians likes in his scheme. 5″11 210 pound C.J Spiller is very similar to Ellington and is basically a bigger version , he could also be signed and would likely split touch’s right down the middle. One thing is for sure , Arizona’s Run-Game is going to be better by leaps and bounds.
      Arizona is going to be a legit contender for the NFC title next season. They have always had a very strong defense top 10 defense over the last 5 or so seasons. Even in the nightmarish 2012 season , Arizona had a solid defense it was their offense which was shit. Arizona has a really good QB in Carson Palmer who is thriving in Arians system. He ranked in the top 5 to top 10QBs in just about every stat until he went down last year, winning every game he started going undefeated completing 64% of his passes, AVG 271 passing YPG, 7.5YD/AVG , 11TDs(5.0td5) to 3INTs(1.2Int%), a very high 65.9 QBR and a QB Passer Rating of 96.0 in the 6 games he played until going down in his 7th, he was well on his way to his 3rd straight 4,000+YD season. In 2013 Not only Palmer , but everyone on the offense including Fitzgerald were struggling to learn the offense. Half of AZs 2013 INT’s were not the fault of Palmer but due to WRs running the wrong route , miscommunication, caused roughly half of Palmer’s INTs and the majority occurred in the first 6 weeks. After Palmer and Co. got on the on the same page , Arizona’s offense was red-hot ,over the last 9 weeks of the season Arizona not only had one of the NFLs best offenses but Palmer was one of the best QBs in the NFL over the last 9 weeks of the season. Over the last 9 weeks of the season Palmer had the NFLs 2nd highest completion percentage behind only Bree’s over the last 9 weeks of the season with a 66.9% completion percentage, 281 AVG passing yards per game, 8.6YD/AVG per attempt, 16TDs-8INTs , a very high 68.9QBR and a QB passer rating of 98.0!!!! Palmer is the perfect QB for Bruce Arians system, its a perfect pairing which is why we are seeing him thrive. He has one of the NFLs best WRs units with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown is a lethal vertical threat who is a elite WR in the making who is very similar to Steelers Antonio Brown ( Who Arians also drafted), and 6″3 Jaron Brown with 4.40 speed is very talented & would be a #2 on most other teams not as loaded at WR. People say Fitz is in decline but he is not , he has had terrible luck the last 3 years. 2012 was a nightmare n got HC Whiz n the GM fired , AZ had no QB or Oline for the 3 straight year. In 2013 Fitz was learning a brand new , very complex offense & was learning a new position , learning how to play in the slot . He blew up over the last 8 games though, and still got 82 receptions for 954YDs with 10TDs. Last season with Carson Palmer healthy Not only Fitzgerald , but M. Floyd and Super-Rookie were all on pace for over 1,000k+ yard seasons until Palmer went down, when he did they were all pretty much doomed. To top it off , Fitz sprained his MCL, which he then struggled with the rest of the year & caused him to miss 2 games. Before his injury with Palmer healthy , Fitz ripped the Eagles for 160 yards, had 100 yards VS the SKins, 75 VS Dallas and 112 Vs the Rams. Fitzgerald is only 31 years as well , and is a WR , its not as if he has sustained a ton of punishment over the years. Fitzgerald plays smart , protects his body , and rarely takes big hits. Had Palmer not been injured Fitz was on par to have roughly 1200YDs without much trouble. Had Fitz not tore his ACL , heck even with Stanton , he would of easily had over 1,000+YD yards. Fitz still has the best hands in the NFL as well , dropping only 1 pass last year and that pass was far from accurate coming from Lindley, and only 1 pass in 2013, in the last 3 seasons he has dropped only 2 passes. Michael Floyd Arizona’s 2012 1st round 12th overall pick is an elite WR in the making , posting just under 900 yards n 6TDs from terrible QBs once Palmer went down last year. He AVG’d 18.0 YDs per catch, which was 3rd highest AVG in the NFL!!!! Teams are seriously regretting missing on WR John Brown , who came from a tiny southern D2 college whom turned out to be the steal of the draft. He was compared to 1st round pick B. Cooks as both ran 4.3 , were the fastest players in the 14 draft , and had very similar styles, John Brown vastly outplayed Brandin Cooks in their rookie years , with Brown setting a NFL record as a rookie with 4 game winning TD catch’s , catching 48 receptions for 700YDs n 5TDs. He was on pace for over 1,000+YDs before Palmer went down. He and Palmer worked a ton together last off-season , and he is quickly becoming one of his favorite targets. I think Brown’s production is going to explode next season, AVG between 16-18YDs per catch n ending up with 75-85 receptions for 1300-1600YDs 8-12TDs , he is that talented. With his elite world class low 4.3 speed , and elite route running skills, he consistently beats his man by 1-3 steps with excellent ball tracking ability n excellent very stick hands. With a stable QB presence with a healthy Palmer , Floyd is still maturing a top caliber elite WR in the making. He is Arizona’s big play WR with 4.4 speed and is very physical .Arizona’s TE position is good to be vastly better with Arizona getting 2014 2nd round pick TE Troy Niklas back , TE Darren Fells has developed into a excellent TE and is coming onto the block , TE John Carlson is a solid receiving TE and Arizona is going to add atleast on more , likely a blocker though to immensely help run blocking like TE James Casey. Arizona’s RB Andre Ellington was playing with a bad foot all year due to tearing a ligament in the pre-season , with him 100% he is one of the top most elusive RBs in the NFL and is one of the best dual threat RB/Receiving Running-Backs in the NFL as he has elite speed , and is a legit excellent route runner who can run every route In the offense with elite hands. A Healthy Ellington is good for a solid 225-230 carries for 1200-1400 yards n 60-70 receptions for 600-800 yards, He does need help though which is why Arizona is looking to add a top notch RB to compliment him with Adrian Peterson being linked to AZ , they more than likely will look at Demarco Murray as he is a excellent inside power RB , a back like Frank Gore easily has a solid 2 seasons and 600 carries left in him. Gore would likely come a lot cheaper as well , a 3 million per year 2 year or deal in that ball-park. I’d for them to sign Gore if they couldn’t get AP , and draft Tevin Coleman in round 2-3 . Arizona is most definitely is going to compete for in the NFC next season for a SB , they will definitely be one of the top 2 teams in the NFC Season next season as long as their QB stays healthy, mark my words.