Cards Talk Numbers with Fitz, Pace, Dansby

LB Karlos Dansby (Stephen Dunn/Getty)

The Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald are keeping talks open concerning his contract extension, but the ink has yet to hit the paper. As Fitz works on his hula at the Pro Bowl, the Cardinals are jumping through hoops to keep their accountants and their Pro Bowler happy. However, the Cardinals aren't playing as nice with Karlos Dansby.

The Cardinals are not releasing any numbers, but are reporting that a figure is penciled in for Larry Fitzgerald's contract extension. Arizona would like the deal to become official by the start of free agency at the end of the month.

General Manager Rod Graves said Fitzgerald's cap number will determine which direction the Cardinals move in free agency.

As it stands, Fitzgerald is set to make $14.592 million in 2008 and more than $17 million in 2009. The Cardinals are aware that 1,400-yard seasons don't come cheap, but they realize the need to free up some funds. Their ultimate goal is to give Fitzgerald a long-term deal that spreads out the cap hit.

Fitzgerald's outlook is simple.

"I want to be a Cardinal," Fitzgerald said. "I enjoy it here. I love my teammates."

Still waiting in the wings are free agents Calvin Pace and Karlos Dansby, who appear less hell-bent on staying in the desert.

Pace appears open to testing the waters, while Dansby merely wants respect -- with a multitude of zeros trailing it.

If a deal is not reached with Dansby, the franchise tag is expected to stop him in his tracks. A tag would place him in the $8-million bracket for next season, a far cry from the $894,000 base salary he made last season.

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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