Kurt Warner (Otto Greule/Getty)
The Cardinals completed the restructuring of their scouting department this week, announcing four new hires to the department. The most significant is Jason Licht, who will serve as personnel executive. It's a vague title because Licht is going to do a bit of everything. He'll concentrate on pro personnel but word is general manager Rod Graves will consult with Licht on college players, too.
Jason Licht spent the past five years as a personnel vice president with the Eagles. He was fired there after the draft, reportedly because of a personality conflict with another person in the department.
It appears to be a solid hire for the Cardinals, whose front office has traditionally been woefully understaffed.
Graves hasn't had much help since assistant John Idzik left for Seattle two years ago. Now, Graves has a full complement of competent people under him. Steve Keim was promoted last month to personnel director.
Reggie Terry was hired a year ago as director of football administration. He helps on salary-cap matters and also handles logistical tasks, such as supervising training camp and travel arrangements. Justin Casey is a capable cap manager and also negotiates contracts.
--Flagstaff traditionally has been one of the best sites in the le ague for training camp, and now it should be better. A new artificial turf has been installed in the domed facility at Northern Arizona. It should be a safer surface upon which to practice. In past years, the club only did walk throughs in the event rain forced it inside. It might be able to do more now.
--GM Rod Graves has stepped up the pace of negotiations over the past week. He has exchanged phone messages with the agent for linebacker Karlos Dansby. He also was in Chicago and was hoping to meet with the agent for quarterback Kurt Warner.
--It would be surprising if receiver Anquan Boldin didn't report for the start of training camp in July. Boldin recently told the team's web reporter that he was undecided about reporting. Boldin is as competitive as anyone in the league, so failing to report would be a major departure in thinking for him. He also would be subject to fines of $15,000 a day.
--Center Al Johnson is excited about one of his favorite offseason acquisitions: a Jack LaLanne juicer. Johnson likes to put vegetables in it, which he admits tastes a bit nasty. Why not put some fruit in there? Too much sugar, he says.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think that's going to play itself out. I wouldn't say we wouldn't do that, but I don't anticipate that being a necessity for us this year." -- Coach Ken Whisenhunt on the chances of Kurt Warner splitting time this year with Matt Leinart.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Larry Fitzgerald's new deal solved only one of the team's problems. Now they have several other veterans who want new deals. Not all of them will be addressed this off-season.
The priorities will be signing inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, the franchise player, to a long-term deal, and re-signing receiver Anquan Boldin and safety Adrian Wilson.
The club would also like to re-sign Kurt Warner and accomplish two things: lock up a backup for a couple more years and lower his $5 million cap figure.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Karlos Dansby (tendered at $8.065M; signed tender April 17).
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--DL Rodney Bailey (not tendered as UFA).
--P Mitch Berger (not tendered as UFA).
--TE Tim Euhus (not tendered as RFA).
--QB Tim Hasselbeck (not tendered as UFA).
--S Bhawoh Jue (not tendered as UFA).
--DT Ross Kolodziej (not tendered as UFA).
--QB Tim Rattay (not tendered as UFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED
--DE Kenny Iwebema (4/116): 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--RB Tim Hightower (5/149): 3 yrs, terms unknown.
--LB Clark Haggans: UFA Steelers; $1.5M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--P Dirk Johnson: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DE Travis LaBoy: UFA Titans; $22M/5 yrs, $7.5M guaranteed.
--DL Bryan Robinson: UFA Bengals; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--QB Brian St. Pierre: UFA Steelers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Matt Stewart: UFA Browns; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--TE Jerame Tuman: FA Steelers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--CB Michael Adams: ERFA; terms unknown.
--TE Troy Bienemann: ERFA; terms unknown.
--OT Elton Brown: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.
--CB Ralph Brown: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--S Oliver Celestin: UFA; terms unknown.
--LB Karlos Dansby: Franchise FA; $8.065M/1yr.
--CB Eric Green: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.
--LS Nathan Hodel: UFA; 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--WR Ahmad Merritt: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Sean Morey: FA; had been released by Cardinals; terms unknown.
--WR Jamaica Rector: ERFA; terms unknown.
--DE Bo Schobel: Not tendered as ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DE Antonio Smith: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.
--DE Joe Tafoya: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--WR Jerheme Urban: Not tendered as RFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--S Matt Ware: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--LB Darryl Blackstock: Not tendered as RFA/Bengals; $560,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.
--DT Chris Cooper (released).
--S Terrence Holt (released).
--LB Brandon Johnson: Not tendered as ERFA/Bengals; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Bryant Johnson: UFA 49ers; $2M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--OLB Calvin Pace: UFA Jets; $42M/6 yrs, $22M guaranteed.
--OT Oliver Ross (released).
--OG Keydrick Vincent: UFA Panthers; $2M/2 yrs, $400,000 SB.