Anquan Boldin (Ezra Shaw/Getty)
The Cardinals haven't had much of a reaction to receiver Anquan Boldin's decision to fire agent Drew Rosenhaus. Boldin's move certainly won't hinder talks about a new contract for the Pro Bowl receiver. But it's not likely to make club officials sprint to the bargaining table, either.
It's easy to put Drew Rosenhaus in the role of villain in the situation. Presumably Anquan Boldin was working under Rosenhaus's advice when he lambasted the organization and coach Ken Whisenhunt in training camp last year.
Boldin's reputation has taken a serious hit, and he has significant damage to repair. But it's also a mistake to blame Rosenhaus entirely for the contentious situation. Boldin's anger toward the organization is not phony.
The team has talked for years about signing him to a contract extension, yet there has been little in the way of actual negotiations. Boldin is a bright guy who is more of a leader than a follower. He wouldn't blindly follow anyone's advice, including that of Rosenhaus.
But the tactic of agitating the Cardinals into negotiating wasn't working.
The stark reality of the situation, for the Boldin camp, is that the team has most of the leverage. Boldin has two years remaining on his deal, and he's not going to get a deal worth a ballpark average of $9 million.
If Boldin is willing to settle for $7 million to $8 million, an agreement could be reached. But even that is probably months away.
The club still sees re-signing linebacker Karlos Dansby and strong safety Adrian Wilson as higher priorities. Both are due to be unrestricted free agents in 2010.
--The Cardinals aren't publicly jumping up and down over receiver Anquan Boldin's recent decision to fire agent Drew Rosenhaus. Boldin hasn't yet named a new agent but the Cardinals are acting like they don't care.
"I know from our perspective, nothing has changed," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We're a much better football team with Anquan than we are without him. so nothing has changed from that perspective."
--Defensive end Darnell Dockett and outside linebacker Bertrand Berry have joined Boldin in skipping voluntary workouts. Dockett is also upset that he doesn't have a new contract, and Berry's reasons are unknown.
"That's part of the business," said quarterback Kurt Warner. You don't get mad at guys in those situations. (But) you don't want guys staying at home because they don't want to be here and don't have a reason not to be here."
--Warner is moving well in practices, but he still has some pain in his surgically repaired hip. "As far as functionally though, I feel great," he said. "I feel strong...It's just a matter of pain."
--In his younger days, Larry Fitzgerald wasn't the hardest working guy at practice. But he's grown up, and coaches often point to his work ethic as an example to younger players.
Mike Miller, the Cardinals' passing-game coordinator, has been impressed with Early Doucet's learning ability and work ethic. He sees a different player than he did six months ago and encourages Doucet to follow Fitzgerald's lead.
"Having Larry around is a great thing as far as the staff goes, because we don't have to police a lot of these guys," said passing game coordinator Mike Miller. "They can see it for themselves just by how hard Larry pushes himself and how he finishes every play in practice."
Miller points out Fitzgerald's effort during film sessions.
"I'll say, 'This is not an accident, guys,' " Miller said."Larry gets it. He understands how valuable practice is, how important it is to run after the catch and to attack the football. And it's carrying over."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "As a young player trying to make a name for yourself, you want to take advantage of those opportunities. It's all part of the game, too, because you never know when somebody is going to go down. You've got to be ready to step up whenever that time may be." -- Receiver Early Doucet on the advantage of extra reps in the absence of Anquan Boldin.