Darnell Dockett (Getty)
After demanding a new contract for the second consecutive offseason, Pro Bowl DT Darnell Dockett changed gears and pronounced his faith in the Arizona Cardinals’ organization. Dockett reiterated his dedication towards the team and is expected to be present for all training camp activities. With Dockett now back in place, the Cardinals’ defense can rest easy heading into 2009.
Darnell Dockett has spent his entire career with the Arizona Cardinals and unlike many other players, he remains committed to the team that brought him into the NFL. Dockett has been involved in a contract saga dating back to last year but he and the Cardinals’ front office seem to have put their differences aside. Dockett’s latest comments put a positive outlook on the situation for the first time in nearly two years.
While Dockett was never expected to immediately leave the desert, there were major questions regarding his long-term future in Arizona. In addition, his contract demands could have greatly effected the upcoming season if left unresolved. Now with those questions answered for the time being, the Cardinals’ defense can plan on Dockett continuing to be one of the team’s main defensive anchors.
With Dockett satisfied, the attention turns back to WR Anquan Boldin. Unlike Dockett, the three-time Pro Bowl wideout has disclosed minimal information since the conclusion of last season. GM Rod Graves is hopeful Boldin’s outcome will have a similar conclusion, with him reporting to training camp on time and in good spirits. However, Boldin has given no clues either way and his status is uncertain at this point in time.
Arizona has done an admirable job this offseason even considering the tribulations of Boldin and Dockett. The team managed to sign QB Kurt Warner for at least two more seasons and SS Adrian Wilson’s multi-year deal almost ensures he’ll spend the rest of his career in a Cardinal uniform. If Boldin and Dockett are both on the field during training camp, Arizona’s offseason would have to be considered a resounding success.
Although the recent news about Dockett is encouraging, the Cardinals’ front office isn’t out of the woods yet. If something was hinted or promised to Dockett, they must follow through with the appropriate actions. Boldin openly stated that the organization mislead him about a restructured deal a year ago and his contract issues have been ongoing throughout the past two seasons.
Thankfully for Arizona even if things don’t work out during the future negotiations, it has assembled the necessary pieces to replace any potential defections. There’s a great deal of young talent on the roster itching at the chance of receiving expanded playing time. However, Boldin and Dockett are both impact players and the Cardinals are hopeful they’ll continue their careers in Arizona for many years to come.
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