Joey Porter (Getty)
After signing a three-year, $17.5 million contract earlier this month Joey Porter may have already worn out his welcome in Arizona. Since arriving in the desert, head coach Ken Whisenhunt has installed a no-nonsense, winning attitude and Porter’s recent actions will not be tolerated by the Cardinals’ brass. Brad Wilbricht dissects how Porter’s off-field issues will affect his tenure in Arizona.
Following the loss of several key members on the defensive side of the ball, the Arizona Cardinals were in desperate need of help. Defections such as linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Antrel Rolle had the Cardinal faithful in shambles but the recent acquisition of Joey Porter injected life back into the Arizona defense. However, given Porter’s latest run-in with the law the Cardinals’ front office may be headed back to the drawing board.
While the initial details of Porter’s arrest for DUI and battery on a peace officer are yet to be confirmed, the reports are certainly unfavorable for a player with a checkered past. If charged, the incident could land Porter a minimum four-game suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and additional games could be tacked on. If that’s the case, the Cardinals hefty investment in the pass-rushing specialist will be limited in 2010.
Although Porter’s lawyer is contesting the reports and insists Porter will be cleared of any wrongdoing, one has to wonder why Porter would put himself in such a compromising situation. After all, what good could come out of late-night confrontation with the cops at Taco Bell after a night of drinking? The answer is nothing and Porter must now face the ramifications of his actions regardless of whether the charges are cleared.
Complicating matters for Arizona is the news regarding a potential knee injury to second-year linebacker Will Davis. Prior to the signing of Porter, Davis was expected to help fill the voids left by Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor but an injury could prove to be a setback in those plans. While the results are still unknown, Davis had an MRI scheduled to ensure his knee was ready for offseason workouts.
With the availability of both Porter and Davis now in question, general manager Rod Graves and the Cardinals’ front office may be forced to select a linebacker with their first-round pick in this year’s draft. Before the latest bad news, Arizona had the luxury of selecting the best player available while adding needed depth in the later rounds. Instead of focusing on building the trenches, the Cardinals are now expected to shore up a severely depleted linebacking corps.
Only time will tell how Porter’s situation will play out but the distraction in itself is something Arizona hasn’t had to deal with in recent years. Sure, Anquan Boldin’s contract demands and Kurt Warner’s retirement speculation hindered the team at times, but off-field issues like Porter’s have been avoided until this point. Less than two weeks after signing, Porter’s long-term future with the Cardinals is already in jeopardy as is the status of the team’s defense as a whole.
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