It appears right guard Deuce Lutui doesn't plan to sign his qualifying offer until shortly before the June 15 deadline.
Lutui, a four-year starter, apparently wants a long-term deal and has been absent from all offseason activity. His agent, Max Hannemann, has not commented on the strategy. Neither has Lutui.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and General Manager Rod Graves don't understand Lutui's motives. It's clear the team isn't going to give him a long-term deal at this point. There are plenty of players ahead of Lutui in that line, including defensive end Darnell Dockett.
Meanwhile, Lutui might have lost his starting job. The signing of Alan Faneca added to the team's depth at the position.
Faneca moved into the starting lineup at left guard with Reggie Wells moving to the right side, replacing Lutui. Rex Hadnot, signed from Cleveland in the off-season, is in the mix and was signed to compete with Wells and Lutui.
The Cardinals have all the leverage in dealing with Lutui. Sources said Lutui has been working out with a trainer, but the Cardinals are curious about that. Lutui has struggled with his weight during his career, and the Cardinals wonder what kind of shape he will be in when he signs.
Lutui is expected to sign the $1.759 million offer before June 15. After that, the team can replace the offer with one that gives him a 10 percent raise over last year. That's about $588,000.
Defensive end Darnell Dockett's decision to take a shower for the Internet world to see prompted a counseling session from Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves. In short, they told him he had to make better decisions.
"It's a learning experience for me," Dockett said. "I've never been in trouble, I've never been in the news or on gossip sites or things like that. I apologize to all the kids, everybody in the community who looks up to me. I apologize to my team. I walked by each player individually and apologized. I got to do better things than that.
"Y'all will never see me on no news or media, anything like that again, unless it's for me trying to take somebody's head off."
Coach Ken Whisenhunt called Suns coach Alvin Gentry before the start of the Western Conference Finals.
"It was a great conversation," Whisenhunt said. "I just told him how much we admired what he had done with that team. What I respect the most is getting those guys to play together as a team, the chemistry."
CB Greg Toler has replaced Mike Adams at right cornerback in voluntary practices. Adams ran with the starting unit at minicamp in early May, but Toler replaced him at the start of organized team activities. Toler has great athletic skills but he is still making the transition from playing at tiny Saint Paul's College to the NFL.
ILB Gerald Hayes continues to suffer from lower back trouble, the result of a bulging disc. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he is not concerned about the injury at this time because the season is months away. But Hayes has suffered from back problems since the end of the season, so it has to be troubling that he still has problems.