In this age of anonymous sources, it's always refreshing when a sports figure speaks candidly on the record and without fear of retribution.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic passes along some beautiful quotes from Ken Harris, the agent for Arizona Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui. Cardinals' coach Ken Whisenhunt has criticized Lutui for failing to report in shape.
Harris fired back in comments to Somers. He complained about not receiving a long-term offer from the Cardinals and said, in part, "As for his weight, he's a hard worker and I have no doubt he will be within the range he reasonably should be when it counts. If the club isn't pleased with him, I'm happy to assist them on a possible trade. Otherwise, we should let his play on the field this season speak for itself like it did last year."
The labor situation cost Lutui by making him only a restricted free agent instead of an unrestricted one this offseason. That was understandably frustrating. Lutui played well enough last season to fit into the Cardinals' plans, I thought, but he hasn't been enough of a self-starter to automatically command a long-term deal under the current labor situation.
The team has every right to expect Lutui and all its players to report in reasonable condition. Once Lutui decided to skip voluntary workouts, the burden was on him to maintain his conditioning. When Lutui reported at 396 pounds, he validated the caution Arizona showed in how it approached Lutui's contract situation this offseason. That is the bottom line.