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Mailbag: Leinart's future in Arizona

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jeff from Simi Valley writes: So how long do you think it takes until Matt Leinart requests a trade?

Mike Sando: I do think we'll be revisiting his situation regularly after reading Brian St. Pierre's comments about Ken Whisenhunt promising to let him compete for the No. 2 job. Going with Warner for another season relegates Leinart to the bench, again, unless Warner gets hurt.

Warner's contract carries guarantees that make him the likely starter in 2010 as well. And that will make Leinart more expendable than he's ever been. Stay tuned on this one.


Jim from Tucson writes: Mike, Bill Williamson is reporting that Denver is shopping Tony Scheffler. Should the Cardinals take a look? We've talked about how deadly a solid tight end could be on Arizona's roster. Depending on what kind of trade Denver is looking for, I think it could be a great match.
Mike Sando: Scheffler did catch 40 passes last season. I haven't seen him enough to project how he might fit into the Cardinals' offense. Here's what Scouts Inc. wrote about him:

Scheffler is a good-sized target who has above-average downfield speed, good body control and agility for his route-running skills. He has come a long ways in his ability to set up defenders and can separate well enough to gain a step on most safeties. He has adequate run after the catch tools, but does not have the afterburners to turn many catches into long touchdowns. He reads coverages well and does a good job of settling into soft spots in zone coverage to present a good target for the quarterback. He knows how to use his size and athleticism to be an effective receiver in the red zone and can reach up to highpoint the catch with his naturally soft hands. He is a decent blocker, at best, and needs to add more bulk and strength to sustain his blocks better. He will get rag dolled by some NFL linebackers and should get better with age and added strength.


Shawn from parts unknown writes: Dude I think you have so overstated the problems of the offseason. Follow my logic. They've only lost Antonio Smith, a solid but unspectacular player. Just like Calvin Pace the yr before you can't overpay for a rotation guy. Calais Campbell did a good job last year and will fill in fine.
As for Boldin, hes been unhappy with his contract for 2 years whats changed. Whisenhunt will call plays like he did before and for the Steelers superbowl team 5 years ago. I think with Whiz they will fill in depth guys, resign Boldin and Wilson and have another great draft. They win the NFC West no problem. I think you should rethink this gloom and doom Mike. I do enjoy your blog however. Thanks, Shawn in Phoenix

Mike Sando: Fair enough. Appreciate your logic. I tried to paint a balanced picture by pointing out how the team has six months to get things settled. I also noted that re-signing Kurt Warner would alleviate quite a bit of the angst.

However, I do think there's been enough change on the coaching staff to create an adjustment period. The Edgerrin James situation will go away once he's released. Anquan Boldin's future remains an issue, and a gathering one.

I do think Ken Whisenhunt is the right coach. It's not time to panic by any means. But, like I said, the offseason has not gone to script for Arizona to this point.

Remember, I was the guy downplaying the perceived turmoil last offseason. Some of the current issues seem a little more real, particularly with the coaching staff changing over. If they hit on Campbell, they will not miss Smith as much, no question.


Kenny from Phoenix writes: $19M guaranteed!? I'm glad the deal with Warner got done but what are the cap implications of this?
Mike Sando: Not prohibitive. The Cardinals had the cap room and they could afford to carry a higher number at the quarterback position. That is normal. I have not seen the contract, but the cap implications do not appear prohibitive on the surface.


Mike from Utah writes: Any chance of the Rams acquiring Roy Williams safety if he gets cut from Cowboys? If not, what safety should Rams pursue if James Butler doesn't work out?
Mike Sando: I think it would have to be for a fairly modest deal after the team paid Ron Bartell and used the franchise tag on Oshiomogho Atogwe. It sounds like they've been fairly optimistic on Butler. He would be the best fit. Jermaine Phillips has visited San Diego and will visit Seattle. Haven't heard his name connected to the Rams.


Chuck from parts unknown writes: Hey mike now that seattle has T.J. is there any way they still take Crabtree?
Mike Sando: Yes. I think that would be an aggressive move with the potential to put the Seahawks' receiving corps over the top if Michael Crabtree met expectations. General manager Tim Ruskell's tack has been to react strongly to problems. Adding Houshmandzadeh was a strong reaction. Taking Crabtree would put down the hammer. I think it could happen.