Brian from Scottsdale, Ariz., hit the NFC West mailbag with concerns over the Arizona Cardinals' approach to free-agent negotiations so far. "For all of the talk and speculation over the past few months, things seem way too quiet," he wrote.
Mike Sando: Former Cardinals tight end Anthony Becht raised similar concerns earlier Wednesday. The team will still make a move for a quarterback at some point. That move will largely define this offseason for Arizona. It's too early to say Arizona hasn't moved quickly enough there. Kevin Kolb remains available. All signs point to the Cardinals making a trade for him. If and when that happens, I'm sure we'll hear complaints about the Cardinals giving up too much for an unproven player. The team cannot win either way in that situation.
Your broader concerns are valid. Arizona has bled talent over the past couple seasons. The roster would be stronger with Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle and others. Losing Kurt Warner was huge. The Cardinals have made significant strides in recent seasons, but not enough to earn the benefit of the doubt across the board. The team's payroll plummeted last season. Steve Breaston, Deuce Lutui, Lyle Sendlein and others do not have contracts for the 2011 season.
"Arizona has the money [cap space], so you have to go out and spend to turn it around," Becht said when I followed up with him by phone. "You got rid of the guys you didn’t want, lost all those defenders. You have to commit yourself to something else. You are either proactive or reactive."
Becht thinks the Cardinals will wind up overpaying for Kolb by waiting. I think leverage can work both ways. If the Cardinals are the only team in the market for Kolb, why should they rush. Then again, if Kolb becomes the only realistic option for Arizona, the leverage swings back in Philadelphia's favor.
"I talked to [Eagles receiver] Jeremy Maclin and I asked him about Kolb," Becht said. "I’m all about experience and Kolb hasn't played much. [Maclin] told me as far as from a player standpoint, Kolb is legitimate -- a starting quarterback in the NFL, a real good player and wherever he goes, he is going to do well. He's been around coaches who know what they are doing, who helped transform Michael Vick. Kolb has the pedigree. Make a deal."