Cardinals would “love” to have Darnell Dockett back

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals worked out a deal that will keep Fitzgerald in Arizona hopefully for the rest of his career. The deal also saves the Cardinals about $13 million in cap space.

The Cardinals aren’t quite out of the woods just yet. Prior to the Fitzgerald deal going down, Arizona was next to last as far as the salary cap numbers go. Only the New Orleans Saints had a worse cap number, which is sitting around -$23 million. The Cardinals were around $10 million in the hole before today’s news broke.

They’re a bit safer now, but like general manager Steve Keim said, some more “tough decisions” have to be made in order for those salary cap numbers to go skyward, which would allow Arizona to be even more competitive once the free agency period begins on March 10.

One of the other players whose contract might be up for a redo is defensive tackle Darnell Dockett’s. Dockett will bring a $9.8 million salary cap hit this coming season, with $6.55 million of it devoted to his salary.

If Dockett wasn’t coming off a missed season due to an ACL tear, and he performed worthy of his pay scale, then there might not be a discussion needed. Unfortunately for Dockett, it didn’t go down that way last season. He tore his ACL in training camp, missed the season and now here we are.

Keim addressed Dockett’s future on Wednesday in Indianapolis, Ind., at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“We’d love to have Darnell [Dockett] back,” Keim said. “We really missed him this year because he was the heart and soul of our defense.”

“He’s an energetic player, he’s been a really good leader the past couple of years,” Keim said. “We’ll have some conversations with Darnell [Dockett] moving forward.”

Dockett was one of 21 Cardinal players to miss at least one game this past season. Arizona players lost a combined 109 games to injury during the 2014 regular season. On the defensive line alone, Cardinal players lost 26 games due to injury.

During the season, the Cardinals worked in Frostee Rucker, and Tommy Kelly on the defensive line, along with rookies Kareem Martin, Ed Stinson and Josh Mauro to makeup for Dockett’s absence.

 

 

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