2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Late addition of Abraham, Winston bolsters Arizona

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-26 16:20

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - In the salary cap dominated world of the NFL, experienced players often have a tougher-than-expected time finding a job.

Outside linebacker John Abraham and offensive tackle Eric Winston found that out this year. So with training camps opening around the league, Abraham and Winston looked around and decided to accept offers from the Arizona Cardinals, certainly at less money than they had anticipated earning. Abraham got a two-year contract, Winston a one-year-deal.

Abraham, a 13-year NFL veteran whose 122 sacks are most among active players, commended the Cardinals for, as he put it, ``getting me for cheap.''

Winston, a starter for every game in his seven NFL seasons, said that ``obviously things didn't fall the way I would like them to fall but that's the way it goes.''

``Life goes on and it's time to play football,'' he said in the Arizona locker room on Friday, the first day of workouts for the Cardinals.

With the two latest additions, 49 of the 88 players on the Cardinals roster are new to the team this year, a massive personnel overhaul under the direction of new general manager Steve Keim. That number includes first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper, the player penciled in at starting left guard but a no-show in camp because he has not reached a contract agreement.

New coach Bruce Arians said he's ``extremely excited to bolster our roster with proven players.''

Asked when he planned to use Abraham against an opponent, Arians said, ``the first time I think they're going to pass.''

Expect Abraham to share time with another experienced newcomer, Lorenzo Alexander, at outside linebacker. While Arians said Abraham can be an every-down player, it's no secret after all these years what the 35-year-old player does best. He led Atlanta with 10 sacks last season.

``So we've got two quality veterans'' at the position, Arians said. ``What it's really done is bolster our nickel package. When we want to get after the quarterback, we've got four to five capable pass rushers - now one with an elite resume. We don't have to wonder what we have. We know what we have.''

With the addition of Abraham, the team released O'Brien Schofield, who started nine games at outside linebacker last season before being sidelined with an ankle injury.

Abraham said that the 3-4 scheme the Cardinals use is ``pretty much the same defense'' as the one the Falcons had last season, so the transition won't be difficult.

``I think as a player you always want to be an every down guy, but also I came here knowing that they're going to want a pass rusher,'' he said. ``I know that's where my most production is. So I'm not really worried about where they put me or what they want me to do. I'm just going to do it.''

Winston will compete with second-year pro Bobby Massie, who improved greatly over the last half-season as a rookie a year ago, for the right tackle job, with Levi Brown and Nate Potter at left tackle.

``I feel very comfortable right now we're going to come out with a really good right tackle and a really good backup because they're going to go after each other just like the other spots in the line,'' Arians said. ``It allows us to leave Nate at the left side with Levi and have a nice battle over there. Everywhere along that line right now we've got really good competition. In due time we'll settle down to who the five are. We have plenty of time for chemistry.''

Although he's always been a starter, Winston said he has no problem having to earn the job.

``You compete every year you're in the league,'' he said. ``Those guys that don't think they're competing every year, they're usually out of it pretty fast. I've been lucky enough to be a starter for a long time, played a lot of consecutive games, but every year I've come into camp trying to win a spot and this year won't be any different.''

Massie said he welcomes the competition.

``I'm not worried about it,'' he said. ``We have an issue with depth at tackle and we needed a guy to come in. He's a good player, he's a veteran. That's what it's all about, competing for your job. They're not going to just give it to me. I'm going to have to work for it. I'm happy to do it.''

The Cardinals gambled, and lost, when they drafted concussion-prone Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope in the sixth round this year. Swope sustained a concussion during an offseason workout and on Thursday announced his retirement from the game ``for now.'' He said he is returning to college to pursue his degree.

``Those things happen all the time,'' Arians said. ``Guys have gotten injured. You just treat it as an injury. I feel bad for him because he's a great young man and I knew how much it meant to him. You could tell it was eating him up as he was here and not being able to participate. I just wish him the best. I went through this with Austin Collie last year. There's a time to stop.''

--

Online:

AP NFL site: http://pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tom BradyJul 27 02:02p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension still has not been announced, and the NFL is now open to talking with the NFL Players Association [ More ]

Doug MartinJul 27 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin could be in line for a big, bounce-back year, in the opinion of beat writer Roy Cummings.

Casey MatthewsJul 27 09:12a

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve due to a hip injury Sunday, July 26.

Casey MatthewsJul 26 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings LB Casey Matthews (hip) has been placed on injured reserve due to a hip injury that occurred during the team's offseason program.

Blair WalshJul 26 02:32p

Minnesota Vikings PK Blair Walsh signed a four-year contract extension Sunday, July 26, worth $14 million. The deal includes $5.25 million in guaranteed money.

Gosder CherilusJul 26 12:32p

Indianapolis Colts OT Gosder Cherilus was released Sunday, July 26.

Percy HarvinJul 25 09:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Percy Harvin required detailed instruction on how to run routes during OTAs, and Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News believes Harvin will open the year as [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsJul 25 08:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams is not receiving any first-team reps despite RB Le'Veon Bell facing a three-game suspension, head coach Mike Tomlin said. Tomlin also said he is [ More ]

Jermaine GreshamJul 24 07:22p

Free-agent TE Jermaine Gresham (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals Friday, July 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Isaiah CrowellJul 24 07:02p

Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson will play a prominent role in Cleveland's offense in his rookie year, but RB Isaiah Crowell is still the favorite to start. Johnson is [ More ]

Benjamin WatsonJul 24 06:22p

New Orleans Saints TE Benjamin Watson is slated to start at tight end over TE Josh Hill, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.

Josh FreemanJul 24 04:52p

Miami Dolphins QB Josh Freeman was released Friday, July 24.

Nate WashingtonJul 24 03:52p

Houston Texans WR Nate Washington is projected to be the No. 2 wide receiver behind WR DeAndre Hopkins and ahead of WR Cecil Shorts, according to Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com.

Kelvin BenjaminJul 24 02:32p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin said he is currently at his playing weight a week before training camp begins. Benjamin said he has changed his conditioning and diet in order to stay in shape.

Junior GaletteJul 24 02:32p

New Orleans Saints LB Junior Galette was released Friday, July 24, according to a source.

Jabari PriceJul 24 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings CB Jabari Price was suspended two games for violating the personal conduct policy.

Derek WolfeJul 24 01:52p

Denver Broncos DE Derek Wolfe was suspended four games by the NFL for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. Wolfe said he took a medication he didn't know was banned.

Sean SmithJul 24 10:02a

Kansas City Chiefs CB Sean Smith was suspended three games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Michael HillJul 23 05:42p

Washington Redskins RB Michael Hill was waived Thursday, July 23.

Earl ThomasJul 23 12:32p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) isn't expected to be cleared for training camp, and his status is questionable for Week 1.

Letroy GuionJul 23 12:02p

Green Bay Packers DT Letroy Guion has been suspended three games Thursday, July 23, for his Feb. 3 arrest. Guion plans to appeal.

Tom BradyJul 23 11:32a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was the subject of a settlement offer from the NFL Players Association to the league last week, but the offer was met with [ More ]

Mike TomlinJul 23 10:22a

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin agreed to an extension Thursday, July 23, through the 2018 season.

Jadeveon ClowneyJul 22 05:12p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) looks spectacular, according to a team doctor. Clowney is seven months removed from microfracture surgery on his knee. It was previously reported that [ More ]

Marqise LeeJul 22 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (knee) is expected to be ready for training camp, according to wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan. Sullivan added that Lee will be managed in order to preserve his health.

Sam BradfordJul 22 03:32p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be ready to participate once training camp begins. Bradford has been rehabilitating his knee after suffering a second anterior cruciate [ More ]

Tyler EifertJul 22 03:22p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of Paul Dehner Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer.

L. TaliaferroJul 22 01:22p

Baltimore Ravens RB Lorenzo Taliaferro is expected to be pushed by RB Javorius Allen for the No. 2 running back job, but he likely will enter training camp as [ More ]

Jermaine GreshamJul 22 12:32p

Free-agent TE Jermaine Gresham (back) met with the Arizona Cardinals Tuesday, July 21, but the two sides have not agreed to a deal at this point. Gresham underwent back [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 22 12:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said his hamstring is feeling a lot better than it did earlier this offseason. Beckham missed some of the offseason workouts because of a hamstring problem.

Bishop SankeyJul 22 08:32a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey is the odds-on favorite to start in Week 1 because he has a year of experience and a full offseason under his belt.

Justin HunterJul 22 02:02a

Tennessee Titans WR Justin Hunter is expected to take part in training camp when it opens, as the team will let the legal process play out, according to a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group