2013 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

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group