Disgruntled Cardinals Boldin, Dockett sit out first day of minicamp
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett showed up for the start of Arizona Cardinals minicamp, but both players begged out of workouts because they said they are injured.
Anquan Boldin, WR
Boldin and Dockett are upset with their contracts, and both said they had injured hamstrings, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said Friday.
"They showed up last night and reported an injury that we weren't aware of," Whisenhunt said, "so as part of our procedure, we sent them for MRIs. Hey, we know what's going on, so I'm really not going to have much to say about that."
Two other players with unsettled contract issues -- linebacker Karlos Dansby and safety Adrian Wilson -- participated in Friday's first workout, although Dansby was late because of what he said was a mixup over what time the practice started.
It was the first practice for the NFC champion Cardinals since their dramatic Super Bowl XLIII loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Boldin, a three-time Pro Bowl pick in his six NFL seasons, had been the subject of widespread trade rumors after the Cardinals said they would listen to offers. But no deal has been made, and the team insists it wants to re-sign Boldin once the contract issues with Dansby and Wilson are resolved.
Neither Boldin nor Dockett was in the locker room when reporters were allowed in following the first of the two Friday practices. Quarterback Kurt Warner, who received a two-year, $23 million contract -- with $15 million guaranteed -- during the offseason, said he understands the team's salary-cap limits but has been outspoken in how important he believes it is to keep Boldin.
"I've been in contact with Anquan the whole offseason," Warner said. "My whole goal is to let him know how important he is to me and to this organization. ... Every moment that goes past that it looks like he's going to be here longer is a definite good moment for me and, I think, this organization."
Warner offered a case for addressing Boldin soon.
"The thing I look at with Anquan is that he's been here to build this thing from Day 1," Warner said. "He was here when there wasn't a lot of pieces around him and he put in the work, he busted his butt, he was a leader on this football team. Sometimes you have to reward guys not always for what you know you're going to get, but what they've committed to your team and what he brings to the table off the field."
Warner continued: "He's one of the best in the business. He makes our football team better, he makes me better, he makes Larry (Fitzgerald) better. We're not the same football team, I'm not the same player, without Anquan Boldin."
Darnell Dockett , DT
Forced Fumbles: 1
Boldin has two years left on a four-year, $22.25 million contract. Dockett has three years left on his contract, and although he wants a new one, the team has shown little interest in addressing his case -- at least until after talks with Dansby, Wilson and Boldin are resolved.
The Cardinals have about $6.5 million left under the salary cap.
Dansby, who was given the franchise tag for the second year in a row, said he gave no thought to holding out of camp.
"I'm bigger than that, man," Dansby said. "I can't let that hold me back from just being with the team and making things work."
Dansby said he wasn't sure where the talks over a long-term deal with the Cardinals stood.
"Right now, I'm just focused on getting back on the field and back to work," Dansby said.
Wilson, the defensive leader who has one year left on his contract, said he wasn't concerned about his situation.
"We're not pushing it," he said. "We've got all summer, pretty much all year, so it's not like we need to get something done right away."
Meanwhile, the Cardinals signed offensive guard Carlton Medder, who was with the team in training camp last year before being released in August. He was out of football last season.
Three other players are participating in Arizona's minicamp as unsigned tryouts -- offensive tackle Oliver Ross, tight end Dominique Byrd and linebacker Ryan Wallace.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press