Arizona Cardinals  

 

Disgruntled Cardinals Boldin, Dockett sit out first day of minicamp

  • By Associated Press
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett showed up for the start of Arizona Cardinals minicamp Friday, but both players begged out of workouts because they said they are injured.

Boldin and Dockett are upset about their contracts, and both said they had injured hamstrings, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

Anquan Boldin , WR
Arizona Cardinals

2008 Statistics
Receptions: 89
Yards: 1,038
Touchdowns: 11

"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.

Boldin and Dockett were on the field for the second workout Friday, but they didn't practice. Afterward, Boldin was vague in his responses but said his stance hadn't changed since he asked to be traded nearly a year ago.

"Honestly, it's out of my hands what's going to be done," he said. "This whole process has gone on long enough. I think it's safe to say a lot of people are tired of it, myself included. So, hopefully something will get done sooner rather than later."

Asked if he had given up hope of being traded, Boldin said: "I never give up hope. I'm optimistic about everything. Like I said, we'll see what happens."

Boldin laughed when asked if he was making a point by sitting out the minicamp.

"I'm not making a point," Boldin said. "I'm just not able to go right now."

As for whether he would show up for training camp this summer if he didn't have a new contract by then, Boldin said: "We'll see what happens. It's too early to say what I will or won't do."

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 contracts issues with Dansby and Wilson are resolved.

Boldin seemed to question whether the Cardinals were serious about being receptive to trade proposals.

"They came out and said what they had to say," he said. "... Do you believe it? Enough said."

It was the first day of practice for the NFC champion Cardinals since their dramatic loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.

Quarterback Kurt Warner, who received a two-year, $23 million contract -- with $15 million guaranteed -- in the offseason, said he understands the team's salary-cap limits, but he 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
Arizona Cardinals

2008 Statistics
Tackles: 49
Sacks: 4
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 Cardinals have shown little interest in addressing his case at least until after talks with Dansby, Wilson and Boldin are resolved.

Arizona has about $6.5 million left under the salary cap.

Dansby, who received the franchise tag for the second year in a row, said he gave no thought to holding out from minicamp.

"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."

Wilson, the Cardinals' 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, Arizona 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 players -- offensive tackle Oliver Ross, tight end Dominique Byrd and linebacker Ryan Wallace -- are participating in Cardinals minicamp as unsigned tryouts.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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