After Karlos Dansby led the Cardinals in tackles, passes defensed and interceptions while pitching in 6.5 sacks in 2013, the veteran linebacker predicted that he would "definitely" re-sign in Arizona.
"He chased the money," Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett said Thursday, via ArizonaSports.com. "I've got a lot of respect for our guy that left, I love him like a brother. But we were one or two pieces away from really making a lot of noise."
By the end of last season, the Cardinals' defense was one of the NFL's most dominant. Dansby was even generating buzz as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Dockett suggested Dansby won't have the opportunity to repeat that career year in Cleveland.
"When you look at everything we'd done (last) year," Dockett continued, "the sacrifices our defensive line made for that certain individual to make his plays and go into a game not being selfish. Our defensive line doesn't care about sacks and tackles. We come in to do a job, to hold guys off our linebackers so we can be the number one defense.
"I just think that opportunity was to be right here, to really get to the playoffs and make a run for it."
It's hard to find much fault with either player here.
Dockett rightfully sees the potential for a better campaign than any since Kurt Warner directed the Cardinals to their lone Super Bowl appearance five seasons ago. Dansby, now 32, felt the need to cash in on a great 2013 with the window closing on his earning potential.
"I'm not going to complain about spilled milk. I wish him well in Cleveland," Dockett added. "At the end of the day, we'll see who's where at the end of the season."