Over the past 15 years, big-name defense players have left the Arizona Cardinals and a large portion of them still have problems with organization. Vikings Pro Bowl’s Patrick Peterson has been vocal about the Cardinals’ top management, specifically General Manager Steve Kim, and Terran Mathieu has expressed his displeasure with the handling of his contract.
There is now more hostility from former Cardinals defensive players, but now from players who contributed to the 2008 NFC Champion.
Dominic Rodgers Cromarty was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2008 draft. He took the Pro Bowl in 2009 but after the 2010 season, the Cardinal traded Rodgers Cromarty along with Philadelphia Eagles second-round pick for quarterback Kevin Kolb. Kolb ended up disappointed, while Rodgers-Cromartie got another nod for the Pro Bowl and one All-Pro team.
Rodgers-Cromartie posted a photo on Instagram of his days with the Cardinals.
Retired defensive end Darnell Duckett, who was a teammate with Rodgers Cromarty and played for the Cardinals from 2004 to 2014, responded to the post saying “I can’t believe we trade you for Coleb Sorry *** . . . should have kept us together. We’re going to win this damn division Four 4-5 years in a row.”
Less than five minutes later, retired defensive linebacker Antrell Roll, who played for both in Arizona, said, “They’re sorry *** let everyone walk . . . Dansby Quan Me DRC.”
Rolle alludes to former retired Cardinals like quarterback Carlos Dansby, Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin, Rodgers-Cromartie and himself.
Other than Rodgers-Cromartie, every player mentioned by Rolle withdrew to a different team in free agency.
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While Duckett criticized the Cardinals for trading Rodgers Cromarty, especially for Kolb, he was on the team for 10 years. He signed a six-year, $56 million extension in 2010 and finished with three Pro Bowls in the Cardinals’ tenure.
However, Rolle only lasted four seasons with the Cardinals. He was the team’s first pick in 2005 and moved from a corner kick to safety in 2008. After making his Pro Bowl debut in 2009, Rolle didn’t want to return to Arizona. He didn’t want to play with then coach Ken Weisenhunt, who didn’t believe in him during the early part of the year.
“It wasn’t anything personal, but it was personal,” Roll said on the All Things Covered podcast with former Cardinals Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden. “I said if I had the chance one day I would make him beg me. So when that free agency came, I got my wish.”
Rolle will go on to sign a five-year, $37 million contract with the New York Giants. This deal made him the highest safety salary in the history of the league.
Dansby was another Cardinals defender who signed a major contract after being drafted by Arizona State. The 2004 second-round pick with the Miami Dolphins signed a five-year contract worth $43 million, making him the richest quarterback at the time. Unlike Rolle, Dansby returned to the Cardinals a second time in 2013 and a third time in 2017 before retiring.
Bolden spent five of his seven 1,000-yard seasons with the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald and Bolden were a dynamic duo with Kurt Warner up front. During Bolden’s tenure at Arizona, the Cardinal won two division titles and a Super Bowl appearance.
There were also sad feelings from Bolden, who felt that the cardinals had promised to re-perform his contract. The 2003 second-round pick was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in 2010, where they would later win the Super Bowl.
In 2021, Bolden appeared at Athletic Station 98.7 in Arizona and encounters supposedly bad blood between him and the team.
He told Wolf & Luke that he had no problems with the Cardinals organization.
“Of my halves, there is no bad blood, no bad feelings,” Bolden said.
Bolden also met the former General Manager of Cardinals Rod Graves, who apologized About “some things that happened while I was there.” Graves was the general manager of the Cardinals from 2003 to 2012.
Bolden joins 25 other players under consideration for the 2022 Hall of Fame category.
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