The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Odds Stacked Against Cards

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The fallout for Super Bowl losers has been downright nasty in the new millennium, with seven of the past eight missing the playoffs the following season. The 2008-09 New England Patriots became the most recent victim of the Super Bowl loser curse. The Arizona Cardinals are poised follow.

As often happens with Super Bowl teams, assistant coaches leave, players retire, depart via free agency or demand more lucrative contracts, and upheaval generally reigns over stability. Arizona is in that boat.

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin's sideline dustup with then-offensive coordinator Todd Haley was a clear indicator of the Cardinals' pending offseason drama. Now Haley has left to become the head coach in Kansas City, and Boldin's agent has said his client, who has two years remaning on his contract, will not entertain a new offer from Arizona.

That complicates matters greatly in Arizona's quest to bring back Kurt Warner for another season. The Pro Bowl quarterback has said Boldin's situation would affect his decision to continue playing.

Running back Edgerrin James, who ran during the playoffs as if he were rejunvenated, probably won't be back either after he was benched during the regular season. The discord from that decision appears beyond repair.

Then there's the dismissal of former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. The move shocked many Cardinals players, including defensive end Darnell Dockett.
"That hit me hard," Dockett told The Arizona Republic. "I guess everybody has their own issues. But I think Clancy did a good job. I guess people forgot about the positive things we did this season. I like Clancy a lot, he's a good person."

Departures, dissension and disgust appear rampant in the Cardinals organization. That combination signals nothing but disaster for next season.

By Gene Wang  |  February 11, 2009; 6:01 AM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Gene Wang Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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