Cards notebook: Cards, Bucs still talking about deal for Jones - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Cards notebook: Cards, Bucs still talking about deal for Jones

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Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2003 11:48 pm | Updated: 1:35 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Cardinals vice president of football operations Rod Graves has been in contact with Tampa Bay director of player personnel Tim Ruskell about a trade for running back Thomas Jones, but no deal is imminent.

The Cards are keeping close watch on Michael Pittman’s legal situation, which worsened Thursday with the announcement of an indictment on two counts of aggravated assault of the former Arizona and current Tampa Bay running back. If Pittman were to be cut by the Buccaneers because of his troubles, it would make sense that the Cards would try to push the Bucs to trade for Jones.

Discussions at this point focus on dealing Jones for a player, not a draft pick. Graves did not sound panicked to get a deal done.

“We’re not in a situation where we have to make a decision,” Graves said. “We want to exhaust all the possibilities.”

There have also been talks with New Orleans and Cincinnati, although neither are promising, Graves said. The Bengals did not want to part with the player Graves wanted in a swap for Jones.

The Cards continue to want to add a cornerback, and Graves said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Cards added two or three more players to the roster before training camp begins July 25.

FIRST-ROUND FOCUS

Graves said his ideal situation is to have half his remaining unsigned draft picks — third-rounder Gerald Hayes and second-rounder Anquan Boldin — signed by July 4. That would give the Cardinals about three weeks to sign first-rounders Bryant Johnson and Calvin Pace before training camp.

But Graves said that despite his new standing as vice president of football operations, the importance of signing the first-rounders hasn’t increased over past years.

“There has always been a feeling of pressure to get it done before camp,” Graves said. “It just sets the tone in a positive way. I’d like to give the coaches and the team the best chance for a fast start.”

SCOUTING SHAKEUP

The Cardinals have rearranged their scouting department, adding former Cardinals defensive back Lonnie Young and shuffling other duties in an effort to be more efficient and allow more players to be cross-checked.

Under the new pyramid structure, Graves and George Boone will supervise national scouting. Steve Keim (east) and Jim Carmody (west) will divide the country in half as regional scouts. The Cardinals will have five area scouts: Jerry Hardaway (east), Bill Dekraker (west), George Belu (midwest), Bob Mazie (south) and Young (northeast). Hardaway had previously been the team's national scouting coordinator.

EXTRA POINTS

The Cardinals wrapped up their final official workout of the offseason Thursday, although coach Dave McGinnis said quarterback Jeff Blake was already organizing players-only workouts between the quarterbacks and receivers over the next few weeks.  . . .

The Cardinals signed rookie free agent fullback J.P. Comella on Thursday to a one-year deal.

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