Cardinals coach Dennis Green might eventually end up making more cuts than the ones announced Tuesday, but linebacker Raynoch Thompson shouldn’t be one of them.
Thompson, a starter, has been at odds with the organization at times since his suspension last December. But Thompson’s place on the team was apparently cleared up at a meeting Tuesday with Green.
“What we’ve tried to do is create an atmosphere where a player can play,” Green said. “We had a great talk (Tuesday) morning. I tried to let Raynoch know he can always come and talk to me. We want Raynoch to be all he can be.”
Thompson was suspended the final four games of the 2003 season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy in an alcohol-related matter. Because Thompson had signed an $11.3 million contract extension in October — around the time he tested positive — the Cardinals later withheld part of his $2.6 million signing bonus. Thompson later filed a grievance.
Thompson’s agent, James Williams of Durham, N.C., insisted Thompson doesn’t want to go anywhere.
“Raynoch has embraced coach Green’s system,” Williams said. “If the Arizona Cardinals want him, then he wants to be an Arizona Cardinal.”
Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said he had no pain Tuesday on his rehabbed left knee as he took part in the most work he’s had since blowing out ligaments Aug. 16.
“The last time I was hurt (with a knee injury), I was hesitant around the pile,” said Vanden Bosch, who blew out his right knee in 2001. “The more reps I can get without pads the less hesitant I will be with pads.
“I know I have to be on the field getting some reps because this team is going places this year and I want to be out in front of it.”
If the Cardinals re-sign receiver Anquan Boldin to an extension as expected, the team must wait for the one-year anniversary of the signing of his rookie contract, which was July 24 and not July 12 as previously reported. . . .
Cornerback Duane Starks was not at Tuesday’s practice, although he was excused because he is taking classes in Miami, Fla. . . . Green said the Cards will be “open-minded” about looking for players who became available on Tuesday. The team is expected to sign at least a couple more lower-tier free agents before training camp.