Last year, when Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby opted to sign a richer deal in Cleveland, Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett lamented the fact that Danbsy opted for cash over a championship.
Now, Dockett may be looking for dollars over diamonds, too.
“He chased the money,” Dockett said of Dansby last April. “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. . . .
“I personally feel like he chased the money versus chasing a ring. No knock towards Cleveland — I don’t want people to try to think I’m saying Cleveland doesn’t have a chance; everybody has a chance — but I just felt like it was made for him to be here.”
Of course, Dockett may feel like the 49ers have a better chance than the Cardinals to chase a ring. But last year’s performance coupled with a Trading Places-style experiment in constructing a coaching staff tends to cut against the notion that the 49ers are closer to getting to the Super Bowl than the Cardinals.
Or maybe Dockett now simply understands the dilemma Dansby faced. Too many factors go into winning the Super Bowl, with unexpected injuries (like those repeatedly suffered by the Cardinals last year) threatening to throw a season off track. Chasing money is a simpler concept.
The Cardinals offered a base deal of $2.5 million for 2015. The 49ers offered a base deal of $4 million. Dockett wisely decided not to give up $1.5 million for the vague promise and inherently difficult challenge of emerging from 31 other franchises as the NFL champions.