The 17th week of the NFL season offers very little for 5-10 teams but it will give us a chance to waive goodbye to a couple of current Cardinals. Whether it be for money or simply poor play, here are ten guys who will be looking for work this offseason...
Deuce Lutui and Alan Faneca:It's no secret that the line play has been terrible this year, whether it's always been bad and KW just hid that fact or whether they've actually declined this season is a bit of a mystery however. One thing that I don't think is in question is that there will be turnover this offseason. Considering that Faneca and Lutuiare both free agents this offseason (technically Lutui could a RFA depending on the CBA situation), I highly doubt either returns in 2011. Faneca has been massively disappointing this season and despite Lutui's 71 games as a starter for this team he's still not an above average guard in this league. Unless the price is unbelievably low for Lutui, we'll be in the market for two new starters at the guard position next year.
Joey Porter and Gerald Hayes:Porter and Hayes will be cut for one reason above several others, together they'll earn $10 million next season under their current contracts ($5.75 and $4.25 respectively). Their absorbent salaries overshadow the fact that they're 30-something players who's talents now far outweigh their contributions on the field. It also doesn't help that their positions are currently being manned by promising rookies. Handing off starting jobs from Porter and Hayes to Shoefield and Washington and saving probably $9 million next year is a no-brainer.
Ben Patrick and Stephen Spach:Technically Patrick and Spach could still be RFA's next year and thus brought back for almost nothing in the offseason but the tight end position is an absolute disgrace and the opportunity to trim some fat should not be missed. Patrick, a once promising looking guy, has failed to win the starting job, stay healthy, or basically do anything to stand out amongst an absolute mediocre group of talent. Spach, a jack of all trades guy, does nothing special but I have a feeling Whisenhunt absolutely adores him. Whisenhunt, a former tight end himself, wants a complete tight end and Spach is the closest thing to that on the roster (geezI'm almost talking myself into him staying). Basically both are mediocre at best and a serious upgrade is needed.
Gabe Watson and Bryan Robinson:Watson, who's been inactive more than half the season, and Robinson, who's being vastly outplayed by a guy a decade younger than him, are both on the way out. Dan Williams is undoubtedly the future at the NT position and only a very cheap and short contract could bring back either of these guys. Watson, who I'm convinced was never the same since his fractured knee cap in early 2008, has had trouble keeping his weight down (a major black mark in Whiz's book) and would be smart to look for a change of scenery this offseason. Robinson, despite being a ceremonial starter for the entire season, is terrible and getting worse every day he ages.
Michael Adams:This is honestly the guy that I'm betting I'll be wrong on first, for one reason. Adams will come very cheap, whether he's a RFA or not. I know that Adams is a bit of a local hero but despite a couple picks this year, he's done nothing but prove he's nothing more than a solid special teams player. Six passes defended in 15 games as the nickel corner is worthless and building a stronger secondary is probably just as crucial as upgrading the pass rush.
Steve Breaston: I saved the most controversial selection till the end. Breaston, without a weird ending to the CBA fiasco, should be a UFA this offseason and someone will over pay for his services. The team is apparently worried about knee injury that required surgery early this year and a reason they he played reduced snaps last week, but either way someone will throw bigger money than the Cardinals are willing to shell out this offseason. Some have referred to Breaston as a glorified Az-Zahir Hakim, a very good #3 receiver who can't cut it as a #2, but either way some team will offer him more than the Cardinals are willing to shell out.
There's my ten, take it or leave it. Of course guys like Derek Anderson and maybe Max Hall will be gone as well but that's too obvious. One guy who could also be on this list depending on the CBA is Tim Hightower, but we shall see. Thoughts?