Now that we have gone through each Arizona Cardinals player that is scheduled to become a free agent, I thought we should do a quick recap. First, let's note the results from yesterday's poll on Greg Toler. About 96% of the community voted that the team should in fact keep Toler around, despite the fact that he tore his ACL and will be coming back from that injury. Toler will likely return and if he can maintain his health and a high level of play, the Cardinals secondary should be strong in 2012.
After the jump, let's look at some of the voting tendencies, along with a few of the players that may not be back with the team next season.
All in all, we looked at 16 unrestricted and 10 restricted/exclusive rights restricted free agents that the Arizona Cardinals will need to make decisions on before the free agency period opens on March 13th. In case you forgot, here is the entire list. Of those 26 total (if you remember, we did not include Calais Campbell, who will undoubtedly be with the team next season), you, the voters, only named five players in total that the team should definitely let walk.
Those five were:
Max Hall (ERFA)
Dave Zastudil (UFA)
Joey Porter (UFA)
Brandon Keith (UFA)
Chester Taylor (UFA)
Out of these five, the only ones that have a possible chance of returning, in my eyes, would be Zastudil and Keith. If the Cards are unable to find a reliable and possibly younger punter, they will probably re-sign Zastudil to a short term deal. As far as Keith goes, the coaching staff may still have some confidence in him and believe that he can be, at minimum, an effective backup.
There were also many players that were given the stamp of approval, but they came with conditions. Guys like Hamza Abdullah and Sean Considine, both primarily special teams contributors only, will have to battle it out in camp before the season begins. It would make sense for the team to only keep one of them.
Other young players that will have battles on their hands due to the 53-man roster limit would be guys like D'Anthony Batiste, Stephen Williams, Alfonso Smith, Ronald Talley, Brandon Williams and Reggie Walker. All of them can make contributions in one way or another, but competition is a big part of this league and if their workload can be replaced by a younger, healthier or cheaper option, they may find themselves on the outside looking in.
Something to keep in mind is that players will come and go every year, that is part of the NFL. But what ends up happening, most of the time anyhow, is most of the players get new short term deals. Many of the guys on this list are expendable and could be replaced, but continuity and team chemistry are very important for a football team.
So there you have it, fans. What do you think of the results? Is there anyone else you feel should stay or go after having some more time to think about it? Tell us in the comments section below.
Soon, we will begin another new series involving some of the free agents around the entire league. Stay tuned to find out what's in store.