To finish up looking at the secondary players that are going to be unrestricted free agents, we'll take a look at defensive back, Richard Marshall. Before we do so, let's look at the voting results for Rashad Johnson. 83% of you said that Johnson was definitely a player the Arizona Cardinals should keep to maintain their depth at the safety position.
Now on to Marshall. After leaving the Carolina Panthers via free agency, Marshall signed a one year deal with the Arizona Cardinals and immediately became an impact player. After the jump, I'll give you some statistics and other information on Marshall to let you decide whether or not the Cardinals should offer him a new contract.
Richard Marshall was Ray Horton's proclaimed defensive MVP and there are some pretty good numbers to back that up. According to Pro Football Focus, Marshall played 847 defensive snaps, 72% of the total. He struggled to begin the year, mainly because of the lack of offseason workouts and the new scheme, but he really came on strong down the stretch.
In five of the last six games, Marshall received positive grades from PFF. He was effective both in run defense and in pass coverage and he even had a pair of sacks blitzing from the secondary in 2011.
Perhaps the main reason Horton claims Marshall was so key to what the defense wanted to do was because of his willingness and ability to play at a multitude of positions. He played on the outside as a corner, in the slot and even at the safety position for a good amount of snaps. Any player that has the ability to cover no matter what position he is asked to play on the field is going to have some value.
The Cardinals have already stated that they would like to have Marshall back and it is pretty obvious why. He is a player that every team covets and he won't be overwhelmingly expensive. He should be offered a deal that is somewhat longer this time and his play in 2011 definitely warrants that.
What do you think? Should the Cards re-sign Richard Marshall? Leave your comments below and vote in the poll.