The Arizona Cardinals arguably had their biggest free agent splash in team history last year when they went out and spent millions upon millions of dollars to help upgrade their roster. $30 million of those dollars were allocated towards Stewart Bradley, a former inside linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bradley had dealt with injuries throughout his career as an Eagle, but the Cardinals felt that by adding him, he would make an excellent addition to the team next to Daryl Washington. Unfortunately, Bradley struggled to get a firm grasp on Ray Horton's defense and therefore, did not take the starting job away from veteran, Paris Lenon.
In 2012, Bradley will have to show that he has what it takes to play inside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme or he may never see the total sum of that $30 million.
Bradley appeared in all 16 games last season for the Cards, but his snap count was severely limited. According to Pro Football Focus, he took just 235 snaps on defense and collected just 15 solo tackles, one QB hit and two pressures. These are certainly not the type of numbers Ken Whisenhunt, Rod Graves and the rest of the Cardinals brass envisioned when he signed his big free agent deal.
So now we have to ask ourselves, was it a waste of time and money bringing Bradley on board? It may be a bit premature to judge him considering the extenuating circumstances involving last season and the NFL Lockout. Training camps were thrown askew, OTAs were nonexistent and players did not receive adequate time to learn the playbooks and bond with the rest of the team.
That is why is believe Stewart deserves at least one more shot. Once again, we are all expecting that he takes the starting job away from Paris Lenon this season as the SILB, but nothing is set in stone. If he can just buy into the defense and make a contribution, then he should be safe.
What do you think? Is it already time for the Cardinals to cut ties with Bradley? Tell us in the comments section below and vote in the poll.