Last season, the Arizona Cardinals were able to witness two of the best punters in the league do their jobs on the field. First it was Shane Lechler, a punter for the Oakland Raiders that boomed a few away in the preseason. Then, the Cardinals went up against his counterpart Pro Bowler from across the bay. Andy Lee is arguably the best punter in the league with his ability to change field position. Unfortunately, the Cards get to see him twice a year.
The Cardinals' punter is not nearly as expensive, but not as effective either. Dave Zastudil, a one time Cleveland Brown, has struggled with injuries throughout his career and has never looked truly 'right' since coming to Arizona. As the punter for the Cards, his play has been somewhat skeptical and criticism has come with it.
So, again we ask: Should Zastudil stay or should he go?
The Cardinals just locked up Zastudil to a new two year deal in April. According to Rotoworld, he will earn $825,000 in 2012 and another $975,000 in 2013. Rotoworld also states that among all punters, Zastudil ranked 17th in the league in gross yards. He simply struggled to flip field position for the Cards, putting more pressure on the defense to hold with a short field for the opponent.
Pro Football Focus rated him positively in the punting category, but their stats also note that he was the 24th best punter in max hang time and 26 of his punts were downed in the opponent's own 20-yard line, good for 15th place. His average punt went around 44.7 yards.
Luckily for people that are not fans of Zastudil's talents, the Cardinals have brought in a rookie to compete with him. Ricky Schmitt was signed a short while ago and could look to take the starting job away from the longtime NFL veteran, Zastudil.
One of the things Zastudil has going for him is not only the veteran presence, but his comfort with kicker Jay Feely as well. Zastudil acts as the holder for all of Feely's kicks and if you ask any kicker, that is a huge part of the sequence.
Personally, I would like to see Schmitt (or someone else) win the punter job. If Schmitt can demonstrate some skill in directional punting, while also showing that he can boom the ball when needed, he could snag the job.
What do you think? Should the Arizona Cardinals cut ties with Dave Zastudil and find a new punter? Let us know in the comments section and vote in the poll.