NFL Free Agency 2013: Which Arizona Cardinals UFAs should return?

Christian Petersen

The Cardinals can still get some value out of their own backyard.

The Arizona Cardinals came into the 2013 offseason in a tough situation. The new regime has done much to put the team in a position to succeed by bringing in nine new players, but so far only Rashad Johnson is returning. The question remains, who else should the Cardinals re-sign?

Of the 12 unrestricted free agents, only two can have a positive impact for the next season and should be brought back by the Cardinals. LaRod Stephens-Howling and James Sanders.

LaRod Stephens-Howling

The Cardinals had already offered LSH a contract before the free agency period, but he declined opting to test the FA waters. It turns out theiy are chilly as there have been no reports of interest for LSH since free agency started. While he didn't have a breakout year as Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams went down with injuries, many of his struggles had to do with the play-calling and porous offensive line.

The more time goes by the better chance the Cardinals have of signing LSH to a team friendly contract. And if the Hyphen returns he is in the conversation as the starter. Currently the two leading RBs on the team are coming off the IR in Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams, while the backups in William Powell and Alfonso Smith are a combined 319 yards in 4 seasons.

James Sanders

Sanders on the other hand would be brought back to provide depth. The Cardinals recently lost Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson, whether intentional or not, that is a blow to the S position. The plan is to have Rashad Johnson and Yeremiah Bell start this year with Justin Bethel as backup. However, Bell is 35 and Bethel is going into his second year in the league.

Sanders is an experienced player who will be a stopgap for both safety positions in case Bethel struggles in his second year.

The remaining UFAs -- Vonnie Holliday, Nick Eason, Paris Lenon, D'Anthony Batiste -- have been replaced by younger players with just as much or more experience or were responsible for the teams poor season and should have no chance of returning.

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