2013 NFL free agents: What QBs, special teams players could help the Cardinals?

Harry How

A look at whether the open market has anybody of value left at quarterback and on special teams

The Armchair General Manager [AGM] is back with a look at free agent QBs, Punters, Kickoff/Punt Returner, Long Snapper and Place kickers.

Quarterbacks.

This situation should be settled by now, right? Yet more controversy plagues the Cardinals with a spurious report that the team is interested in JaMarcus "Purple Drank" Russell. I'm chalking this up to an overzealous agent, stirring the waters for a client in desperate need of attention. The new coaching staff has practically cleaned house, booting John Skelton and Kevin Kolb in favor of their choices, Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. They retained Brian Hoyer and Ryan Lindley. If the Cards draft a QB at all in this draft, which is highly likely, then I can't see Lindley hanging on. In this likely scenario, I can't see where Russell fits. The AGM would take a QB in the third round, if at all. This "QB room" is pretty solid as it stands.

Punter.

Dave Zastudil is the incumbent, and he's pretty damn good. The team recently signed Will Batson to provide a little suspense in training camp. But, unless Zastudil catches a terminal case of the yips, or breaks a leg, the job is his to lose. The AGM says no need to waste time with a rookie free agent here.

Place Kicker.

We have one of the best ones in Jay Feely. The team will bring in some undrafted rookie to provide a little competition, but, like Zastudil, unless Feely develops a crippling case of the yips, it's his job to lose. The AGM says don't waste a draft pick here.

Kickoff/Punt Returner.

LaRod Stephens-Howling was a threat to score every time he fielded a kickoff. But now he's gone, and in his place is: we don't know quite yet. Josh Cribbs, most likely, if he passes his physical with the team. Patrick Peterson is too valuable a weapon to allow him to stop returning punts; on his home field, the crowd collectively holds its' breath in anticipation every time he catches the ball and streaks upfield. Those moments are worth the price of admission. Imagine a backfield of Cribbs and Peterson on punts: you can't kick it away from them, except to kick it over the end zone. The team will probably bring in an undrafted free agent, in the least, to spark some competition. Other than that, the AGM sees no need to spend an unwise draft pick solely for a return man.

Long Snapper.

You never hear a long snapper's name being called in a game unless he screws up. That's the way they like it. The Cards employ one of the best: Mike Leach. The team recently took a sniff at a couple free agent long snappers, but didn't find anyone better. Long snapper is not a position to be trifled with; mistakes here are the most catastrophic possible, especially deep in your own red zone. Experience is valued over youth here. If you can get both in the same player, your team is set for years. Leach may not be as young as he used to (who among us is?) but he has the experience. And the Cardinals are set here as long as Leach wants to do it. The AGM agrees wholeheartedly.

Next: Defensive Line

I've had my say. What say you, ROTB Best and Brightest?

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