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Stay Or Walk: Arizona Cardinals Tackle Mike Gandy

Today, the Stay or Walk segment will cover an offensive free agent - tackle Mike Gandy. So far we've already addressed two defenders and determined that Chike Okeafor should walk, and Gabe Watson should stay. Today, Gandy is under the microscope. There's been a lot of talk since the season ended on whether or not he should remain with the team. His poor play and injury problems didn't win over many Cardinal fans, and the team is expected to not re-sign him when free agency begins.

Gandy was signed to a three year contract back in 2007 to fill a void at left tackle that was left when Leonard Davis signed with the Cowboys. Before then, Gandy had spent three seasons in Chicago and two in Buffalo, and was nothing more then a serviceable tackle. Throughout his time in Arizona, Gandy's production was either turned on, or off. If he was playing solid against the pass, he was struggling to move the ball on running plays. In 2009, Gandy allowed eight sacks, committed eight penalties, and he missed action for the first time since being in the desert when he suffered a sports hernia. At the end of the year, he was placed on injured reserve and his future in Arizona was clouded.

Reasons For:

  • Behind Gandy, the depth at tackle is thin. The Cardinals are relatively young with Brandon Keith and Herman Johnson(if he moved over to tackle), and drafting a tackle in the later rounds wouldn't be a guaranteed thing.
  • He still provides above-average pass blocking and with Matt Leinart at quarterback, he'd no longer need to protect the blind side.
  • The Cardinals would be able to sign him to a relatively cheap contract. The market for Gandy would be thin, as most other teams would sign him to a back up role.

Reasons Against:

  • At the age of 31-years old, Gandy is becoming an injury risk. He was battered halfway through the season this past year and wound up on injured reserve. The tackle position requires quick speed and movements, meaning Gandy would need to be healthy for the majority of the season to provide the Cardinals with quality pass-blocking.
  • The Cardinals are expected to become more run-based with Matt Leinart at quarterback. Gandy has never been a great run-blocker and keeping him on the team could hurt their new offensive scheme.
  • Re-signing him wouldn't be a long-term fix. He's already 31 and has started facing injury problems. He's already reached the peak of his abilities and at this point, his production will start to take a dip. The Cardinals would eventually need to fill this hole in the near future.

Stay or Walk: Walk

In the end, the Cardinals need to spend money elsewhere on the roster this offseason. Bringing back an older veteran already past his prime wouldn't be in best interest for the team. They already have two young tackles that could step in and start next season, and this year's draft is filled with potential draft picks the Cardinals could sign. What are your thoughts on Mike Gandy? Should he stay or walk?