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Stay Or Walk: Arizona Cardinals Tackle Jeremy Bridges

In the twelfth week of the Arizona Cardinals 2009 season against the Tennessee Titans, starting left tackle Mike Gandy suffered a sports hernia and was forced to the sideline. In his place stood career back up Jeremy Bridges. After being inserted into the starting line up, Bridges performed admirably, and eventually took over the starting job after Gandy was sent to the injured reserve weeks later. The Cardinals were lucky considering Bridges played better then anticipated, with his best game coming against the Minnesota Vikings and defensive end Jared Allen, when Allen was held stat-less.

Prior to this past year, Bridges spent six seasons in the league including two previously before with the Cardinals. He was drafted in 2003 in the six round by the Philadelphia Eagles before being released in training camp. The Cardinals signed him the following year where he played two seasons in the desert and started 11 games in that stretch. After his stint with the Cardinals, Bridges was signed by the Carolina Panthers where he saw 28 starts in three years, and now recently rejoined the Cardinals this past season. He's been a reserve throughout his career, but somehow he has started in 43 career games. Reasons he should stay and reasons he should walk are after the jump...

 Reasons For:

  • Bridges is an experienced veteran. He's been in the league for seven seasons and has played for three teams. He's also played in 78 games and has started for the Cardinals already before. The knowledge he's obtained will be a determining factor for his future in Arizona.
  • He has experience with the offensive scheme. He's familiar with the surrounding cast and understands Ken Whisenhunt's philosophy.
  • He's solid all around. He has a good work ethic and drive.
  • He can come back with a relatively cheap price tag. If he is re-signed, he can also serve the back up or mentor role if he's not starting.

Reasons Against:

  • He doesn't excel in any one area. He isn't an excellent pass-blocker and isn't a mauler in the running game. Bridges will never appear in a pro bowl.
  • He'd only be a quick fix at left tackle. The Cardinals need a left tackle that will serve that purpose for years. Bridges has already met his full potential - do the Cardinals want to settle for that?
  • His production wore off as the end of the season approached. Bridges may not last through the long haul of a full season. If the Cardinals commit to him, they could be in trouble halfway down the stretch.

Stay or Walk: Stay

The price for Bridges will be too tempting for the Cardinals to pass up. He won't demand a giant contract and with everything the front office is going through right now, penciling him to a minimal deal would be refreshing. His versatility is beneficial to the team, as he could serve as the primary back up, he can line up anywhere across the offensive line, and he can start if needed. What are your thoughts on Jeremy Bridges and do you believe he should stay or walk?