It was announced on Thursday that the Arizona Cardinals signed nine players to future contracts for the 2012 season. These are young players that fans like us get excited about because we are always looking for the next great story of the young guy in camp that blows people away and makes it.
As noted in Alex's post, most of the guys signed were on the practice squad -- in fact, all the players from the PS except for Jaymar Johnson were signed. The team did sign three other players and Alex did include a short bio.
The team press release had a little more info. Here is what it said (note the difference in the size of guys now that they have been working professionally) about new signees Antonio Coleman, Chris Stewart and Martell Webb:
Coleman (6-1, 254) played three games for Buffalo this season and had four tackles in limited action before he was released on December 17. He also played in eight games with the Bills in 2010 and had 12 tackles. He entered the NFL in 2010 with the Bills as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Auburn and spent time on the New York Giants practice squad earlier this season before re-signing with Buffalo. As a senior at Auburn, he led the SEC with nine sacks and ranks third all-time in school history with 24.5 sacks.
Stewart (6-4, 325) came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent out of with the New York Jets last July out of Notre Dame. He was released by the Jets on August 24. Stewart was a 35-game starter at guard for Notre Dame including starting all 13 games as a senior in 2010.
Webb (6-3, 276) was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Michigan last July. He was released by the Eagles and spent one week on the New York Jets practice squad and two weeks on the Tampa Bay practice squad until he was released by the Buccaneers on December 19. A four-year letterman at Michigan, Webb appeared in 37 career games on special teams and as a reserve tight end, catching nine passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns.
For those wondering the likelihood of these players making an impact on the team next year, let us look at the list of future contracts signed the past two years:
2011: RB Alfonso Smith, FB Charles Ali, WR Isaiah Williams, OT Cliff Louis, G Tom Pestock, DE Ronald Talley, DE Jeremy Navarre, LB Brandon Sharpe, LB Pago Togafau
2010: WR Onrea Jones, CB Rashard Barksdale, LB Ali Highsmith, WR Ed Gant, DE Ryan Kees, G Jonathan Palmer, T Tom Pestock, LB Mark Washington
If I recall, not a single guy in the 2010 list was on the roster by the end of the season. Of the 2011 group, Alfonso Smith and Ronald Talley contributed in small form.
If you are looking for an impact player, you probably will not find one here. You will see guys that battle hard in training camp and will make a few plays in the preseason.