Last time in the free agency series, we took a quick look at running back Alfonso Smith and asked whether or not he is a player the Arizona Cardinals should consider keeping on their 53-man roster next season. 67% of you said yes, more than likely because the team will need a fourth running back anyhow and he is already familiar with the system. Smith has shown some potential, but will need to work hard in training camp in order to secure a spot on this football team.
Today, let's look at another one time undrafted free agent. Stephen Williams was not chosen by any team in the 2010 NFL draft, so he decided to sign with the Arizona Cardinals. Unfortunately, he hasn't really seen much time on the field up to this point. So I ask you yet again, should the Cardinals opt to re-sign him?
Before the 2010 season even began, a lot of hype was being built around this young undrafted rookie out of Toledo. He has good size at 6'5" and he also has tremendous speed. The team liked him so much coming out of training camp that they decided to keep him on the active roster.
He played a fair amount during 2010, lining up at the wide receiver for about 30% of the total offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He had only nine catches, but was seen as the type of athlete that the Cards could work with heading into the coming years.
In 2011, Williams saw a major decline in playing time. In fact, he was only active for a total of two games and played for just one snap. None of this decreased time on the field was really due to injury, he just was inactive for much of the season.
Many different reports cite his inactivity being due to inconsistency (he did have four drops in 2010) and his inability to make an impact on special teams. When a receiver can't catch passes in a consistent fashion and they can't make contributions to the special teams unit, what is to be expected of them?
Still, Williams has loads of potential and the Cardinals do own his exclusive rights. He is not likely to garner a lot of interest from around the league and if the Cards do make him an offer, he will be forced to accept it either way. It certainly won't be a lot of money, as he only made $405,000 last season according to Spotrac.com.
For the reasons listed above, I say the Cardinals should at least sign him to keep him through training camp. He is familiar with the routes and it isn't as if they would be guaranteeing him any money anyhow, so why not give him another shot? He is likely going to be more developed than most of the undrafted free agent wide receivers that are coming out of college this year and his ceiling is pretty high if he can just figure some things out.
What do you think? Should the Cards look to retain the former Toledo Rocket? Leave your vote in the poll and don't forget to tell us why you voted the way you did in the comments section below.
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