The last time we looked at a free agent, we examined Mike Leach and whether or not he is the long snapper for the foreseeable future for the Arizona Cardinals. According to 82% of the fans, not hearing about Leach was a good thing, as he rarely makes mistakes and is good at his job. Whether the Cardinals agree to keep him around is another question, as the veteran pay that he would receive is much more than that of a rookie's compensation. Security is important, yes, but so is the salary cap.
We continue the trend of special teams players today by looking at the Cardinals' kicker, Jay Feely. If you follow the site or Twitter closely, then you already know quite a bit about Jay in terms of his golf game, his political views and his religious beliefs. He seems to be a pretty good guy, but unfortunately, none of those things have much to do with a player getting a new contract.
After the jump, I'll show you some of Feely's statistics from 2011 and ask you whether or not he is a player the Cardinals should re-sign.
2011 was not Feely's best statistical season, but it wasn't a terrible one either. He made 19 of his 24 field goal attempts for a conversion rate of 79.2%, according to Pro Football Focus. He made all of his short range field goals (20-29 yards out), but struggled in his 40+ yard attempts, especially during the first ten games. Most notably, Feely missed a couple of big time field goals in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10, but the Cardinals still came out victorious.
Kicking off never proved to be a problem for Feely and the special teams unit, as most of them were kicked out of the back of the end zone for a touchback. Feely kicked 22 touchbacks last season. If he couldn't drive ti far enough, the coverage team was superb, so there was never an issue in that stage of the game.
Bringing in a young kicker to replace Feely could be good as far as potential goes, but it will definitely come with it's fair share of shortfalls until then. Kickers need time in the NFL to build up their confidence and a young guy will miss some field goals during his first couple of years, there is no doubting that. In terms of signing a veteran free agent kicker, I am not sure if there's really that many better options than Feely.
Feely had a cap hit of $2 million last season and it would likely be something similar to that again in 2012, but I still think he should be kept around. He started off shaky, but really came on strong towards the latter end of the season. He is usually pretty dependable and has good range to kick from any distance. On top of all that, he seems to be the type of character that a team would want in it's locker room. If both sides can come to a reasonable agreement, I say that he should be kept on board.
What do you think? Should Jay Feely be re-signed by the Arizona Cardinals? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below and leave your vote in the poll.
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