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NFL Free Agency 2012: Should The Cardinals Bring Kelvin Hayden To Arizona?

Yesterday's voters seemed to be highly intrigued at the idea of bringing former Patriots defensive end/outside linebacker, Mark Anderson to the desert. His pass rushing skills are quite strong and at the age of 29, he could make a great contribution to this team if he can become a full time linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. In fact, 83% of the people polled said they would like to see him in Cardinal Red next season.

Today, we will look at a position that is in need of a little depth. After losing Richard Marshall to the Dolphins via free agency, the Cardinals will look to replace his talents by adding a fresh young player to the roster. They already have players like Korey Lindsay and Crezdon Butler in the fold, but they are considered question marks at this point.

The team brought in Jarret Bush and William Gay in for visits earlier this week to possibly help deal with this issue. Bush ended up re-signing with the Packers, but Gay is still a possibility. Coming from the Steelers, he could make a lot of sense after working with Ray Horton for a few years.

Instead, I would like to present you with another option. What about the possibility of adding Kelvin Hayden to the secondary corps?

Hayden last played with the Falcons in 2011 and before that, he was a strong cover corner with the Indianapolis Colts. Unfortunately, Hayden only appeared in 8 games last season and suffered a foot injury last November, effectively ending his season.

Now that he is an unrestricted free agent, he could be a good player to fill the nickel role in Arizona (which is where he played in Atlanta). Before getting injured last season, Hayden was having a rather poor year. About 75% of the time he was targeted, Hayden allowed catches to opposing receivers, according to Pro Football Focus. Many of the catches he gave up were over 10 yards, making him somewhat susceptible to big plays.

But when he was with the Colts, Hayden was a highly productive player. His coverage grades were positive and he was an effective tool against the run as well.

Due to his poor performance in 2011, Hayden is flying somewhat under the radar in this free agency period and will likely go chap to whatever team chooses to sign him. He was once a very healthy player back when he was drafted in 2005, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field as of late.

I am going to say that if the Cardinals can get Hayden on a short-term deal worth a very low price, he could be an option for them. That way, it gives players like Butler and Lindsay more time to develop. If Hayden can return to his early Indy days and play at a high level, this would become a low risk, high reward signing.

What are your thoughts on Hayden? Should the Cardinals pursue him in free agency? Tell us in the comments below and vote in the poll.

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