Before we get to the final player of the guard portion of our NFL Free Agency series, let's look at yesterday's results. 78% of the readers voted that the Arizona Cardinals should target Jake Scott, currently a guard for the Titans, once the free agency period begins. Scott is a solid pass protector and is always healthy. If he can work on his run blocking skills, he could be one of the better guards in the league.
The person that we are going to examine today might be somewhat familiar to people who have been Cardinals fans for more than just the past couple of years. Leonard Davis once played both at the guard and as a left tackle for the Cards after being drafted second overall in the 2001 NFL Draft. After leaving the team via free agency, Davis has gone on to play for the Dallas Cowboys and most recently, he was apart of the Detroit Lions roster.
Once again, Davis will be looking for a new home this offseason. Should the Cardinals bring him back to Arizona? Is this even a realistic idea? Let's find out after the jump.
Leonard Davis left a taste in the mouths of Cardinals fans that will be one that could take a few rinses to get out. While in Arizona during his first go-around, he did not live up to the potential that a #2 overall pick should have and the team almost refused to put him back at guard. Once he left to go to Dallas, they put him at guard and he made the Pro Bowl for three straight season (2007-09).
Before last season, the Cowboys cut Davis and he signed with the Lions. He did not play a single snap in 2011, so we will have to look at his 2010 stats to see if he could have anything left to offer the Cardinals.
In 2010, Davis ranked positively as both a pass protector and a run blocker according to the grading scale that Pro Football Focus employs. In 649 pass blocking attempts, Davis gave up five sacks, one QB hit and 16 pressures. He also recorded four penalties. One could conclude that they were mainly due to false starts, as that was his go-to choice of infraction in Arizona.
So how ironic would it be for him to re-sign with the Arizona Cardinals? He would obviously be a guard this time, not a tackle. Also, he would come at a very cheap price, most likely a veteran's minimum contract. He could provide veteran leadership to the team and either start at right guard, (which is where he won his Pro Bowl honors), or provide depth behind Rex Hadnot.
As odd as this may seem, I might actually be in favor of bringing Davis in. Attack my thought process all you want, but the stats are there and if he can knock the penalties -- and the rust -- off, he could still make some sort of contribution in this league.
What do you think? Should the Arizona Cardinals give Leonard Davis a chance to redeem himself? How quickly did you laugh after reading the headline to this story? Tell us in the comments section below and vote in the poll.
Keep on the lookout for the story tomorrow that summarizes all of the guards we have examined and declares which one fans would most like to have on the Cards.
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