2014 is yet to be history, but there are a handful of players who had been hoping to receive contract extensions this year but have yet to sign anything. The 2015 free-agent period opens on March 10th 2 p.m. MST (4 p.m. ET).
The Arizona Cardinals have several players who could warrant an extension. Here is a list of the players:
Looking at that list, perhaps the player the Cardinals would most like to retain is Dan Williams. He's had an excellent season and has been the anchor of one of the top rush defenses the last two seasons. Let's look at this list player by player:
Antonio Cromartie: Turned a bad 2013 season into one of his best in 2014. He will get a deal; whether that is with Arizona or another team who will turn out their pockets for him is to be seen. I'd say he's going to get a bigger deal elsewhere.
John Abraham: Placed on IR after contemplating retirement following a series of concussion, it's likely his time to retire.
Dan Williams: As mentioned above, he's been an integral part of the defense's success the past two seasons. He came to camp in the best shape of his career and he's played at a pro bowl level all season. I would think he is the top player that general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians would want to sign.
Mike Leach: When your long snapper is only noticed for making big plays downfield... Yeah he's good. Certainly a guy that the team would want to keep, and I have a feeling he's a guy that wants to stay.
Tommy Kelly: He's been another one of those late signings who has performed well. He turns 34 next season, so I would not think he's a guy the team will want to sign immediately -- particularly with Ed Stinson showing playing well.
Larry Foote: This is where it gets interesting. Foote has played lights out this season, but this is a guy who was close to retiring before Arians gave him the call. Daryl Washington will be an interesting offseason story, particularly what his suspension could be next season. He likely will be re-signed just as a safety precaution.
Paul Fanaika: This is the first guy who's an automatic no. He played admirably in his two seasons as the teams starting right guard, but he's shown to be a liability more than he should. The team will likely have a battle between Ted Larsen, Earl Watford and maybe even a rookie next preseason.
Jonathan Dwyer: Even if the guy is cleared of charges, not sure the team would re-sign him. Emergence of a run game behind Kerwynn Williams and Stepfan Taylor could drop running back down the team's list of needs come March/April.
Rob Housler: I'd re-sign him. The draft and the list of free agents now does not look appealing. The top tight end in this year's draft class is Troy Niklas' backup. He's quietly made some big plays this year, and certainly warrants a small contract.
Marcus Benard: Has not seen the field all too much but has made some plays when he has been out there. Likely given an offseason deal.
Sam Acho: He blew onto the scene his rookie season but has lulled off. He set the bar too high for fans and that's why some give him a bad rap. I'd keep him because of his high motor, and the fact that he doesn't care about his stats, and will gladly sacrifice his sack to eat up a block.
Alameda Ta'amu: We were all hoping he'd make an impact, but his knee injury has effected him more than the coaches and fans had hoped. I can't see him being re-signed.
Ryan Lindley: I've been a staunch supporter of 2014 Lindley, but that was thrown out the window last week against Seattle. Perhaps as a camp body, but nothing more.
Bradley Sowell: I'll pass. Look draft/free agency.
The Cardinals are currently $11 million over the cap, per Over the Cap. The Cardinals have their work cut out for them to bring it down. Larry Fitzgerald is the likely avenue of helping to lower that. After him, Darnell Dockett with his $9 million cap hit. If the Cardinals take the route of cutting both, they would save $16 million in cap space, opening up $5 million for a handful of signings. With Ted Ginn's struggles this year, I could see him as another option to be released, saving an additional $2.5 million.
Who would you retain? Anyone you would cut? Here's the salaries and their cap implications to help someone make their decision.