There are now 73 days until the start of the Arizona Cardinals' regular season opener. And that means we look at jersey number 73.
Let's see who is wearing it and who has worn it.
73 actually has two players wearing it right now. One is undrafted rookie defensive tackle Justin Renfrow out of Miami. The other is tackle Corey Brandon, who signed with the team after a tryout during rookie mini-camp. Brandon was undrafted in 2011, was cut by Tampa Bay and spent time with the Bears in 2012, mostly on the practice squad.
Eric Winston wore 73 in 2013. He was the starter at right tackle all last season after being signed at the very start of training camp. He is a free agent right now.
Before Winston, it was offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges that wore the number from 2009-2012. He was a depth guy on the offensive line, his versatility being his strength, as he could play tackle and guard on either side of the line. He started four games in 2009, seven in 2010 and five in 2011. When Levi Brown went down during the preseason in 2012, he had a shot to be the team's starting left tackle. He didn't do well and lost the job to D'Anthony Batiste. His time in Arizona ended strangely. He ended up in the coaching staff's doghouse, suffered a hand injury and was placed on injured reserve at the end of the preseason. It surprised even Bridges, who expected to make the team as a backup. He left after getting an injury settlement and signed with the Carolina Panthers, for whom he played before joining the Cardinals.
In 2007, guard Keydrick Vincent wore it. He was a Steelers transplant that came to the team after Ken Whisenhunt was hired. He played eight games and started one. He played three more years in the league as a starter after 2007. I don't remember him.
In 2002, offenisve lineman Raleigh Roundtree wore it. While I do not remember him at all, he started six games that season at left guard.
From 1996-2000, it was Matt Joyce, a versatile offensive lineman, that wore it. He was a starter for three of the five seasons he was on the team. He played mostly guard, but also played left tackle in 1999 after Lomas Brown left. He played four more seasons after 2000, all for the Detroit Lions.
Defensive lineman Sebastian Barrie wore the number in 1994. He played in 10 games and logged six tackles.
In 1992 and 1993, former Hog Mark May wore it when he was the starter at left guard for his final two NFL seasons. He was a member of the famous offenisve line for the Redskins. He joined the Cardinals after Joe Bugel, who was that offensive line coach, became the Cardinals' head coach.
Defensive lineman Gary Hadd wore 73 in 1989. He played 10 games, starting four at defensive tackle. That season was the last of his two-year NFL career.
Defensive tackle Mark Duda wore 73 for the Cardinals from 1983-87. He started all 16 games in 1985 and had 5.5 sacks. That was his best season. Those were the only five seasons he played in the NFL.
Defensive lineman Mike Dawson donned the jersey from 1976-82. He started 83 of 88 games in those seven seasons.
The man who wore 73 the longest was tackle Ernie McMillan. He was the team's starting right tackle (and left tackle one season) from 1961-1974...15 years!
Here are the rest!
1958-60 -- DT Ed Culpepper
1957 -- DT/T Dave Lunceford
1954 -- DT/T Ledio Fanucchi
1953 -- T/G/DT Tom Higgins
1952 -- T/DT Mike Mergen
1951 -- LB Leo Sanford
In the Arizona years, Joyce was probably the best of the group. The best of the franchise has to be McMillan. Are there any of these players you remember?
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