We have reached the final piece of the positional breakdowns of the Arizona Cardinals, as training camp is about to start. Today is special teams.
The basic group on special teams is punter Dave Zastudil, long snapper Mike Leach and then a trio of kickers battling for the job.
Zastudil is entering his 13th year in the league and fourth with the Cardinals. He signed a new two-year contract this offseason.
Leach is entering his 15th year and sixth with Arizona. He is entering the final year of a three-year deal.
Their jobs are safe.
Veteran Jay Feely enters his 14th season and fifth with the Cardinals, but for the second year in a row, he faces competition for the job. He was 30/36 last season and four of the six misses came in the final month of the season. He re-signed with the team on a very cheap deal that did not even pay him a signing bonus. He will get paid $65,000 if he makes the roster and $1 million for the year,
Battling Feely are undrafted rookie Chandler Catanzaro out of Clemson and Danny Hrapmann. Hrapmann has yet to make an NFL roster, but has been on training camp rosters two years before with the Steelers.
Who will come out ahead?
Feely has the track record and historically has shone in competition for a job. He does not get the ball deep on kickoffs.
Catanzaro has a cannon of a leg and got progressively more accurate throughout college, but didn't do kickoffs because Clemson's punter was an All-American with a bazooka connected to his hip. He did kickoffs.
Hrapmann also has a strong leg.
That will be an interesting competition to watch.
Can one of the young kids beat out the veteran, who clearly does not have the confidence of his head coach.
As for the other part of special teams -- the returners -- these positions won't use any extra roster spots, but there are mainly three players in the mix for both punt returns and kicks returns.
Veteran Ted Ginn and receiver draft picks John Brown and Walt Powell will be the three main guys. It is thought that Ginn will end up ding one and Brown the other.
Which kicker are you rooting for? What about the returners?
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