Free agency begins on March 11. The Cardinals have many key pieces in place, but there are still needs to be addressed. We’ll break it down by position over the next 10 days as unsigned NFL players prepare to hit the open market.
Free agent primer: Special teams
Cap numbers of players under contract for 2014: P Dave Zastudil ($1.25 million); LS
Scheduled free agents: K Jay Feely, KR
Analysis: The Cardinals re-signed punter Dave Zastudil to a two-year extension in January after another steady season. Long snapper Mike Leach was unnoticeable last year, a high compliment for a person at the position, and he is scheduled to return. The big question mark is at kicker, the position Jay Feely has manned for the past four seasons with the Cardinals. Feely hit 30-of-36 field goals last year (83.3 percent), which was only 21st in the NFL, but he is generally an accurate kicker (86.1 percent in his previous three years with the Cardinals). The bigger concern is leg strength, as Feely’s touchback percentage of 37.8 was near the bottom for starting kickers, and it dipped to 23.1 percent in road games. Feely is a steady veteran, and his experience was key during high-pressure field goal attempts last season. The Cardinals aren’t opposed to bringing him back, but they may also scan the market for other kickers.
Notable scheduled NFL free agents: K - Steven Hauschka, Adam Vinatieri, Phil Dawson, Rian Lindell, David Akers, Josh Brown, Lawrence Tynes, Dan Carpenter, Billy Cundiff. PR/KR – Trindon Holliday, Ted Ginn, Devin Hester, Josh Cribbs, Dexter McCluster, Julian Edelman, Kyle Williams, Jacoby Jones.
Notable past free agent ST signings by the Cardinals: P Dave Zastudil (2011); K Jay Feely (2010); K Mike Nugent (2009); LS Mike Leach (2009); P Ben Graham (2008); P Dirk Johnson (2008); K Neil Rackers (2003); LS Nathan Hodel (2001); K Cary Blanchard (2000); K Chris Jacke (1998); P Scott Player (1998); K Joe Nedney (1997); LS Trey Junkin (1996); P Jeff Feagles (1994).