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Cardinals Position Overview 2023: Special Teams

Punter battle highlights unit as it heads into training camp


With minicamp in the rearview mirror and training camp scheduled to start soon, will take a look at the Cardinals' individual position groups during this quiet time in the NFL and give our opinions about where the groups stand prior to camp.

Today, special teams.

LOCKS: Matt Prater, Aaron Brewer

When the season begins Prater will be 39, yet the veteran of 16 seasons has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, last year was one of his better years. He made 88 percent of his field goal attempts, his best mark since 2015, and went 17-of-18 on extra point attempts. The Cardinals certainly think a lot of Prater, and more importantly, his future with the team. He was among the handful of free agents to receive a multi-year contract, which included $4 million guaranteed; only Kyzir White ($6 million) and Will Hernandez ($4.5 million) collected more from the club. Brewer, meanwhile, is finally healthy after a pectoral injury cut his 2022 season short. He's been consistent each of the last seven seasons following his signing with the Cardinals in 2016.

WORK TO DO: Matt Haack, Nolan Cooney, Matt Hembrough

The signing of Haack to compete with Cooney appeared to signal the Cardinals are looking to go younger at punter. Haack turns 29 later this month, while Cooney is 26. Andy Lee, who punted for the last six seasons, will be 41 at the start of the season. Haack is much more experienced than Cooney and may have a leg up on the competition. The story at long snapper is this: Hembrough was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State. He's got his work cut out for him if he hopes to supplant Brewer.


With Lee still available on the open market, punter will be heavily scrutinized during training camp. Are the Cardinals really ready to move on their veteran punter? And don't forget, Brewer, Lee and Prater formed a very good trio the previous two seasons. Will there be a third season together?

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