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Cardinals Position Overview 2024: Special Teams

Cardinals faced with decision at long snapper

ST Overview 16x9

Now that the Cardinals offseason work has concluded, the players are out of the facility. Many have stated that these next few weeks aren't time off from football, but time away from the facility, hoping players remain locked in and prepared to report to Glendale for training camp on July 23. In the meantime, will take a look and evaluate each position group prior to camp.

Next up, special teams.

When a team only has one player at that position, it's pretty easy to figure out if they'll be a lock to make the 53-man roster. At kicker, Matt Prater has put up hall of fame worthy numbers. Entering his 18th season, Prater has accumulated 1,780 total points on 401 field goals and 577 PATs. That ranked second among active players at the end of the 2023 season and 15th on the NFL's all-time scoring list. His 80 field goals of 50-plus yards is also an NFL record. It doesn't seem like the 39-year-old is slowing down any time soon.

Blake Gillikin returned to the Cardinals on a two-year deal. He joined the Cardinals last season as a mid-season pick up, appearing in 13 games. Gillikin finished his first year in the Valley as the franchise single-season record holder for punting average at 50.6 yards.

WORK TO DO: Aaron Brewer, Joe Shimko

It's tough to gauge what more Aaron Brewer will need to do to beat out Joe Shimko, and vice versa. There is rarely a change at the position, as was highlighted in the piece done regarding the competition for starting long snapper. Brewer has his ties to special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers, but the Cardinals signed Joe Shimko as an undrafted free agent. The year prior, the Cardinals signed long snapper Matt Hembrough, although he spent the entire season on IR. On field goals and PATs especially, the chemistry between the long snapper, holder, and kicker is very important. That makes this battle an intriguing one going into camp.


When the special teams unit is good and healthy, players will typically stay in their role as starters for a long time. That appears to, once again, be the case for the Cardinals.