During the official Super Bowl handoff ceremony last month, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill expressed his Super Bowl aspirations for the 2022 season. Cardinals GM Steve Keim must fill several holes on the roster this offseason to make that happen. With the free agency period beginning on March 16, on the first day of the new league year – here is the third position group breakdown.
Free agent primer: Special Teams
Cap hit of players under contract for 2022 (via OverTheCap.com): K Matt Prater ($4.5 million), P Nolan Cooney ($705,000)
Scheduled Free Agents: P Andy Lee, LS Aaron Brewer.
Analysis: The benefit of having a dependable punter is underrated in the NFL. Andy Lee has been such for the Cardinals since arriving in the desert five seasons ago.
The team could re-sign Lee to another short-term deal or look at younger options on the market with the 18-year veteran set to turn 40 in August. Several punters will hit free agency, including Dallas Cowboys' Pro Bowler Bryan Anger.
The Cardinals' decision-makers could re-sign long snapper Aaron Brewer due to his chemistry with kicker Matt Prater, which is valuable. Prater had another impressive year, including making the longest field goal (62 yards) in franchise history. But the time Brewer missed with a broken arm affected Prater's performance, which the veteran kicker admitted in December.
Brewer, 31, is coming off a four-year, $4.1 million contract he signed with the Cardinals in 2018.
Notable past free agent special teams signings: K Prater (2021); K Phil Dawson (2017); Lee (2017); Brewer (2016); K Chandler Catanzaro (2014); P Drew Butler (2014); 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).
Images of some of the top free agent punters scheduled to hit the open market.