Cardinals offseason needs: Specialists
With a new general manager and coaching staff, the Arizona Cardinals have a lot of work to do with the roster coming off a 4-13 season.
Virtually every position group has some level of need to be addressed.
Over the next few days in this offseason series, we will take a look at each position group, what the offseason outlook is, what questions they have what what level of need is there — critical, urgent or secondary.
Next up are the specialists.
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Who is on the roster?
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The entire battery of specialists for the Cardinals will hit free agency.
Matt Prater, unrestricted free agent
Andy Lee, unrestricted free agent
Aaron Brewer, unrestricted free agent
They have three guys — punter Nolan Cooney, kicker Elliott Fry and long snapper Joe Fortunato — signed to futures deals for 2023. We probably should not count on any of those guys to be the team’s specialists, although stranger things have happened.
Questions and issues
THE CARDINALS HAVE NO SPECIALISTS!
That is the issue.
The questions? Will the Cardinals bring back these old guys and, if not, who will replace them?
There is a stud of a kicker in the draft, Michigan’s Jake Moody.
With Jeff Rodgers returning as the special teams coordinator and assistant head coach, there is familiarity with the three veterans. Will they try and run it back one more year?
Offseason need: Critical
An NFL team can’t go into a new season with three unproven specialists. That doesn’t work well.
They need to either re-sign one, two or all three of their vets that will hit free agency, or they need to do more than get guys they want to test out.
There is no other way around it.
You don’t know how bad it is to have bad specialists until you don’t have good ones.