Five Cardinals who will lose their starting jobs.
With every offseason comes change.
Players come and players go. Every team evaluates the talent they have in an attempt to make them the talent they had, in exchange for roster spots to be filled by rookies, free agents, or to give players you already have the opportunity to help the team.
Some players are cut, some are demoted. All in the name of improving the team. Here are five Arizona Cardinals starters who may be looking up on the depth chart, or even for a new job next season.
1. Bradley Sowell: After the Arizona Cardinals traded disappointing left tackle Levi Brown to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional draft pick in October, Sowell was plugged in starting in his place, with similar results. If the Cardinals want to keep Carson Palmer’s blindside, then upgrading the left tackle spot is a must. Free Agency is where the Cardinals will most likely find their replacement. With names on the market like Branden Albert, Eugene Monroe, Jared Veldheer and a few other legitimate starters, the Cardinals should have their guy, but at a price.
2. Rob Housler: Many expected Housler to have a break out year in 2013 under coach Bruce Arians. With 39 receptions for 454 yards and only one touchdown, the numbers hardly impressed. Housler played in thirteen games, registering catches in twelve of them. Through the first half of his season(six games), he caught only 14 passes for 134 yards and no touchdowns. Over the final seven games he appeared in, Housler hauled in 25 receptions for 319 yards with one touchdown, ironically after the Cardinals brought in Jake Ballard. Housler’s numbers over the last half of the season may have been enough to keep him on the roster, but that kind of productivity does not equate to a starter.
3. Daryn Colledge/Paul Fanaika: One thing is for sure. Daryn Colledge will not be the Cardinals starting left guard in 2014. With former first round pick Jonathan Cooper returning from the broken leg that kept him out all of last season, Colledge is now in limbo. Right guard Paul Fanaika started all 16 games last season at said position, a position thought to be held by Colledge with Cooper starting at left guard. Week 3 of the preseason changed all of that when Cooper was injured. Colledge is due to make $4.8 million with a $200,000 workout bonus while Fanaika is set to make $730,000. If the Cardinals decide to pay Colledge, Fanaika would undoubtedly be the back up. If the Cardinals chose to make Colledge a cap casualty to free up space for other free agents, Fanaika will continue to start at right guard.
4. Jerraud Powers: Powers was brought in to start opposite Pro Bowl corner Patrick Peterson. With coach Arians having coached Powers previously with the Indianapolis Colts, it seemed only an obvious fit. The defense ranked #1 in run defense (84.4 yards per game) but ranked #14 in pass defense (233 yards per game), in part due to the inconsistent play of Powers. There is enough blame to go around, but Powers seemingly was the one exposed pass play after pass play. With the 20th pick overall, look for the Cardinals to attempt to upgrade the position through the draft.
5. Eric Winston: Bobby Massie started all 16 games at right tackle in 2012, coming on strong the last half of his rookie season not allowing a single sack. 2013 seemed poised to be a break out year for Massie, but when the Cardinals brought in veteran right tackle Eric Winston on a one year deal, Massie saw very little action, playing in only 8 games. Winston started all 16 games at right tackle, and high expectations were surrounding the signing of the former Pro Bowler, but he did not dazzle in those starts. With Winston’s contract expiring, it seems likely that his services will no longer be needed. Arizona could possibly be the last starting job Winston gets with any team.
Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Chad Berntsen. @CB9911