The Arizona Cardinals, fresh off a surprising 10-6 season that saw them defeat both of the top seeds in the NFC, have resigned punter Dave Zastudil to a two year deal. Despite the position he plays for, Zastudil has been a serious weapon for the Cardinals since he signed with the team in 2011.
Ever since joining the team after his career was almost derailed by knee tendonitis, Zastudil has blossomed into one of the best punters in the NFL. His gross punting average has not dipped below 45 yards, and the past two seasons have been the best of Zastudil’s career. Teams have averaged less than nine yards a punt return when returning punts from Zastudil, and he broke the NFL record for most punts inside the 20 with 46 in 2012. His 45.8 gross punting average since becoming is also the best in franchise history.
This move won’t be the last you see from the Cardinals this offseason, as general manager Steve Keim is also tasked with bringing back key free agents such as linebacker Karlos Dansby, wide receiver Andre Roberts, running back Rashard Mendenhall, and Zastudil’s counterpart on special teams, kicker Jay Feely.
While this move will likely fly under the radar when people look back on this offseason, it was one that will benefit the Cardinals greatly as they continue to build a roster worthy of a playoff berth in the rough and tumble NFC West.