Arizona Cardinals: Likelihood that free agents return
Guard Earl Watford
Arizona Cardinals guard Earl Watford earned the nickname “Swiss Army Knife” for his ability to play all five positions along the offensive line. Such flexibility can be immensely valuable to an NFL roster, as it allows for more depth with fewer players.
From this perspective, it would seem that re-signing Watford makes sense for the Cardinals. There is, however, another important consideration – does he play the positions well?
Unfortunately for Watford, he has not graded out particularly well over his career. His best season as a professional was 2014, when his Pro Football Focus grade was 57.4. In 2016, his PFF grade was a paltry 33.9 – the lowest of his career. It is possible, however, that some of his struggles are a function of playing so many different positions, which could make it difficult to get into a rhythm.
If the Cardinals can re-sign Watford for a reasonable price, his versatility could be too valuable to ignore. However, if another team views Watford as a potential starter, he could quickly price himself out of Arizona. Moreover – as is the case with A.Q. Shipley – if Arizona lands one of the top guards in free agency, the Cardinals are unlikely to retain Watford.
Likelihood of returning: 30 percent