To re-sign or not to re-sign?
Looking at Spotrac, the Cardinals have nearly two-dozen players to be re-signed, so we won’t go through all of them. Those who we don’t talk about, you can assume they will go elsewhere, or if they’re brought back, it could be on something like a futures/reserve contract.
We already discussed Marquise Brown in the previous section, but let’s dive into deeper depths. Overall, Brown had an injury-riddled and subpar season, so it’s tough to see Ossenfort ultimately re-signing the former Baltimore Ravens first-round pick unless there isn’t a demand to pay him like a WR1. Brown did nothing this season but prove his ceiling in the NFL is a WR2, and paying like one is the only way you bring him back.
Leki Fotu was enjoying a better year than he had during his previous three, but a hand injury kept him from finishing the season strong. If he’s brought back, it should be on a salary reminiscent of something like a backup or a role player, as he’s no starting material in the NFL.
Ditto for Jonathan Ledbetter, who also found himself on the injury report one too many times in 2023. Ledbetter has outperformed his undrafted status, but he’s only an every down starter on a patchwork defensive line that the Arizona Cardinals were this past season.
Arizona Cardinals should look to re-sign role players as key backups
Antonio Hamilton could be worth bringing back to provide an over-30 veteran presence, and he also enjoyed a solid, yet unspectacular season. If the Cardinals want a familiar face to provide depth, he should be a go-to to bring back for another year in 2024, but they still need younger talent via free agency or the draft.
Krys Barnes stepped into a larger role when Kyzir White went down with an injury and played well. He logged six or more tackles on four different occasions and he also recorded two behind the line. Barnes and fellow linebacker Josh Woods should both return on “bridge deals” and see time as role players and special teamers.
Greg Dortch should also be a top priority, and logistically, he’s proven to be serviceable in multiple roles for the Redbirds, including splitting out wide and returning kicks and punts. The same goes for punter Blake Gillikin, who proved to have among the strongest legs in the league early and it was a trend that continued into Week 18.