The Arizona Cardinals handed former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Stewart Bradley a five-year, $25 million contract with $10 million guaranteed last offseason because they expected him to become an impact player. He wound up barely playing.
One season later, Bradley still is struggling to make an impact. Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com projected the Cardinals starting defense on Monday and left Bradley out. 35-year-old Paris Lenon remains the favorite to start on the strong side.
We realize this is only a projection from Urban, but it is still telling. Adam Caplan reported that Bradley took a pay cut from $5 million to $2.5 million this season. Presumably Bradley would have lost his job otherwise.
Bradley has proven to be a disappointment in Arizona, but the Cardinals defense has a lot to be excited about. Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield complement Daryl Washington in an exciting young linebacker group. Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell should excel on the defensive line in their second year under coordinator Ray Horton.
The Cardinals' defense looks dangerous this year. Bradley just doesn't look likely to be a huge part of it.