The Arizona Cardinals announced yesterday that the team has re-signed punter Dave Zastudil to a two-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. He was a key weapon in the field position battles as he averaged 45.7 yards per punt last season. He has had 81 punts downed inside the 20-yard line in the last two seasons and hasn’t been blocked. Zastudil is also the holder on field goals and potentially-obsolete extra points.
It’s a good sign to see him back as he was arguably the team’s MVP in the 2012 disaster of a season. He certainly played his part in the team’s success in 2013 as well.
The key question here is how much money did he sign for. The Cardinals are projected to have barely any room under the salary cap and terms of his contract could point to other moves being made. The upcoming season will be his 12th in the league and he will have spent four years with each of three teams. Given how long he’s been in the league, his minimum salary is going to be $955,000 for next season.
How did we come to this figure? We took the information from this 2011 article by Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk about the salary cap and did some calculations. Take $910,000 from the article and add $15,000 per year times three years and voila! This is something to keep in mind as we go into the next phase of free agency and contract negotiations. How much does a player need to be paid at a minimum?
How much more than the minimum is unknown but we would also project his minimum salary to be $970,000 for the 2015 season.
Arizona has slightly more than $1 million left in cap space after signing Zastudil. Where does the next shoe drop?
See our compilation of Spotrac.com’s salary table here.