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4. Antonio Smith
Smith's goal of reaching the Pro Bowl didn't quite work out, but he earned quite a bit of flexing celebrations throughout the high caliber year. Overall, including the playoffs, he tacked on 5.5 sacks and wrapped up multi-tackle games (five tackles in one game was the highest).
Smith's a locker room guy and adds stability to the front-seven. The Cardinals could like the continuity of keeping Smith, but there are several rookies vying to break through.
5. Bertrand Berry
Berry is a team player through and through. He's a classy player who was on the chopping block last offseason. But he believed in what the Cardinals were doing and took a pay cut to stay with Arizona. All year he worked for another chance. Berry was outstanding this season. He compiled five sacks and never quit. He wrapped up his 11th season, and one day the Cardinals will have to make the difficult verdict about Berry. But after an awesome year, he should stay in Arizona.
6. Clark Haggans
Haggans was a Pittsburgh Steelers alum when he found his way to the desert in 2008. He was expected to have one of the bigger impacts of last year's free agent acquisitions. He earned a sack and almost 20 tackles, but he ended the season on injury reserve. He played in 11 games with no starts. As a ninth-year player, the Cardinals could go either way with Haggans. His ties to Whisenhunt and his great fit in the Cardinals' 3-4, coupled with excellent pass rushing skills could keep him in Glendale.
7. Ralph Brown
Brown is another veteran player (nine years) that stepped up big this season. Brown posted a pair of postseason picks after just one in the regular season. Brown is a member of the secondary who doesn't want to go anywhere and shows up everyday to work. Brown should be safe.
8. Elton Brown
Brown provides depth for the offensive line. He's been with the Cardinals since 2005. He's had an increased role this season, as he saw action in every game. Brown won't become a starter anytime soon, but the Cardinals offensive line doesn't have too many layers.
Part II: Ranking the Unrestricted Free Agents
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