Cardinals Veteran Most Likely To…

While the Cardinals incoming rookies have recently stole the spotlight, the returning veterans in Arizona could be the key to another winning season. Several experienced players contributed a year ago and will be heavily counted on again in 2009. Brad Wilbricht predicts what roles the veterans may play during the upcoming season in this exclusive.

Veteran most likely to: Suffer a season-ending injury

QB Kurt Warner

As painful as this is to stomach for the Cardinal faithful, it's certainly a possibility for a 38-year old quarterback. Warner has experienced a career resurgence in Arizona and catapulted himself back as one of the top players in the NFL. During the past two seasons, Warner has thrown for 8,000 yards and tossed 57 touchdowns. In addition, he's a constant fixture in the locker room and has done a great deal of work in the community. However, with an aging body and recovering from offseason hip surgery, backups Matt Leinart and Brian St Pierre could be called to action.

Veteran most likely to: Be replaced in the starting lineup

DT Bryan Robinson

While his statistics weren't overwhelming, Robinson did a solid job in his first year with the Cardinals. Robinson was expected to backup Gabe Watson and Alan Branch last season but ended up starting most of the year. However, the return of Watson could force Robinson back to a reserve role. Watson suffered a broken kneecap prior to the 2008 season and faced an uphill battle all year long. He's now fully healed and could be the breakout star the Cardinals' defense is looking for. Even if Robinson is demoted, he'll still be a vital piece of Arizona's rotation upfront.

Veteran most likely to: Resurrect their career

LB Chike Okeafor

Okeafor managed only 4.5 sacks last season, marking his lowest output since 2001. Nonetheless, Okeafor may be in the best shape of his career and is positioned to bounce back next year. The Cardinals have gradually improved its defense, making Okeafor that much more dangerous as an edge pass rusher. Furthermore, Arizona drafted Cody Brown in the second round of the draft and cut ties with last year's prized free agent addition Travis LaBoy. Brown's pass-rushing abilities along with veteran Bertrand Berry's improved play will undoubtedly open things up for Okeafor.

Veteran most likely to: Receive a restructured contract

SS Adrian Wilson

Amidst rumors of new contracts for WR Anquan Boldin and DT Darnell Dockett, Wilson along with LB Karlos Dansby is next inline to receive a restructured deal. Wilson is the heart and soul of the Cardinals' defense and stands a great chance to finish his career in Arizona. After suffering a season-ending injury in 2007, Wilson bounced back a year ago with 75 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. Although he's been unable to regain his Pro Bowl form, he's still a feared member of the Cardinals' secondary and continues to wreak havoc on opposing ball carriers.

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