The Arizona Cardinals traded running back Tim Hightower to the Redskins last year in exchange for veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday and a 2012 draft pick.
The move seemed as much about giving Hightower a chance to play as it was about getting talent in return, but the Cardinals benefited from a surprising discovery:
Vonnie Holliday could still play.
According to ProFootballFocus.com, Holliday was very solid for the Cards, and is one of the best veteran players on the free agent market.
Vonnie Holliday is the prototype forgotten 30+ player. Every season he seems to get picked up by a 3-4 team as a situational player for their rotation before performing extremely well and then doing the same thing all over again. For some reason, none of these teams ever seem to put two and two together and bring him back for another go at it. Maybe they always believe they can get a similar amount of snaps and production out of a younger, cheaper backup, but it isn't always that easy. Generating interior pressure from the 3-4 is not as simple as you might think, and though the second- or third-year player with a veteran minimum contract that might be half of what Holliday is due seems like an attractive option, they rarely produce the way you know Holliday will.
There has been little chatter about whether or not Holliday wants to return, but it would make sense for the team to bring him back.
The 36-year-old finished the season with just 14 solo tackles and no sacks, but the stats don't tell the entire story for how productive he was in 2011.
He may have gone without a sack last season, but he did generate three quarterback knockdowns and four more pressures from his 82 pass-rushes, which is not an insignificant figure. He also chipped in with a batted pass and 14 tackles, 11 of which were defensive stops.
While Holliday is no longer the player he once was, he still did a good job filling in on the line, and is a good locker room presence for one of the NFL's youngest teams.