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.