Hayes proved durable and dependable during his time in the desert. He missed only four games from 2006-2009, starting 27 contests in that stretch. A back injury cost him 10 games in 2010 and he never made it back this season, being cut by the Cardinals in training camp.
The recent time off has helped Hayes recover and he is ready to join San Diego's liberally-rotating group of linebackers. What kind of impact will he make? To find out, we check in with Brad Wilbricht, publisher of AZRedReport.com.
"Gerald Hayes was a solid inside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 scheme until back problems drastically hurt his performance over the past two seasons. Hayes racked up 88 tackles or more in each season from 2006-2008, but he only appeared in 20 games from 2009-2010.
"Arizona eventually parted ways with Hayes due to ongoing back injuries and declining performance; also, he wasn't exactly a positive influence in the locker room towards the end of his tenure.
"Coverage was never Hayes' strong point, but otherwise he was a decent all-around inside linebacker. He has never possessed exceptional speed, strength or instincts but was adequate in each area. Slightly above average against the run and slightly below average against the pass would sum up his abilities, when healthy.
"At this point, Hayes has to be considered nothing more than a veteran backup and would be hard pressed to keep up as a starter."
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