- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona is where Dave Zastudil wanted to be.
The 35-year-old Arizona Cardinals punter expressed his interest in staying with the organization when his contract expired on March 11, which would've made him a free agent. On Tuesday, the team reciprocated those feelings, announcing that they signed Zastudil to a two-year contract.
"I think free agency can be a unique thing in this business," Zastudil said. "And when you realize you want to be somewhere and they want you there, it's just nice to know you can get it done and you can focus on planning on the spring and planning on the fall."
Zastudil continued to establish himself as one of the premier punters in the NFL this season, when he punted 78 times for an average of 45.7 yards per kick. He finished the year with a 40.1-yard net average.
But what helped Zastudil stand out was his ability to flip the field. He had 35 punts downed inside the opponents 20 in 2013, tying him for the league lead. He set the NFL single-season record for punts inside the 20 in 2012 with 46.
The dialogue between Zastudil and the Cardinals began after the season. He felt both sides knew a deal would be struck but "it's a process," Zastudil said.
That process ended this weekend, making him a Cardinal through the 2015 season. Zastudil doesn't want to look long term just yet. He wants to get through 2014 and then focus on '15.
"I feel good," he said. "I feel like I'm in the prime of my career."
Being the first free agent re-signed this offseason meant something to Zastudil.
"I think the thing that made me happy was here's an organization that is ready to start winning consistently and I think coming after me early shows the fans and the NFL that they're trying to be aggressive and say, 'Hey we're trying to get better,'" Zastudil said. "It shows they appreciate what I did the last few years."
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