Arizona Cardinals Looking For Linebacker Upgrade
Dec 15, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is sacked by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Mike Neal (96) in the fourth quarter of the game at AT&T Stadium. Packers beat the Cowboys 37-36. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
It seems these days the Arizona Cardinals are looking to upgrade at pretty much every position. When you finish 10-6 and just on the outside looking in at the playoffs you can understand why. Pretty much with the exception of punter, wide receiver, and quarterback, right now the Cards are looking for upgrades. You can include linebacker on that list.
One of those linebackers that the Cards are rumored to be interested in is Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Mike Neal. Neal had five sacks, an interception and 47 tackles in 2014. He has spent his entire career in Green Bay. Linebacker was a position that the Cards definitely felt the pinch in 2013. They lost Lorenzo Alexander and Sam Acho to season-ending injuries. It was a constant shuffle on the linebacker core in 2013.
Neal, who played in every game in 2013 for the Packers, would be a veteran that could come right in and play. He would fit what the Cards are trying to do on defense. Linebacker was a position I always felt the Cards would be looking at in free agency. I can also possibly see them drafting a linebacker but they need to keep a balance of veteran leadership and younger players. Neal is both. He’s been in the league for four seasons but is still 26. He fits right in with Acho and Daryl Washington. It may not be a bad idea given guys like Alexander who is coming off injury and also John Abraham who played great in 2013 but is up in years.