Why Dwight Freeney needs to be an Arizona Cardinal this season
By Jim Koch
Trading for linebacker Chandler Jones seems like a brilliant move. The Arizona Cardinals only gave up chronic underachiever Johnathan Cooper and a second round pick to get it done.
You can never have enough pass rushers. I’m not the first person to make that statement nor will I be the last. And the main reason for that of course is that injuries do and will occur in the NFL.
Free agent linebacker Dwight Freeney is well liked. Not only his play which speaks for itself. He is well spoken. He comes across like the experienced veteran that he is. He exhibits class, seems like a guy the younger players could learn from and look up to.
He has stated he’d love to be back with the Cards, that he only wants to play for a contender. The latter statement should mean a team like the Atlanta Falcons haven’t a chance to sign him. Nevertheless he is scheduled to meet with them. He did visit the Cincinnati Bengals last week, a definite contender in the AFC, but left without a contract.
The Cards have a stable of young edge rushers. Besides Jones, Markus Golden is leading the pack. Others include Alex Okafor, Kareem Martin, Shaq Riddick, Tristan Okpalaugo, and Zack Wagenmann. There’s a chance one of these could duplicate the season Freeney had last season, repeat, a chance.
But this is an important season. This is maybe the best team the organization will ever have taken the field. There are a couple polls that have the Cards number one in their power rankings for whatever that’s worth. Since becoming a fan in 1975, I’ve never heard the team spoken of in such glowing terms.
And it’s for these reasons Dwight Freeney must return. The time is now for this team. One of the youngsters could step up but it’s not a definite. Freeney has done it, so that makes him more of a sure thing. So the Cards should be more than willing to sacrifice the roster spot of one of the young bucks for the old, wily veteran.
Freeney could still be stashed somewhere in the mind of Keim most likely. His plan may be to see what he has in training camp and make the move if he sees the need to. Problem is a contender like the Bengals or even the Dallas Cowboys ( another rumored suitor ) may be ready to pounce. And that is scary to think about.