Defensive End Robert Ayers
While Ayers’ production as a pass-rusher has dipped dramatically since his nine sack season with the New York Giants in 2015, Ayers is still a solid run stopper that could help most defenses.
At 6’3’’, 274 pounds, Ayers possesses the necessary size to serve as a stout run defender for a team that could be in need of one. As the Cardinals transition from a 3-4 into a 4-3 base defense, General Manager Steve Keim (pictured above) could bring in a veteran like Ayers who comes with experience playing the 4-3 defensive end position.
While Markus Golden and Chandler Jones will likely start on either side for the Cardinals defense, Ayers could be a great role player for Head Coach Steve Wilks. While Wilks stated that utilizing the pass rushing prowess of both Golden and Jones played a large role in his decision to switch to the 4-3, no one knows how either player will transition in run support.
I personally believe that both Golden and Jones will fit nicely into Wilks’ 4-3 defense, but Golden is coming off an ACL injury that forced him to miss most of the 2017 season. If Golden’s injury impacts his effectiveness, Ayers could be a solid insurance plan
While Ayers only accumulated two sacks in his 2017 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he developed into a leader for that defense. More than that, Pro Football Focus rated Ayers as the tenth highest edge defender in the league, in large part due to his ability against the run.
Ayers is likely to find a job in August, as a team with lacking depth or injury issues calls for the services of the 32 year old veteran. It would be wise for Arizona to scoop him up before that time comes.