Report: Arizona Cardinals could sign a pair of star Ravens linebackers

In the wake of the Josh Bynes release, fans are pushing for the Arizona Cardinals to offer C.J. Mosley big money to shore up their linebacking core. But they might not stop at one Ravens linebacker.

Per CBS Sports Jason La Canfora, the Arizona Cardinals could be in the driver’s seat in the C.J. Mosley sweepstakes. But, they might also be able to add another Ravens linebacker, specifically, 2011 defensive player of the year and Arizona native Terrell Suggs. La Canfora noted the possibility in two separate counts in a recent article, saying;

Some of C.J. Mosley’s Ravens teammates believe both he and Suggs could be headed to the Cardinals — Arizona seems desperate to add someone to offset Chandler Jones– Suggs is an Arizona native.

At 26-years-old, Mosley is already among the elite for inside linebackers as he is a four-time Pro-Bowler and four-time Second-Team All-Pro. Adding C.J. Mosley would also be a massive upgrade to the Cardinals defense, especially to their run stopping unit.

What sets Mosley apart from others is his ability to stuff the run — the 6-2, 238-lb linebacker pilled up 105 tackles and six tackles for loss in 15 games during the 2018 regular season. Per Pro Football Focus, Mosley had a 10.9% run stop rate in 2018, fifth best in the NFL amongst linebackers.

While he does need to continue to improve on his coverage abilities, Mosley would be a much-needed upgrade to the Arizona Cardinals defense and would start immediately as a MIKE linebacker alongside Haason Reddick.

According to Spotrac, Mosley’s market value sits at around $9.7M per year over the course of a five-year $49M contract. While that is a reasonable contract for Mosley that the Cardinals can afford, the team might have to go over the $12M threshold to bring him to the desert.

It’s also worth noting that the Ravens declined to use the $15.4M franchise tag on Mosley.

His Ravens teammate Terrell Suggs, on the other hand, is no stranger to Arizona. Not only does he have a house in Scottsdale, but Suggs also went to Arizona State to play college ball, and went to high school in Chandler.

In what would be a fitting end to a storied NFL career, there is a real chance that Suggs could play his final snaps in the desert. Not only did La Canfora mention that Suggs’ teammates believe he will don Cardinal red in 2019, but he also noted in a previous comment that the Ravens and the outside linebacker aren’t close to signing a deal.

Despite being 36-years-old, Suggs hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. The seven-time Pro-Bowler and 2011 defensive player of the year played 744 snaps in 2018. He accumulated 34 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, and 15 quarterback hits on the year.

Although the Cardinals already have edge defender Chandler Jones on the roster, and could soon have Nick Bosa, adding Terrell Suggs to a defense that continues to get better would be a good problem to have for defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. In 2018, Suggs finished 21st amongst all NFL edge rushers in terms of pass-rushing grade, per Pro Football Focus.

At the minimum, Suggs could be used as a third-down pass rusher, similar to DeMarcus Ware when he was a Bronco. Not only would this role allow for Suggs to focus on what he does best, but it would also help preserve the final days of his career.

While Jason La Canfora is the primary source of this information, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Both Mosley and Suggs would fill team needs for the Cardinals and could be paid handsomely for doing so, as the Cardinals have nearly $39M in cap space. However, that number could balloon to a higher mark if the team decides to part ways with veteran players such as Antoine Bethea, Jermaine Gresham, or even A.Q. Shipley.

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