Josh Bynes – LB
Releasing Josh Bynes continues to look like a puzzling move by the Cardinals. The team added Jordan Hicks to replace him, but behind the newly signed linebacker and Haason Reddick, there doesn’t look to be much quality depth on the roster. For a team switching to a linebacker heavy 3-4 scheme, this doesn’t appear to be a good thing.
But, Bynes could fix that. In two seasons as a Cardinal, the inside linebacker proved that he deserves a shot to remain in the league. He was one of the few bright spots of the 2018 defense as he started 11 games and tallied 75 total tackles, 2.0 sacks, two tackles for loss, and five pass deflections.
Pro Football Focus also graded Bynes as one of the better linebackers during the ’18 season. The analytics firm gave him a 75.8 grade, which ranked him 14th in the league at the position. His 81.1 run-defense grade ranked him 11th in the league, while his 34 defensive stops put him at 36th, per PFF.
Bynes’ release confused many, including myself. The Cardinals simply had one of their better defensive players locked up. Though the team addressed the position in free agency with the signing of Hicks, there is still skepticism for the group as a whole. Bynes could change that train of thought, as he’d bring familiarity, and at minimum, quality depth for the team.
Luckily, Bynes remains a free agent. But at 29 years old with two solid seasons of play behind him, that may not stay true for very long. If the Cardinals decide to right their wrongs and re-sign Bynes, it would come off as a win-win for both sides.
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