Former Arizona Cardinals’ depth linebacker Gerald Hodges is ending his brief retirement.
On April 6th, linebacker Gerald Hodges announced his retirement from the NFL. He appeared to have registered his final snap playing for the Arizona Cardinals. But after six-weeks as a retired man, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced, via Twitter, that the 28-year-old will be returning to the NFL.
Schefter noted that Hodges is receiving interest from several teams, and for good reason. He’s a high-quality depth linebacker. In 2018, the former fourth-round pick played in all 16 games for the Cardinals and started his six.
Playing as an inside linebacker, Hodges tallied 55 tackles and recorded an average Pro Football Focus grade of 56.0. Neither are outstanding numbers, and Hodges isn’t an outstanding linebacker, but he’s healthy, plays special teams, and has the game to start when need be.
The Cardinals very well could be one of the teams showing interest in Hodges. Though the team has a new defensive scheme and coach in place, there is familiarity between the two. But most importantly, they could also use some more depth at inside linebacker.
Jordan Hicks was brought over in free agency to play the position. The former Eagle is a sure-fire starter with Pro-Bowl potential, but he’s injury prone. Alongside Hicks will be Haason Reddick — an uber-athletic, first-round pick still learning the position.
Hicks and Reddick should pair nicely in the desert, but if one gets injured, the depth chart gets pretty shallow. Behind the two is Tanner Vallejo, Joe Walker, and Dennis Gardeck; three special-teamers with a combined total of four career NFL starts.
Hodges would help aid the Cardinals depth at inside linebacker (so would Josh Bynes). He’s just 28 years old and performed well during his time in Arizona. Re-signing him wouldn’t be expensive either, making a reunion between the two a perfect marriage.