The Arizona Cardinals still haven’t figured out their depth at linebacker.
The Arizona Cardinals’ linebacker room got better in the 2019 off-season. They added pass-rushers Terrell Suggs and Brooks Reed at the position. Then, at inside linebacker, the team signed one of the most highly coveted defensive free agents; Jordan Hicks. The former Eagle should prove to pair well with third-year linebacker Haason Reddick, but behind them, the Cardinals are struggling.
The Cardinals currently have a trio of Dennis Gardeck, Joe Walker, and Tanner Vallejo behind the two. Behind them, is a pack of undrafted free agents, including Anthony Wheeler, and Dante Booker. Previously signed UDFA James Folston Jr. was cut for the addition of Pita Taumoepenu, a 2016 sixth-round pick by the 49ers.
The depth at linebacker is riddled with young players with the potential to blossom. But the problem is, it’s just potential. All six of the depth linebackers mentioned have combined four starts in the NFL on their resume; several have none. But, it’s not all that bad, because there is a slew of intriguing veteran linebackers on the market.
As it currently stands, two of the available, reliable depth options played their last NFL snaps in Arizona; Josh Bynes, and Gerald Hodges. Either would be an excellent addition, but there are several more eye-catching names. Signing one of Vincent Rey, Manti Te’o, Stephone Anthony, or Will Compton would surely help shore up their depth.
If Steve Keim isn’t adding another free agent, there are several, inexpensive linebackers likely available in trade talks. A name that comes to mind is Reggie Ragland. The former second-rounder doesn’t appear to be a fit in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 4-3 defense, and their recent addition of Darron Lee signifies that. His cheap contract should be reasonably easy to acquire.