Arizona Cardinals: Bringing back linebacker would make sense
Former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes could give the squad some insurance at a position where it is certainly needed
The Arizona Cardinals’ front office has made some surprising moves this offseason. General manager Steve Keim and his crew hired Kliff Kingsbury, a head coach who had compiled a losing record at Texas Tech University. Quarterback Kyler Murray was drafted number-one overall, despite the fact that Josh Rosen was the Cards’ first-round selection just one year before.
Back in March, the Cardinals made another maneuver that raised some eyebrows. Though they never said why, the club elected to part ways with Josh Bynes, an individual who had performed very well for them just months before. Now, three months later, could Cards’ management admit that releasing the veteran may have been a mistake?
With the start of training camp roughly a month away, Bynes remains an unsigned free agent. Since his departure from the desert, the 29-year old has experienced a lukewarm market for his services. Bynes has spent eight seasons in the NFL and has been employed by three different franchises, but is still seeking work despite his ample resume.
It would not be outlandish to believe that Arizona could ask Bynes to come back. The squad has a severe lack of depth at linebacker, especially on the inside. Jordan Hicks and Haason Reddick appear to be locked in as the starters, but their backups are a group of inexperienced defenders.
Bynes’ first three professional campaigns were spent with the Baltimore Ravens, who signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2011. The one-time Auburn Tiger followed that stint with a three-year stay with the Detroit Lions. Bynes came to the Cardinals in August of 2017, and remained with the team until he was cut earlier this offseason.
The journeyman was playing well for the Cards in 2018 before a thumb injury landed him on the injured-reserve list in week 12. As a middle linebacker in former coach Steve Wilks’ 4-3 system, Bynes tallied 75 tackles, two sacks and five passes defensed in 11 appearances. His two-season totals with Arizona included 102 tackles, 3.5 sacks, eight pass breakups and an interception.
A couple of factors may be contributing to Bynes’ inability to find a job. It’s possible that the injured thumb has not healed sufficiently, or maybe the money being offered is not impressive enough. If the two parties can get by those issues, then perhaps a reunion between Bynes and the Cardinals could eventually become a reality.