Arizona Cardinals make solid addition to the defensive line

Free agent pickup Jordan Phillips is heading to the desert to help improve the Arizona Cardinals much-maligned defensive unit

Heading into the 2020 offseason, one of the main priorities of the Arizona Cardinals was to fix their unimpressive defense. On Tuesday, the club’s front office took a solid first step towards achieving that goal.

Jordan Phillips, fresh off of an outstanding campaign with the Buffalo Bills, will be bringing his talents to the desert. The defensive tackle, who began his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins, was signed to a three-year, $30 million contract by Arizona general manager Steve Keim. Based off of what Phillips accomplished this past fall, it appears that the Cardinals may have struck gold with their newest acquisition.

In 16 appearances (nine starts) in 2019, Phillips racked up 31 tackles, 13 of which were for a loss. The 27-year old also registered 9.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits for a Buffalo squad that made it to the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The Cards were in dire need of a pass-rushing threat on their defensive line, and Phillips can certainly put pressure on opposing signal-callers.

Phillips was a second-round draft pick (52nd-overall) of the Dolphins back in 2015. The 6’6, 341 pounder struggled during his first three seasons in the league, and was sent packing by Miami in October of 2018. A sideline outburst by Phillips, triggered by a lack of playing time, may have factored into his release.

Just a day after being cut, Phillips was claimed off of the waiver wire by the Bills. In the 12 contests he appeared in during the ’18 campaign, the former University of Oklahoma product totaled 19 tackles and three passes defensed. Phillips failed to record a sack or quarterback hit during those 12 matchups, but last year’s performance indicates that he’s improved in that area.

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In 76 games (35 starts) as a professional, Phillips has tallied 113 tackles,14 pass breakups and an interception. The veteran has 15 sacks and 33 quarterback hits on his pro resume as well. Arizona is obviously hoping that Phillips will be padding those statistics substantially over the next three seasons.

 

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