Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick just had a career game.
It’s not every day you see a player log five sacks and force three fumbles in a single game, but Reddick has joined an exclusive club. That said, the Arizona Cardinals must find a way to keep the player whose fifth-year option they declined heading into the 2020 season.
And you can’t fault the Cardinals for declining Reddick’s fifth-year option. The guy looked like a draft bust during his first three seasons in the league. Deemed too small to play on the edge in the NFL, the Cardinals tried to convert Reddick to inside linebacker. An experiment that failed with flying colors.
So here we sit, with Reddick not only setting a franchise record, but doubling his sack total in a single game, which gives him 10 sacks on the year. Couple that with his three forced fumbles, and also doubled his career total in that category, which now gives him six since he entered the league.
When outside linebacker Chandler Jones went down with a biceps injury, the Cardinals braced for the worst. At the time, Reddick was starting to find his niche in the NFL. And the Cardinals outside linebacking unit was unproven with players like Dennis Gardeck, Kylie Fitts, and Devon Kennard. Since then, the team traded for Markus Golden.
Fitts is a role player. Gardeck makes the occasional splash. And Kennard has underperformed. But Reddick stepped up in a big way which gives the Cardinals hope that if Jones makes it back for the 2021 season, they filled a need with a player in-house.
But the Cardinals must find a way to hold onto Reddick, and given his numbers on the season, don’t expect him to return at a dirt-cheap price. It will cost the Cardinals money to hold onto their breakout player and they may even have to release key players to keep Reddick. But with 10 sacks and 3 forced fumbles on the year, the Red Birds have no choice.
Keep Reddick, and fulfill what was otherwise a hole on defense. Even if it means releasing a role player or two.