Arizona Cardinals could use upgrade for their defensive line
For the past four seasons, the defensive line of the Arizona Cardinals has been in dire need of some star power. The free agent departure of the great Calais Campbell back in 2017 has hindered the unit. Could a top-tier addition to the group have a positive effect on the Cards front wall?
At the present time, Arizona’s defensive line could use an influx of talent. Leonard Williams, the 6th-overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft, is in search of a new contract. An agreement between the 7th-year pro and the Cardinals could potentially be beneficial for both parties.
Williams just happens to be coming off of the most productive campaign of his professional career. Last fall, the 26-year old racked up 11.5 sacks, 57 tackles and an impressive 30 quarterback hits in 16 appearances (12 starts) for the New York Giants. Those are the type of numbers that could easily propel Williams into a lucrative new deal in 2021.
The New York Jets used their first-round choice on Williams six years ago, and got mixed results out of the defensive end. As a rookie, the former University of Southern California product totaled 63 tackles, three sacks and 21 quarterback hits in 16 appearances (15 starts) for the Jets. While those statistics were certainly respectable, it was what Williams accomplished a year later that really opened some eyes.
During his sophomore campaign 2016, Williams racked up 68 tackles, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and 19 quarterback hits in 16 starts for New York. That outstanding performance earned the 6’5, 302 pounder a trip to the Pro Bowl at the end of the year.
Williams would log 39 more starts for the Jets over the next three campaigns. The California native registered 109 tackles, seven sacks, an interception and three passes defensed during that time. The relationship between Williams and New York soured, however, and the defensive lineman was traded to the Giants in October of ’19.
What Williams accomplished in 2020 for the Giants was a coming out party of sorts for the veteran. That type of production is exactly what the Cards need out of that position. We’ll find out in the coming weeks if the club’s front office has any interest in the gifted Williams.