Veteran sack specialist, Melvin Ingram, could help the Arizona Cardinals fill the void that was created by J.J. Watt’s season-ending injury.
Over the past few weeks, the Arizona Cardinals and their fans got to witness what made defensive end J.J. Watt such a special NFL player. Now, thanks to the veteran’s season-ending shoulder injury, the team will have to forge ahead without the five-time Pro Bowler.
The unfortunate situation could force the Cards front office to seek out a replacement for the 32-year old Watt. One name that has surfaced as a possibility is Melvin Ingram, a pass-rush specialist who’s currently with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Could Arizona general manager Steve Keim have interest in the former first-round draft selection?
Word out of the “Steel City” is that Ingram is unhappy with the Steelers and would like to finish the season with another organization. According to reports, the Kansas City Chiefs have already inquired about the longtime member of the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. A deal with the Chiefs is unlikely, however, because the Steelers would apparently prefer to trade Ingram to a franchise that isn’t a part of the American Football Conference.
That condition would put the NFC-residing Cardinals in the running for Ingram’s services. While replacing the sensational Watt would be difficult to do, Ingram would nevertheless be a solid addition to coordinator Vance Joseph’s surging defensive unit.
Melvin Ingram could help the Arizona Cardinals keep the pressure on passers
Ingram entered the league back in 2012 as an opening-round pick (18th-overall) of the Chargers. The 6-foot-2, 247-pounder starred at the University of South Carolina and was a Consensus All-American as a senior in 2011.
In 199 professional appearances (97 starts), Ingram has racked up 370 tackles (72 for a loss) and 50 sacks. The outside linebacker has also registered three interceptions, 29 pass breakups,14 forced fumbles, and 114 quarterback hits.
After spending nine seasons with the Chargers, Ingram entered the free-agent market this past spring. The North Carolina native signed a one-year, $4 million contract with Pittsburgh back on July 20th but has been unhappy with his lack of playing time in recent contests.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)