Devon Kennard could have increased role with the Cardinals in 2022

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Devon Kennard
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Devon Kennard /

Devon Kennard could secure more playing time with the Arizona Cardinals in 2022 if Chandler Jones elects to leave the desert.

When the Arizona Cardinals acquired Devon Kennard two years ago, the team thought that they were getting a defender who could get to the NFL’s quarterbacks. Unfortunately, the outside linebacker has severely underachieved during his first two campaigns with the Cards organization.

Despite his underwhelming play, Arizona apparently believes that Kennard can still be a productive member of the defense. Instead of just releasing him, the club’s front office has decided to restructure the veteran’s contract for the second time in four months. The move with Kennard will free up some money for the salary cap-strapped Cardinals, although the amount of the savings has not yet been reported.

The Cards could be preparing for the possible departure of Chandler Jones, the squad’s superstar edge-rusher who will enter free agency next week. If the four-time Pro Bowler elects to leave the nest, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph could look to turn Kennard loose on the league’s signal-callers next fall.

Devon Kennard needs to step up for Arizona Cardinals if Chandler Jones leaves

Kennard was coming off of two consecutive seven-sack campaigns for the Detroit Lions when he was signed by the Redbirds. General manager Steve Keim was impressed enough to hand the 6-foot-3, 259-pounder a three-year, $20 million deal. To say that the franchise hasn’t received much payback on that investment would be an understatement.

During his first year with Arizona, Kennard registered just 19 tackles and three sacks in 13 appearances (four starts) for “Big Red”. Last season, the former fifth-round draft pick of the New York Giants tallied a measly 24 tackles and zero sacks in 15 matchups (three starts) for the club.

Perhaps more playing time will result in increased production for the 30-year-old Kennard. More snaps could certainly be coming for the Arizona native if Jones flies the coop. It’s never too late for Kennard to give the Cardinals some bang for the bucks that the franchise sent his way back in 2020.

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