It’s been nearly two years since the Arizona Cardinals made the mistake in letting Haason Reddick leave in free agency, and the old regime should regret it.
Until J.J. Watt’s resurgence down the stretch, the Arizona Cardinals pass rush was pedestrian at best. They could have used someone like Haason Reddick this season, but during the 2021 offseason, they let Reddick test free agency while they kept Chandler Jones.
Some fans lauded the move while others like myself said Jones should go. The main reason? Jones’ age meant he wasn’t far from a career backslide, something we saw occur this season, his first in a Las Vegas Raiders uniform.
While Jones had a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries, one of which was arguably the most bizarre play in the regular season, he tallied just 4.5 sacks. By contrast, Reddick took down opposing quarterbacks 16 times, one more than Jones had in quarterback hits (15).
Arizona Cardinals old regime made a foolish mistake letting Reddick walk
Letting Reddick walk made absolutely zero sense. Sure, he had just one good season in the desert and nearly half his sacks came in one game when he recorded five against the New York Giants. But at 26, he had far more tread on his tires than the aging Jones, who was 30 at the time.
Reddick turned into one of the league’s elite pass rushers, having recorded 39.5 sacks over the previous three seasons and 60 quarterback hits. Do the math and that’s 13 sacks and 20 hits per year.
By keeping Reddick and trading Jones, likely for a first rounder, to a team figuring to contend in 2021, could the Cardinals be in a different position today? Would Steve Keim still be heading up the front office? Kliff Kingsbury working with Keim to prepare for the NFL Draft?
As it stands, Keim has got to be regretting his decision to let Reddick walk away for nothing. And he should further regret keeping Jones for one last measly season before the latter spurned the Sonoran Desert for the Mojave Desert.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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