The Arizona Cardinals could pick a few unrestricted free agents from new head coach Jonathan Gannon’s former team, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Any time a new head coach arrives, there will be a few players from their former team looking to follow them. So the Arizona Cardinals may have a power play here, as Gannon’s former team happens to be the Philadelphia Eagles, who nearly took home the Lombardi Trophy just one week ago.
Don’t be surprised if Gannon’s presence brings in a few former Eagles, especially on the defensive side of the ball as he will likely introduce a new system. So let’s look at three defensive players who could be more than willing to follow Gannon from the East Coast to the Sonoran Desert, and the value they will bring to the Arizona Cardinals.
1 – Javon Hargrave, DT
While the Arizona Cardinals should allocate their monetary assets to current talent and future draft picks, they still need someone who can provide productivity and leadership. Javon Hargrave can be that player, and the 30-year-old would be a perfect fit to oversee the coming transition.
Hargrave is an older player, but he is still in his prime and would be a tremendous upgrade on a defense that desperately needs to improve its interior defensive line. He won’t come cheap, but he would be a great mentor to a young Cardinals defense. So much, that even stalwarts like Budda Baker would benefit from his presence.
2 – James Bradberry, CB
If the Arizona Cardinals re-sign Byron Murphy Jr., they will have two solid corners with him and Marco Wilson manning the top two spots. Antonio Hamilton could wind up providing depth if he returns, and James Bradberry could even join the mix if he decides to walk in free agency.
He will be 30 when the regular season begins, but Bradberry would be a great addition if the Cards wanted to patch up their corners and instead improve the offensive line, edge, and defensive line via the NFL Draft.
3 – T.J. Edwards, LB
Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons are the only serviceable names on the roster at linebacker. And if the Arizona Cardinals switch to the 4-3, they’re going to need some help at the position.
Of course, Simmons tends to play all over the field, and he saw a lot of time in the secondary this past season. So adding a talent like T.J. Edwards would be a remarkable pickup.
In 2022, he had 159 tackles, 10 behind the line, and two sacks. He’s yet another player who could help oversee the team’s transition to Gannon’s system. And at 27, he’s still coming into his own. If Edwards doesn’t re-sign in Philadelphia, the Cardinals need to pursue.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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