When Jonathan Gannon was hired by the Arizona Cardinals 11 months ago, the club's new head coach wanted to bring someone he's familiar with to the desert. Kyzir White, an inside linebacker who had played for Gannon just one year before with the Philadelphia Eagles, seemed to be the perfect choice. The plan was for the 6 foot 2, 234 pounder to teach his new teammates everything he had learned from the former coordinator of the Philly defense.
Thanks to a likely endorsement from Gannon, the Cards front office proceeded to add White to the roster. While general manager Monti Ossenfort handed out mostly one-year contracts during free agency, the former Los Angeles Chargers draft pick obtained a two-year deal. Early returns indicate that White may be well worth the investment.
White made 11 starts for the Cardinals this past fall before a torn biceps muscle ended his 2023 campaign. Despite missing six matchups, the former fourth-round selection still led the squad with 90 tackles. White also flashed his versatility by contributing two sacks, three pass breakups and an interception to the defense.
Kyzir White should be healthy and ready to go when the Arizona Cardinals kick off the 2024 campaign
Astonishingly, White had played every snap on defense for "Big Red" until he suffered the season-ending injury against the Houston Texans this past November. Gannon told the press after the contest that the veteran actually stayed out on the field for "five or six plays" with his arm dangling before he could no longer function. That type of heart and determination is exactly why White was named an Arizona team captain in 2023.
The good news is that White will be back and ready to go when the 2024 campaign gets underway eight months from now. When the 27-year-old does return, there's a very good possibility that he'll be surrounded by a bunch of new teammates. Ossenfort and his cohorts have plenty of holes to fill, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Acquiring White could turn out to be one of the best moves of Ossenfort's first offseason with the organization. In fact, the former West Virginia University product could soon overtake safety Budda Baker as the leader of the Cards defense. It will be exciting to see if the talented White can take his play to an even higher level when a brand-new schedule kicks off next September.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)