All season long, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Nick Rallis has had to make do with an unheralded crew of defensive linemen. With a roster reboot in mind, first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort did very little to enhance that area of the roster. The unit was undermanned from the start, and then injuries to free-agent acquisitions Carlos Watkins and L.J. Collier set the contingent back even further.
Adding talent to the front wall of the Cards defense will be a priority of the front office in 2024. That shouldn't be difficult to accomplish, considering the boatload of salary-cap space that management is projected to have at their disposal. Actually, Ossenfort and company may not have to wait until the offseason rolls around to get started on that all-important task.
On Friday, the Tennessee Titans released veteran defensive tackle Teair Tart. According to reports, the team was dissatisfied with the effort put forth by the 26-year-old this past Monday against the Miami Dolphins. Tart, for his part, was unhappy with the fact that he was on the field for just 30 of the Titans' 69 snaps on defense during the win over Miami.
Teair Tart could act as an unmovable rock in the center of the Arizona Cardinals defensive line
A lack of playing time wouldn't be an issue for Tart if he joined the Cardinals. At the moment, the squad's defensive line rotation consists of Jonathan Ledbetter, Kevin Strong, Dante Stills, Roy Lopez, and Naquan Jones. The group has held up surprisingly well for Arizona this fall, but there's certainly room for improvement.
In his 11 appearances (nine starts) for Tennessee this year, Tart has been credited with 21 tackles and a sack. At 6 foot 2, 304 pounds, the Philadelphia native is your prototypical run-stuffer. Tart will never rack up impressive sack numbers (just 2.5 during his NFL career), but his stellar play versus the opposition's rushing attack is what keeps him employed.
Ossenfort was the director of player personnel for the Titans when Tart came to the organization as an undrafted free agent back in April of 2020. The former Florida International University product dressed in a total of 45 contests for Tennessee, logging 36 starts along the way.
Tart will be a free agent at the end of the current campaign, so he'll definitely want to take his game to another level during the next four weeks. Ossenfort's familiarity with the 26-year-old could lead him to the desert. It's a move that makes too much sense for the Cards not to happen.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)