Rashard Lawrence played for the Arizona Cardinals between 2020 and the preseason of 2023, but he was never able to make anything of his career in the desert. He then bounced around NFL practice squads, including stops in Miami, Carolina, and Houston, before the Texans released him last week.
But Lawrence, despite never rising above the practice squad level this season, gets another chance of sticking around in the NFL, and he’s getting that opportunity with the Denver Broncos. This means he will reunite with his old defensive coordinator in the desert, Vance Joseph, and he will also team up with Zach Allen, who signed with Denver last March.
There were times when Lawrence looked good in Glendale, especially in 2022 when he forced a fumble and stopped opponents behind the line three times in just five appearances. However, injuries prevented him from achieving his full potential during his three full years with the Cards, and he played in just 25 contests.
Former Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle can revitalize career
Like many practice squad players in 2023, Lawrence signed a futures/reserve contract, so his chances of making something out of this remain slim. But as mentioned, Lawrence showed he can be serviceable if he’s not battling injuries, and playing in a defense he’s familiar with in Denver should help his cause of returning to an active NFL roster in 2024.
Lawrence was one of several defensive linemen the Arizona Cardinals moved on from in 2023, which contributed to the team having little to go on at the unit this past season. However, players like Dante Stills and Roy Lopez showed us they were worth the risk of playing often and that moving on from Lawrence was ultimately a good move.
We will see if Lawrence plays well enough to earn a spot on the Broncos roster, but the team will not play the Cardinals next season. Instead, Denver plays Seattle, as they both finished third in their respective division in 2023 while the Cards square off against the Los Angeles Chargers.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)