We're now just a few days into training camp, and the Arizona Cardinals are already down a couple of outside linebackers. Myjai Sanders and BJ Ojulari, two of the squad's most-promising edge rushers, are both sidelined with injuries. Unfortunately, the Redbirds don't have the depth at the position to deal with the losses of the talented, young defenders.
Last Thursday, Sanders left practice after he reportedly banged his hand. On Monday, however, the 25-year-old was spotted wearing a cast on his right arm. At the present time, the severity of Sanders' setback is not yet known.
Ojulari underwent offseason knee surgery, but is not expected to be out for a long period of time. Even so, wouldn't it behoove Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort to acquire some insurance for the team's injured duo?
The "Red Sea" was incredibly frustrated this past spring by management's ho-hum approach to free agency. Several top-notch sack specialists were there for the taking, but Ossenfort took a pass on all of them. Most of the top names on the market have found homes, but the cupboard isn't entirely bare.
It's not too late for the Arizona Cardinals to add a capable edge rusher to the defensive unit
It's a bit surprising that three-time Pro Bowler Jadeveon Clowney has yet to find employment. The 6 foot 5, 255 pounder struggled last season, but is also just two years removed from a nine-sack campaign for the Cleveland Browns. The addition of Clowney would immediately improve the Cards pass rush.
Another free-agent edge rusher who would make a ton of sense for the Cardinals is Yannick Ngakoue, an eighth-year pro. Why the 6 foot 2, 246 pounder is still looking for work is anybody's guess. Just last fall, the 28-year-old Ngakoue registered 9.5 sacks in 15 starts for the Indianapolis Colts.
In a part-time role for the Baltimore Ravens last season, 34-year-old Justin Houston was credited with 9.5 sacks. The 6 foot 3, 270 pounder entered the league back in 2011, and has an impressive 111.5 sacks on his NFL resume. A one-year contract for Houston would make sense for both the player and the Arizona franchise.
One more pass rusher worth mentioning is Melvin Ingram, a 34-year-old who has recorded 57 sacks in his professional career. In 2022, the 6 foot 2, 250 pounder totaled six sacks in a limited amount of playing time for the Miami Dolphins. Ingram, like the other three free agents in this article, would provide the Cards with a fantastic fallback option at the edge-rushing spot.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)