With limited DE options, Arizona Cardinals need to trade for Josh Sweat

Defensive end free agents have been going off the board, in which the Cardinals may have to pivot to a trade to bring in a pass rush.
San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Not having a true pass rush can hurt a team, especially late in the fourth quarter when a stop is needed. It doesn't need to turn into a sack, but it does need to create pressure to make the quarterback make a mistake in a crucial moment. The Arizona Cardinals have to be in the edge rusher market, coming off a 33 sack season by the defense that ranked 30th in the league. With a lot of big name edge rushers agreeing to terms with teams during the legal tampering period, Monti Ossenfort may have to explore a potential trade for an edge rusher to upgrade the pass rush in Arizona for next season, and potentially beyond 2024.

With having the 4th overall pick, it would be easy for the Cardinals to draft someone like Dallas Turner out of Alabama who could easily be the first defensive player off the board in the NFL draft. However, with wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. more than likely heading to the desert, the Cardinals will not be able to address the pass rush until later.

If the Cardinals choose to go the trade route, Ossenfort and Jonathan Gannon should not look further than Josh Sweat from the Philadelphia Eagles. Per Ian Rapoport, before the legal tampering period went into effect, the Eagles have been listening to trade calls for Sweat. The Eagles are in a bit of a tricky situation because not only is it rumored that Sweat could be out of Philadelphia, but edge rusher Haason Reddick could be in a different uniform as well. It really depends on which direction the Eagles want to take between Sweat and Reddick.

The Eagles have come to an agreement on terms with former Jets' edge rusher Bryce Huff, so there could be a change quickly.

Josh Sweat excelled under Jonathan Gannon with the Eagles

While both Reddick and Sweat played very well under Gannon when he was the defensive coordinator with the Eagles, Sweat has the cheaper contract and is two years younger than Reddick. With the route the Cardinals have taken so far in the free agent frenzy, they are looking to be smart with how they spend their money. According to overthecap.com, Sweat currently has a $9 million hit to the salary cap which should be no issue for the Cardinals.

Under Gannon in Philadelphia in 2022, Sweat had his first double digit sack season with 11 and has had no less than 6 sacks since 2020. With the Cardinals having a lot of draft capital, they can afford to trade for Sweat without giving up too much. The big question is whether or not if they decide to trade for him, is will the Cardinals extend Sweat or choose to see how he would perform in 2024.