The Bengals clearly expect Minter to handle a significant role, coming off back-to-back seasons in which he started all 16 games for the Cardinals. He played inside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 defense, but it's possible he'll move to the strong side in Cincinnati's 4-3 -- allowing Vontaze Burfict and Vincent Rey to retain their spots on the weak side and in the middle.
Minter was a reliable cog in the Cardinals' linebacking corps for the first four years of his career and played at least 88 percent of the defensive snaps for them in each of the last two years. He's a sound tackler that'll be a welcome addition to the Begals' linebacking corps. It will be worth monitoring how Minter's addition affects the Bengals' approach in the draft, as many experts alluded to the possibility of Cincinnati targeting a linebacker in the early rounds.
Minter racked up 81 tackles (59 solo), including a career-high 3.5 sacks, in 16 games during the 2016 season.
Throughout his fourth campaign, Minter was jostling for the team lead in tackles with Deone Bucannon (ankle) and Tony Jefferson (knee), only to finish third behind the duo, despite both landing on injured reserve within the final three weeks. After being contained to special teams as a rookie and LB depth in 2014, Minter has earned at least 88 percent of the defensive snaps in both of the last two seasons. In fact, the inside linebacker hasn't missed a contest during that stretch, averaging 5.5 tackles per game along the way. Nevertheless, he's only forced one turnover in his career to date, so he may not be as desirable as an unrestricted free agent when the market opens on March 9.
Minter posted seven tackles (six solo), including two tackles for loss, in Sunday's tie with the Seahawks.
With 5.3 tackles per game, Minter is behind last season's pace (5.9 per) but has put together a more well-rounded game log to date. He's already surpassed his sack total entering the campaign, racking up 2.5 to bring his career total to four. Moreover, he's tacked on four tackles for loss, including a stop of Christine Michael for minus-five yards Sunday to push the Seahawks to third and 25 early in the fourth quarter. On the year, the starting ILB pair of Minter and Deone Bucannon have held down the fort in the middle of the Cardinals' defense, helping to keep opponents out of the end zone for nine consecutive quarters.
Minter will now be able to return to the field after suffering a mild concussion this past Sunday. He could see his reps monitored in Monday's tilt with the Jets, though, in which case Joplo Bartu would likely see increased action.
|P3||8/27/17||@ WAS||4:30 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ IND||7:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ GB||4:25 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/22/17||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|10||11/12/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|