The Arizona Cardinals are still looking to shore up their pass rush, and they are interested in Everson Griffen, per a report from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Arizona's defense finished with 40 sacks last season, tied for 17th in the NFL, while their hurry percentage of 7.7% was the sixth-lowest in the league.
Griffen is one of the best pass rushers available on the market, finishing with 41 tackles, 24 quarterback hits and eight sacks in 15 games for the Minnesota Vikings last season. He recorded 35 pressures and 13 quarterback knockdowns in a Pro Bowl year. Griffen has 355 tackles and 74.5 sacks in 10 seasons with nine forced fumbles. The 32-year-old Griffen has three double-digit sack seasons in his career.
Even though the Cardinals are interested in Griffen, they may have to wait for him to sign with them -- or for any team. Griffen prefersbefore deciding his next destination, which slows any teams' opportunities to get him until COVID-19 restrictions are loosened.
Arizona has made improvements to its pass rush this offseason, signing Jordan Phillips and re-signing Jonathan Bullard in free agency. They also selected Isaiah Simmons, Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence in the draft. Phillips had 9.5 sacks last season, but he plays the interior. Simmons finished with 8.5 sacks at Clemson, but he's expected to play linebacker -- even though the Cardinals could move him around the defense (though the plan is to ).
Finding help for Jones may be the key to the Cardinals having their first winning season since 2015. Jones has been dominant with Arizona, emerging as arguably the best edge rusher in the NFL. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Jones has 60 sacks, 98 quarterback hits and 17 forced fumbles. This past season, Jones led the NFL with eight forced fumbles and finished second in the league with 19 sacks. Jones led the NFL in sacks (17) in 2017 and has five consecutive double-digit sack seasons.
The Cardinals defense finished dead last in yards last season and allowed 442 points. Any free agent signing is considered an upgrade, but Griffen could catapult them toward the top half of the league -- based on all the improvements they made.