Haason Reddick sounds like an NFL elder statesman as he readies to enter the 2021 free agency fray. The former 13th-overall pick will hit the open market for the first time in his professional career after having spent the last four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, and usually that's when a player tries to maximize his earnings with what's roundly viewed as the first major payday. And when you're Reddick, a player who's established himself as one of the better young players at your position, the coming payday could be sizable -- but that's not his top priority.
In a recent chat with SiriusXM NFL Radio, the 26-year-old made clear what sits atop his list of priorities this offseason.
"I want my number to be called," Reddick said. "I want to be one of the guys that's called on to make plays. I want the fit and the feeling to be right. I want a mutual understanding between me and the coaching staff about what's expected, what's to be done, and the effort I'm going to give."
And he's open to remaining in Arizona, if this can all be achieved in the desert. But, if not, he's off to greener pastures in 2021, with the Cardinals undoubtedly now wishing they exercised the fifth-year option on his contract.
"As long as I can find that, whether it be here with the Cardinals -- I do believe we have that here," he added. "If it's not here with the Cardinals and it's somewhere else and I have to go to a different team, it's all about being the correct fit, being the correct system and being somewhere I can still thrive, flourish and continue to grow as a player."
Reddick will undoubtedly have no shortage of suitors in March.
He's coming off of a career-best season that saw him rack up 12.5 sacks in 2020, along with 63 combined tackles (43 solo) and four pass break ups plus a monstrous six forced fumbles. In a season that saw the Cardinals lNFL as a whole.to injury, Reddick stepped up in a big way and tripled his sack tally from his previous career-best year in the category (2018). Adding to an already robust stat line, Reddick hit opposing quarterbacks a total of 16 times and had 15 tackles for a loss, making him not only one of the most dominant players on the Cardinals roster last season -- but in the
And he did it with just 11 starts in the 16 games he was active. This also goes to an alternate point regarding Arizona, though, because despite Reddick's talent, he's been hard-pressed to consistently log starts for the Cardinals, being available for every single game of his four-year career but having been awarded only five starts in 2019, something the severely dampened his production and relationship with the organization. So if you're wondering why he wants to make sure he's a permanent fixture at starter going forward, that's why, along with the accompanying fact he's earned it.
And if he has to take less money to guarantee fit, so be it.