|Offense||23rd||86.6 (29th)||227.5 (14th)|
|Defense||6th||89.6 (6th)||221.3 (14th)|
|54||Albright, Bryson||DE||6-5||245||3/15/1994||2||Miami (Ohio)|
|Anau, Peli||DE||6-3||250||10/26/1993||1||Northern Arizona|
|64||Barnes, Khalif (FA)||T||6-6||320||4/21/1982||12||Washington|
|Benwikere, Bene'||DB||6-0||195||9/3/1991||5||San Jose State|
|75||Boone, Alex (FA)||T||6-8||310||5/4/1987||9||Ohio State|
|27||Branch, Tyvon (FA)||DB||6-0||210||12/11/1986||11||Connecticut|
|46||Brewer, Aaron||LS||6-5||232||7/5/1990||7||San Diego State|
|20||Bucannon, Deone||DB||6-1||211||8/30/1992||5||Washington State|
|Butler, Brice||WR||6-3||220||1/29/1990||6||San Diego State|
|Carter, Jarell||DB||5-10||196||8/7/1995||1||Trinity International|
|56||Dansby, Karlos (FA)||LB||6-4||250||11/3/1981||15||Auburn|
|Djeri, Moubarak||DE||6-3||275||//||R||No College|
|Dora, Vontarrius||DE||6-4||256||9/7/1992||1||Louisiana Tech|
|Doughty, Brandon||QB||6-3||212||10/6/1991||1||Western Kentucky|
|37||Foster, D.J.||WR||6-0||195||11/22/1993||3||Arizona State|
|Glennon, Mike||QB||6-6||229||12/12/1989||6||NC State|
|10||Golden, Brittan (FA)||WR||5-11||186||7/20/1988||5||West Texas A&M|
|42||Goodwin, C.J.||WR||6-4||220||2/4/1990||3||California (PA)|
|95||Gunter, Rodney||DT||6-5||305||1/19/1992||4||Delaware State|
|48||Hill, Bronson||RB||5-10||215||1/2/1993||1||Eastern Michigan|
|Johnson, David||RB||6-1||224||12/16/1991||4||Northern Iowa|
|22||Logan, T.J.||RB||5-10||196||9/3/1994||2||North Carolina|
|50||Martin, Gabe||LB||6-2||236||6/5/1992||2||Bowling Green|
|34||Miller, Harlan||CB||6-0||182||6/20/1994||2||Southeastern Louisiana|
|80||Momah, Ifeanyi (FA)||TE||6-7||255||10/23/1989||4||Boston College|
|Moxey, Jonathan||CB||5-10||188||1/14/1995||1||Boise State|
|90||Nkemdiche, Robert||DT||6-4||296||9/19/1994||3||Ole Miss|
|78||Painter, Vinston||T||6-4||318||10/11/1989||4||Virginia Tech|
|23||Peterson, Adrian (FA)||RB||6-1||220||3/21/1985||12||Oklahoma|
|72||Pierre, Olsen||DE||6-4||293||8/27/1991||3||Miami (Fla.)|
|Ross, Rashad||WR||6-0||180||2/2/1990||3||Arizona State|
|92||Rucker, Frostee (FA)||DE||6-3||280||9/14/1983||13||Southern California|
|Sandland, Beau||TE||6-5||252||2/23/1993||1||Montana State|
|86||Seals-Jones, Ricky||WR||6-5||243||3/15/1995||2||Texas A&M|
|53||Shipley, A.Q.||C||6-1||307||5/22/1986||7||Penn State|
|73||Wetzel, John||G||6-7||328||7/18/1991||3||Boston College|
|26||Williams, Brandon||CB||6-0||200||9/9/1992||3||Texas A&M|
|16||Williams, Chad||WR||6-1||204||10/19/1994||2||Grambling State|
|Williams, Bryce||TE||6-5||260||2/24/1993||1||East Carolina|
|Young, Lou||CB||6-0||205||10/9/1991||2||Georgia Tech|
|Zamort, Ronald||CB||5-10||174||11/10/1991||2||Western Michigan|
|3||Palmer, Carson (IR)||QB||6-5||235||12/27/1979||15||Southern California|
Peters was poised to hit free agency at the end of the season but inked an extension through 2020 in December. The 29-year-old is the anchor and run stuffer on the interior of the Cardinals defense, though his contributions don't typically light up the stat sheet.
Martin was signed to the Cardinals' 53-man roster in late November off the Saints practice squad and served as a reserve linebacker and special teams player. The 25-year-old isn't guaranteed to remain with Arizona and is likely to be battling for a roster spot in training camp, wherever he ends up.
Williams logged three starts in his rookie season last year and appeared primed for an increased defensive role in 2017, but managed only one defensive snap for the season. The 2016 third-round pick will need to impress in training camp in order to get back on track for the 2018 season
Pierre actually finished second on the Cardinals in sacks behind NFL leader Chandler Jones (17.0), a quality season after starting the year with a minimal defensive role. The 26-year-old enters 2018 as an exclusive-rights free agent, and a return to Arizona would not be surprising given his role in 2017.
Sandland will have to shine bright during the offseason workouts and preseason contests if he hopes to stick with the team for the entirety of the 2018 season. As it stands now, Sandland is likely the fifth string option at tight end for the Cardinals trailing Jermaine Gresham, Ricky Seals-Jones, Bryce Williams and Gabe Holmes.
Gunter's production in 2017 was similar to his first two seasons in the league as he remains in a reserve role in the defensive line rotation. The 25-year-old is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2018 and appears slated to serve as starting nose tackle Corey Peters' backup once again.
In recent days, Zamort was taking advantage of Justin Bethel's absence from practice due to a hyperextended knee, running with the first-team defense over 2016 third-round pick Brandon Williams. However, Zamort proceeded to tear his ACL on Saturday, ending his brief dalliance in a significant position. If he passes through waivers unclaimed, the performance was likely enough to earn a place on injured reserve with the Cardinals for the upcoming season.
Smith is getting up there in age considering he turned 31 years old in January, but he appeared to have something left in the tank last season with the Bengals prior to landing on injured reserve in December. While it isn't clear where the veteran stands in his recovery from a sprained knee, there doesn't seem to be any concern Smith won't be ready to roll by the time training camp rolls around in late July.
Arizona cut Hill loose prior to Sunday's 20-15 loss to the Redskins, but he'll be brought back as insurance at running back after starter Kerwynn Williams sustained a quadriceps injury in the contest. Even if Williams is ruled out for Arizona's Week 16 game against the Giants, D.J. Foster and Elijhaa Penny would likely factor more prominently into the backfield mix than Hill.
Bucannon, a safety in college, transitioned admirably to the role of dollar linebacker as a professional, racking up at least 80 tackles in each of his first four seasons. As the Cards move from Bruce Arians' 3-4 alignment to Wilks' 4-3, Bucannon will bump to Will LB in the base defense while playing the Mike position in nickel formations. In essence, he'll emulate two linebackers from Wilks' previous stop in Carolina, Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly, both of whom have been objects of Bucannon's film study this offseason, per Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.
The Cardinals are proceeding slowly with Bradford in an effort to ensure he's fresh for the regular season. Coach Steve Wilks confirmed as much Thursday, telling Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic that the quarterback's limitations are intended to reduce wear and tear on his body. Bradford joined the organization in March after a campaign in which he made only two appearances for the Vikings due to a left knee injury and subsequent surgery, his third as a professional. Although the knee is healthy, according to Wilks, Bradford will continue to have a cap on his workload throughout the offseason program.
Ross, a local product who attended Arizona State, landed on the Cardinals' practice squad during the latter portion of the season. He will now look to make an impression during the offseason and try to earn a role on the active roster for the 2018 season.
Torgersen was waived by the Lions on Wednesday. He didn't see the field at all as a rookie in 2017 only going so far as to end the year on Detroit's practice squad. He'll be a longshot to make the Cardinals' roster in 2018, but he is a candidate for the practice squad once again.
Munyer will give the Cardinals some added depth on the offensive line after beating out two draft picks in training camp last season. He only appeared in one game before landing on injured reserve with a toe injury last November .
The Cardinals lost TD machine David Johnson (wrist) in Week 1, barely fielded a serviceable receiving corps behind Larry Fitzgerald and only had Carson Palmer under center for seven games this season. Such a hurricane of hits to the offense would seem to impact a scoring offense negatively, and indeed Arizona ranked 25th in the NFL with 18.4 points per game. Nonetheless, Dawson, who dealt with accuracy issues at times, posted the third-most points (119) in a given season in his 19-year career. If the Cardinals keep Dawson around in his age-43 campaign, he'll be owed $3.5 million in 2018.
A fifth-round pick last year, Logan was expected to serve as a kick and punt returner as a rookie. During the Cards' preseason opener in the Hall of Fame Game, he displayed dynamic skills in those realms, ripping off two kickoff returns for 71 yards before dislocating his wrist on a late-game carry. He proceeded to spend the entire campaign on injured reserve, and while he relayed he can still gain some more "mobility" in the wrist, he's otherwise good to go. "As far as strength, it's fine," Logan said. In 2018, he likely will handle a similar role to what was expected of him last year, with the potential for sub-packages on offense behind No. 1 running back David Johnson.
The roster move was fully expected after Golden fractured his arm in Sunday's 20-15 loss to the Redskins and required surgery a day later to address the injury. According to Kevin Zimmerman of ArizonaSports.com, Golden will need three to four months to recover from surgery, which could result in the wideout drawing limited interest when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. He'll finish the 2017 campaign with five catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns across 13 appearances.
A 2017 third-round pick, Williams typically was a healthy scratch during his rookie season, ultimately catching only three passes in six games. The offseason departures of John Brown (Ravens) and Jaron Brown (Seahawks) cleared out space on the Arizona depth chart, but Williams will still need to compete with Butler and J.J. Nelson -- and likely a draft pick or two -- for slotting behind top target Larry Fitzgerald. Williams caught 90 passes for 1,337 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season at FCS Grambling State, and then ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at his pro day while checking in at 6-foot-1, 204 pounds. Health permitting, Sam Bradford should be provide a significant upgrade on the Cardinals' ugly quarterback situation from the second half of last season.
The Cardinals needed more depth at tight end after letting Troy Niklas (Patriots) walk in free agency. Williams, who's now on his fifth NFL team entering his third season, will have a chance to claim the No. 3 role behind Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) and Ricky Seals-Jones. It helps that he's familiar with Arizona's new head coach, Steve Wilks, who was Carolina's defensive coordinator when Williams spent last summer's training camp with the Panthers.
The Cards have employed a cavalcade of quarterbacks during Fitzgerald's 14-year career, but the lack of consistency under center hasn't stopped the wide receiver from putting together a Hall of Fame resume. After the Carson Palmer era ended this offseason, the team was in the market for one of the free-agent signal callers and settled on Bradford, who played one game with the Vikings last season before a bone bruise in his knee and the performance of Case Keenum allowed for just one more appearance. If the injury bug bites Bradford again, head coach Steve Wilks will turn to Mike Glennon or a potential pick in the upcoming draft. Despite working with three QBs in 2017, Fitzgerald posted his third consecutive 100-catch, 1,000-yard campaign, so Bradford's accuracy (71.8 percent in 17 outings in Minnesota) should help him maintain relevance in his age-35 season.
With Jermaine Gresham (illness) considered questionable for Sunday's game against the Redskins, the Cardinals have opted to call up Holmes to bolster their depth at tight end. While he still remains unlikely to see much time on offense, the 26-year-old could see some action on special teams.
Rucker signed a one-year deal last spring and improved upon his sackless 2016 season. Retirement is certainly a viable consideration for the 34-year-old at this point, and he is likely to be limited to a rotational role if he does return for the 2018 season, which he enters as a free agent.
Victor, an undrafted free agent, landed with the Saints prior to the season kicking off. However, he was ultimately unable to make their final 53-man roster. He later joined the Cardinals' practice squad, and will now look to earn a spot with the team for the 2018 season.
Plucked from the Patriots' practice squad in the aftermath of David Johnson's dislocated wrist in the season opener, Foster didn't make an appearance until Week 11. Thereafter, Foster was consistently targeted in the passing game, whether Blaine Gabbert or Drew Stanton (knee) was under center, averaging four targets per game. A contributor on kickoff returns as well, Foster posted the highest average (23.0 yards per on his eight chances) among Cardinals, which could be the determining factor for a roster spot next fall in what's expected to be a crowded backfield.
Albright bounced between the Bills' practice squad and 53-man roster last season, and he has spent this season on the Cardinals' practice squad. The 23-year-old will likely serve as a reserve linebacker and special teams player.
Coming off a 12.5-sack season the previous year, Golden suffered a torn ACL in Week 4 and finished 2017 without a sack. He's unlikely to be available any sooner than training camp, though the reports on his progress have been positive. The 27-year-old edge rusher may end up transitioning to defensive end this upcoming season, as new head coach Steve Wilks oversaw a 4-3 unit during his time as the Panthers' defensive coordinator. Golden has spent the first three years of his career in a 3-4 base scheme, primarily rushing the passer as an outside linebacker without his hand on the ground. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Golden is only slightly undersized by 4-3 DE standards.
Robinson has resided on the Jets' injured reserve list for most of the season before he was released a week ago. It's believed that Robinson has fully recovered from the groin issue that resulted in his extended shutdown, so he should be available for the Cardinals in a depth role at linebacker Week 17 against the Seahawks.
Peterson can generally be taken at his word on this, but his availability for Week 17 perhaps shouldn't be taken for granted at the moment -- that he was evaluated for a concussion might make his symptoms worth monitoring in the upcoming days. For now, though, the belief is that he suffered no injury.
The deal was reported only a few minutes after the Bears officially released Glennon, who produced only 6.0 yards per pass attempt in his four starts last season before Mitchell Trubisky took over. Glennon will provide depth behind Sam Bradford, who is joining Arizona on a much larger contract.
Humphries' third season -- and second as a full-time starter -- ended in Week 10, when he sustained what was later termed a dislocated kneecap, torn medial patellofemoral ligament and torn quadriceps in his right leg. On Tuesday, he expressed uncertainty regarding the length of his recovery, as he heard differing timelines from doctors and the Cardinals. Nonetheless, the left tackle should be back in the fold well before the start of the upcoming campaign.
Branch piled up 69 tackles in nine games for the Cardinals last season before his injury issues re-surfaced in November in the form of a torn ACL. An above-average starter when healthy, the 31-year-old safety has played double-digit games just once in the past five seasons. Despite owning a career average of 5.8 tackles per game, he may have a tough time attracting interest on the open market, as there's no assurance he'll be ready by Week 1.
Nelson upheld his stature as a hit-or-miss option, with far more of the latter than former in his third NFL campaign. As of Week 5, he had two touchdowns and two games with at least 80 yards receiving. Over the final 11 contests, though, he didn't reach the end zone once, had no more than two catches in a given game, and was held below 46 yards in every outing. No matter, his ability to rip off yards in big chunks helped Nelson reach 500 yards through the air for a second consecutive year. Nelson is one of three Cardinals wide receivers under contract next season -- also, Larry Fitzgerald and Chad Williams -- meaning the pecking order at the position will be in flux until the offseason program begins in earnest in April and May.
One day removed from head coach Bruce Arians making the same announcement, Palmer will head into the sunset after 15 seasons with three different teams. After waiting one year to get his first shot with the Bengals in 2004, the previous year's No. 1 overall pick spent seven years with the organization as the starting quarterback. A dispute with ownership in 2011 eventually resulted in a trade to the Raiders, where he suited up the next two campaigns. To wrap up his career, Palmer landed in the Arizona desert in April of 2013 and spurred one of the most successful runs in the history of the Cardinals in that state, accumulating a 38-21-1 record as a starter. His injuries woes emerged at inopportune times, though, as he was only available for one of the team's two playoff runs. In 182 regular-season games played, Palmer averaged 254.1 yards per contest, completed 62.5 percent of his passes and accrued 294 touchdowns versus 187 interceptions for an 87.9 quarterback rating.
Active for all 16 games last season, Penny didn't reach double-digit offensive snaps in a game until the final three contests, when he accounted for most of his production. Overall, he turned 31 carries into 124 yards and two touchdowns while corralling four of six targets for 38 yards. With David Johnson returning to full health, Penny will be little more than an insurance policy within the Cardinals backfield.
As an undrafted free agent, Agudose joined the Saints during training camp, but was ultimately released prior to the season. He subsequently found his way to the Cardinals' practice squad before joining their active roster for a three-week stretch late in the season. He will now look to make an impression during the offseason.
Iupati landed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Cards during the 2015 offseason, but his health has been an issue in each of the last three seasons. After missing four games combined in those first two campaigns, he injured his triceps Week 1 of last season and didn't log another snap once he opted to undergo surgery to repair a bone spur. Due the lack of reps, general manager Steve Keim likely was reticent to devote $8 million to Iupati in 2018, so the two sides agreed to reduce that number to $5 million in order to suit up as the starting left guard.
Peterson missed all of December due to a neck injury, finishing with 129 carries for 448 yards (3.5 average), two touchdowns and three fumbles (two lost) in six games for the Cardinals. He'll turn 33 next week and may have to settle for a committee role, having played more than 10 games in a season just once since 2013. Peterson likely will look for a new home, as David Johnson (hand) figures to gobble up the vast majority of backfield snaps in Arizona.
Even though the specificity and severity of the injury remains unclear, the Cardinals' season came to an end Sunday, which allows for plenty of healing time for Seals-Jones. The 22-year-old ends his rookie season with 201 yards and three touchdowns.
Despite experiencing a coaching change in the offseason, the organization continues to have a need for speed in its wideout corps. Owner of a 4.37 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in 2013, Butler utilized his wheels to produce 18.5 yards per catch as a member of the Cowboys the past three years. He's a big play waiting to happen, but he also boasts a woeful 45.9 percent catch rate in his career, so consistency is not his calling card. Expect Butler to reside behind at least Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and J.J. Nelson in a passing attack led by free-agent addition Sam Bradford this season.
A sixth-round pick of the Bengals in 2013, Hamilton has seen NFL snaps the past two years. In 14 games between the Steelers and Texans, he posted 18 catches (on 34 targets) for 242 yards and two touchdowns. With just one reception at the latter locale, he was subjected to waivers and finds himself in a lacking wideout room. Behind Larry Fitzgerald, only J.J. Nelson has made a splash as a pro, meaning Hamilton will vie with Chad Williams, Carlton Agudosi, Rashad Ross and any other receivers that arrive in the desert this offseason.
Veteran pickup Kasim Edebali has gotten most of the attention ever since starter Shane Ray went down with a wrist injury. Dora, however, showed flashes as an undrafted free agent last year, notching two sacks in the 2016 preseason. No matter who starts Week 1 opposite Miller, Dora or Edebali, they'll likely tumble down the depth chart as Ray and Shaq Barrett will be due back early in the season. Still, a strong showing through the preseason and early part of the season could lead to sustained snaps later on.
The 26-year-old has existing familiarity with new Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks, who served as the Panthers' defensive coordinator in 2016, when the cornerback appeared in six games for Carolina. Young spent the 2017 preseason with the Redskins but was released in August after suffering a groin injury.
On the eve of the Cardinals' offseason program, it was reported Johnson had recovered from the dislocated wrist that kept him off the field beyond Week 1 last season, per Darren Urban of the team's official site. Johnson will now turn his focus to building chemistry with quarterback Sam Bradford, who is replacing the retired Carson Palmer under center. Although he's also adjusting to a new coaching staff under the direction of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Johnson is one of the safest bets among running backs to produce due to his pass-catching ability and nose for the end zone. In addition to a career mark of 4.3 yards per carry, Johnson has gobbled up 122 of 186 targets (65.6 percent) and tallied 32 offensive touchdowns in 33 games.
In his last stop with the Panthers, Wilks operated a 4-3 defense, from which he aims to deploy Jones and fellow pass rusher Markus Golden (knee) as defensive ends. Jones has experience at the position, racking up 36 sacks in four seasons with the Patriots. Since he was dealt to the Cardinals in 2016, he's wreaked havoc as a strong-side linebacker, notably leading the entire NFL with 17 sacks last season. As he and his teammates reported for the offseason program Tuesday, Jones relayed that he currently weighs 265 pounds but is willing to bulk up further if Wilks wants him to do so, per Kyle Odegard of the team's official site. It remains to be seen if additional pounds will hinder Jones' chances of retaining the sack title this year.
The tackle output was the lowest for a 16-game slate in Dansby's 14-year career, but the 36-year-old was due for some regression at some point. In the process, he broke his streak of pro-rated campaigns with 100 tackles at 10, signifying that he hasn't fallen too far from his peak. He supplemented his line with one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery, the fifth time he's achieved the feat. As an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, Dansby's age could force the Cardinals to look elsewhere at inside linebacker, but he should be good for a significant number of stops wherever he lands.
After 11 seasons with the Niners, Lee spent his previous two with both the Browns and Panthers. He failed to win the punting battle with the Bengals during training camp, but the Cardinals were in need at the position. The veteran will now begin his 14th season in Arizona.
Brewer missed most of last season with the broken wrist he sustained in early October, but the Cardinals deemed the long snapper important enough to justify designating him as one of their two players to return from injured reserve. He took back long-snapping duties for the club's final three contests and will now have some job security heading into 2018 after agreeing to the extension.
Ford has missed the last two games with the knee injury, and the issue will end up being a season-ending one. Ford did not play a single defensive snap his rookie season, with all of his use coming exclusively on special teams.
Primarily a stud special teamer for the first half of his rookie campaign, Baker was pressed into action Week 9 after strong safety Tyvon Branch suffered a torn ACL. Baker parlayed a nine-tackle performance in that game into a starting gig thereafter, a seven-game span in which he racked up 50 tackles. Due to his nose for the ball and the Cardinals' propensity to deploy five or more defensive backs on most plays, the 2017 second-round pick will have a regular spot in the secondary for the foreseeable future.
Cash was waived by the Browns on Thursday and is now on his fourth team since the start of the 2017 season. The 25-year-old is likely to serve as a depth linebacker and special teams contributor if he can crack the 53-man roster.
This will be the sixth time in his career that Allen has been let go by the Buccaneers, and it comes after a preseason finale where the guard played every snap. Allen could potentially end up on the team's practice squad.
Goodwin was waived by the Falcons earlier in the week. He has recorded eight tackles (seven solo) across 12 games this season. The 27-year-old will presumably provide depth at cornerback for the Cardinals.
Gresham tore his Achilles in Week 17, finishing the 2017 campaign with 33 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns on 45 targets in 14 games. He had just three outings with more than 27 receiving yards, and he hasn't reached 500 yards in a season since 2012 when he was with the Bengals. The Cardinals hope Ricky Seals-Jones (leg) can take on a larger receiving role, but they also figure to take a close look at the top tight ends in the upcoming draft, after missing out on all the big names in free agency. Gresham will turn 30 in June, and his $5.25 million base salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed, per OverTheCap.
It was an easy decision for the Cardinals to retain Bethea after the veteran safety enjoyed a productive first season in the desert, recording 57 tackles, a forced fumble and a career-high five interceptions in 15 games before missing the finale with a torn pectoral muscle. The 33-year-old has two years remaining on his contract and is due a $3 million base salary in 2018 in addition to the roster bonus.
Earl Watford stepped in at left guard in Boone's absence. Boone will have plenty of time to heal up with the Cardinals' 2017 season now over.
The Cardinals brought in the veteran Barnes after placing Jared Veldheer (ankle) on injured reserve. Barnes, 35, spent time with the Saints during the preseason but was released prior to Week 1. Rookie Will Holden is likely to start at left tackle in Veldheer's absence, making Barnes a reserve option on the line.
The Cardinals unsurprisingly didn't want to use a restricted free-agent tender, which would've cost around $1.9 million at the lowest level. Momah reportedly is making good progress in his rehab from a broken leg, ramping up his activity to include running in recent weeks. He only has three catches in 14 career games, but Arizona might consider bringing him back at a lower price to compete for a spot at the bottom of the depth chart.
Benewikere's signing with Arizona comes on the heels of the team losing starting cornerback Tramon Williams to Green Bay in free agency. After a promising sophomore campaign in 2015, in which he recorded 59 tackles and seven passes defensed, Benwikere has had a few disappointing years. In 16 games over the past two seasons, he's totaled just 12 tackles and five passes defensed. He's shown potential to be a contributor on defense but could be relegated to a backup role with Arizona.
This doesn't come as much surprise as the Cardinals likely wouldn't have agreed to the significant five-year, $45 million contract they reached with Pugh had the offensive lineman not been in good medical standing. While it's not certain if the 2013 first-rounder will fully participate in voluntary offseason workouts next month, there doesn't appear to be any reason Pugh won't be on the field for the start of training camp.
Selected 13th overall in last year's draft, Reddick split time between inside and outside linebacker as a rookie in Arizona's 3-4 scheme, notching 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles across 445 defensive snaps (27.8 per game). He said in early April that he expected to play inside linebacker as the Cardinals transition to a 4-3 base defense, but it now seems Josh Bynes is ticketed for that role. While Reddick's versatility should come in handy for the Arizona defense, it won't necessarily lend itself to a three-down role or a plethora of pass-rushing opportunities. Chandler Jones and Markus Golden (knee) figure to serve as the primary edge rushers, assuming the latter recovers from a torn ACL in time for Week 1. Reddick should have a clear spot in the base defense, but he may need to compete with Golden or Bynes to earn snaps when the Cardinals deploy nickel formations.
The Cardinals opted to let veteran inside linebacker Karlos Dansby walk in free agency, leaving Bynes as the current candidate to take over in the starting lineup next to dollar LB Deone Bucannon. In the two games in which he received the most run last season (Weeks 12 and 13), Bynes posted a combined 17 tackles and one forced fumble, so the front office may be confident they have a competent in-house replacement.
Nkemdiche's sophomore season was marred by injury issues again, and he managed to record a tackle in only six of the 12 games he appeared in. The 2016 first-round pick has played in only 17 games across his first two seasons in the NFL.