NFL

Cardinals have not yet found high-performing, younger OLB yet in free agency

The Arizona Cardinals lost Chandler Jones in free agency, who signed a three-year deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders. Thus far, the Cardinals have done nothing in free agency to replace him.

It is interesting they have not even been connected to any pass rushers on the open market, especially considering comments that head coach Kliff Kingsbury made at the NFL combine.

He was asked about Chandler Jones and the pass rush and he noted two important keys for the defense.

“We’re always trying to improve,” he said. “That’s an area that, in (defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s) defense, it’s one that we really need to play at a high level and if we aren’t able to sign Chandler, and even if we are, to get younger there would probably be a good thing.”

There aren’t many solid options out there. Za’Darius Smith would have qualified, who agreed to sign with the Baltimore Ravens and then signed with the Minnesota Vikings. So would have Dante Fowler, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

One could believe that the comments would suggest on the draft, but it is nearly impossible to count on selecting a particular position with the 23rd overall pick and, since that player needs to perform at a high level as a rookie, that is tough to count on, especially since the Cardinals like to bring on their defensive rookies slowly.

Perhaps there will be a trade in the works or a surprise signing that will go under the radar.

But for now, it appears that one of their offseason priorities has gone unaddressed, at least initially.

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Cardinals’ 2022 free agency tracker

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