OLB Devon Kennard agrees to 3-year deal with Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have found their starting outline linebacker who will line up opposite Chandler Jones. The team on Wednesday agreed to a deal with former Detroit Lion and Desert Vista High School product Devon Kennard as NFL free agency opened, reports Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.
The deal is reportedly for three years and $20 million, Gambadoro added.
Kennard was a surprise addition to the market as the Detroit Lions opted to cut him this week after searching for trades.
Over the last two seasons with the Lions, Kennard recorded 7.0 sacks each. In 2019, the Detroit captain tallied 58 tackles with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
In Arizona, he immediately slots in as a starter. The Cardinals rode veteran Terrell Suggs for 13 games last season before releasing him and turning to backups Cassius Marsh and Haason Reddick.
Marsh is a free agent after posting 36 tackles and just 2.5 sacks.
Reddick, the Cardinals’ 2017 first-round pick entering the final year on his rookie contract, now appears to slide into a backup role. That’s presuming he remains at outside linebacker after switching from inside backer during the middle of the year.
Kennard, 28, was a 2014 fifth-round pick out of USC. He played his first four seasons with the New York Giants.
With the addition of receiver DeAndre Hopkins via trade, plus free agent agreements with Kennard and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, the Cardinals have addressed all but a few of their open starting positions.
The open inside linebacker slot next to Jordan Hicks is the most notable hole left to plug this offseason, while Arizona could also address its starting right tackle spot despite tendering Justin Murray, who started 12 games in 2019.