Report: Cardinals decline to pick up contract option for LB Haason Reddick

May 3, 2020, 6:21 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals have declined to pick up a fifth-year contract option on linebacker Haason Reddick, the team’s 2017 first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

With a Monday deadline to pick up the option that comes with contracts of first-round draft picks, the move all but likely means Reddick will reach free agency next offseason.

Reddick was the No. 13 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Temple. He was highly regarded as one of the most versatile players in his class as a college edge-rusher who had the athleticism to slide to inside linebacker at the next level.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports went as far as to call Reddick “a future star.”

Despite the hype, it hasn’t worked out for Reddick at either spot through three seasons.

After starting just three of the 16 games played his rookie season and switching between inside linebacker to edge rusher in a 3-4 defense for head coach Bruce Arians, Reddick bumped up to 12 starts in 2018 under head coach Steve Wilks.

As an off-ball linebacker in a 4-3 defense, Reddick recorded a career highs in tackles (80), tackles for loss (8.0) and sacks (4.0). He also added six QB hits and five passes defensed.

Reddick regressed last year in defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s 3-4 defense after missing training camp with an injury and returning just as the season began, recording just one sack and accounting for 76 tackles playing mostly inside linebacker. He started five games for the Cardinals, eventually being supplanted by Joe Walker for the remainder of the season and making a move to outside linebacker.

In his third season after losing his job to Walker, Reddick played over 50% of the snaps in only two of his last nine games.

On top of Reddick’s playing time decreasing last season, Arizona’s moves this offseason also signal that the Cardinals have moved on from the former first-round pick.

They drafted Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons eighth overall in this year’s NFL Draft and also signed free agent inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell and outside linebacker Devon Kennard, all but solidifying Reddick’s role as a depth piece for the 2020 season.

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