PFF: Cardinals can’t afford to lose Haason Reddick in free agency

Jan 21, 2021, 8:29 AM
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

With NFL free agency just around the corner, lists detailing each team’s needs and potential losses are aplenty.

The Arizona Cardinals have a total of 23 players set to hit unrestricted free agency, according to Spotrac.

But if there’s one UFA the team can’t afford to lose this offseason, it’s linebacker Haason Reddick, Pro Football Focus says.

After the fourth-year linebacker’s impressive showing this season, PFF says the Cardinals need to keep Reddick on the team and continue working with him to take his game to new heights.

Arizona finally moved the former Temple Owl from off-ball linebacker to a pure edge rusher this season, and the high-level play they were hoping for soon followed. He graded out at 72.8 overall and recorded an impressive 82.6 pass-rush grade, the 11th-best mark among all edge rushers who played at least 100 snaps.

The Cardinals chose not to pick up the 2017 first-round draft pick’s fifth-year option last spring, but Reddick didn’t let that deter him as he prepared for 2020. Since then, he has created quite the buzz.

The linebacker finished the season leading the team in sacks (12.5), tackles for loss (20) and ranking fourth in total tackles (63).

The Week 14 game against the New York Giants was Reddick’s best showing, amassing five sacks, three forced fumbles and six QB hits in the 26-7 victory.

His performance set a new franchise record for sacks in a single game, with Reddick surpassing Curtis Greer’s 4.5-sack mark from 1983.

While PFF says Arizona should work to keep Reddick’s talent on the roster, the website predicts he will sign a one-year, $8.5 million fully guaranteed contract with the Carolina Panthers.

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PFF: Cardinals can’t afford to lose Haason Reddick in free agency