PFF places Cardinals’ J.J. Watt in ‘declining forces’ tier of edge rushers

Jul 30, 2022, 11:00 AM

The Arizona Cardinals made a splashy offseason signing with a big price tag a year ago, bringing in pass rusher J.J. Watt in a move that was unexpected by many around the Valley.

Watt only played in seven games at defensive end for Arizona in 2021 and recorded one sack, 16 tackles and one forced fumble.

Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson ranked every edge rusher in the NFL and saw Watt land at No. 25 overall and in the “declining forces” tier with six other players.

A lot rests on the shoulders of J.J. Watt, as the Cardinals let (Chandler) Jones leave this offseason and only really replaced him with developmental rookies in the middle rounds of the draft. Watt can still be very effective when healthy, but that becomes a larger caveat with each passing season.

PFF gave Watt a 79.0 overall grade with an 83.1 pass rush but 62.0 run defense.

The 33-year-old was also joined by Buffalo Bills’ Von Miller (No. 22) and Las Vegas Raiders’ Chandler Jones (No. 23) among other players with large contracts in that tier.

Watt has one year left on his deal that includes a $1 million incentive if he reaches 10 sacks before he becomes an unrestricted free agent again.

The Cardinals will look to make up for the loss of Jones’ pass rushing ability as a unit with Markus Golden, Zach Allen, Devon Kennard, Dennis Gardeck, as well rookies Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Isaiah Simmons remains positionless in Cardinals’ new-look defense

The Cardinals have a decision to make when it comes down to Isaiah Simmons. And no, it's not centered around the fifth-year option.
1 day ago
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals is called for a personal foul penalty against Eric Sto...
Tyler Drake

Jonathan Gannon operating under premise DeAndre Hopkins will be a Card

While the trade chatter surrounding wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins continues, he's a Cardinal until he isn't in HC Jonathan Gannon's eyes.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen (94) walks off the field after being checked for an inju...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals replacing head athletic trainer Tom Reed

The Arizona Cardinals have fired longtime head athletic trainer Tom Reed, reports's Kyle Odegard.
1 day ago
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a catch in front of David Long Jr. #22 of the Lo...
Wills Rice

Report: Cardinals grant teams permission to speak to DeAndre Hopkins

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly granted teams permission to speak to wideout DeAndre Hopkins and his agent, SI's Albert Breer said.
2 days ago
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) works in the pocket against the Tennessee Titans dur...
Tyler Drake

Lamar Jackson’s trade request adds an extra layer to busy NFL offseason

The twists and turns of the NFL offseason roll on following Ravens QB Lamar Jackson's Monday announcement of his trade request.
2 days ago
General manager Monti Ossenfort of the Arizona Cardinals speaks to the media during the NFL Combine...
Tyler Drake

2023 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: What will the Cardinals do with 3rd pick?

A look at the players being mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
3 days ago
PFF places Cardinals’ J.J. Watt in ‘declining forces’ tier of edge rushers