After bouncing between positions for three different coaching staffs in Arizona, Haason Reddick broke through as a pass rusher in his contract year. Now, the former first-round pick is on track to be a sought-after free agent.
Reddick recorded 12.5 sacks, after the Cards turned to him as an edge rusher following Chandler Jones‘ injury, and profiles as an intriguing free agent target. Despite the Cardinals not picking up his fifth-year option and having benched him in the past, Reddick is open to re-signing to stay in Arizona.
“I don’t really know all the ins and outs of what’s to happen as far as negotiations and what I’m able to do but hopefully I’ll get to stay here,” Reddick said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “I would like to stay here, but we’ll see what happens when the time comes.”
Slotted at multiple off-ball linebacker positions in the past, Reddick moved to the edge — his college role — full time in 2019 and became a starter at that spot after Jones went down with a biceps tear last season. The Cardinals, however, have Jones under contract for 2021 and signed Devon Kennard as an edge player last year. Arizona has Reddick and Markus Golden due for free agency next month. Golden, who would be a cheaper alternative to Reddick at this point, would like to stay with the team that drafted him.
Reddick profiles as an interesting franchise tag candidate, given his lack of production until last season. The Steelers and Buccaneers slapped tags on contract-year edge producers Bud Dupree and Shaquil Barrett last year. The linebacker tag is expected to come in around $14.6MM, which is down from the 2020 tag price. Jones going into a contract year, after having thrived since signing a deal worth just $16.5MM annually, complicates a potential Reddick return.
The Cardinals have until March 9 to determine if they will tag Reddick and have exclusive negotiating rights with him until the legal tampering period begins March 15.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.