Cardinals Sign LB Krys Barnes

Arizona has added a young veteran to their defense. The team announced on Saturday that they have signed linebacker Krys Barnes.

A former UDFA, Barnes spent the first three seasons of his career with the Packers. Even in his rookie campaign, he took on a notable workload, starting 10 games. His 52% snap share in 2020 was matched exactly the following year, making him a key member of Green Bay’s LB corps.

Over the course of his first two seasons, Barnes racked up 161 tackles and a pair of sacks. While his work in pass defense led to an unflattering PFF evaluation, he maintained an important role in a Packers’ second-level group which was bolstered significantly by the arrival of De’Vondre Campbell in 2021. Things took a different turn this past season, however.

Barnes, 24, was limited to just six games played in 2022 due to an ankle injury. He was able to return in November after suffering the injury in Week 1, but his playing time took a noticeable step back. Barnes’ snap share dropped to just 37% on defense, as Campbell and first-round rookie Quay Walker saw the bulk of work for the team. It thus came as little surprise when Green Bay elected not to tender Barnes as a pending restricted free agent.

Now, he will head to Arizona and aim for a return to staring duties in his new home. The Cardinals have been busy at the position so far in free agency, including the addition of Kyzir White. Arizona has also signed Josh Woods and re-upped Ezekiel Turner, though those deals will primarily affect their special teams units. The Cardinals have hybrid defender Isaiah Simmons available as well, depending on how the team’s new coaching staff chooses to use him, along with 2021 first-rounder Zaven Collins and depth option Blake Lynch.

Barnes will look to carve out a role amongst those other ‘backers, as he seeks to boost his own value ahead of next offseason. Arizona has plenty of room for improvement in all aspects of their defense compared to 2022, so a productive season would be beneficial to both player and team in this situation.

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