Haason Reddick

Panthers To Sign LB Haason Reddick

Haason Reddick will reunite with his former college coach soon. The four-year Cardinals linebacker intends to sign with the Panthers, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Years after coaching Reddick at Temple, Matt Rhule will bring the linebacker to Carolina on a one-year, $8MM deal. The contract will max out at $8MM but contain a base value of $6MM, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

While Reddick indicated earlier this offseason he wanted to stay in Arizona, the Cardinals’ $14MM-per-year deal for J.J. Watt complicated that path. Instead, he will join ex-Temple teammate Robby Anderson in committing to play for Rhule again.

The Panthers will take a midlevel flier on Reddick, who was viewed as a first-round bust before a contract-year breakout. Said emergence did not take place until Chandler Jones‘ injury finally prompted the Cardinals to turn to the former Temple pass rusher. The Cards continued to shift Reddick around the formation, primarily slotting the college pass rusher off the ball from 2017-19. He struggled in that capacity, being benched on multiple occasions. But the former first-round pick put it together last season, registering 12.5 sacks despite only becoming a first-string pass rusher midway through the year.

Reddick figures to join Brian Burns and Yetur Gross-Matos as edge rushers in Carolina. While Reddick does have extensive experience now as a pure linebacker, his performance in that role would certainly not generate much interest. In his senior season at Temple, which also doubled as Rhule’s last with the Owls, Reddick registered 9.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss.

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Franchise Tag Roundup: Dupree, Seahawks, Bengals

Despite some whispers of a potential delay, the deadline for teams to place franchise tags on impending free agents was today at 5 p.m. CT. While a handful of players learned that they were slapped with the tag, a number of players naturally learned that they’ll be entering unrestricted free agency. We collected some of those notable players below:

  • The Steelers decided to not tag Bud Dupree, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The linebacker was hit with the tag last offseason. The former first rounder had another strong season for Pittsburgh, compiling eight sacks in only 11 games.
  • A pair of popular Seahawks players didn’t get franchised: running back Chris Carson (per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter) and cornerback Shaquill Griffin (per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). The team is planning to (at least) make a pursuit at retaining Griffin, per Rapoport.
  • The Bengals didn’t franchise pass rusher Carl Lawson, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The former fourth rounder has collected 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons, with Rapoport opining that the lineman is “one of the NFL’s most underrated players” heading into free agency.
  • The Lions decided to not franchise Romeo Okwara, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). The 25-year-old had a breakout season in Detroit, setting career-highs in tackles (44) and sacks (10).
  • Despite leading the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks last season, Arizona didn’t franchise linebacker Haason Reddick (according to Schefter on Twitter). The former first-rounder also set career-highs in QB hits (16) and tackles for loss (15).
  • The Titans didn’t franchise tight end Jonnu Smith, per Schefter on Twitter. The 25-year-old has shown flashes during his brief NFL career, including a 2020 campaign where he set career-highs in receptions (41), receiving yards (448), and touchdowns (eight).

As a reminder, here are the players who have reportedly been tagged over the past 48 hours:

Latest On Cardinals, Haason Reddick

The Cardinals’ newly formed Chandler JonesJ.J. Watt pass-rushing duo doubles as one of the most accomplished in modern NFL history, though assembling this tandem may leave the team’s breakout pass rusher in search of a new home.

Haason Reddick was hopeful he could stay with the Cardinals, despite his rocky tenure prior that led to the team declining the linebacker’s fifth-year option. And the Cards, prior to their Watt signing, expressed interest in bringing Reddick back, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).

Pre-Watt, the Cardinals were carrying more than $11MM in cap space. While the team does have a rookie quarterback contract around which to build, it will certainly be a more difficult task to re-sign Reddick now. The Cards also expressed interest in keeping Patrick Peterson. A scenario in which Peterson and Reddick return now appears extremely unlikely. And cornerback will be a much greater Arizona need entering free agency.

Of course, Steve Keim‘s splashy Watt transaction points to the franchise’s interest in contending for a Super Bowl now. Reddick returning would certainly strengthen that prospect, after his 12.5-sack season, and Watt’s extensive experience as an interior pass rusher would seemingly leave a fit for the former first-round pick on the edge opposite Jones.

Markus Golden could serve as a cheaper option for the Cards to retain. He did not draw much interest after his 10-sack season with the 2019 Giants and expressed a desire to stay in Arizona this year. Golden did not record a sack in nine games back with the Cardinals last year but did post 14 QB hits — just two shy of Reddick’s total last season.

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Haason Reddick Wants To Stay With Cards

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.

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Trade Candidate: Cardinals LB Haason Reddick

In early May, the Cardinals declined the fifth-year option on Haason Reddick‘s contract. The linebacker isn’t on their books for 2021, he’s not a big part of their plans for 2020, and he’s almost certainly on the trade block. 

A few years ago, scouts saw Reddick as a versatile prospect with the ability to play multiple spots on the front seven. But, so far, he hasn’t been consistent as an edge rusher or an inside linebacker. Last fall, they gave him a shot to start at ILB. After five weeks, they turned the job over to Joe Walker. Walker left this offseason, but the Cardinals drafted Isaiah Simmons (another versatile, jack-of-all-trades type) and added De’Vondre Campbell and Devon Kennard to the mix, leaving Reddick without a clear role.

After three years, three head coaches, and 7.5 cumulative sacks, Reddick is left with zero job security in Arizona. Last year, he finished out with just six tackles for loss and one sack and graded out as Pro Football Focus’ lowest ranked linebacker out of 63 qualified players. His stock has cooled considerably, but other teams should be willing to take a small gamble on him and his remaining $2.3MM in salary.

The Panthers would be one logical destination for him. New Carolina head coach Matt Rhule coached Reddick at Temple and saw him at his absolute best. Reddick worked his way up across four years on campus and closed out his collegiate career in 2016 with 9.5 sacks as a senior. Thanks in part to Reddick’s performance, Rhule scored new job and bigger bucks with Baylor. The Giants would also make some sense – they’ve yet to re-sign edge rusher Markus Golden and GM Dave Gettleman was supposedly high on Reddick in his draft year.

Reddick has been here before. In 2018, he was rumored to be on the block before the trade deadline, though GM Steve Keim denied shopping him. This time around, we’d wager that Keim is willing to listen.

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Cardinals To Decline Haason Reddick’s Option

Haason Reddick‘s fifth-year option will be turned down by the Cardinals, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). With that, the former first-round linebacker is on course for free agency after the 2020 season. 

Reddick came into the league with considerable buzz. Teams were enamored with his athleticism and versatility; scouts saw a player with the potential to star at inside linebacker or dominate on the edge, depending on the need. Unfortunately, Reddick was never able to get his footing in either area. All of the different coaching and scheme changes didn’t help matters either.

The former No. 13 overall pick has perfect attendance over the past three years, but still has just 7.5 sacks to his credit. He was bumped from the starting lineup midway through last year and saw his playing time dwindle as the year drew to a close. Even though the Cardinals took their time on this one, few expected Reddick to have his 2021 season guaranteed for injury.

Reddick will play out his final year with $2.3MM in salary and a $4.3MM cap hit. This could be an opportunity for him to cash in as a free agent, but that’ll only be possible if he gets enough snaps.

Looking ahead, the Cardinals are set to replace him with a younger and even more versatile player in Isaiah Simmons. The Clemson product and combine darling may have the ability to feature as both an edge rusher and a safety.

As shown in PFR’s fifth-year option tracker, Colts safety Malik Hooker is the only player still in limbo.

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Extra Points: Kalil, Cardinals, Giants, Bucs

Ryan Kalil‘s decision to come out of retirement and sign with the Jets was a shock to everybody around the league, but it wasn’t that sudden for him. The center decided that last season would be his last after battling injuries, but by March he was already feeling the itch to play football again, he told Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. He started lifting weights then, and was working out fully by May, so he won’t be coming in completely cold. His weight had dropped all the way down to 260 pounds, but he’s already back up to 297.

Cimini also reports that the Jets reached out to Kalil before camp even started, so it sounds like this comeback has been in the works for a little while. Kalil has often been one of the league’s better centers, and his presence will be a huge boost to New York’s offensive line and Sam Darnold’s development. He hasn’t been slacking off during his time away from the game, so it sounds like Kalil will easily be ready to man the pivot for the Jets come Week 1.

Here’s more from around the league on Hall of Fame induction night.

  • Things haven’t gone too smoothly for Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick during his first couple of years in the league. The 13th overall pick of the 2017 draft has had his position changed multiple times, and is in his third defensive system in three years. He also apparently hasn’t been fully healthy, as he recently underwent “minor surgery,” according to Mike Jurecki of the team’s official site (Twitter link). We don’t have many details on the injury, but Reddick said he’d be ready for the opener. There were rumors last year that Reddick was on the trade block, and we’ve heard recently 2019 will be a pivotal year in determining his future with the team. The Temple product has been moved back to inside linebacker for this season.
  • The Giants conducted a minor workout, bringing in cornerback DeJuan Neal for a visit, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Neal is an undrafted rookie from D-II school Shepherd University, and the fact that he hasn’t already latched on somewhere tells you all you need to know.
  • The Buccaneers added to their staff, hiring Dave Hamilton as director of performance science, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Hamilton had been working at Penn State, and Auman notes that he’ll be “helping team’s focus on innovation in optimal preparation/health for their players.”

NFC West Notes: Rams, Woods, Fowler

The Rams are facing a potential cap crunch, as Vinny Bonsignore and Rich Hammond of The Athletic write. An eventual extension for quarterback Jared Goff will cost the Rams upwards of $25MM per year, meaning that tough decisions could on the way.

Edge rusher Dante Fowler, who re-signed with L.A. on a one-year deal, could very well play his way out of town in 2019. Wide receiver Robert Woods, who is slated for a $9.1MM cap hit in 2021, could be pushed out in advance to create breathing room for Brandon Cooks, who will count for $16.8MM against the cap. Cornerback Marcus Peters might not be long for the Rams either – the club can cuff him with the franchise tag for 2020, but his cost may be prohibitive beyond that point.

From a financial perspective, Andrew Whitworth‘s expected retirement after the 2019 season should help matters. When/if the 37-year-old hangs ’em up, that’ll take $10.7MM off of the books.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

Cardinals Not Shopping Haason Reddick?

Contrary to some reports, the Cardinals are not shopping linebacker Haason Reddick, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). The club is shopping linebacker/safety Deone Bucannon, however, which is consistent with what we’ve heard in recent weeks

[RELATED: Cardinals GM Downplays Trade Rumors]

The Cardinals drafted the former Temple standout with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft in the hopes that his explosive athleticism would serve him well as a pass rusher and as a run stopper. So far, his development has not gone as planned, but the Cardinals are not ready to give up on him just yet. The 24-year-old recently regained his spot in the starting lineup and has two sacks in the last three weeks, so he seems to be trending in the right direction.

The Cardinals fell to 1-5 after Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Vikings. While Reddick apparently won’t be on the table, you can expect GM Steve Keim to pitch rival clubs on Bucannon and others as the Cardinals look to build for the future.

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Cardinals GM Downplays Trade Rumors

The Cardinals are reportedly shopping Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, but GM Steve Keim is doing his best to throw cold water on the hot stove talk. In a radio interview on Friday, Keim issued a general denial towards trade speculation regarding his team. 

One part of my job is to have dialogue with other teams,” Keim said said on 98.7, Arizona’s Sports Station (via the team website). “The one thing I won’t do, I won’t confirm or deny those things in public, I think you do those things behind the scenes. But it’s a lot of gossip, people enjoy it, it’s water-cooler talk, and a lot of stuff you’ll read is certainly false. Wednesday I woke up to three different names that were brought to my attention and those conversations never happened. So I would just say, for most fans, tread lightly, because very rarely are those accurate.”

It would make plenty of sense for the Cardinals to explore the trade market between now and Oct. 30. With a 1-4 record, the Cards are the current odds-on favorite to wind up with the worst record in the draft. The defense is in the bottom third of the league in both yards allowed and scoring, and the offense has failed to properly utilize one of the league’s most talented offensive weapons in David Johnson, so this would be the logical time for a reboot.

Keim knows this, and that’s why he is looking to preserve team morale without explicitly ruling out any deal.

Some of the names brought up to me will do nothing but bring a chuckle out of me,” Keim said. “You have to listen. You never know what the compensation is going to be. It might be something you couldn’t resist. You look back at the Heschel Walker trade with Dallas, you can never say never. … Sometimes, there’s a lot of procrastination, where you’ll call and there are a lot of conversations that go nowhere, unfortunately. But it’s part of the business and a fun one for fans to follow.”

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