Cardinals offseason needs: Linebacker

With a new general manager and coaching staff, the Arizona Cardinals have a lot of work to do with the roster coming off a 4-13 season.

Virtually every position group has some level of need to be addressed.

Over the next few days in this offseason series, we will take a look at each position group, what the offseason outlook is, what questions they have what what level of need is there — critical, urgent or secondary.

Next up are the linebackers.

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Who is on the roster?

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These are the players they have on the roster right now. Several will be free agents.

  • Dennis Gardeck, signed through 2024

  • Jesse Luketa, signed through 2023

  • Myjai Sanders, signed through 2025

  • Zaven Collins, signed through 2024 (team option for 2025)

  • Kamu Grugier-Hill, unrestricted free agent

  • Ben Niemann, unrestricted free agent

  • Isaiah Simmons, signed through 2023 (team option for 2024)

  • Zeke Turner, unrestricted free agent

  • Tanner Vallejo, unrestricted free agent

  • Nick Vigil, unrestricted free agent


Questions and issues

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The biggest questions of the offseason are both about Isaiah Simmons — what position will he play in 2023 and will the Cardinals exercise his fifth-year option?

They have to make a decision by May on his option and they have to decide where he will play.

He was a playmaker last season but still can improve.

Is Zaven Collins going to be able to be the anchor and defensive playcaller in a new system?


Offseason need: Secondary, but mildly urgent

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Assuming Simmons and Collins are two of the three starting linebackers, the Cardinals are in good shape. Myjai Sanders could potential play the rush linebacker position that Haason Reddick did last season for the Eagles, playing in Jonathan Gannon’s, the Cardinals’ new head coach, defense.

They could use a third starting linebacker and reliable depth. The depth from last season might all be gone this offseason.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire