The Arizona Cardinals have two problems at the linebacker position. First, they have a wealth of talent up the middle but need more support on the outside. Second, they have a couple players coming back off of injuries which adds depth to the team and makes it difficult to decide who stays and who goes. Let’s take a look at the position and see how the players stack up for 2014.
Karlos Dansby, Matt Shaughnessy: UFA
John Abraham: $3.375 million
Lorenzo Alexander $1.455 million
Sam Acho $763,607
Alex Okafor $613,607
Daryl Washington $6 million
Jasper Brinkley $2.2 million
Kevin Minter $997,995
Abraham is bound for the Pro Bowl and Dansby might be too after San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman tore his ACL in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. If Dansby went, it would add his value and potentially make him even more difficult to re-sign. Dansby had a stellar year and it should be a priority to get him back under contract with the team. However, Arizona has so little room under the cap right now it almost seems impossible.
Overall, this is Arizona’s best positional unit from top to bottom. They are a key reason why the Cardinals finished first against the run last season and should contend for that same distinction in the 2014-2015 season. Washington has a $10 million bonus that comes due on the first day of free agency. All signs point to him being kept on the team but there is risk involved stemming from last May’s domestic incident with his girlfriend. His eight-person jury trail is set to begin on the 30th of January and we’ll keep you informed on how that turns out.
They have the right players at the right prices in place but one key question remains.
If they spend money on Dansby, what other position do they not spend money on?
Check out the entire salary table here.