We are now on the sixth and final player of the pass rusher portion of our free agency. Before we look at the final athlete, let's get a quick recap on yesterday's polling results. 82% of the voters were opposed to bringing in Andre Carter to man one of the outside linebacker spots. Although he has excelled as a defensive end in this league, when forced to play linebacker in Washington, he did struggle quite a bit. He could help get to the opposing QB, but Carter is just too much of a liability in space.
The last player we will look at is more of a natural fit as a 3-4 OLB. Aaron Maybin was at first considered a bust by many after being drafted in the first round in 2009 and failing to meet expectations with the Bills. After he was cut, Maybin joined the Jets and showed that he might actually have a shot at making a contribution in this league. He is now set to become a restricted free agent. Should the Arizona Cardinals make him an offer?
Last season with the Jets, Aaron Maybin was only an occasional part of the defense, but when he was on the field, it's hard to argue his effectiveness. Pro Football Focus tracked his stats (as they do with every player) and found that in 197 pass rushing attempts, Maybin was able to register 6 sacks, 2 QB hits and 16 pressures.
Obviously, it is a bit difficult to determine whether or not he could be an every down linebacker, but as seen from his pass rushing stats, he could possibly fit the mold. He was also an average run defender and coverage linebacker.
So what would stop the Cardinals from signing him to some sort of deal? Well, first of all, the team will have to be wary of his past. He has only had one solid year, but before that, he was considered a monumental bust. If he were to receive another long-term deal, who's to say he wouldn't become complacent once again?
Another thing that could prevent him from leaving the Jets is the fact that he is a restricted free agent. That means that any deal a team offers him can be matched by the Jets and he would then be forced to stay in New York. Obviously, they would let him go if the price were too high, but that would probably require the Cardinals overpaying for him.
In my opinion, if the Cardinals could actually sign him to a decent deal that is between 2-3 years, I say they should go for him. Maybin can get to the quarterback when his mind is right. Players rarely get drafted in the first round without showing at least some sort of talent somewhere along the line. Even if he comes in and sits behind, say, Clark Haggans for one year so that he can learn the defense, I would be okay with that.
What are your thoughts on Maybin? Should the Cardinals extend him an offer? Tell us what you think in the comments below and leave your vote in the poll.