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2017 Training Camp: Arizona Cardinals are loaded with talent at linebacker

The Cardinals strength lies in their linebacking corps.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Players

Chandler Jones, Karlos Dansby, Haason Reddick, Markus Golden, Jarvis Jones, Deone Bucannon, Gabe Martin, Kareem Martin, Nordly Capi, Zaviar Gooden, Scooby Wright, Alani Fua, Alex Bazzie, Tre’Von Johnson

The top six for the Cardinals can basically be etched in stone. The one lingering question is Bucannon’s health, but there’s little doubt that Chandler Jones and Golden start outside with Dansby and Bucannon inside and Reddick and Jarvis Jones filling in all over.

The question from there becomes, who can make their way onto the roster as key special teams players, and upside backups.

Gabe Martin is a familiar face and presence, but he was part of a miserable special teams unit in 2016. Is he a player that can be relied on or is he a player who could be on notice?

Kareem Martin has been one of the biggest mysteries and misses of the Keim era. He has bounced from down lineman to linebacker seemingly every offseason and never had the impact people wanted or expected.

Alani Fua is the last name that we know as a player on the Cardinals. He has been a part of the roster the last two seasons, but struggled through injuries in 2016.

Scooby Wright is a name many fans love because of his ties to U of A, but he’s done nothing in the NFL... yet. He is a high energy type player, who may lack the necessary athleticism to be an every down player, but could be the prototype special teamer and backup in the NFL.

Zaviar Gooden is a former third round pick, but has failed to find his way in the NFL. Despite eye popping athletic testing, he has never been able to translate that to successful work on the field in the NFL.

Capi, Bazzie and Johnson are all players who have an uphill fight to begin with, as they are all young, free agent types that have either bounced around, Capi and Bazzie, or are in their first year out of college, Johnson.

Can they overcome the experienced players on the roster?

What Happens?


We know those six are making the roster and getting heavy rotation, outside of injuries. The question becomes how many do they keep.

They usually hover between 8-10 linebackers, so that means 2-4 spots on the roster.

Martin, Martin and Fua have the experience in the scheme, but are they played out?

Surprise Cuts?

Kareem Martin and Jarvis Jones are the only two names who would really be surprise, but I can’t see both being cut.

Unless Martin has made huge strides, it is hard to see Jarvis Jones not being a lock for 2017.

In the end, I’ll say:

Golden/K. Martin