The Arizona Cardinals are looking to fix their defense that has turned over astronomically since the 2015 season.
After their trip to the NFC Championship, the slow descent on the defensive side of the ball was less obvious than the fall of the offense, but it was still there and came to a head in 2018.
Now, Steve Keim will lean on Vance Joseph to fix the scheme and Joseph will lean on Keim to get him players that can help.
Here are five free agents that could help get the Cardinals back on track defensively.
One of the rising stars in the NFL, when the New York Jets traded him to the Seattle Seahawks, everyone was nervous. Then, the last two season, first with the Seahawks and then this last season with the Minnesota Vikings, he never took the next step. That doesn’t mean much when you are talking about a player who has excelled in the Todd Bowles 34, and can come back and be a strong player up front for the Cardinals. He would bring six years of experience and give you 3-4 more years of production at only 28.
Another potential 34 defensive end, Anderson had an ACL tear while with the Colts, but had a mini-breakout in 2018 under... Todd Bowles with the Jets. He had seven sacks and looks like he is back in fighting form. He’d be a definite upgrade along the line and allow the Cardinals defense to get back to their strengths in the 34. Oh, and he is only 28.
A tackling machine with the Baltimore Ravens, he’s also been something the Cardinals desperately need at the LB position... Healthy. Mosley would offer the Cardinals a leader and a productive, young (27) voice for their 34 defense. That is if the Ravens let him leave their nest.
One of the more unknown names in the NFL, Smith had a breakout 2018 with 8.5 sacks and offers teams something that you can’t put a price on... Versatility. A staunch run defender on the outside, a guy who can push pressure on the interior, he could be a nice piece for the Cardinals in 2019.
While he struggled, along with a number of Chiefs, in the playoffs, Nelson had a career year for Kansas City, is only 26 and will likely be a hot commodity in the 2019 offseason. According to Pro Football Focus, Nelson had 10 pass breakups and four interceptions while allowing a 53.1% catch rate. He could be a nice option in Joseph’s defense across from Patrick Peterson.