On Tuesday the Carolina Panthers lost one of the best linebackers to step on a football field in the last decade.
“In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/mSDyJ0iEMw— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020
Luke Kuechly retired from the NFL on Tuesday and that will without a doubt have consequences for a number of teams in need of linebacker help in free agency and the draft.
Now, with the Arizona Cardinals sitting with the 8th, 40th and 72nd picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and cap space in the 2020 NFL offseason the question is, where and how do the Cardinals address the linebacker position.
The Cardinals will have to be savvy if they cannot address their need during the free agency period.
Joe Schobert, Blake Martinez, and Cory Littleton could all be players that complete the Cardinals inside backer overhaul that has seemed to be ongoing since 2013.
The problem becomes there are a number of teams, including the Panthers now, who will be vying for a small pool of experienced players at the linebacker position.
However, with the announcement of the dynamic LSU linebacker duo Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen, the Cardinals and the rest of the NFL have some options.
Isaiah Simmons figures to be one of the first off the board, but in recent drafts it’s been day two that has been a hotbed for finding quality linebackers. Bobby Okereke (3rd round) and Dre Greenlaw (5th round), were two of the best linebacker from the 2019 NFL Draft.
Darius Leonard (2nd round) and Fred Warner (3rd round) from 2018.
And of course, the year the Cardinals invest in 2017 the top linebackers end up being Zach Cunningham (2nd round) and Jayon Brown (5th round).
So, with teams like the Giants, Dolphins, Chargers and now Panthers all sitting in front of Arizona, the question becomes, where do the Cardinals fill that need?