I’m sorry, Haason Reddick.
I was wrong about you.
Upon your arrival in the desert roughly four years ago, you were grossly forced out of position for no apparent reason outside of need. You’ve endured three defensive coordinators during that time, all of which attempted to shoehorn you into a position that didn’t come natural.
As the 13th overall selection out of Temple, you were meant to rush the passer.
I can see that now.
Instead, Steve Keim and company labeled you as a three down inside linebacker, a position that you had never previously manned.
In fact, you were mostly a down defensive linemen during your time as a Temple Owl. It wasn't until the Senior Bowl in January of 2017 that scouts alike thought you could stand up on the outside.
Senior Bowl North Practice Report: LB Haason Reddick continues to stand out due to his athleticism: https://t.co/UGd5TKgZPj— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 25, 2017
Again, I am sorry.
Yet, unlike other Cardinal players, you’ve never once requested a trade or called out the front office for mishandling your developement. You’ve been relatively quiet on social media and continued to work toward this point.
You are now a positive example for other young Cardinals as they work through their own hurdles early in their career.
That says everything about your character as both a player and a person.
Prior to this year, you were unfairly lumped into a draft class that boasts the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Both players were taken just ahead of our Arizona Cardinals, which only added to the fire that you were a bust. It wasn’t your fault Keim didn’t part with picks to secure the heirapparent to Carson Palmer. Yet upon your arrival that spring, the attention was mainly on whom the Cardinals didn't draft at QB rather then their impressive new defender.
Imagine if you had continued to fall on draft night and landed with a historically competent organization like Baltimore at pick 16 or Denver at pick 20. You likely would have remained at OLB since day one, which would have catapulted your career to new heights.
You surely would have had your fifth year option picked up, unlike with Arizona.
Report: Cardinals not picking up Haason Reddick's fifth-year option https://t.co/4WI2AjcBlT— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 4, 2020
Who knows, maybe you would have already signed a lofty extension with said team. Instead, you’ve had to bide your time in Arizona waiting for a chance to settle in at your true position.
That time has finally come.
Since the injury to All Pro OLB Chandler Jones, you’ve been a staple for a team greatly lacking pressure on the edge. Your showcase this past Sunday night against rival Seattle signified your arrival to the rest of the NFL.
Your final state line in primetime: 11 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 3 QB hits.
That does not look like a bust to me.
Even after limited snaps to start the season, you’re on pace for 12 sacks in a contract year. A contract year that will likely earn you attention from the Arizona Cardinal front office. Whether it’s at the hands of the franchise tag or otherwise, expect Steve Keim to be aggressive in keeping you in the fold past 2020.
Now with the arrival of your old running mate, Markus Golden, you can continue your dominant play en route to a potential postseason birth for the franchise that had essentially written you off.
They are not the only ones, however.
The Cardinals could have offered more but they’re currently stuck paying Haason Reddick $4 million. https://t.co/vGNudiFqNh— Johnny Venerable (@JohnnyVenerable) August 13, 2020
Two names to keep an eye on as we gear toward final cuts:— Johnny Venerable (@JohnnyVenerable) September 2, 2020
-LB Haason Reddick
-WR Hakeem Butler
Both are trade candidates that could net depth at other positions. Butler’s roster spot, in particular, continues to be in jeopardy.
Good on you, Haason Reddick.
Go get your money. Go get your respect.
You’ve certainly earned mine.