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Arizona Cardinals defensive line is nothing but questions after J.J. Watt

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Arizona Cardinals have spent massively in free agency the last couple of seasons along the defensive line.

They signed Jordan Phillips in the 2020 offseason then of course shocked everyone by signing J.J. Watt this offseason.

Now the question becomes, who steps up?

Watt is the obvious starter barring injury he’s going to be the man along the defensive line, but who slots in with him?

John Buckley discussed what the Jordan Phillips situation is earlier today:

the Cardinals can get out of the contract very easily next offseason if they so choose. Phillips has a $12M cap hit next year—he’ll have to do a whole lot better than 11 tackles and 2 sacks in 9 games this season to justify a roster spot. Perhaps the addition of J.J. Watt and the return of a healthy Chandler Jones will let Phillips thrive—but he’ll have to stave off a pair of youngsters in Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence

He should have every opportunity to be the man next to Watt.

What about former third round pick Zach Allen? Allen has struggled to stay on the field, playing 13 games last year, but only in four his rookie season. He comes in needing to prove he can be a player for the team.

Then you have the young guys in Fotu and Lawrence. They seem like perfect rotational pieces, but can they be more?

The only question with Watt is obviously injuries, but the rest of the defensive line is nothing but questions. How will those players answer those questions?