Now that they’ve signed pass rusher J.J. Watt, the Arizona Cardinals must have their eyes on the Super Bowl or at least the NFC West crown in 2021. One NFL insider has some insight as to what they’ll do next.
Appearing on NFL Now on Monday, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Cardinals’ new objective is to keep the core of their defense together. To that end, they want to bring back Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson and leading pass rusher Haason Reddick.
Peterson is coming off his 10th year year with the Cardinals and played all 16 games in 2020. But there have been conflicting reports in the past month about the eight-time Pro Bowler’s future with the team.
Reddick enjoyed a breakout season in Vance Joseph’s defense in 2020. He played in all 16 games and recorded a career-high 12.5 sacks for the Cardinals, leading the team.
The Cardinals finished 12th in points allowed in 2020 thanks in no small part to those two defenders.
From NFL Now: After signing star DE JJ Watt, the #AZCardinals hope to keep the rest of their defense together. Which would mean bringing back Patrick Peterson and potentially Haason Reddick, as well. pic.twitter.com/q18C6Pss67
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2021
Bringing on J.J. Watt will presumably give the Cardinals the pass rushing boost they need in a division that features Russell Wilson and Matthew Stafford (and whoever the 49ers get to upgrade from Jimmy Garoppolo).
Arizona narrowly missed the playoffs this past year, going 8-8 after losing to the rival Los Angeles Rams in Week 17. The Cardinals currently have the NFC’s longest active playoff drought, having missed the playoffs every year since 2015.
But the Cardinals may need more than Watt, Peterson and Reddick to go from 8-8 to Super Bowl contenders in 2021.
How good will the Arizona Cardinals be now that they have J.J. Watt?