We have seen some practices of training camp for the Arizona Cardinals. We continue our preview of each position group, breaking down the roster, the questions, position battles and roster outlook.
Next up are the outside linebackers.
The players on the roster
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The Cardinals have eight players at outside linebacker on the roster.
Chandler Jones, signed through 2021
Markus Golden, signed through 2022
Devon Kennard, signed through 2022
Dennis Gardeck, signed through 2021
Victor Dimukeje, signed through 2024
Kylie Fitts, signed through 2021
Reggie Walker, signed through 2021 (ERFA)
Jamell Garcia-Williams, signed through 2021 (ERFA)
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Jones played in only five games last season before getting hurt. Dimukeje is a rookie. Garcia-Williams has never played an NFL game.
Chandler Jones: 11 tackles, one sack, seven QB hits
Markus Golden: 33 tackles, six tackles for loss, 20 QB hits, 4.5 sacks, an interception and forced fumble
Devon Kennard: 19 tackles, five tackles for loss, nine QB hits, three sacks
Dennis Gardeck: 16 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 10 QB hits, seven sacks
Reggie Walker: 1 tackle
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Most of the questions are centered on Chandler Jones. Will he bounce back after his injury-shortened season and return to his 2016-2019 form? Will he get a contract extension? Is this his final season with the Cardinals? Will the contract and his trade request affect his play? For Gardeck, the question is when he comes back from his ACL injury, and can he replicate his crazy success in limited playing time last season. Can Devon Kennard bounce back after a disappointing 2020?
With J.J. Watt presumably going to get playing time as an edge defender, one of the major battles will be between Golden and Kennard for playing time. Dimukeje will battle Fitts for a roster spot.
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Jones, Golden and Kennard are locks for the roster. So is Gardeck, but he likely will begin the season on PUP. Kennard has his full 2021 salary guaranteed, so he will be on the roster.
On the bubble:
Fitts, Walker and Dimukeje are all in the mix for the last spot or two.
Garcia-Williams seems like the least likely to make the 53-man roster but probably could be on the practice squad.