The Cardinals have agreed to terms with Isaiah Simmons, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Per the terms of his slot, the No. 8 overall pick will earn $20.66MM over the course of his four year deal, with $12.58MM coming in the form of a signing bonus.
Evaluators were enamored by Simmons’ versatility heading into the draft, seeing him as a player who could seamlessly move between outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and the secondary. However, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury says he’ll allow the Clemson star to focus on just one position as he learns the ropes.
“His ability to play so many positions and not really having a chance to focus on one, we just think the sky could be the limit for what he can be if we really lock him in one position for the majority of the time,” said Kingsbury.
Kingsbury didn’t specify which position that would be, but defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has indicated that he’ll play linebacker.
Simmons broke out as a sophomore in 2018 with 88 total stops, including nine tackles for a loss and two sacks. Things only picked up from there – Simmons managed 104 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, and three interceptions as a junior en route being named the nation’s best linebacker. With freakish athleticism and a 6’4″, 230-pound frame, the Cardinals say the sky is the limit for Simmons.
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