The Arizona Cardinals made waves across the NFL with their Monday signing of former Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt.
Watt signed on for a reported $31 million over the next two years, giving Arizona a future Hall of Famer to put along the line with outside linebacker Chandler Jones.
But while the addition is the focal point, where does that leave the team’s pending free agents, most notably corner Patrick Peterson and linebacker Haason Reddick?
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the organization would like to have both back for 2021.
“Obviously the Cardinals believed that J.J. Watt would be worth it,” Rapoport said Monday. “Think about the defense they have now. They have Chandler Jones on one side, Patrick Peterson is a pending free agent and though for the right number they would like to re-sign him.
“Haason Reddick, also a free agent, would like to have him back as well. We’ll see if they can all make it happen but J.J. Watt now joins a very, very good and improved defense.”
Now, how that all comes together remains to be seen. After putting together his best season as a pro, recording 12.5 sacks, 63 tackles (20 for loss) and six forced fumbles, Reddick will have plenty of suitors in free agency.
An avenue the Cardinals could take would be using the franchise tag on the LB as it wouldn’t break the bank for Arizona to sign him to a one-year deal.
And despite his down year, Peterson could still command eight figures. Peterson recorded 61 tackles and three interceptions, but posted his worst coverage grade since the CB’s rookie year (53.1), per Pro Football Focus. He also led the NFL with 12 penalties.