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Cardinals decline Isaiah Simmons’ fifth-year option

Dec 25, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons signs autographs for fans before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at State Farm Stadium. Nfl Tampa Bay At Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals declined LB Isaiah Simmons’ fifth year option as he is entering his final season before free agency, per NFL insider Ian Rapoport.

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Isaiah Simmons was drafted by the Cardinals at #8 overall in the 2020 draft and has quickly emerged as one of the better linebackers in the NFL. Impressively, Simmons has not missed a single game throughout his three-year career.

Last season, the 24-year-old was one shy of 100 total tackles, recorded four QB hits, and snagged two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

With this move, the Cardinals have made it clear that they are focused on drafting new players and are attempting to almost completely move on from the Steve Keim era in Arizona.

With two first-round picks next year, the Cardinals will have some wiggle room to make major changes that can significantly improve their roster. However, it is also quite risky.

If Monti Ossenfort had decided to pick up Simmons ‘fifth-year option, it would have cost Arizona nearly $13 million. This is a price tag that the Cardinals have proven time and time again is out of their price range when it comes to extending players.

While the front office declines to use the word rebuild, it is hard to believe that this is not underway considering the recent moves made.

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