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Arizona Cuts Terrell Suggs; Claimed by Kansas City

A curious move today: the Arizona Cardinals cut veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. Suggs was second on the team with 5.5 sacks and also second with 22 pressures according to Sports Info Solutions charting (subscription required). It's hard to figure out a reason for this move. Perhaps the Cardinals wanted to give Suggs one last shot at a Super Bowl run but knew it was too late to trade him at this point, so they are putting him on waivers so a playoff team can claim him? He's good enough, and enough teams need pass-rushing help, that I would expect a wild-card contender to claim him before he gets to the teams with the best records such as Baltimore, New England, or Seattle.

MONDAY UPDATE: Suggs has been claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs. Now the question is whether he will report, or whether he will refuse to play for any team other than Baltimore as reports suggested.

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17 comments, Last at 23 Dec 2019, 6:42pm

4 FWIW I was just reading…

FWIW I was just reading about his situation and the article didn't mention an injury.

I know Jenkins has been good in years past, but hasn't he been awful this year? I haven't watched much of the Giants but it was my impression that everyone in the secondary was bad.

6 Jenkins

Jenkins has started all 13 of the Giants' games this season.


Out of 76 qualifying cornerbacks, he currently ranks 29th in yards allowed per target and 31st in success rate in coverage.

5 No.  He used the word …

No.  He used the word "retard" in a tweet to a fan, and refused to apologize for it.  Since he said he was very happy to get cut, I would hazard getting himself cut was the purpose of the tweet.

3 "It's hard to figure out a…

"It's hard to figure out a reason for this move. Perhaps the Cardinals wanted to give Suggs one last shot at a Super Bowl run but knew it was too late to trade him at this point, so they are putting him on waivers so a playoff team can claim him?"

Yup, that's what the "mutual conversations" means. Arizona's not doing anything in the playoffs this year, so the rest of the year is about evaluation. Suggs isn't going to be on the team next year, so evaluation is pointless. No reason to keep him on the roster.

Cardinals were 3-4-1 at the trade deadline, so I'm guessing that they had hopes for a late-season run to boost fan interest. When that didn't happen, might as well release him to free a roster spot.

9 Despite what Eric Idle…

Despite what Eric Idle famously said in _Monty Python and the Holy Grail_, 37 is arguably old for normal humans. It is definitely old for NFL players. Teams shouldn't cut all veterans, even if they're not likely to be on the roster next year - it's different to my mind when the veteran might not even be in the league next year. At least if you lose someone as a free agent, it potentially contributes to the compensation pool.

10 No, there are other reasons…

No, there are other reasons to keep veterans on the roster. For one, if it's not likely that another team will pick him up, it still does cost money against the cap since you've got to promote some other guy. That's a minor concern though.

The main reason, in my opinion, is you can't evaluate young players if your entire team's young players, since it's a team sport. If there's a total garbage corner on the team, the other teams will just target him constantly, so you might have to shift your defense so much that there's now no value in the final weeks. Or a defensive lineman might be so poor in run defense that teams just run at him the entire game. So it's just a question of "is the guy behind this guy competent enough to believe that he won't make the entire rest of the season pointless?"

I don't know enough about Arizona to know if the move makes sense in that way, but I'd guess so: Suggs hasn't been getting like, 100% of the snaps for weeks or anything.

11 If Terrell Suggs was a…

If Terrell Suggs was a similarly situated offensive lineman I couldn't see them cutting him; Kyler Murray is the future of that team and the rational decision would be keeping him safe and in a position where he can develop. Suggs can obviously still play but it's not like the defense is going to be significantly worse without him: it's already bad.

12 Apparently....

Those "mutual conversations" were about trying to find a way to get back to Baltimore. They could certainly use a veteran presence on the edge there.


13 I will note that there is…

I will note that there is some value in an organization building a reputation for doing right be veteran great players at the end of their careers, when it doesn't entail significant opportunity cost. The Patriots have a reputation for ruthlessness, but I think that is a superficial reading of the situation. They treat guys right, which is why the vast majority of the great ones they traded or cut still speak highly of the relationship. That helps when competing for free agents. The Vikings are pretty smart in this regard as well.

My guess is that they are trying to do right by a HOFer at the end of a great career. That's smart, in this situation.

14 Suggs

Radio this morning was suggesting that any of the AFC contenders should claim him, whether he will report or not, just to keep him away from Baltimore.

16 we know the Chiefs have him now

In reply to by MJK

But I thought there was no way Belichick would let him go back to Baltimore if he could stop it.

Turns out Andy Reid didn't want him in New England, either.