Cardinals: Banking on Weatherspoon rebound
After playing only 399 snaps in the final two years of his time in Atlanta, Sean Weatherspoon will attempt to rebuild his career with a one-year deal in Arizona. The former first-round pick made his mark with the Falcons in a spectacular 2011 season that saw him rack up 59 defensive stops and finished the season as our No. 5-graded 4-3 outside linebacker. Since then, however, injuries saw him miss more snaps than he played with only an underwhelming 2012 season to his name in terms of extended playing time.
The Cardinals will hope for better results from Weatherspoon’s acquisition than they got from Larry Foote as their veteran inside linebacker last season, the Cardinals like to attack with their inside linebackers which will play to what was one of Weatherspoon’s strengths early on in his career. Rushing the passer at least 80 times in each of his first three seasons, the former Missouri Tiger registered a dozen pressures or more in each of his first three seasons, recording a positive pass rushing grade each season.
If the Cardinals can get 2011 Sean Weatherspoon, they are clearly on to a winner, but questions over how he rebounds from two injury-troubled seasons will doubtless be a key topic of conversation for reporters at Arizona’s mini-camps and training camp in the summer. If Weatherspoon is in good playing shape he will be in a good situation to rebuild his career and re-establish himself as a quality linebacker for a few years to come.