The Arizona Cardinals have made a significant addition to their defense with the signing of off-ball linebacker Krys Barnes. The team has agreed to a one-year deal, as announced on Saturday. Barnes is a former Green Bay Packer and played 35 games with 24 starts over the past three years. With the addition of Barnes, the Cardinals have now signed three linebackers, including Kyzir White and Josh Woods, while also retaining Ezekiel Turner. Zaven Collins and Blake Lynch will be returning to their positions, and there is speculation that Isaiah Simmons may shift to linebacker from safety.
Barnes has been an effective contributor for the Packers, most notably adding three sacks, four passes defensed, and two fumble recoveries. However, an ankle injury limited his playing time and resulted in only six games last season. Nevertheless, Barnes’ signing strengthens the Cardinals’ defense, which is an area that can undoubtedly benefit from improvements.
Heading into the offseason conditioning program, which begins on April 11th, and the new season’s formal start on April 25th, the Cardinals have taken a smart step in beefing up their defense. The signing of Barnes will bring some depth, experience, and solid skills to the linebacker position. It will be interesting to see how newly appointed defensive coordinator Vance Joseph utilizes the skills and strengths of each linebacker to form an elite defensive lineup.