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2020 Free Agent Primer: Defensive Line

Cardinals could be active at the position in free agency

The Cardinals are hoping for a major turnaround in 2020 behind quarterback Kyler Murray, but the roster still needs to be upgraded. General Manager Steve Keim has some cap space this offseason and will aim to plug holes on both sides of the ball. We will break down each position group leading up to free agency, which begins with the legal tampering period on Monday, March 16.

Free agent primer: Defensive line

Other positional primers: LB I WR I QB I CB I TE I S I RB I ST I OL

Cap hit of players under contract for 2020 (via Corey Peters ($4.19 million); Zach Allen ($975,855); Michael Dogbe ($603,644); Miles Brown ($585,000).

Scheduled free agents: Rodney Gunter; Jonathan Bullard; Zach Kerr; Clinton McDonald; Caraun Reid.

Need: High

Analysis: The Cardinals' defensive line lost Darius Philon and Robert Nkemdiche before the 2019 season began, and then injuries took their toll during the year. The group was decent against the run but didn't get much pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Corey Peters is slated to once again be the steady veteran at nose tackle, but the group needs a talent infusion. Zach Allen missed most of his rookie season with a neck injury and hopes to take a step forward in 2020. It would be a welcome development, as Allen was the No. 65 overall pick in last year's draft. Michael Dogbe and Miles Brown are young players hoping to find rotational spots in 2020.

Rodney Gunter is the top impending free agent on the Cardinals' defensive line, while reserves Jonathan Bullard, Zach Kerr, Clinton McDonald and Caraun Reid are also scheduled to hit the market.

The Cardinals have a need for both impact pieces and depth, which is why Keim figures to scan the available options closely this offseason. There are plenty of big names primed to hit the open market, although there is speculation that Kansas City's Chris Jones, San Francisco's Arik Armstead and Jacksonville's Yannick Ngakoue could be re-signed or franchise tagged before free agency.

Other prominent defensive linemen scheduled for free agency include Ndamukong Suh, Everson Griffen, Jason Pierre-Paul, Gerald McCoy, Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn, Michael Bennett, Derek Wolfe, Jarran Reed and Leonard Williams. Run-stuffer extraordinaire Damon Harrison is already a free agent after being released by the Lions.

With the lack of star power and depth on the roster, it would not be a surprise to see the Cardinals target the defensive line in free agency.

Notable past free agent defensive line signings: Philon (2019); Peters (2015); Cory Redding (2015); Frostee Rucker (2013); Bryan Robinson (2008); Kendrick Clancy (2006); Chike Okeafor (2005); Bertand Berry (2004); Clyde Simmons (1994).

Images of defensive linemen scheduled to hit the open market