L.J. Collier knows the Cardinals.
The defensive lineman has been around for eight games against the Cardinals while in a Seahawks uniform since 2019, playing in six of those games. It wasn't lost on the 2019 first-round draft pick that he will still be part of that rivalry.
"I get to see the Seahawks two times a year and I'm excited about that," said Collier, who signed a one-year free agent contract with Cardinals this week. "It's a fresh opportunity. I appreciate these guys taking the chance on me. They could've gotten anybody and they went with me. I'm going to make sure they don't regret that."
His motivation is clear. His first-round pedigree never translated in Seattle. In four seasons, he had three sacks – all in 2020 – and he was inactive 14 times over those four seasons.
Collier "100 percent" is aware new Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon oversaw a defensive line last season that excelled in Philadelphia, and he is hoping to be a cog in similar success at Gannon's new stop.
"They dominated, the starters and the second guys," Collier said. "I just want to be part of that, part of that culture, so I can go out there and earn myself more money and help this team in the playoffs."
The defensive line still needs numbers. Even with the signings of Collier and Kevin Strong and the return of exclusive rights free agent Jonathan Ledbetter, the Cardinals still only have six total defensive linemen on the roster – Rashard Lawrence, Leki Fotu and Manny Jones are the others.
If Collier wanted an opportunity, this was the place to get it, especially with the former first-rounder as the perfect example of playing on a "prove-it" contract.
"Man, I'm not supposed to be here," Collier said. "Time after time, people tell me I'm this, I'm that. I don't believe that. I'm going to prove that in my play and how I carry myself in the locker room and with this team.
"I'm a team-first guy, always have been. I want to make the playoffs and help by making plays and helping us come together as a team."