Pat’s Update: Cardinals it is
The biggest signing of the day may not be on the San Francisco 49ers, but their NFC West rivals the Arizona Cardinals. Ian Rapoport reports that the Cardinals are expected to sign now-former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. Well he did, but John Gambadoro reports the 49ers are jumping into the middle of things for a late push.
If Suggs were to go to the Cardinals, it could be telling for draft purposes. The 49ers could look to the 2019 NFL draft to get an edge-rusher and the Cardinals don’t need one near as bad as they need help on the interior. Suggs is not a be-all solution for either team. He’ll turn 37 this season and has some tread on those tires. The Cardinals could still draft a pass rusher with the first pick overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, but maybe Suggs pushes that selection into the second or third round. The 49ers, on the other hand, need all the help they can get.
For the Cardinals, this is a great addition. They are returning to a 3-4 defense, a defense Suggs has thrived in. Despite the age, he finished 2018 with seven sacks, one forced fumble and six passes defended—so he can still play. This doesn’t make the Cardinals not need an edge rusher. With the Suggs addition it may just make unnecessary to look to the first round to draft one.
For the 49ers, Suggs would go to a 4-3 scheme and be used mostly as a pass rusher. Nothing wrong there, but given the lack of quality pass rushers on the roster, it may not change their draft plans as much as it may change the Cardinals.
Either way, if it doesn’t change their board/needs, it does add veteran leadership to either team’s defense. They may still just be looking for depth. We’ll update this when more information is made available.