The Arizona Cardinals were far from done when it came to free agent signings this offseason. In their most recent move, they officially signed two defensive linemen. They were able to get former Packers defensive tackle Christian Ringo and former Colts defensive tackle Antwaun Woods. To make these signings the Cardinals had to release tight end David Wells and defensive lineman Matt Dickerson.
At the moment Ringo and Woods are seen to add to the depth of the Cardinals’ defensive line that was ranked 27 out of 32 by Pro Football Focus. Although the future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt is still in the fold entering his 12th season and second in Arizona there aren’t many strengths past that. 2021 was a down year for Watt who recorded the third lowest total tackles in his career at 16, so he will likely be looking to bounce back this season.
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The Path to Arizona for Ringo & Woods
Although Ringo and Woods both joined the National Football League in 2016 they both had quite different paths to the Cardinals for the 2022 season. Ringo, who is 30, was drafted by the Packers in the 2015 draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Ringo, who has yet to spend more than one full season with the same team, has had short stints with five different teams excluding the Cardinals.
Although his career has been rocky, Ringo played in a career-high 14 games in 2021 for the New Orleans Saints, starting in four of those games. In 2021, he recorded 26 total tackles and a forced fumble that he recovered. Ringo may not be a star-studded addition to the defensive line, but he has proven that his worst days are behind him and that he is ready for whatever assignments Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph could throw his way.
Woods, who is only a year younger than Ringo at 29, brings just as much potential to the squad. Signed as an undrafted free agent from the University of Southern California in 2016 by the Tennessee Titans, Woods would only play in one game that season recording three total tackles.
After his rookie season in Tennessee, he was cut, then re-signed a day later to the practice squad where he would stay until being cut again in 2018. Things looked bleak for Woods, but only after seven days of being cut from the Titans, the Dallas Cowboys came knocking at his door. Over the next three seasons, he recorded the best numbers of his career until disaster struck in December 2020, when Woods was placed on the injured reserve after injuring his ankle in week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. In May of 2021, he would be cut and signed by the Indianapolis Colts, where he spent one season appearing in only seven games.
Where the Cardinals Need the Most Help
It is no surprise that the Cardinals’ were looking for more defensive linemen to add to their rotation but with two rookies filling in important gaps in their defense the two vet’s presence seems to be that much more significant. It is not likely at the moment Ringo or Woods finds a starting role with Arizona, but for a team that is attempting to win it all in 2022, this may be the most important role of their careers.
Both of the new signees will likely have reps in the upcoming preseason games starting August 13 in Cincinnati taking on the Bengals. From there they will be at home against the Baltimore Ravens, and back on the road to finish off their preseason in Nashville against the Titans on August 27.