Cardinals decline fifth-year option on DT Robert Nkemdiche

Robert Nkemdiche

Just four years after lauded defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche fell to the Arizona Cardinals at the 29th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, his time in Arizona could be nearing its end.

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Arizona is declining Nkemdiche’s fifth-year option for the 2020 season

It’s a bit surprising given the 24-year-old defensive tackle turned in the best season in his career across 10 games in 2018. Nkemdiche racked up 4.5 sacks and seven quarterback hits in less than a full season.

Unfortunately, Nkemdiche’s 2018 season ended due to injuries and it has been a recurring issue throughout his NFL career. Before 2018, he played in a combined 17 games with zero sacks across his first two seasons in the NFL.

The former first-round pick will need to prove he can stay healthy and create more interior pressure if he wants to boost his market as a free agent for next offseason.