Cardinals Try Out Former Vikings Pass Rusher

Vikings Trade
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

The Arizona Cardinals are pegged by most NFL analysts as the worst team in the sport heading into 2023, as the regular season kicks off in 16 days.

Arizona will be without the services of QB1 Kyler Murray indefinitely, and by the time he returns this season, the Cardinals win-loss record could be rather upside-down.

Cardinals Try Out Former Vikings Pass Rusher

But with a new leadership regime and coaching staff, Arizona will hope to avoid all the doomsday predictions, and the process starts September 10th at the Washington Commanders.

And to possibly enhance the roster with one preseason week remaining, Arizona auditioned a former Vikings pass rusher on Monday, Zach McCloud.

Cardinals Try Out
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cardinals reporter Howard Balzer tweeted, “Cardinals had a visit today with LB Zach McCloud. Was waived Aug. 16 by the Titans.”

McCloud joined the Tennessee Titans this spring but was waived last week. Now, he’ll hope a contract materializes in Arizona.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Here’s the state of play in the Cardinals current EDGE room:

  • Zaven Collins
  • Dennis Gardeck
  • Cameron Thomas
  • Victor Dimukeje
  • BJ Ojulari
  • Myjai Sanders
  • David Anenih
  • Jesse Luketa
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.

McCloud joined the Vikings in 2022 as an undrafted free agent after spending his ample college time with the University of Miami (FL). In six seasons as a Hurricane, he tabulated 192 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. McCloud notably totaled 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 12 games during his final season at the school.

The young defender spent the entire 2022 preseason in Minnesota and performed quite well. When roster cut-downs rolled around late last August, though, McCloud was the odd man out and later latched onto the Denver Broncos for about five weeks.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft, Pro Football Network‘s Tony Pauline mentioned about McCloud’s scouting report, “Smart, tough linebacker who does the little things well. Quickly diagnoses the action, flows well to the play, and gets depth on pass drops. Stays with assignments, plays disciplined football, and breaks down well. Resilient, uses his hands to protect himself, and works hard. Primarily came out of a three-point stance last season and displayed a closing burst rushing the passer.”

The Cardinals employ former Vikings David Blough (QB), Kris Boyd (CB), Davion Davis (WR), Pat Elflein (OL), and Nate Hairston (CB).

The Vikings host those very Cardinals this week for joint practices and on Saturday afternoon for a preseason contest.

McCloud turned 25 in April.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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