Report: Devon Kennard Agrees to 3-Year, $20M Cardinals Contract After Lions Exit

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2020

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 08: Devon Kennard #42 of the Detroit Lions celebrates after making a tackle against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are adding linebacker Devon Kennard on a three-year deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the deal is worth $20 million with $12.25 million guaranteed.

Kennard was released by the Detroit Lions on Tuesday after the team agreed to terms on a three-year, $30 million contract with former New England Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins on Monday:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

#Lions are releasing LB Devon Kennard, source says. Bit of a surprise there. Team captain coming off back-to-back seven-sack seasons. Should have interest elsewhere.

The 28-year-old acknowledged his release:

DK @DevonKennard

My goal in life is to always leave a place better then I found it. I believe I did that in Detroit with the @detroitlionsnfl . Thank you to my teammates, coaches, the support staff and fans that made my experience in Detroit one that I will cherish forever. https://t.co/79XSgk16eE

DK @DevonKennard

@Ky_hall24 You ain’t lying! No loyalty in this biz!

Kennard played in 31 games (30 starts) across the last two seasons with the Lions.

The New York Giants originally drafted Kennard in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. The USC product played in the Big Apple from 2014 until '17, appearing in 52 games and starting 35 contests at linebacker. Kennard left the Giants to sign as an unrestricted free agent with the Lions on a three-year, $18.75 million deal.

Kennard's seven sacks ranked second behind Romeo Okwara's 7.5 sacks among Detroit defenders in 2018. He had seven sacks again last season, tied for first on the team with Trey Flowers.

According to 98.7 FM Phoenix's John Gambadoro, the Cardinals "beat out several teams to secure his services." Familiarity with the area might have played a role in Kennard's decision, as he played high school football at Desert Vista in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Arizona made headlines earlier this week by trading with the Houston Texans for All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-round pick, per the Houston Chronicle's John McClain. The deal sent running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick and 2021 fourth-rounder to Houston.

After that, the Cardinals added defensive tackle Jordan Phillips in free agency on a three-year contract.

The Cardinals finished their first season under head coach Kliff Kingsbury at 5-10-1. They are subsequently slotted to pick at No. 8 overall in next month's draft. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller projected Arizona to take Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton in his latest mock draft, which would help protect 2019 top overall pick Kyler Murray.

Kennard sacked Murray three times when the Cardinals and Lions tied 27-27 in the 2019 regular-season opener.