Cards decline 5th-year option for linebacker Isaiah Simmons

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Cardinals did not pick up linebacker Isaiah Simmons' fifth-year option, head coach Jonathan Gannon said Tuesday, adding that the decision won't affect the team's approach toward the versatile defensive player.

"I had a really good talk with Isaiah," Gannon said. "Obviously, talked to Isaiah a lot. Really comfortable with where we're at with him. He's very comfortable with it, and the option or whatever, it really doesn't change -- that's why I love where, when I say, I'm really comfortable where we're at, comfortable where he's at, is it doesn't change how he goes about what he's doing, and he knows he has to play well for us and for him, and that's like everybody.

"So, really like where his mindset's at and excited to get to work with him."

Simmons is set to enter the last season of his rookie contract, which will pay him a fully guaranteed $1.01 million. He also received a $2.4 million roster bonus on the fifth day of the league year.

Simmons played in all 17 games last season and finished with 99 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, a batted pass and a touchdown. He also had eight pass breakups while lining up predominately at cornerback and outside linebacker, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

He lined up at cornerback on 350 snaps, outside linebacker on 318 snaps, inside linebacker on 107 snaps, safety on 72 snaps and the defensive front on 22 snaps.

The eighth overall pick in 2020 out of Clemson has lined up at five positions during his four NFL seasons. He spent the most time at outside linebacker (869 snaps), followed by cornerback (581), inside linebacker (508), defensive front (121) and safety (102), according to ESPN Stats and Information.