Deone Bucannon has exceeded even the high expectations for a first round pick and the Arizona Cardinals have rewarded him in turn. On the eve of the NFL draft, the Cougar great officially had his fifth year option picked up yesterday by the team. This gives Bucannon an injury guaranteed 8.7 million dollar salary for 2018. This decision is not necessarily a no brainer for NFL teams with first round picks. The Seahawks declined to pick up Bruce Irvin’s option a couple years ago despite him having a solid start to his career.
Bucannon has kind of been the poster boy for the hot new trend in the NFL for the hybrid linebacker/safety position. The "Money Backer" has so far been the biggest impact player in this role which is changing the way NFL defense’s operate in the last couple of years. Here is what coach Bruce Arians had to say about what Deone brings to the defense courtesy of azcardinals.com.
"He is so good at what he is doing, we’ll leave him right there," Arians said at the time. "He is such a unique player at that position, to be able to play linebacker at his size, he just gives us such an advantage. We’re in nickel defense all the time and he gives us such a fast blitzer, fast player to the football, and he can cover tight ends. So yeah, we’ll probably leave him there."
Really cool news for a Cougar alumni who is well deserving.
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Cardinals linebacker Deone Bucannon has been a starter in all three of his NFL seasons, so it's no surprise that Arizona wants to keep him around. The Cardinals officially picked up Bucannon's fifth-year option today. That means Bucannon gets an $8.