Josh Bynes
Bynes at Ravens M&T Bank Stadium practice in August 2013
Inside linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-08-24) August 24, 1989 (age 31)
Place of birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Career information
College: Auburn
Undrafted in 2011
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Baltimore Ravens ( 2011 2013)
Career highlights and awards
* Super Bowl Champion (XLVII)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles     332
Sacks     3.5
Forced fumbles     4
Fumble recoveries     2
Interceptions     2
Defensive touchdowns     1

Joshua Bynes (born August 24, 1989) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He played college football at Auburn.

Early years and college

Bynes grew up in Florida and went to college at Auburn, where he played college football. Bynes anchored the middle of the Auburn defense for three consecutive years, garnering Second Team All-SEC honors as a senior.

Professional career

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1½ in 240 lb 4.81 s 1.68 s 2.77 s 4.32 s 7.11 s 33½ in 9 ft 8 in 21 reps

Baltimore Ravens


Bynes went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft. On July 28, 2011, the Baltimore Ravens signed Bynes to a three-year, $1.41 million contract as an undrafted free agent.[1]

Throughout training camp, Bynes competed for a roster spot as a backup linebacker and special teams player against Tavares Gooden, Jason Phillips, Anthony Leon, and Chavis Williams.[2] Bynes received minimal playing time in the Ravens' first three preseason games. On September 1, 2011, Bynes received an opportunity to play in the Ravens' preseason finale and recorded six solo tackles and two sacks in their 21–7 victory at the Atlanta Falcons. On September 3, 2011, the Baltimore Ravens released Bynes as part of their final roster cuts.[3]

“Yeah, Josh made a case for himself. He played very well. We have been impressed with him all through camp. He hasn’t had as many opportunities in games, but then last night he showed up.”[4]

Bynes received numerous tryouts, but did not receive any contract offers. On November 9, 2011, the Baltimore Ravens signed Bynes to their practice squad after linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe sustained injuries.[3] On November 23, 2011, the Baltimore Ravens added Bynes to their active roster. On November 24, 2011, Bynes made his professional regular season debut during a 16–6 victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. On November 29, 2011, the Baltimore Ravens officially released Bynes after Ray Lewis recovered from his toe injury and re-signed him to their practice squad.[3][5] On January 14, 2012, the Baltimore Ravens added Bynes to their active roster, but did not activate him for any games during the playoffs.[6]


On April 16, 2012, the Baltimore Ravens signed Bynes to a one-year, $390,000 exclusive rights tender.[1] During training camp, Bynes was expected to compete for a roster spot as a backup inside linebacker against Brendon Ayanbadejo, Ricky Brown, Darryl Blackstock, and Nigel Carr. Bynes sustained a cracked vertebrae during the beginning of training camp during a goal line scrimmage and was expected to miss four or five weeks.[7]

On October 17, 2012, the Ravens added Byrnes to the active roster after Ray Lewis tore his triceps and was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the regular season. Upon joining the active roster, Bynes was named a backup inside linebacker behind Dannell Ellerbe and Jameel McClain.

On December 16, 2012, Bynes earned his first career start and recorded a season-high 13 combined tackles (11 solo) and deflected a pass during a 34–17 loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 15. Bynes was named the starting inside linebacker after Jameel McClain suffered a spinal cord contusion during the Ravens' Week 14.[8][9] Bynes finished the 2012 season with 34 combined tackles (19 solo) and a pass deflection in ten games and three starts.[10]

The Ravens finished first in the AFC North with a 10–6 record. On January 6, 2013, Bynes appeared in his first career playoff game during a 24–9 win against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wildcard Game. The Baltimore Ravens reached Super Bowl XLVII after they defeated the Denver Broncos 38–35 in the AFC Divisional Round and the New England Patriots 28–13 in the AFC Championship Game. On February 3, 2013, Bynes recorded one tackle as the Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34–31 in Super Bowl XLVII. Bynes tackled Ted Ginn, Jr. after a free kick in the final seconds of the game to clinch the Ravens' 34–31 victory.[11]


On April 22, 2013, the Baltimore Ravens signed Bynes to a one-year, $480,000 exclusive rights tender.[12] Bynes entered training camp slated as a starting inside linebacker after Ray Lewis announced his retirement and Dannell Ellerbe departed in free agency. He saw competition for the role from Arthur Brown.[13][14] Head coach John Harbaugh named Bynes a starting inside linebacker to start the regular season, alongside Daryl Smith and outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs.[15]

In Week 4, he collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 23–20 loss at the Buffalo Bills. Bynes was inactive for the Ravens' Week 7 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers due to thigh injury and infection in his finger.[16] He was subsequently replaced by Jameel McClain and lost his starting position to him during his absence.[17] He finished the season with 45 combined tackles (22 solo) and three pass deflections in 15 games and six starts.[10]


On March 11, 2014, the Baltimore Ravens placed a one-year, $570,000 exclusive rights tender on Bynes for the 2014 NFL season. On April 18, 2014, Bynes signed his exclusive rights tender with the Baltimore Ravens.[5]

Bynes entered training camp as a backup inside linebacker after the Ravens drafted C. J. Mosley in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Bynes competed for job ats a backup inside linebacker against Albert McClellan and Arthur Brown.[18] On September 2, 2014, the Baltimore Ravens waived Bynes as part of their final roster cuts.[19] On September 4, 2014, the Baltimore Ravens signed Bynes to their practice squad.[20]

Detroit Lions

On September 22, 2014, Bynes was signed off of the Ravens' practice squad onto the Lions' active roster following injuries.[21] Bynes was reunited with Detroit Lions' head coach Jim Caldwell who was previously the offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens. He was subsequently named a backup outside linebacker behind Ashlee Palmer and DeAndre Levy.[22] On November 16, 2014, Bynes collected a season-high four combined tackles and made his first career interception off a pass by Cardinals' quarterback Drew Stanton during a 14–6 loss at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11. He finished the 2014 NFL season with 22 combined tackles (18 solo), a pass deflection, and an interception in 13 games and zero starts.[10]


On March 10, 2015, the Detroit Lions re-signed Bynes to a two-year, $1.81 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $250,000.[23][24] Throughout training camp, Bynes competed to be a starting outside linebacker against Tahir Whitehead and rookie Kyle Van Noy.[25][26] Head coach Jim Caldwell named Bynes a starting outside linebacker to start the 2015 regular season after DeAndre Levy sustained a hip injury during practice.[27] He started alongside Tahir Whitehead and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch.[28] In Week 6, he collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (nine solo) during a 37–34 win against the Chicago Bears. Bynes finished the 2015 season with a career-high 82 combined tackles (56 solo), five pass deflections, and was credited with half a sack in 16 games and 11 starts.[10][29]


Bynes entered training camp slated as a backup linebacker after DeAndre Levy returned from his injury. On August 18, 2016, Bynes sustained a knee injury during the Lions' 30–14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in their second preseason game. On September 4, 2016, the Detroit Lions placed Bynes on injured reserve due to his knee injury.[30] On September 10, 2016, the Detroit Lions officially released Bynes after they agreed to an injury settlement.[31][32]

On October 25, 2016, the Detroit Lions signed Bynes after they traded Kyle Van Noy to the New England Patriots.[33] Head coach Jim Caldwell named Bynes a starting outside linebacker. On December 4, 2016, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles (five solo) and broke up a pass during a 28–13 win at the New Orleans Saints.[34] He finished the 2016 NFL season with 38 combined tackles (26 solo) and four pass deflections in nine games and eight starts.[10]

The Detroit Lions finished second in the NFC North with a 9–7 record and earned a Wild Card berth On January 7, 2017, Bynes started in his first career playoff game and recorded seven combined tackles in their 26–6 loss at the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card Round.[34]

Arizona Cardinals


On August 5, 2017, the Arizona Cardinals signed Bynes to a one-year, $775,000 contract at the league's veteran minimum.[35] Throughout training camp, Bynes competed for a job as a starting inside linebacker against Haason Reddick, Scooby Wright, Zaviar Gooden, and Philip Wheeler.[36] Head coach Bruce Arians named Bynes a backup inside linebacker to begin the regular season in 2017, behind Deone Bucannon and Karlos Dansby.[37]

On November 25, 2017, Bynes collected a season-high nine combined tackles in the Cardinals' 27–24 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. The following week, he tied his season-high of eight solo tackles during a 32–16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. On December 10, 2017, Bynes recorded a solo tackle, deflected a pass, and made his first career interception in the Cardinals' 12–7 win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 14. Bynes made his second career interception off a pass attempt by Titans' quarterback Marcus Mariota, that was originally intended for tight end Delanie Walker, and returned it for a 25-yard gain in the fourth quarter.[38] On December 17, 2017, Bynes recorded two tackles before exiting in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals' 20–15 loss at the Washington Redskins due to an ankle injury. He was inactive for the next two games (Weeks 16–17) due to a sprained ankle.[39] He finished the 2017 NFL season with 36 combined tackles (31 solo), three pass deflections, one interception, and a sack in 14 games and one start.[10]


On January 1, 2018, Arizona Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians officially announced his retirement and resigned as head coach.[40] On January 22, 2018, the Arizona Cardinals announced their decision to hire former Carolina Panthers' assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their new head coach.[41]

On March 13, 2018, the Arizona Cardinals signed Bynes to a three-year, $5.57 million contract that includes $1.25 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1 million [1][42]

The Arizona Cardinals opted to change their base defense from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense. Bynes entered training camp slated as the starting middle linebacker, but saw minor competition for the role from Scooby Wright.[43] Head coach Steve Wilks named Bynes the starting middle linebacker to begin the season, alongside outside linebackers Haasan Reddick and Deone Bucannon.[44]

He started in the Arizona Cardinals' season-opener against the Washington Redskins and recorded 11 combined tackles (eight solo) in their 24–6 loss.[45] He started 11 games before suffering a thumb injury in Week 12. He was placed on injured reserve on November 26, 2018.[46]

On March 5, 2019, Bynes was released by the Cardinals.[47]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 " Josh Bynes contract". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  2. " Baltimore Ravens Depth Chart: 08/01/2011". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Baltimore Ravens 2011 Transactions". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  4. "Bynes Understands Business Aspect of NFL". September 3, 2011. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Josh Bynes signs exclusive rights free agent deal". April 18, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  6. "Baltimore Ravens 2012 Transactions". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  7. "Ravens' starters to play sparingly in preseason opener". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  8. "Taking a Closer Look at Jameel McClain's Horrific Injury and Road to Recovery". December 18, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  9. Edward Lee (December 21, 2012). "Josh Bynes' journey from serious injury to starting linebacker". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 "NFL Player stats: Josh Bynes (career)". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  11. "Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers – Play By Play – February 03, 2013 – ESPN". February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  12. "Ravens exclusive-rights free agent linebacker Josh Bynes signs tender". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  13. Butt, Jason (August 21, 2013). "Ravens Position Battle: Josh Bynes vs. Arthur Brown". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  14. "Ravens inside linebacker Josh Bynes making bid for starting job". May 31, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  15. " Baltimore Ravens Depth Chart: 09/05/2013". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  16. "Wednesday Ravens-Steelers injury report: Josh Bynes hospitalized with infected finger". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  17. "How Much Will Jameel McClain Play?". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  18. "Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes determined not to be an afterthought". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  19. Wilson, Aaron (September 2, 2014). "Ravens re-sign cornerback Derek Cox, cut linebacker Josh Bynes". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  20. "Baltimore Ravens 2014 Transaction". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  21. Yuille, Sean (September 22, 2014). "Lions to sign Josh Bynes off Ravens' practice squad". Retrieved September 22, 2014.
  22. " Detroit Lions Depth Chart: 10/01/2014". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  23. Twentyman, Tim (March 10, 2015). "Lions re-sign linebacker Josh Bynes". Detroit Lions. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  24. Rotherstein, Michael (March 13, 2015). "Breaking down the Josh Bynes and Matt Prater contracts". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  25. " Detroit Lions Depth Chart: 08/01/2015". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  26. "Detroit Lions 2015 Profiles: Josh Bynes". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  27. "Caldwell: Lions could shut down Levy with an eye on 2016". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  28. " Detroit Lions Depth Chart: 10/01/2015". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  29. "NFL Player stats: Josh Bynes (2015)". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  30. "Lions place LB Josh Bynes on injured reserve". September 4, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  31. "Detroit Lions release LB Josh Bynes from injured reserve". September 10, 2016.
  32. "Lions' Josh Bynes: Reaches Injury Settlement". September 10, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  33. "Lions sign LB Josh Bynes and trade LB Kyle Van Noy to Patriots". October 25, 2016.
  34. 34.0 34.1 "NFL Player stats: Josh Bynes (2016)". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  35. Williams, Charean (August 5, 2017). "Cardinals make roster moves, sign LBs Josh Bynes, Terence Waugh".
  36. " Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart: 09/01/2017". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  37. " Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart: 10/01/2017". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  38. "NFL Game Center: Week 14-2017: Tennessee Titans at Arizona Cardinals". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  39. "Cardinals' Josh Bynes: Dealing with sprained ankle". December 20, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  40. Sessler Marc (January 1, 2018). "Bruce Arians retires after five seasons with Cardinals". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  41. "Arizona Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as head coach". January 22, 2018. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  42. Williams, Charean (March 13, 2018). "Josh Bynes expected to re-sign with Cardinals".
  43. "Can The Arizona Cardinals Depend On Josh Bynes?". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  44. " : Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart: 09/01/2018". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  45. "NFL Player stats: Josh Bynes (2018)". Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  46. Urban, Darren (November 26, 2018). "Cardinals Cut Andre Smith, Bené Benwikere; Put Phil Dawson, Josh Bynes on IR".
  47. Alper, Josh (March 5, 2019). "Cardinals release Josh Bynes". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports.

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