Cardinals Have Cap Room, Looking to Add Depth, Per Team Report

Kyler Murray

Getty Kyler Murrary runs out of the tunnel ready to face the San Francisco 49ers.

The Arizona Cardinals have wiggle room under the cap to bolster the depth of a few positions. Darren Urban, the in-house Cardinals reporter, published the team is “still in the market for veteran depth.” More specifically, Urban suggested a “veteran cornerback. Or a veteran center if needed. Or maybe a veteran defensive lineman or even a pass rusher.” He ends the piece by assuring Pro Bowl quarterback Kyler Murray’s impending contract extension, “shouldn’t adversely impact any potential free-agent signings.”

Arizona is looking for cornerback depth after the tragic passing of free agent signee Jeff Gladney in a fatal accident. A veteran presence at the center position could be a more pressing need. Rodney Hudson was not included in a recent tweet hyping fans for the upcoming season. Projected starters D.J. Humphries, Kelvin Beachum, Will Hernandez, and Justin Pugh helped mark the 60-day point before pads are put on in training camp.

Hudson, who signed a three-year deal worth $30 million in 2021, was not in the building for a mandatory minicamp last month. Head Coach Kliff Kingbury did not excuse the absence. “We’re working through something with him,” Kingsbury said of the Hudson holdout after a June OTA practice. “Soon as we know, we’ll have that updated.”

Rodney Hudson’s failure to report for offseason activities leaves a big hole in the offensive line. The Cardinals will have to address the center position if a compromise with Hudson cannot be found. Pugh, Harlow, and sixth-round draft pick Lecitus Smith cycled through at center during recent OTAs.

Pugh, in particular, did not mind the move. He sees a pay raise in the future considering the importance of protecting Murray up the middle. “Why not go out there and try to play center in this offense with Kyler, because it is a very important position. And we’ve shown we’ve prioritized that position,” Pugh said after OTAs. “And there’s a lot of centers that play older in their years because physically it’s not as demanding. Mentally it’s much more intense. And that’s where I think I can still succeed at that position.”

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Cardinals Can Show Progressive Side, Strengthen D-Line

Carl Nassib, who came out as gay last year, is still without a team. JJ Watt is looking better than ever going by wedding photos. The Cardinals will add Deandre Hopkins to an offense featuring James Conner, Kyler Murray, and Hollywood Brown after the All-Pro wide receiver serves a six-game PED suspension. A makeshift offensive line can work in a quick-fire Kyler and Kliff Air Raid scheme. The Los Angeles Rams used a similar playbook to win the last Super Bowl. A dominant defensive line has led several modern teams to the Super Bowl going back to the New York Giants beating Tom Brady.

Nassib has only 22 career sacks in 86 games. Still, he is a serviceable rotation piece for a team in need of depth, not a game-changing talent. The 29-year-old has held up well as a lineman and a linebacker in a playoff setting last season. Arizona is coming off an 11-6 record and is projected for another double-digit win season according to ESPN’s Week-by-Week Matchup Predictor. The former Raider comes at the right price for the Cardinals to call him in for a closer look in training camp. Pat Tillman’s former team would be showing the NFL’s more progressive side by giving Nassib a training camp chance.

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