Cardinals Urged to Add Ex-Rival Veteran All-Pro Lineman

Duane Brown

Getty Images Duane Brown looks on before the game against the Lions on January 2, 2022.

The Arizona Cardinals have yet to sign a player after the additional $10 million in cap space due to the post-June 1 release of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who will count for $3.3 million on the cap in 2022 and $5.9 million in 2023.

There’s still time left for the Cardinals to add a free agent, especially with training camp beginning in mid-late July. That being said, getting outside talent acquainted with Arizona as early as possible could be helpful for the Cardinals, who begin the third week of Organized Team Activites on June 6.

NFL Reporter Matt Lombardo started a Q&A on Twitter and we asked Lombardo what free agent could be a fit for the Cardinals.

Lombardo gave an answer, tweeting, “After the year D.J. Humphries had, I kind of wonder if they go after a Duane Brown type?

The Seattle Seahawks traded for veteran offensive lineman Duane Brown in 2017 and made two Pro Bowls during his time in Seattle. Fast forward to 2022, Brown is a 36-year-old free agent. While Brown’s still looking for a new destination, he’s missed just four games since 2018.

Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay wrote an article called “Odell Beckham and 7 Other NFL Agents We Can’t Believe Haven’t Found a Home” and listed Brown as one of the seven free agents.

Kay explained why Brown is still a capable NFL free agent.

“Brown started all 17 games for the Seattle Seahawks last season and has missed just four starts since the start of the 2018 campaign. The 36-year-old made the 2021 Pro Bowl, proving he can still be a reliable asset.

While Brown did regress slightly last season—he earned his lowest Pro Football Focus grade since his rookie year—he still scored a highly respectable 71.5.

The five-time Pro Bowler should be on the mind of any general manager who isn’t sold on his team’s blindside protection capabilities.”

Brown has shown to still have juice left in the tank.

The question is, are the Cardinals an option for the veteran lineman?

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Could Brown Fit in Arizona?

Lombardo mentioned left tackle D.J. Humphries’ 2021 season as the reason to explore Brown’s services. Humphries has appeared in 16 regular-season games in each of the last three seasons and was named captain for the past two years. He was even named to his first Pro Bowl in 2021.

However, Humphries had a 67.8 PFF grade and allowed 23 pressures in the last four regular-season games. That’s not going to cut it as Humphries enters 2022 as the highest-priced player on the team at a $19.2 million cap hit, per Spotrac.

Humphries is entering the final year of his contract in 2022. The Cardinals could find some insurance and add Brown. But it’d be tough for the Cardinals to convince Brown to sign with the team in 2022 as it’d be tough to start with Humphries sharing the position. Signing Brown would likely only work if the Cardinals were to cut Humphries, which would save the team $15 million according to OverTheCap.

That would be unlikely as the Cardinals extended Humphries in 2020. If anything, an extension would lower his cap hit and make it easier for the team to extend Kyler Murray.

What Could Brown’s Next Deal Look Like?

Brown signed a three-year, $36.5 million contract extension in 2018 with Seattle. The Seahawks drafted tackle Charles Cross with the No. 9 pick, which could signal the end of Brown’s tenure in Seattle.

Pro Football Focus projected that Brown would land a two-year, $20 million contract with $14.5 million guaranteed heading into free agency.

It’s not plausible to see the Cardinals fork up the money with Humphries on the roster.

While it’s possible that a team could sign Brown for a one-year deal, considering his age, the Cardinals are more probable to explore other areas of need first.

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