Cardinals Sign ‘Big Body Target’ Veteran Tight End

Stephen Anderson

Getty Images Stephen Anderson runs with the ball during a 2021 game.

The Arizona Cardinals just keep adding to their tight end room.

On April 4, the Cardinals announced they have signed free-agent tight end Stephen Anderson to a one-year deal. Anderson started three games with the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021 and accumulated 165 yards receiving yards and one touchdown.

At 6-3 230 pounds, PHNX Cardinals reporter Johnny Venerable calls Anderson a “big body target.”

Anderson, 29, entered the league with the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2016. He caught a career-high 25 catches in 2017 before being released in 2018. He also spent time with the New England Patriots and won a Super Bowl in 2018, despite never catching a pass for the team. Anderson had spent the last three seasons with the Chargers.

The product of California will now enter a tight end group with Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams. In the offseason, Ertz agreed to a three-year contract with the Cardinals and Williams stayed in Arizona on a one-year deal.

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What Anderson Brings to Cardinals

Anderson should provide depth and has experience in the league, which could likely signal the Cardinals not drafting a tight end in the NFL draft on April 28.

Not only can Anderson be used as a receiver, but he also has special teams experience, where he played 52% of his time as a special teamer in 2021. According to Pro Football Focus, Anderson graded well as a pass-blocker, amassing a 77.9 grade in 2021.

The 29-year-old showed some flashes as a pass-catcher with quarterback Justin Herbert, too.

Other than Ertz and Williams, Anderson joins tight ends David Wells, Deon Yelder, Bernhard Seikovits and Alex Ellis.


One Offensive Area Still Needs to be Addressed

There are still plenty of question marks in the wide receiver room for Arizona. The Cardinals have lost Christian Kirk to free agency and don’t have a No. 2 outside receiver with free agent A.J. Green still available. DeAndre Hopkins highlights the Cardinals’ wide receivers, but the rest of the options are wide receivers Rondale Moore, Antoine Wesley, Greg Dortch and Andre Baccellia. Andy Isabella requested permission to seek a trade at the beginning of March and recorded just one catch in 2021.

Over The Cap shows Arizona with $5.9 million in cap space. There can still be room to add a wide receiver. But adding a free agent wide receiver shouldn’t preclude the team from drafting a wide receiver. The Cardinals haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round during Murray’s three years with the team.

NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s pegged the Cardinals landing Arkansas WR Treylon Burks in a mock draft.

“The Cardinals lost Christian Kirk in free agency, and Burks could slide right into that role,” Jeremiah wrote.

Getting Kyler Murray the proper weaponry in the last year of his rookie contract should be paramount, especially considering his tumultuous offseason that has ranged from the scrubbing of social media posts to a future contract proposal from his agent.

General manager Steve Keim should be well aware of the lack of wideout depth.

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