The Arizona Cardinals entered free agency looking to upgrade their offensive line. It was one of the worst in the NFL in 2017. The unit surrendered 52 sacks, tied for third worst in the league. They were also third worst in rushing, averaging just 86.6 yards per game. Changes were needed and the Cardinals have reportedly made an addition along the offensive line.
Former Bengals’ OT Andre Smith is signing a two-year, $8 million deal that could be worth up to $10.2 million with the Arizona Cardinals, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2018
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Cardinals are signing tackle Andre Smith to a two-year deal worth up to $10.2 million. Smith comes from the Bengals where he primarily served as right tackle. In 2017 he was the swing tackle for the team and made eight starts while playing in 13 games. His season ended due to a knee injury, although he is expected to be healthy for offseason activities.
Smith is 31 years old and played his first seven years in Cincinnati before spending a season with the Vikings. He returned to the Bengals last season. He was drafted in the first round, sixth overall, in 2009 by the Bengals.
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The addition of Smith calls into question the fate of current right tackle Jared Veldheer. Cutting Veldheer would save the Cardinals $6.9 million. The preliminary numbers for Smith’s contract point to the team finding a cheaper replacement.
If Smith is indeed the starter on the right side, the Cardinals would have Smith on the right, D.J. Humphries at left tackle and A.Q. Shipley at center, with both guard spots up for grabs. Arizona still has guard Mike Iupati on the roster but he played in just one game in 2017 due to a triceps injury and could be on the chopping block. Cutting Iupati would save Arizona $6.3 million in cap space.
The Cardinals have begun to address one of their biggest weaknesses. Time will tell if there are more moves in free agency along the offensive line. Stay with Full Press Coverage for free agency updates.