Entering the first weekend of free agency, the Arizona Cardinals have begun to address their issues with the offensive line. 2017 was a major wake-up call for the Cardinals as the offensive line struggled from injuries and inconsistent play. Free agency is the first chance to add talent to the position group and the Cardinals have begun their search. They have already signed Andre Smith who can play either tackle or guard, as well as reached a salary reduction agreement with guard Mike Iupati, saving the team $3 million against the cap. With lineman like Andrew Norwell and Nate Solder off the market, we take a look at three possible linemen for the Cardinals to target in free agency.
2017 Salary: $8.82 million
Ideal Salary $8-$10 million
Pugh is a young and talented guard who has spent his first five seasons with the Giants. The 27-year-old was drafted 19th overall in the 2013 draft out of Syracuse. He has been a consistent performer for the Giants. Pugh is one of the top lineman in what is a weak market and will be highly sought out as a result. The signing of the guard would help solidify the interior of the line, possibly being the last starting piece if the Cardinals decide to keep Iupati as a starter.
OL Justin Pugh headed to Arizona tomorrow to visit the Cardinals, source says. Cards looking for interior OL help, so they're in talks with the former NYG 1st-rounder.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 14, 2018
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2017 Salary: $1.79 million
Ideal Salary: $2.5-$3 million
Fleming was not expected to be a starter heading into the 2017 season but ended up being a stalwart for the Patriots at right tackle. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 24th best offensive tackle in the NFL last season. Fleming plays both tackle position and is arguably the best pure tackle option left in free agency. Bringing in Fleming to play tackle would allow Smith to move inside to guard where he could be more effective.
2017 Salary: $2.8 million
Ideal Salary: $1.5-$2.5 million
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Slauson is 32-year-old and coming off a bicep injury. However, he can play any position on the line and is a talented player. Interior lineman can typically play well into their mid-30’s and Slauson should be no different. He is not a long-term solution, but he can more than hold his own as a starter and could compete at guard against Evan Boehm if necessary. At the very least he is a veteran swing player who can help push the younger lineman on the roster. The Cardinals could use all the help they can get.
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