Band-aid at guard would suit Arizona Cardinals fine
The Arizona Cardinals’ front office may need to be in penny-pinching mode this offseason to address holes on their roster
The 2017 Arizona Cardinals are not rebuilding their team. Rebuilding squads don’t use up close to $40 million of their salary-cap space on two players (Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald). Because of contracts such as these, management is gonna have to be frugal in dealings with other players.
There’s a hole at right guard that needs to be filled. And it needs to be taken care of as cheaply as possible. Therefore, targeting a veteran who’s willing to play on a one-year contract would be a logical solution.
There are a few available free agents who may fit that bill. There have been talks about inserting second-year lineman Evan Boehm into the spot. But in what may be the final go-around for Palmer, an experienced quarterback protector may be a safer plan.
Six-time Pro Bowler Jahri Evans may be the best choice. The 33-year old veteran will be entering his 12th season, and has an impressive 153 starts for the New Orleans Saints under his belt. He is also the owner of a Super Bowl ring, and that experience may prove highly valuable to a team that is supposedly “all-in” once again.
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Chris Chester has started 143 games in his 11 seasons in the NFL. It appears as if his latest team, the Atlanta Falcons, may want to get younger at right guard. Perhaps he’d consider Arizona a good spot to land.
32-year old Jermon Bushrod is a two-time Pro Bowler who’s looking for a job. The right guard has 112 career starts with three different NFL organizations. Bushrod and Evans were on the same New Orleans Saints’ team that won Super Bowl XLIV (Bushrod at left tackle, Evans at right guard).
Brandon Fusco, at just 28 years old, may be a bit too young to be lumped in with this group. The seventh-year guard has started 64 games in the league. Despite still being relatively young, he could agree to a one-year “prove-it” deal with the Cards.
None of the four candidates mentioned in this article should be looking to break the bank as far as a contract is concerned. Yet, they would all appear to be solid additions to a contending team. They would all add experience, and in a year such as this, may be their most valuable attribute.