Arizona Cardinals need improvement at tight end position


The Arizona Cardinals should make strengthening the tight end position an extremely high priority for the upcoming offseason

The Arizona Cardinals’ 2019 shopping list seems to be growing larger by the day. Plenty of reinforcements are needed, especially on the offensive side of the ball. One position in particular could use some major upgrading.

For quite a few years now, the Cards have failed to get consistent production out of the tight end spot. That trend has certainly continued in 2018. A tight end can serve as a safety valve for a young quarterback, so finding a viable one for Josh Rosen should be a priority for Arizona.

One of the worst player contracts on the Cardinals’ books is the one that was handed to Jermaine Gresham in 2017. The veteran was signed to a four-year, $28 million deal, ridiculous money to say the least. Gresham, who has a salary-cap figure of just over $7.2 million this season, has tallied a measly nine receptions for 94 yards in ’18.

Ricky Seals-Jones showed promise last year as an undrafted rookie free agent, but has disappointed during his sophomore campaign. In 15 appearances this year, the 6’5, 243 pounder has caught 34 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown. The Cards were hoping for much more than that out of the 23-year old.

Another tight end on the roster, John Phillips, has caught one ball for nine yards. Darren Daniels, who’s fourth on the Arizona depth chart, has yet to record a reception for the Redbirds.

The list of free agent tight ends for 2019 is not an impressive one. The Oakland Raiders’ Jared Cook is the best of the bunch. Others include Jeff Heuerman, Jesse James, Geoff Swaim and C.J. Uzomah.

The Cardinals could look to the draft to address the problem. Some of the top prospects include Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam, Iowa’s Noah Fant, Stanford’s Kaden Smith and Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr.

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An overhaul at the position could be in order for the Cards. Finding pass-catchers for Rosen is imperative. Acquiring a dynamic tight end would be a good way to start the process.