A.Q. Shipley – C
A.Q. Shipley’s stay with the team has gotten long in the tooth. After Bruce Arians’ (brief) retirement, Shipley lost the connection that brought him to Arizona in the first, and with another coaching staff in place coupled with additions to the line and Shipley’s injury history (and regression), Shipley could get the ax.
Although Mason Cole may move from center to guard, many believe that he could stay at the position considering that J.R. Sweezy and Justin Pugh look locked in at the two guard spots. And with the drafting of Lamont Gaillard, an offensive lineman with the size bound to play center, the youth movement continues to be a factor in Shipley’s future.
At soon to be 33 years old, Shipley projects as one of the older centers in the NFL. He’s also trying to bounce back from another ACL injury. Though he has stayed healthy for most of his career, there is only hope that he can continue to do so after factoring in his age and injury.
Before the start of the 2018 season, Keim did extend Shipley through the 2019 season, but the deal contains little guarantees; a smart move considering his age, that looks smarter with his injury and solid performance at the position by Cole. Per Over The Cap, if the Cardinals want to part ways with the center, they would save about $1 million in 2019 compared to a hair over $300 thousand in dead money.
Ultimately, if Shipley stays on the roster don’t expect him to start. The Cardinals could view him as cheap veteran depth, but considering their five additions to the line in the off-season, it’s hard to see them doing just that.