Justin Pugh – OG
Speaking of highly paid, injury prone, offensive linemen, here is Justin Pugh, an offensive guard the Cardinals paid a pretty penny for just last off-season. The Redbirds gave Pugh a five-year, $45 million contract. He backed his increased pay up by playing in just seven games.
This isn’t a new trend in Pugh’s career. He’s been a solid switch guard or tackle throughout his career, but he’s only played a full season just once in six attempts — his rookie season. Since 2016, Pugh has played in just 26 of 48 eligible games, yet Keim signed him on for a massive contract.
It’s hard to blame Pugh for accepting the large contract offer he got. After all, he had injury issues before, and when he played in 2017, he didn’t show much. Pro Football Focus graded that season with his career low 52.4 grade, but he topped that low in 2018 when he recorded a 50.7 grade; good for 64th in the league amongst tackles.
Pugh is the Cardinals sixth-highest paid player heading towards the 2019 season. But, that doesn’t mean his job is secure. Though Keim might’ve made a questionable move signing Pugh to such a massive contract, it was structured to where they could cut ties with him after next season.
Per Over The Cap, Pugh’s contract doesn’t have any guarantees after the first two years. Couple his lack of guarantees with the inability to stay on the field and play well when on it, and Pugh is in danger of losing that very contract.