The Arizona Cardinals depth at the offensive tackle position needs to be addressed after Desmond Harrison‘s sudden release
The Arizona Cardinals front office rolled the dice last month when they claimed Desmond Harrison off of the waiver wire. Their were red flags associated with the offensive tackle, who was jettisoned by the Cleveland Browns after just one season. It didn’t take long for the Cardinals to find out for themselves that the talented Harrison has some issues.
The 25-year old blocker was released by Arizona on Wednesday morning after it was reported that an arrest warrant had been issued for the player. North Carolina police are charging Harrison with assault on a person by strangulation and assault on a female by a male. The troubled youngster’s stay in the desert was a short one, and it’s possible that the Cards could now be on the lookout for Harrison’s replacement.
The Cardinals’ starting offensive tackles, D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert, have a long history of injuries. At the moment, the only options behind the brittle pair are Korey Cunningham, Rees Odhiambo, Joshua Miles and William Sweet. The free agent market has obviously been picked over at this point in the offseason, but there are a few remaining candidates who would be an upgrade over their current backups.
Donald Penn, a 36-year old, has spent the last five campaigns with the Oakland Raiders. The three-time Pro Bowler has an incredible 174 starts on his NFL resume. Penn would provide excellent insurance for the undependable Humphries and Gilbert.
Austin Howard, another former Raider, has 89 professional starts under his belt. Besides Oakland, the 32-year old has also spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins. Howard played his college ball at Northern Iowa University, and entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2010.
Chris Clark was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent back in 2008, and has appeared in 121 pro contests. The 33-year old has also been employed by the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers. Clark has logged 66 career NFL starts, including 13 at left tackle for the Panthers in 2018.
The final lineman worth mentioning is Ryan Schraeder, who has spent his entire six-year career with the Atlanta Falcons. The 2013 undrafted free agent has appeared in 88 matchups, and is credited with 73 starts. Schraeder, who was cut by the Falcons this past March, started 13 games at right tackle last year.
Arizona took a chance with Harrison, and it’s obvious now that they were wasting their time. The uncertainty surrounding the health of their starting offensive tackles remains an issue, however. General manager Steve Keim would be smart to add a reinforcement at the position while help is still available.