The Arizona Cardinals front office could ultimately regret the $45 million free agent contract that they handed to D.J. Humphries
Over the past week or so, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said some very kind things about D.J. Humphries. That’s not surprising, considering the fact that the club’s top talent evaluator drafted the offensive lineman with the 24th-overall pick of the 2015 draft. Whether Humphries is actually worthy of the compliments that were paid to him is a popular debate among legions of Cards fans.
On Monday, Arizona rewarded their starting left tackle with a $45 million contract, a month before he was scheduled to hit free agency. According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Humphries’ deal will pay him $45 million over three years, with $29 million of it guaranteed. Could the Cardinals one day regret the generous money they handed to a player who has underachieved for most of his professional career?
One red flag associated with Humphries since he joined the Cards has been his unreliability. The 6’5, 307 pounder has appeared in just 43 of a possible 80 games since he entered the league five years ago. Coincidentally, or not, Humphries played in all 16 of Arizona’s matchups for the first time this past fall.
Humphries was an unmitigated disaster during his first pro campaign. The youngster looked awful during training camp, and quickly got into the doghouse of former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. Humphries was the only first-round selection out of his rookie class to be deactivated for every contest during the ’15 season.
The University of Florida product has missed a ton of time due to injuries as well. Humphries missed three games in 2016 because of a concussion, and 11 contests in 2017 thanks to an MCL sprain and dislocated kneecap. In 2018, the Cards brittle blocker had to sit out seven more matchups with another knee ailment.
The fact that Humphries was on the field for just about every snap during a “contract” year is a bit concerning. Arizona has made the 26-year old a very wealthy man. The organization and it’s fans can only hope that Humphries remains motivated enough to earn every penny of his fat contract going forward.