Arizona Cardinals hope right tackle will pay some dividends

The Arizona Cardinals are still hoping to get some payback on the trade that brought right tackle Marcus Gilbert to the desert

A little over a year ago, the Arizona Cardinals front office acquired a starting right tackle in a trade. General manager Steve Keim sent a sixth-round draft choice to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a veteran with a long history of injuries. Marcus Gilbert quickly lived up to that reputation, suffering a torn ACL that would end his 2019 campaign just days before the season opener.

This past March, the Cards elected to give the historically-brittle Gilbert another chance. Doing so would require the club to sign the 32-year old to a new contract, given the fact that his previous deal had expired. Will Arizona finally get some payback on the agreement with the Steelers that brought Gilbert to the organization?

It appears as if the Cardinals are ready to proceed with Gilbert as their starter at right tackle in 2020. The 6’6, 330 pounder was rehabbing at the team facility just five months after surgery, and fully intends to be ready for week one. There may be an obstacle standing in the way of Gilbert’s plan, however.

The Cards were absolutely thrilled when the University of Houston’s Josh Jones was available during the third round of this past April’s NFL Draft. A significant number of experts feel that the offensive tackle is a blue-chip talent that should’ve been selected much earlier. If that’s true, Arizona may have pulled off an absolute steal when they landed Jones with the 72nd-overall pick.

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Many followers of the Cardinals believed that Gilbert had the starting right tackle gig locked up when he returned to the franchise this past spring. But the addition of Jones could lead to a training camp battle for the job between the 10th-year player and the youngster. If Jones prevails in that competition, the Cards could end up getting little or no return on the faith they have showed in Gilbert after all.