Arizona Cardinals need to upgrade tight end position in 2021
The tight end has been a forgotten component of the Arizona Cardinals offensive attack for a large part of the team’s history
For far too long, the Arizona Cardinals have failed to make the tight end a priority. Year after year, no matter who’s calling the plays, that segment of the offense has been put on the back burner. Could the position finally become an integral part of Arizona’s scoring attack in 2021?
If the Cards have any plans for getting the tight end more involved next season, an upgrade at the spot is sorely needed. Dan Arnold put up decent numbers this past fall (31 receptions, 438 yards, four touchdowns), but kind of faded down the stretch. Over the last three games, the 25-year old hauled in just nine passes for 125 yards and zero touchdowns.
Another Cardinals tight end, Maxx Williams, was hampered by an ankle injury for most of the campaign. In the nine matchups he appeared in, the 26-year old tallied just eight receptions for 102 yards and a score. Arizona’s front office, who signed Williams to a two-year contract extension back in November of 2019, has to be a bit disappointed in the six-year veteran’s lack of production.
The Cards third tight end in 2020 was Darrell Daniels, a 26-year old who joined the club back in 2018. In 12 appearances (eight starts) for the squad, the 6’3, 256 pounder caught a measly eight balls for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Arnold is preparing to test the free agent market this coming spring, so the Cardinals could be on the lookout for his replacement. An intriguing option could be available to assume that role, but a trade may need to be orchestrated to acquire the talented pass-catcher.
Zach Ertz, a three-time Pro Bowler with the Philadelphia Eagles, may be moved this offseason. The 30-year old has one year remaining on a deal that will pay him $8.25 million next fall. Ertz, who has 568 career receptions for 6,078 yards and 36 touchdowns, would give Arizona their first high-profile tight end in years.
Will the Cards finally upgrade a position that the franchise has rarely put much stock in? Would general manager Steve Keim make an offer for Ertz, a player who would give quarterback Kyler Murray a viable target in the middle of the field? Just a couple of more questions that will be answered by the Cardinals in the coming months.