It’s hard to find fault with what the Arizona Cardinals have been able to accomplish thus far in 2021. An array of needs have been addressed by general manager Steve Keim, with acquisitions that have been lauded by many of the NFL’s followers. In a little less than two months, Arizona’s front office has greatly improved a roster that came up one victory short of a trip to the postseason last fall.
Despite the positivity, some chinks in the Cards armor do remain. One particular weakness of the squad is at the tight end position, where seventh-year journeyman Maxx Williams is slated to be the team’s opening-day starter. The 27-year old caught just eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown last fall, so an upgrade at the spot is sorely needed.
The University of Florida’s Kyle Pitts is the one stud tight end of this year’s draft, and it’s highly unlikely that the Cardinals will land the youngster. The club owns the 16th-overall pick in the first round, and Pitts is projected to be long gone by then. One final option for Arizona to address the issue is the trade route, and there are three veterans who Keim could kick the tires on in the coming days or weeks.
One name that has been out there for what seems like the entire offseason is Zach Ertz, a ninth-year pro from the Philadelphia Eagles. A new coaching staff, combined with an $8.5 million salary for the upcoming campaign, has made the 30-year old Ertz expendable in Philly. The former Stanford University product is an outstanding pass-receiver who would likely excel in the Cards “Air Raid” offensive attack.
Another tight end who is rumored to be on the trade block also currently resides in the NFC Eastern division. Evan Engram, a former first-round selection of the New York Giants, could possibly be dealt for the right offer. The 26-year old is coming off of a Pro Bowl season in which he registered 63 receptions, 654 receiving yards and two total scores (one rushing) for the Giants.
O.J. Howard, the 19th-overall choice of the 2017 draft, has been an underused component of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scoring attack. Head coach Bruce Arians has an offense that’s absolutely stacked at the position, with both Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate stealing snaps away from the 6’6, 251 pound Howard. The University of Alabama product, who’s recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury, could finally fufill his enormous potential in the Arizona desert.