Arizona Cardinals should acquire Chase Roullier to be their starting center
By Jim Koch
The seventh-year veteran would be an outstanding anchor for the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals in 2023.
For anyone who hasn't noticed, the Arizona Cardinals have a glaring hole in the middle of their offensive line. Several times during last week's NFL Draft, general manager Monti Ossenfort passed on an opportunity to upgrade at the center position. Young anchors like Joe Tippman, John Michael Schmitz, Ricky Stromburg and Luke Wypler were there for the taking, but the Cards front office passed on all of them.
While acquiring a center through the draft is no longer an option, Arizona can revert back to the free-agent market to address the situation. On Friday, the Washington Commanders cut ties with Chase Roullier, a seventh-year veteran. Suddenly, Ossenfort has been handed another chance to shore up that all-important spot on the Cardinals offensive line.
Roullier has appeared in 69 games for Washington during his six years in the league, and has been credited with 63 starts. From 2018-20, the 6 foot 3, 312 pounder was in the starting lineup for 46 out of a possible 48 contests. Not bad for a sixth-round draft selection (2017) out of the University of Wyoming.
It appears that finances factored into the release of Roullier. The move was done with a post-June 1st designation, meaning the Commanders will save a cool $8.37 million against the salary cap. Roullier became expendable when Washington used a third-round pick on Stromburg, a former standout at the University of Arkansas.
Veteran Chase Roullier would provide an upgrade at center for the Arizona Cardinals offense
The Commanders' decision to move on from Roullier may have also been influenced by his inability to stay healthy as of late. Back in 2021, a fractured fibula kept the Minnesota native out of nine matchups. Last fall, Roullier tore his MCL in Week 2 and missed the final 15 games of the campaign.
For the time being, the Cards seem more than happy to roll with free-agent pickup Hjalte Froholdt at center. That's a huge dropoff from Rodney Hudson, the three-time Pro Bowler who seems to be headed for retirement. Even Billy Price, a 11-game starter for Arizona in 2022, would appear to be a more logical option than the unheralded Froholdt.
Kyzir White aside, the time has come for Ossenfort to sign a free agent who can actually be a worthwhile starter for the Arizona Cardinals. The "Red Sea" is going to start to bail on the squad if the first-year GM continues to pepper the roster with mediocre backups. Adding an experienced center like Roullier to the mix would certainly be a step in the right direction.