With the potential retirement of Rodney Hudson looming, the Arizona Cardinals could look to sign free agent Ethan Pocic as a replacement.
Two years ago, the Arizona Cardinals front office went out and orchestrated a trade for one of the best centers in the NFL. The deal for Rodney Hudson created excitement in the desert, but it turned out that the Cards had received damaged goods from the Las Vegas Raiders.
Now, with the start of free agency just a couple of weeks away, Arizona will be looking to replace the broken-down Hudson. Fortunately for general manager Monti Ossenfort, several intriguing free-agent centers could hit the market. In fact, there's one in particular who could potentially pique the interest of Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing.
Ethan Pocic, a seventh-year veteran, logged 13 starts at center for the Cleveland Browns last season. Coincidentally, Petzing served as the quarterbacks coach for the very same club. Could the Cards' new offensive play-caller put in a good word for the 27-year-old Pocic?
Arizona Cardinals are quite familiar with veteran center Ethan Pocic
Arizona became acquainted with Pocic from the five campaigns that he spent with an NFC West rival. Back in 2017, the 6 foot 6, 320 pounder was a second-round draft selection of the Seattle Seahawks. Pocic appeared in 57 contests for the franchise from the Pacific Northwest, making 40 starts for head coach Pete Carroll's Seahawks.
In April of last year, Pocic left Seattle to ink a one-year contract with the Browns. The former LSU product played well until a knee injury suffered in late November sidelined him for four matchups. It wasn't a serious setback, however, and Pocic was able to return to the starting lineup for Cleveland's final three contests.
The general feeling is that Hudson is headed towards retirement, so the acquisition of Pocic would be welcomed with open arms. Billy Price, a late-offseason pickup in 2022, was credited with 11 starts for the Cardinals. The 28-year-old Price performed admirably, but Pocic would certainly be considered an upgrade.
Arizona's blocking unit could look a whole lot different next fall. It Petzing has a say, it would not be surprising in the least if Pocic is brought in to anchor the Redbirds offensive line in 2023.
(Information provided by Pro Football Reference)