Arizona Cardinals could target veteran tight end in the coming weeks

The uncertainty surrounding the knee of Zach Ertz could prompt the Arizona Cardinals to acquire an experienced tight end.

Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams
Arizona Cardinals v Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages

One area of the Arizona Cardinals roster that hasn't been a concern this offseason is the tight end position. After all, Zach Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler and highly-touted youngster Trey McBride was a second-round draft pick just one year ago.

In spite of all of the positivity, the knee injury that ended Ertz's 2022 campaign could potentially present a problem this coming fall. The 32-year-old is still recovering from a torn ACL, and there's no guarantee that Ertz will be ready to go when the season kicks off in September.

If Cards general manager Monti Ossenfort wants to purchase some insurance, there are a trio of capable tight ends who are still seeking employment. Experienced free agents who could step in if needed while Ertz battles to return from last year's setback.

Arizona Cardinals could add some insurance at the tight end spot while Zach Ertz is sidelined

The most intriguing option on the free-agent market is Cameron Brate, a longtime offensive weapon from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his 115 NFL appearances (32 starts), the 6 foot 5, 245 pounder has hauled in 253 passes for 2,683 yards and 33 touchdowns for the Bucs. The 32-year-old Brate was released by the club this past March, and has yet to find a new home.

Mycole Pruitt, a ninth-year journeyman, would also be an interesting acquisition for the Redbirds. Since he entered the league back in 2015 with the Minnesota Vikings, the 31-year-old has also spent time with the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons. In the 92 matchups he has suited up for (31 starts), Pruitt has totaled 62 receptions, 638 receiving yards and 11 scores.

Geoff Swaim was a seventh-round selection of the Dallas Cowboys back in 2015, and remained with "America's Team" for four seasons. The 6 foot 4, 260 pounder left the Cowboys for the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2019, and has spent the past three campaigns with the Titans. In 69 professional contests (44 starts), Swaim has been credited with 88 catches, 694 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

McBride stepped in for the Cardinals last fall after Ertz was sidelined, and the 23-year-old is more than capable of doing so again. However, the remainder of the depth chart features inexperienced options such as Noah Togiai, Bernhard Seikovits, Chris Pierce, Joel Honigford and Blake Whiteheart. Adding a veteran tight end who's been around the block a time or two certainly couldn't hurt.


(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)