Steve Keim and the Cardinals have made fixing their offensive line a top priority this off-season.
The Arizona Cardinals‘ offensive line couldn’t have been any worse than it was this past season. Thankfully, the club’s front office appears to be on a mission to make sure the group improves in 2019.
General manager Steve Keim went to work this past week, adding three new faces to the blocking unit. Now, one daring question remains: are the reinforcements good enough to pull the o-line out of the doldrums?
Keim made the right tackle spot his first order of business as he sent a sixth-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for 31-year old Marcus Gilbert.
The Cards continued to address the right side of the line with their next acquisition. J.R. Sweezy, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks, was inked to a two-year contract. The 29-year old is expected to start at right guard, positioned next to the newly-acquired Gilbert.
Next, Arizona added depth to the guard position with the addition of former Denver Broncos lineman Max Garcia. Garcia, who is coming off of a torn ACL, was awarded a one-year deal with Arizona. The 27-year old has appeared in 56 professional contests, with 41 starts to his credit.
With the moves made this offseason, 2018 free-agent pickup, Justin Pugh, will likely move over to left guard. Meanwhile, D.J. Humphries, a first-round pick in 2015, is slated to return to his left tackle post. Second-year player Mason Cole is likely to be the squad’s center once again, but A.Q. Shipley could challenge him.
The backup linemen, however, are adequate, at best. Korey Cunningham, a seventh-round selection in 2018, started six matchups for the Cardinals last season.
Other reserves include Jeremy Vujnovich, Rees Odhiambo, Will Holden, Colby Gossett, Zack Golditch and Will House.
After a disastrous showing in 2018, Arizona’s offensive line can only improve this coming fall.
The franchise is hoping that the blockers they’ve added thus far in 2019 will help with the ascension.