The Arizona Cardinals offensive line needs some help. The line performed better in 2013 than 2012 but still left plenty to be desired. Let’s take a look at the offensive linemen and see where the money falls on this unit.
Bobby Massie $680,845
Nate Potter $584,856
Bradley Sowell $570,000
Daryn Colledge $7.275 million
Lyle Sendlein $4.125 million
Jonathan Cooper $3.306 million
Paul Fanaika $780,000
Earl Watford $603,716
Eric Winston: UFA
Arizona will need to address the left tackle position after Brown was traded to Pittsburgh during the season. Sowell (pictured) started the final 12 games for Arizona but isn’t a long-term answer. He was rated rather low in advanced statistics on Pro Football Focus and was one of the worst overall offensive linemen in the league.
John Gambodoro of Arizona Sports 620-AM wrote the Cardinals might be looking at Kansas City left tackle Branden Albert in free agency but his price tag could be too rich for Arizona’s blood. Albert commanded a cap hit north of $10 million and the Cardinals have little more than $2 million available under the cap. I’m no math major but 10 minus 2 equals we’re not signing you.
It also stands out that the middle of the line makes more money than the guys on the outside. Tackle positions have generally been among the highest paying and that’s not the case here.
Colledge’s salary stands out as being much higher than anyone else on the offensive line. Whether he has played well enough to justify that kind of paycheck remains to be seen. Remember that he was also part of the line that allowed more than 50 sacks in each of the last three seasons before 2013. Winston is an unrestricted free agent. Arizona might need to open the wallet to try and retain his services for 2014. With all of the other needs on the offensive side of the ball, it’s going to be a fight for money under the cap and not everyone can win.
If Winston walks in free agency, Arizona will need to fill both starting tackle spots. Some of the early mock drafts I gave reviewed show Arizona taking an offensive tackle in the first round at #20. While the various sites might disagree on who it will be, the consensus is that tackle will be what Arizona needs.
The Cardinals need starters at tackle on both sides and cheap players don’t fall out of the sky. This will be one of the more interesting positions to watch play out over the next few weeks leading up to free agency.
Check out everyone’s salary here.