Steve Keim has been a busy man during the 2020 offseason. The general manager of the Arizona Cardinals has improved the roster at many positions through free agency, trades, and the 2020 NFL Draft. This is an effort to improve off a 5-10-1 campaign in 2019.
The era of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray is underway. Arizona is comfortable with this coach and quarterback duo moving forward. Murray was named Offensive Rookie of the Year last season and he was given another new weapon. Keim was able to land DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with the Houston Texans. Bringing one of the league’s top wide receivers to town fills a need immediately.
Arizona added some new starters on defense in Jordan Phillips, De’Vondre Campbell, and Devon Kennard. In the draft, the Cardinals had Isaiah Simmons fall right into their lap and the opportunity was too good to pass on. They were also to bring back some players to add depth to the lineup. The Cardinals are far from a playoff team, especially in the incredibly tough NFC West, but their roster is far better than a year ago.
Cardinals seek help at Center
Even with the big name additions, the Cardinals are not a finished product. This is obvious on the offensive line. The most important aspect of football is keeping your quarterback upright and healthy. To do so, you must build a strong offensive line.
The Cardinals have done this in spots. Arizona has two solid guards in J.R. Sweezy and Justin Pugh. Arizona signed D.J. Humphries to a three-year, $45 million contract extension with $29 million guaranteed. It is safe to say that he is locked into the left tackle position. Arizona drafted Josh Jones in the second round and he has a chance to grab the right tackle spot.
This leaves a hole at center. Connor McGovern was the biggest name on the market, but his demands were too high for the Cardinals. He ended up signing a three-year, $27 million deal with the New York Jets. A familiar name on the market is A.Q. Shipley who spent the last four years with the Cardinals. So far, no deal has been made. This leaves a competition between Mason Cole and Lamont Gaillard in training camp.
Both Cole and Gaillard are under 25 years old. One of the youngsters will have a chance to gain a starting role in 2020. Keim still has time to make a move for a center. It is unknown if Cole or Gaillard are ready to take over one of the most important positions on the field. It would behoove Arizona to add a center and continue to improve their roster.