Free agency did not really go according to plan for Eric Winston.
Sure, he parlayed his freedom into a four-year, $22 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs last year, but the team cut him after just one season and he was left looking for work.
And looking…and looking…and looking.
Then, on the eve of training camp, Winston and the Arizona Cardinals agreed to a one-year contract.
His “odyssey” over, Winston told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta show there was disappointment over not having a team offer him what he felt he was worth in a timely manner.
“I think after that first couple weeks where you know that’s not going to happen, you want to go somewhere where you feel like you’ve got a good fit and you feel like you’re wanted and you’ve got a good repertoire with the coaches.
“This felt right here.”
Winston comes to the Cardinals with 103 career starts under his belt as well as a reputation for being a very good lineman. He is joining a team that could certainly use improved play along the offensive line, and there’s a good chance he’ll find his way into the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
But he’s still got to earn it, though the idea of fighting for a job with teammates is not something that concerns him.
“It’s one of those deals where I think you’ve just got to be professional,” he said, adding that it’s part of the job and with so many linemen in camp there will be plenty of competition.
“It’s a little bit about you right now where you’re trying to earn your spot, but at the same time it’s also about the team and I think the team’s going to benefit from the best five guys being on the field.”