Last season, the Arizona Cardinals addressed a need at the right tackle position very late in the game.
The day before training camp opened in July, general manager Steve Keim signed veteran Eric Winston to a one-year deal to man the spot. Winston was adequate — he started all 16 games and helped the Cardinals to a 10-6 record, tying the best mark since the team moved to the Valley in 1988.
But Winston wasn’t re-signed in the offseason, leaving a bit of a question mark at right tackle, especially since Arizona didn’t select any offensive lineman in the draft for the first time since 2011.
Despite the questions, Keim feels confident about the personnel currently on the roster, but didn’t rule out bringing in additional help as the season approaches.
“It’s been a good battle so far with Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Those guys have done a nice job and we will continue to comb the free agents that are out on the market and any time that there are potentially June 1st cuts, we’ll look at those guys just like we did last year.”
Sowell played 14 games on the Cardinals’ offensive line a year ago, primarily at left tackle after the team traded veteran Levi Brown to Pittsburgh early in the season. Sowell struggled at times and was actually ProFootballFocus.com’s lowest-rated tackle of the 76 they reviewed in 2013.
Massie, a fourth-round pick in 2012, started all 16 games at right tackle as a rookie but played sparingly in 2013.
Of course Winston is still available too, and Keim and his staff are aware of his presence on the market.
“We’ve talked about Eric, but at this time right now, we want to see what Bradley and Bobby have to offer,” he said. “Both of those guys have a lot of upside and potential, and more than anything, they need reps. This is the time of year where we can get a good look at both of those players and see where they are in terms of their development progress.”