Cardinals to retain Iupati, who takes pay cut amid O-line restructure

Mar 15, 2018, 8:58 AM | Updated: 8:59 am

Arizona Cardinals' Mike Iupati (76) gets ready to put a block on Josh Mauro, left, in Glendale, Ari...

Arizona Cardinals' Mike Iupati (76) gets ready to put a block on Josh Mauro, left, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals will retain a significant name on the offensive line, as guard Mike Iupati will return to the team despite its ongoing cost-cutting measures, 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki reported Wednesday.

Iupati agreed to take a pay cut, dropping his base salary from $7.75 to $5 million guaranteed. His contract is voidable next season, Jurecki confirmed.

The 30-year-old Iupati signed a five-year, $40 million deal with the Cardinals in 2015. He started in 13 games for Arizona that season, making the Pro Bowl for the fourth time and being named a Second Team All-Pro.

It was 15 starts for Iupati in 2016, but he started only one game in 2017 before requiring surgery on his right elbow that ended his season.

Iupati was the 17th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Idaho by the San Francisco 49ers. In San Francisco during his rookie year, he played under new Cardinals offensive line coach Ray Brown, then an assistant offensive line coach.

Iupati played for five seasons in San Francisco, making three Pro Bowls and earning First Team All-Pro in 2012.

Iupati’s contract restructuring follows the news of the Cardinals planning to sign quarterback Sam Bradford to a one-year, $20 million deal. That deal for Bradford has $15 million guaranteed and a team option for a second year at the same base salary, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Along the line, the Cardinals reportedly will sign former Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith. They also put former New York Giants lineman Justin Pugh through a physical on Wednesday that checked out, according to Jurecki.

When healthy — Pugh ended 2017 with a back injury placing him on IR — the 27-year-old has been one of the better, most versatile linemen in the league. He played 128 snaps at left guard and 308 at right tackle last year.

Pugh would potentially slide in at right guard with Iupati returning and Smith and D.J. Humphries playing tackle.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen what will happen with Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer, who remains under contract but could be the odd man out with the new additions.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Kyzir White celebrates with Jonathan Gannon in Week 3...

Tyler Drake

Kyzir White proving Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals right early into Arizona tenure

Kyzir White has been everything and more for a scrappy Cardinals defense led by head coach Jonathan Gannon and DC Nick Rallis.

8 hours ago

Marquise Brown #2 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a touchdown with teammate James Conner #6 dur...

Wills Rice

Gannon after 10 analysts pick Cowboys to beat Cardinals: ‘Good’

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon had a brief word for all 10 analysts that predicted the Cowboys to beat the Cardinals in Week 3.

8 hours ago

Drew Petzing looks on...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals OC Drew Petzing’s creativity on display in win over Cowboys

Throughout the Cardinals' first win under the new regime, OC Drew Petzing showed off his creativity from a play-calling standpoint.

9 hours ago

Cardinals QB Josh Dobbs (Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)...

Arizona Sports

Rapid reactions: Cardinals use 1st-half dominance to upset Cowboys in Week 3

After a rough two opening weeks for the Arizona Cardinals, the team did the improbable and upset the undefeated Dallas Cowboys in Week 3.

10 hours ago

Joshua Dobbs #9 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the third quarter in the game against...

Dan Bickley

Cardinals’ upset win over Cowboys especially sweet for the polarizing Gannon

Sunday’s victory over the Cowboys was especially sweet. It was Arizona’s seventh victory over the Cowboys in its past eight tries.

10 hours ago

Dallas Cowboys fans at the Arizona Cardinals game...

Haboob Blog

Skip Bayless posts awkward video, memes are out as the Cardinals upset the Cowboys

Skip Bayless breathed heavily and nodded his head. But fans outside of Dallas enjoyed the Arizona Cardinals' upset of the Cowboys.

10 hours ago

Cardinals to retain Iupati, who takes pay cut amid O-line restructure