Report: Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley signs with Buccaneers

Aug 24, 2020, 2:18 PM

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After spending the last four seasons in the Arizona, former Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley is headed to Florida.

The free agent has agreed to a deal to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday afternoon.

The terms of the deal are unknown.

Shipley, 33, reunites with former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, who took over in Tampa Bay in 2019.

It was a redemption story for Shipley in 2019.

After suffering a torn ACL ahead of the 2018 season, Shipley was placed on injured reserve as he worked to get back to full strength.

It all paid off in 2019 as Shipley beat out second-year pro Mason Cole in a training camp competition and returned to his starting role, playing all 16 contests (974 snaps) for the fourth time in his career.

With Shipley back under center, the Cardinals’ run game saw an uptick in performance, recording 18 touchdowns, double the amount from the 2018 season. The line also stepped up in limiting the hits on rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, with QB hits falling from 109 in 2018 to 69.

However, the team made the move to stick with Cole in 2020, citing the center’s athleticism as a good fit in the Cardinals’ offensive scheme.

Prior to joining the Cardinals in 2015, Shipley had two stints with the Indianapolis Colts (2012, 2014) and one with the Baltimore Ravens (2013).

Looking at the rest of the line, D.J. Humphries signed a long-term extension to remain the starting left tackle before reaching free agency. Marcus Gilbert decided to opt out of the season due to coronavirus concerns, but the team did sign veteran tackle Kelvin Beachum. Rookie Josh Jones figures to get some reps as well.

Right tackle Justin Murray was an exclusive rights free agent and is back after being tendered by the team. Murray finished the year as the starting right tackle in the wake of injuries to Gilbert and Mills. The team also has J.R. Sweezy, Cole and Justin Pugh returning to the trenches.

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