ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals OL Justin Pugh takes pay cut to remain in Arizona

Mar 23, 2021, 11:48 AM | Updated: 8:54 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It’s clear Cardinals offensive lineman Justin Pugh digs Arizona.

The starting left guard announced Tuesday he is returning to the organization after taking a pay cut.

“To clarify I restructured my contract and took a pay cut to stay with the Cardinals,” Pugh said in a tweet. “I love Arizona and want to finish my career here. Now let’s go win a ring.”

According to OvertheCap.com, the pay cut takes the Pugh contract cap hit of $11.1 million down to $6.9 million. The Cardinals have $4.1 million of cap space.

It’s a welcome sight for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, who told reporters Monday that he felt Pugh “had one of his best seasons as a pro last year.” Keim added that he envisioned Pugh remaining as the team’s starting left guard in 2021.

Pugh graded out at 64.8 last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He was ninth in pass-blocking (74.4) and 34th in run-blocking (62.7).

He returns to Arizona’s offensive line that saw Kelvin Beachum re-sign on a two year deal earlier in free agency. Guard Max Garcia is back on a one-year deal.

The Cardinals also added to the trenches through trade, acquiring former Las Vegas Raiders center Rodney Hudson.

Former Buffalo Bills guard Brian Winters is another new face along the line as well.

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