Cardinals trade OL Mason Cole to Vikings for 6th-round pick

Mar 25, 2021, 11:48 AM | Updated: 11:55 am

Mason Cole #52 and Lamont Gaillard #53 at the end of the first half against the New England Patriot...

Mason Cole #52 and Lamont Gaillard #53 at the end of the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Having already fortified the center position by trading for Rodney Hudson this offseason, the Arizona Cardinals made a secondary trade Thursday, shipping fourth-year pro Mason Cole to the Minnesota Vikings, according to multiple reports.

Former quarterback and TV analyst Mark Sanchez first reported the trade.

The team confirmed the deal, pending a physical, and said it was for a sixth-round pick (No. 223) in the 2021 NFL Draft.

With Hudson slotted into a starting role ahead of returning centers Mason Cole and Lamont Gaillard, it seemed likely the Cardinals would be comfortable moving one of those players, even if Cole could still operate as insurance as a depth player at center or guard.

The Cardinals appear set on moving forward with Hudson and Gaillard at center, leaving Justin Murray and Brian Winters likely competing at right guard.

A change at center became an obvious priority this offseason when run game coordinator and offensive line coach Sean Kugler suggested in February that the status quo wasn’t good enough.

Cole, a third-round pick of Arizona in 2018, started 32 of 46 games played with the Cardinals. Most of those starts came at center.

He effectively opened up the starting center role for the taking after Cole and Gaillard had their ups and downs in 2020.

So then it wasn’t a surprise Arizona traded draft picks to grab Hudson from the Las Vegas Raiders just more than a week ago, keeping Hudson from being released and hitting the free agent market. The Cardinals took on his contract that has two years left, including 2021.

Hudson, 31, is a three-time Pro Bowler (2016-17, 2019) who was Second Team All-Pro in 2019.

He posted a 73.6 grade on Pro Football Focus last season, well above the website’s rating for Cole (54.4) and Gaillard (48.1).

Arizona Cardinals

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after Arizona defeated the Chicag...

Arizona Sports

Bills? Cowboys? ESPN lists best fits for DeAndre Hopkins after Cardinals release

DeAndre Hopkins now hits the market after his release from the Cardinals, and ESPN's Jeremy Fowler picked out the best potential fits. 

21 hours ago

Zach Pascal...

Tyler Drake

Zach Pascal ready to bring out best of Cardinals in reunion with Gannon

Cardinals wide receiver Zach Pascal and head coach Jonathan Gannon already have a bond as they embark on Year 1 in the desert.

21 hours ago

Budda Baker...

Arizona Sports

Budda Baker expected to be back with Cardinals ‘when it’s time to be there’

Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker broke his offseason silence on Friday, explaining he will return to the team when it's time to be there.

2 days ago

DeAndre Hopkins...

Arizona Sports

Isaiah Simmons, NFL world react to Cardinals’ release of DeAndre Hopkins

The NFL world was left surprised Friday morning with the Cardinals' announced release of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

2 days ago

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins. (Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ release of DeAndre Hopkins a product of his contract situation

The announced release of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on Friday is a tough look. Or is it?

2 days ago

Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at State Farm Stadium as his team ...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals release DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins' time in the desert has come to a close. The Arizona Cardinals released Hopkins on Friday.

2 days ago

Cardinals trade OL Mason Cole to Vikings for 6th-round pick