Report: Cardinals restructure Jordan Phillips’ deal after Zach Ertz add

Oct 21, 2021, 9:46 AM | Updated: 9:49 am

Cardinals DL Jordan Phillips looks on during practice Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drak...

Cardinals DL Jordan Phillips looks on during practice Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

When the Arizona Cardinals made the trade for Zach Ertz on Friday, many wondered how the team was financially able to afford a tight end of his caliber.

It looks like we have an answer, with general manager Steve Keim and the Cardinals reportedly converting $6.5 million of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips’ salary into a signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Field Yates on Thursday morning.

The move then created around $5.2 million in salary cap space, allowing Arizona to fit Ertz in under the cap. The team sent rookie cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in return for the tight end.

The move also gives the Cardinals some wiggle room with their salary cap situation for the remainder of the season, having $1.9 million remaining in cap space, per Over The Cap.

Phillips went on the IR ahead of Week 1 with a back injury in early September. He signed a pricey three-year, $40 million deal with the Cardinals in 2020, but has dealt with multiple injuries since then and spent time on the COVID-19 list this season.

In his first year with the team, Phillips played in nine games and recorded two sacks.

He was activated off the IR ahead of the Cardinals’ 37-14 win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, where he had two tackles and one quarterback pressure.

Practicing with the team this week, Ertz is expected to make his Cardinals’ debut Sunday against the Houston Texans.

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