D.J. Humphries’ extension keeps ‘dream alive’ of only playing for Cardinals

Aug 3, 2022, 1:50 PM
D.J. Humphries #74 of the Arizona Cardinals waves to the crowd in the fourth quarter against the Cl...
D.J. Humphries #74 of the Arizona Cardinals waves to the crowd in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

GLENDALE — Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman D.J. Humphries is an impatient person by nature.

He’ll be the first to acknowledge it.

But when it came to self-negotiating his own contract extension, patience was key.

Luckily for the veteran, contract-extension talks and the back-and-forths that come with them — plus a pesky “stomach bug” — are now a thing of the past after Humphries on Tuesday inked a three-year extension worth a reported $66.8 million ($34 million guaranteed). The deal keeps him around through 2025.

It’s a massive accomplishment for a player whose NFL future wasn’t set in stone when he first arrived as a 2015 first-round draft pick under then-head coach Bruce Arians.

From “Knee Deep” to a second contract extension.

“Thinking back over the whole thing, if you would have told me this in 2015 at that first rookie minicamp that this was going to be the case eight years later, I probably would have laughed at you,” Humphries said Wednesday. “‘Keep all that optimism away from me, man, I’m going through Hell right now. I’m not trying to hear that.’

“But being on this side of it, it’s definitely sweet being able to secure my future here and know that I’ll be able to be here. … I always wanted to play for one team, so knowing I’m able to be in that position and continue to keep that dream alive is huge.”

From the sounds of it, Humphries’ contract extension was more of a when than an if situation. On with Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Wednesday, the lineman explained that he and general manager Steve Keim “briefly talked” at the beginning of the offseason about getting an extension, “understanding that was something that we would probably get done before the year started.”

But just because the two sides appeared poised to come together on an extension for a second time in Humphries’ Arizona tenure, there were still some rough patches to contend with during negotiations.

A good support system, however, was right there to pick him up during the dog days of contract talks.

“Me and my dad had a lot of talks,” Humphries said. “He’s always been one of the people that kind of keep me even-keeled and my mom was always one of the people to keep the fire under me. Those two throughout the process and my wife, she really was my rock through the whole thing.

“She knows I’m super impatient and she knows how quickly mentally things can shift for me. I can go from super happy to being pissed off. She was there through the whole thing and watching her just not bat an eyelash and being there for every step of the way, pretty much, it was huge. I don’t how this thing would have went without her for sure.”

And while self-negotiating his own deal was fun and something Humphries wanted to accomplish thanks to his aspirations after he’s done playing football, it’s something he wouldn’t do again.

“When I’m done I want to be a businessman, so being able to do one of the biggest deals on my own for the first time, that was huge for me.

“Big shoutout to (owner Michael) Bidwill, Steve and (head coach Kliff Kingsbury) for handling it all classy and not trying to take advantage of me or anything like that. It was a fair negotiation through the whole thing and it was always even.”

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