Arizona Cardinals release tackle D.J. Humphries, free up salary cap space

Mar 13, 2024, 3:55 PM | Updated: Mar 14, 2024, 7:40 am

The Arizona Cardinals are parting ways with longtime starting left tackle D.J. Humphries in a move to save salary cap space, according to the team.

According to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro, the lineman’s release carries a post-June 1 designation. That frees up $15.9 million in cap space and carries a $6.9 million dead-money hit spread over the next two seasons, per OverTheCap.

If it was a pre-June 1 designation, the numbers would have changed to $9 million in savings and $13.8 million of dead money.

The longest-tenured Cardinal was viewed by many as a cut candidate this offseason given his $22.8 million cap hit in each of the final two years of his contract. Suffering a torn ACL late last season only enhanced that thinking with the expectation that he’s going to miss significant time in 2024.

Humphries spent nine seasons in Arizona, beginning his tenure in the desert as a 2015 first-round pick out of Florida.

Given the nickname “Knee Deep” as a rookie by then-head coach Bruce Arians, Humphries’ first year in the Valley was spent on the sideline as an inactive. He managed to kick the moniker and turn things around, eventually taking over at right tackle in 2016 before moving to the left side permanently.

During his time in Arizona, he signed a pair of three-year extensions with the Cardinals with the most recent one coming down in 2022.

On top of his play on the field, Humphries also served as a captain and was a presence in the locker room with teammates and coaching staff.

What does D.J. Humphries’ release mean for Paris Johnson Jr. and the rest of Arizona’s OL?

With Humphries off the roster, the attention now turns to Johnson and whether or not he’ll make the switch to left tackle.

Johnson turned in an impressive rookie season last year and was the most consistent presence in the trenches. He racked up 17 starts at right tackle and played every available offensive snap.

There’s also Kelvin Beachum, who has played both sides of the line in the NFL but was primarily at left tackle before joining the Cardinals in 2020.

And you can’t forget about the potential options in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With the Cardinals owning two first-round picks and three in the top 35, options will be there for general manager Monti Ossenfort if he decides to shore up offensive tackle through the draft.

Some players to keep tabs on this NFL Draft include Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, Penn State’s Olu Fashanu, Alabama’s JC Latham, Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton and Georgia’s Amarius Mims.

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