CARDINALS CORNER

Which side of the line will Cardinals’ Paris Johnson Jr. command in 2024?

Mar 16, 2024, 6:55 AM

Even before the Arizona Cardinals released long-time starting left tackle D.J. Humphries, there was already talk of second-year pro Paris Johnson Jr. making the switch from right to left.

Given Humphries’ torn ACL late in the season and the salary cap space the team could free up for other positional needs, the writing was seemingly on the wall that a change was coming.

But regardless of the optics, Johnson is keeping his options open as he works to put himself in the best position to succeed wherever Arizona needs him most.

“I think for me when I talk to the team I always say, ‘I want you to put me where I can best influence the team,'” Johnson told Arizona Sports’ Cardinals Corner on Thursday. “I felt like last season, it was at right tackle. Hump held down the left tackle for nine years, but now I feel like with how things have happened that it may be the best thing for the team to go to left or to stay at right.

“For me, when they tell me where I’m at, that’s where I’m going to work to be the best I can at it instead of mentally only saying, ‘I’m only this.’ When they say that’s where they want me, that’s where I want to go play at and dominate that spot.”

Aside from his travels around the country and in the state, Johnson has gotten to work improving his craft on each side of the line this offseason on top of working on his balance and better utilizing his power.

And although we may not get a concrete answer until offseason workouts kick off in the coming months, moving Johnson to the left side seems like the natural next step in his NFL journey.

It wouldn’t be all that foreign, either.

Before appearing in every available offensive snap (1,129) at right tackle for the Cardinals last season, Johnson was coming off 13 games on the left side in his final season at Ohio State.

The comfortability is there for Johnson. And from the sounds of it, the newest member of the offensive line room doesn’t have a problem working on the right.

Jonah Williams brings added versatility to Cardinals offensive line

Among the Cardinals’ biggest free agent signings this offseason came in the form of former Cincinnati Bengals lineman Jonah Williams.

After appearing in 42 games at left tackle through his first three seasons in Cincinnati, Williams commanded the right side across 17 starts in 2023 following the team’s addition of Orlando Brown.

Much like Johnson, Williams is focused more on team wants than his own.

“I wanted to approach the situation (in 2023) positively and that’s what I did. Let’s do the best that I can wherever I am and that was at right tackle last year and I think it worked out well for me.

“I enjoyed playing right tackle and I think I had a good year. I think that versatility is nothing but positives for me in my career and what I can bring to the team.”

Don’t forget about Kelvin Beachum, either

Given the money handed out to add Williams’ services, he along with Johnson are frontrunners to start.

Beachum, however, provides another option at tackle and should be given the chance to compete for a role this offseason.

He’s worked on both sides of the line throughout his career and was the only Cardinal to start every game in 2022 as he served on the right side opposite Humphries.

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