Cardinals look to shore up QB spot in free agency
PHOENIX (AP) — With a quarterback or two finally on the way, the Arizona Cardinals were acting quickly to shore up their lineup with some early free agency moves.
A person familiar with the situation said quarterback Sam Bradford had agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $20 million, with a second year at the club’s option. The person requested anonymity because the signing had not been announced.
Before Bradford’s acquisition, there were no quarterbacks on the roster for first-year coach Steve Wilks and his offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
The Cardinals apparently will have Bradford’s backup, too. A person familiar with the situation confirmed Mike Glennon had agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with Arizona. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the signing had not been officially announced.
Meanwhile, ESPN reported that Arizona had reached a two-year deal with ex-Cincinnati offensive tackle Andre Smith. That could clear the way for the release of right tackle Jared Veldheer, which would clear about $6.9 million in cap space.
The day began with the Cardinals announcing they had released one of their most popular players, safety Tyrann Mathieu, after the two failed to work out a pay cut.
“I’ve never made a secret that Tyrann has always had a special place in my heart and always will,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a statement.
“While we all understand this is a part of the business, that certainly doesn’t make it any easier. We all wish Tyrann nothing but continued success in his career and beyond.”
Mathieu was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year began Wednesday afternoon. By cutting him, Arizona saves close to $5 million in cap space.
At least one player is coming back. Free agent inside linebacker Josh Bynes tweeted that he had agreed to a three-year deal to return to Arizona after a strong 2017 season.
“3 more years in AZ!,” he wrote. “Thank you @AZCardinals and my family for all the support! Glad to be back in Red and Black!”
Bradford, 30, is a former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma who has a strong, accurate arm but has been besieged by injuries in his pro career.
He has torn the ACL in his left knee twice and, after earning the starting job in Minnesota, missed most of last season after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.
The Cardinals are counting on his injury problems to end.
Glennon, 28, spent four seasons with Tampa Bay, mostly as a backup, before signing a three-year, $45 million contract with Chicago a year ago. His stint as Bears starter lasted just four games before he was replaced by rookie Mitchell Trubisky. Glennon didn’t play the rest of the season.
NFL Network first reported Glennon’s deal, moments after the Bears announced he had been released.
The plan now appears for the Cardinals to draft a quarterback to develop as the long-term solution.
The team was left without any signal caller when Carson Palmer retired and Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert left as free agents, just as then-coach Bruce Arians announced he was calling it quits.