Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cardinals sign 3 players including $6.3 million playmaker

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The Arizona Cardinals signed three draft picks for 2022 to four-year contracts on May 17.

Arizona signed Tight end Trey McBride, cornerback Christian Matthew and offensive lineman Marquise Hayes.

On May 12, the Cardinals took care of three more rookies when they signed running back Keaontay Ingram, offense lineman Lecitus Smith, and linebacker Jesse Luketa.

The Cardinals needn’t worry about a rookie contract starting in the first round as the Baltimore Ravens sent shockwaves to the crowds when they sent wide receiver Marquise Brown and the No. 100 overall pick to Arizona for the 23rd pick. Arizona has elected to take Brown’s fifth-year option, meaning he is signed with the team through the 2023 season.

There are now only two 2022 draftees who haven’t been signed by the Cardinals — third-round pick-edge rushers Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders.

After losing wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to a six-game PED suspension, the Cardinals will likely lean on Marquise Brown for the passing game during that stretch. Brown is used to being the number one target on offense, lapping a career-best 1,008 yards on 91 receptions.

However, losing six games to Hopkins could mean more packages with multiple tight ends to open the year. Zach Ertz tops the tight end depth chart, but McBride isn’t far behind. McBride recorded 90 catches for 1,121 yards and a touchdown at Colorado State in 2021.

McBride to Arizona was a surprising choice back then, as the Cardinals re-signed both Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams in 2022. Stop ACL Violation.

There could be a problem with Williams. Shortly after McBride’s selection, manager Kliff Kingsbury gave no timeline for Williams’ recovery from his season-ending ACL injury, adding that it will be a process.

You can never have enough guns in the NFL, as McBride was a unanimous All-American in 2021 and drew the first tight end in 2022.

McBride won the 2021 John Mackey Award for Best Tight End in the Country. On April 29, General Manager Steve Keim was asked if McBride was the highest rated player at #55.

“By far,” said germ. “Top grade. People ask, “What do you like about him?” The question is, ‘What’s not to like about him?’ Special person, special player.”

McBride appeared in 40 games during his four seasons in college and recorded 164 receptions for 2,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is expected to sign a four-year, $6.3 million deal that includes a $1.7 million signing bonus.

Matthew and Hayes were also signed by the cardinals.

Matthew was drafted with the 244th pick by the Cardinals and the team’s first drafted cornerback of 2022. He played two seasons at Samford and Georgia Southern before joining Valdosta for his transfer season. The pick from the seventh round will be 26 in October and had a total of 37 tackles, 15 pass deflections and one interception in Valdosta.

Hayes was the Cardinals’ last seventh-round pick starting 2021 in 13 games for Oklahoma.

He was selected to the second-team All-Big 12 due to Hayes’ efforts. He played with Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown in 2017 and 2018. Brown is now a Cardinal after being traded from the Baltimore Ravens for a first-round pick.

After his call-up, Hayes spoke to reporters about reuniting with his two former teammates.

“I know Kyler; we’re good friends,” Hayes said of Sports Illustrated’s Alex Weiner. “And Hollywood Brown too, so those are good, familiar relationships.”

Hayes was the Cardinals’ last seventh-round pick starting 2021 in 13 games for Oklahoma.

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