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NFL free agency: Jared Veldheer expected to sign contract with Arizona Cardinals

After a slew of Branden Albert to the Cardinals rumors, Veldheer suddenly finds him as the player of interest for Arizona.

Justin Edmonds

The Arizona Cardinals want to sign a left tackle in free agency. At this point it seems to be a given. What has been changing is the player of focus. To start with, it was Branden Albert, then Rodger Saffold and then, suddenly it seems, the attention turned to Jared Veldheer.

Now. there is a report from The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson that gives some expected signings -- specifically about the offensive tackles on the market. He writes that Veldheer "is expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals for between $7 million and $7.5 million."

That is much less than the $9.5 million per year average that Albert is expected to get from the Miami Dolphins.

Now, since nothing can happen until Tuesday, that means that the Raiders are still in the mix. According to one report, Oakland was "putting full-court press" on Veldheer to get him to re-sign. Another cited California's income taxes and high cost of living, which could be worth $500,000 per year,making it more profitable for him to sign elsewhere for the same amount of money.

The Cardinals have also apparently been getting some help and input from quarterback Carson Palmer on the decision for a tackle. According to Mike Jurecki, Palmer has been lobbying for Veldheer, with whom he played in Oakland for two seasons.

Could it be that the Cardinals will land a left tackle for less than was expected? That would be a huge acquisition. But, of course, like so many rumors and reports, we won't know for sure until there is ink on paper and an announcement is made.