The Arizona Cardinals signed a center in A.Q Shipley on Wednesday to a two-year contract. That seemed to signal the end of Lyle Sendlein's tenure as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. On Thursday, it became a certainty. The team announced Sendlein was released, making him a free agent.
Sendlein played in 119 games with 109 starts at center in eight seasons with the Cardinals after being signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2007 out of Texas. A four-time team captain (2010-12; 2014), Sendlein started all 16 games at center last season for the Cardinals.
He was entering the final year of a five-year contract he signed in 2011. He was due to make more than $3 million this season and his contract counted $4.275 million against the salary cap. The team saves $3.15 million in salary cap space with the release.
The door is open for his return, but he will test the market.
The Cardinals have three players on the roster who could compete for the starting center job. Ted Larsen was signed last offseason and filled in for Sendlein when he was hurt in training camp. Shipley is now in the mix. Then there is Anthony Steen, who was signed as an undrafted rookie last year. He was a natural center when he went to Alabama but played guard. He got work at center throughout last year.
Sendlein was perhaps the best lineman of some bad lines. Last year, his play regressed some and he was banged up. He will likely find work with another team.