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D.J. Humphries will get the market value, but are the Arizona Cardinals willing to pay it?

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Cleveland Browns v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

D.J. Humphries had been and continues to be an interesting case study for the Arizona Cardinals fans and front office.

Fans have lamented the fact that the Cardinals and Steve Keim continue to fail to build the offensive line, but a 26 year old Humphries seems to be on the outs with fans when it comes to his contract.

A 2015 first round pick at a premium position is due to hit free agency and now fans are clamoring to let the left tackle go because you can’t pay him the money.

Man, it’s hard to win sometimes.

Spotrac.com, the salary cap based website for all sports, but especially the NFL has projected Humphries market value heading into this offseason.

They predict a contract around five years and $70.5 million for Humphries, good for an average per year of $14.1 million.

That would make Humphries the fourth highest paid left tackle in the NFL, where I think the disconnect is for fans.

Making Humphries so highly paid seems like a bad idea when he maybe is a top 12 left tackle in the league, but we have to remember how contracts change.

Over the last three seasons (2017-2019) here were the top left tackle contracts handed out:

2017

  • Riley Reiff - 5 years $58.75 million
  • Russell Okung - 4 years $53 million

2018

  • Taylor Lewan - 5 years $80 million
  • Jake Matthews - 5 years $72.5 million
  • Nate Solder - 4 years $62 million

2019

  • Donovan Smith - 3 years $41.25 million
  • Joe Staley - 2 years $28 million

This shows that Humphries contract would be in line with what young left tackles are paid, while being below the left tackles that are the Pro Bowl players.

Reiff, no Pro Bowl ever.

Matthews made the Pro Bowl the year he signed his big contract.

Solder, no Pro Bowl ever.

That means, the going rate for an average, veteran left tackle under 30 is $14+ million a season. That’s the number.

Don’t like it? Don’t pay it, but you’re not going to get a discount on the position or the player.

That’s where the market is.

Or, you start from the beginning.