After the conclusion of the main free agency period and the 2021 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals were left still needing a tight end.
On May 1st, Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim made clear that he did not believe there were any tight ends worth taking with the draft picks that they had.
“Same thing with the tight ends, we’ll trust the process,” Keim said. “We really didn’t feel like there were any tight ends that warranted selections at the spot we were at.”
“We had higher graded players but we will address that position in free agency and we feel there are a couple guys who could potentially help us”
After that statement, the Cardinals added Cary Angeline and Bruno Labelle as undrafted free agents. They signed Bernhard Seikovits from the International Player Pathway Program. They also added veteran Ross Travis, who has been a journeyman since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2015.
Even with these additions, none have had significant NFL experience or production.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Field Yates first reported that the Arizona Cardinals worked out former fifth-round pick Jake Butt.
Former Broncos TE Jake Butt worked out for the Cardinals this week. While injuries limited him to just 8 games with the Broncos in four seasons, he’s got some talent and perhaps will find a new home soon.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 8, 2021
Since tearing his ACL in his senior year at the University of Michigan, Butt has had health complications in the NFL throughout his career.
He missed the entire 2017 season recovering from the ACL tear. Three games into 2018, he tore his ACL again. Butt was placed on injury reserve again prior to the start of 2019. After five games in 2020, he was placed on injury reserve with a hamstring injury.
Through his four years with the Denver Broncos, he had 10 catches for 90 yards while being limited to eight games.
Durability and production are lacking with the veteran. It seems this was the Cardinals just doing their due diligence here, leaving no stone unturned.
However, Keim did say there were “a couple guys” that could potentially help this team in free agency.
I highly doubt Travis or Butt are the couple guys Keim was referring to. One of the guys could have been Darren Fells but he signed with the Lions.
Four tight ends that come to mind that are still available are Trey Burton, Tyler Eifert, Jesse James, and Richard Rodgers. Zach Ertz is still very much an option especially with Julio Jones speculations put to rest.
It is possible that the Cardinals will expand Maxx Williams role on the offense (check out my previous article). Darrell Daniels filled in for Williams last year when he was injured. Ian Bunting is the other tight end on the roster. Maybe Bernhard Seikovits and the other undrafted free agents have been flashing enough during OTAs that the Cardinals will just roll with what they have.
If that was the case, Keim would not need to scower free agency for tight ends but he continues to do so.
Who will the Cardinals add to the position?
It becomes more clear by the day that a veteran tight end will be added to the roster. It is just a matter of who and when at this point.