The Cardinals’ lone unexcused absence from mandatory mini-camp is starting center, Rodney Hudson.
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said center Rodney Hudson's absence from mandatory mini camp is not an excused absence. Kingsbury wouldn't elaborate, but acknowledged there's a problem that the team is trying to resolve with the veteran starter.— Bob McManaman (@azbobbymac) June 14, 2022
At this point it appears that Hudson’s future could be in question.
Here’s my own question about Hudson’s situation and the contract ramifications:
Anyone ever sensed Rodney Hudson was happy with trade to ARI? Rumors were, he wanted very much to return to KC. Does he want out? Problem is Cards have already paid him $16M g-ted and his cap hit is $12.6M this year, with $8M dead cap (spread $1.76M last year + over next 4 yrs).— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) June 14, 2022
While 2021 was an up and down season health-wise for Hudson, he did very well in pass blocking efficiency:
The highest pass blocking efficiency in the NFC West least season— NFC West Coverage (@nfcwestcov) June 14, 2022
1. Rodney Hudson
2. Alex Mack
3. Sean Harlow
4. Andrew Whitworth
5. Justin Pugh pic.twitter.com/ZSk63oNlbn
In the interim, Sean Kugler has been using Justin Pugh and rookie 6th round pick Lecitus Smith at center.
Justin Pugh dropped his weight down to 265 this off-season and was contemplating retirement until Steve Keim offered him a revamped deal to bring him back for another year.
Justin Pugh thought he'd retire after 2021, putting on weight for return. https://t.co/Hef8jYPShA— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) June 14, 2022
Pugh. who has been putting some weight back on, said he will give center a shot (and that it could possibly prolong his career) —- but, if it doesn’t work, he’ll go back to playing left guard.
The Cardinals may have already been aware of Hudson’s situation a few weeks ago when they brought UFA C Billy Price (NYG) in for a visit. Price is still available, although the 49ers might be looking to add a center following Alex Mack’s recent retirement.