Arizona, Veldheer agree on 5-year deal
By BOB BAUM — Mar. 11, 2014
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have landed their top priority in
free agency — a left tackle.
A person with knowledge of the situation says the Cardinals and
towering free agent Jared Veldheer have agreed on a five-year contract.
The deal is worth $35 million, with $17 million guaranteed, said the
person, who asked not to be identified because the agreement has not
been officially announced. The contract includes another $2.5 million
tied to playing time.
The 6-foot-8, 320-pound lineman, entering his fifth NFL season, will be
reunited with quarterback Carson Palmer. Veldheer blocked for Palmer
when the two were together in Oakland.
Additionally, the Cardinals agreed to contracts with three of their
free agents: a two-year deal for defensive end Frostee Rucker and
one-year contracts for kicker Jay Feely and tight end Jake Ballard. The
team also officially announced that left guard Daryn Colledge had been
The Cardinals made left tackle their free agent priority in what looks
to be a greatly revamped offensive line.
Last season, the team traded left tackle Levi Brown — who since has
been released — to the Pittsburgh Steelers and gave the job to
inexperienced Bradley Sowell.
He was adequate as the line's performance improved as the season wore
on, but the Cardinals obviously didn't believe he was ready to take the
Veldheer, 26, missed the first 11 games last season with a torn
triceps. He played in all 16 games in his first three seasons with
The Raiders chose him in the third round of the 2010 draft out of NCAA
Division II Hillsdale College in Michigan.
Oakland reportedly had considered using the franchise tag on Veldheer
but instead chose to let him go.
With the release of Colledge, the Cardinals could have two new guards.
One of them, 2013 first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper, missed all of
last season with a broken leg. The leading candidate for the other
guard spot is Earl Watford, a fourth-round draft pick last season.
If Arizona doesn't re-sign free agent right tackle Eric Winston, the
lone returnee on the offensive line would be center Lyle Sendlein.
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