Arizona Cardinals new offensive lineman Justin Pugh was brought in to help bolster the Cardinals offensive line, but Pugh experience quite the free agency process that he says “humbled” him.
“It was a crazy process,” Pugh said this past weekend, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. “I thought I would get all these calls. Saw [Andrew] Norwell get signed [to a 5-year, $66.5 million deal with Jacksonville] and thinking I’m breaking the bank. And, you know, coming off an injury, coming off the season that we had, you get humbled a little bit. That is kind of what happened. You win three games in a season, not many things are going to go well for you.”
Pugh was with the New York Giants since they drafted him, but as new general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur started rolling out their plans for a bigger, more physical offensive line, Pugh found himself on the outside, not a part of the Giants’ plans moving forward.
Pugh, 27, also missed eight games last season with a back injury, and had to be looked over by the Cardinals before they officially signed him to a deal. His back was a complicated part of his free agency process, as teams were hesitant to bring him in.
“It started to worry me when it was going on because I was like, ‘Norwell signed. I think I’m as good if not better than him. He’s a run blocker.’ So once I knew New York was out of the question — I didn’t even talk to New York — once I knew it wasn’t going to happen I was like, ‘Norwell, go to New York so every other guard team is out there.'”
Pugh was also disappointed that the Giants didn’t show any interest in bringing him back.
“Of course. It was the team I started with,” Pugh said. “I always use the analogy it’s like your high school girlfriend. You think it’s going to last forever and then reality kicks in and it’s a business.
“I don’t blame the Giants at all. Everyone got fired. There was nobody there who had any allegiance to me whatsoever. I don’t even know those guys. If I was in New York it would be a new team anyways. Then I got to Arizona and it felt like the right place.”
Cardinals Deny Shopping Patrick Peterson
The Arizona Cardinals have denied rumors that they are actively shopping All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson with head coach Steve Wilks calling the rumors of a potential Peterson deal “ludicrous”, according to ESPN’s Josh Weinfruss.
The reports of Peterson being available in trade comes on the heels of last week’s report that the Cardinals were looking to deal linebackers Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and amid rumors that running back David Johnson is also available.
Arizona, who is currently 1-5, may be wise to start trading off players to stockpile assets, and also rid themselves of Peterson’s contract, which runs through the 2020 season and pays him roughly $12 million annually.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim Discusses Trade Rumors
Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim is addressing trade rumors that claim that the team is actively shopping safety Deone Bucannon and linebacker Haasan Reddick, and the GM dismissed those rumors during an appearance on 98.7 Arizona Sports.
“One part of my job is to have dialogue with other teams,” Keim said said on 98.7, accoridng to the team website. “The one thing I won’t do, I won’t confirm or deny those things in public, I think you do those things behind the scenes. But it’s a lot of gossip, people enjoy it, it’s water-cooler talk, and a lot of stuff you’ll read is certainly false. Wednesday I woke up to three different names that were brought to my attention and those conversations never happened. So I would just say, for most fans, tread lightly, because very rarely are those accurate.”
Keim also mentioned some of the trade questions he has received.
“Some of the names brought up to me will do nothing but bring a chuckle out of me,” Keim said. “You have to listen. You never know what the compensation is going to be. It might be something you couldn’t resist. You look back at the Heschel Walker trade with Dallas, you can never say never. … Sometimes, there’s a lot of procrastination, where you’ll call and there are a lot of conversations that go nowhere, unfortunately. But it’s part of the business and a fun one for fans to follow.”
Cardinals To Sign Kendall Wright
In a corresponding move, the Cardinals waived cornerback Deatrick Nichols to create room on the roster for the addition of Wright, who spent the preseason with the Minnesota Vikings, who the Cardinals will play on Sunday.
Wright, who is traditionally a slot receiver, will offer another slot option for the Cardinals, who have deployed veteran Larry Fitzgerald in that spot.
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