Humphries agreed to a three-year, $45MM extension on Monday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The former first-round pick will receive $30MM over the first two years of that deal, and the pact contains $29MM guaranteed. This takes one of the top offensive linemen off the free agent market.
The second year of Humphries’ deal – worth $15MM – will become guaranteed on March 21 of this year, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. That means the first two years are effectively guaranteed; a big win for the lineman and his camp.
Humphries, 26, now becomes the NFL’s fifth-highest-paid tackle, in terms of per-year salary. He’s also one of five $15MM-AAV offensive linemen. A Humphries franchise tag would have cost Arizona nearly $15MM; that certainly played a role in these extension talks.
While Humphries has battled injuries and inconsistency, the Cardinals are sold he can be Kyler Murray‘s blind-side protector for years to come. The Cardinals had not seen Humphries play 16 games until this past season. From 2017-18, he played five and nine, respectively. Knee issues sidelined Humphries during those slates, which came after a 2015 rookie season in which he was inactive throughout. This is a big bet from Keim, whose record on first-round picks between Humphries and Murray has not been great.
From 2016-18, the Cardinals used first-round picks on Robert Nkemdiche, Haason Reddick and Josh Rosen. None were starters by season’s end; Reddick is the only member of this trio who remains with the Cards. He will almost certainly see his fifth-year option declined come May. Humphries has outperformed this trio, but other than a brief 2017 work sample, Pro Football Focus has not raved about the ex-Florida blocker’s work. That has not stopped teams from big tackle investments, however. The Buccaneers gave Donovan Smith a major extension last year, despite frequent down reviews from PFF.
Humphries began his career as Arizona’s right tackle in 2016 but switched to the left side a year later, moving Jared Veldheer from his long-held left tackle post. Humphries has played for three head coaches, but despite Kliff Kingsbury being early in his Texas Tech tenure when the Cards drafted the 6-foot-5 tackle, the second-year Arizona coach has entrusted him to protect the franchise’s top investment for a while.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.