Rodney Hudson To Return To Cards In 2022

Following Rodney Hudson‘s minicamp absence, speculation ensued about the Cardinals’ future at center. But the former Pro Bowler is planning to return for a second season with the team.

Hudson plans to play in 2022, per Ian Rapoport of, who adds the veteran snapper is expected to report for Cardinals training camp next week (Twitter link). The Cardinals have essentially confirmed this (on Twitter). Given Hudson’s talent level, this should be a big boost for the Cardinals.

The team acquired Hudson from Las Vegas last year and extended him on a three-year deal worth $30MM. While Hudson — a three-time Pro Bowler with the Raiders — is one of seven centers attached to eight-figure-per-year contracts, he is the league’s seventh-highest-paid snapper. Money may or may not have led to the uncertainty surrounding Hudson’s 2022 status, but the Cardinals will have their most decorated offensive lineman back at work soon.

Hudson’s deal runs through 2023 and features a $10MM cap spike from 2021, when the 33-year-old blocker was on the Cards’ payroll at $2.86MM, to this year ($12.61MM cap figure). The Cardinals guaranteed Hudson $10.9MM at signing, though $16MM of this contract is guaranteed for injury. The former Chiefs third-round pick missed five games last season, joining Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins as vital Cards offensive cogs to miss extended stretches, but was back in uniform for the team’s final three games.

The Cards had Justin Pugh taking center reps during their offseason program, potentially as a contingency plan. Pugh has spent extensive time at both guard and tackle in the NFL, but center marked new territory for the ex-first-rounder. Hudson returning will keep Pugh at guard, bolstering Arizona’s front overall. The team also returns veteran tackles D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum.

Receiving Pro Bowl nods in 2016, ’17 and ’19, Hudson is now on his fourth NFL contract. The Raiders signed him away from the Chiefs in 2015 and extended him in 2019. Amid an O-line overhaul last year, the Raiders were set to make Hudson a cap casualty. But the Cardinals swooped in with a trade offer, agreeing to send a 2021 third-round pick for Hudson and a seventh-rounder. They extended him soon after.

Pro Football Focus rated Hudson near the bottom of its center performance list last season, slotting him 31st. But the 12th-year veteran still represents a key player for a Cardinals team that is working on a Murray extension. Another offseason crisis appears to be averted.

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