Cardinals Likely To Pursue TE Additions

Arizona began the season with both veteran Zach Ertz and 2022 second-rounder Trey McBride on the tight end depth chart. The latter’s play allowed for the team to move on from the former midway through the season. Depth at the position will need to be acquired in the coming months, however.

Mike Jurecki of Arizona Football Daily reports the Cardinals are expected to use both free agency and the draft to add secondary options to complement McBride. The 24-year-old started every contest from Week 8 onward in 2023, and he was a major factor in the team’s offense. McBride drew at least seven targets on eight occasions as he saw his workload take a substantial jump compared to his rookie campaign.

The Colorado State alum totaled 825 yards and three touchdowns on 81 receptions, and he profiles as being a central figure in Arizona’s offense moving forward. The team’s only other current options at the position who are under contract (Blake WhiteheartTravis Vokolek and Bernhard Seikovits), however, are former undrafted free agents. Veteran Geoff Swaim is a set to hit the open market when the new league year begins in March.

The 2024 free agent class could present the Cardinals with a number of short-term options. Dalton Schultz, Hunter Henry, Noah FantGerald Everett and Irv Smith Jr. are among the tight ends who could be on the move in March. With more than $51MM in cap space, Arizona will have the ability to out-bid a number of suitors on the free agent market, although a big-money investment at the TE spot in particular would come as a surprise given McBride’s success as a starter.

This year’s draft features a clear-cut No. 1 prospect amongst tight ends in the form of Georgia’s Brock Bowers. The All-American and two-time John Mackey Award winner is all-but assured to be on the board when the Cardinals pick fourth overall, but the team could prioritize an offensive tackle or receiver prospect at that spot. Arizona also owns the No. 27 slot, but Bowers could very well be gone by that point. A Day 2 or 3 selection would still offer a useful addition to the depth chart, though, especially if paired with a veteran signing. The Cardinals will have the opportunity to take a number of paths to fill out their TE room this offseason.

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