Mason Cole

Cardinals Trade C Mason Cole To Vikings

The Cardinals have traded center Mason Cole to the Vikings, according to Mark Sanchez of ESPN (on Twitter). The news has also been confirmed by NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter links), who adds that Cole may be shifted to one of the guard spots.

In exchange for Cole, the Vikings will send a sixth-round pick to Arizona. It’ll be Minnesota’s compensatory pick at the end of the sixth round — the No. 223 overall choice.

Cole, a Michigan product, has appeared in 46 games with 32 starts for the Cardinals. The 2018 third-rounder was first-string 14 times last year, but the advanced metrics didn’t look fondly upon his work. Cole finished out with a 54.4 overall Pro Football Focus grade, ranking him 31st out of 36 qualified centers. After acquiring Rodney Hudson, the Cardinals were no longer in need of Cole’s services.

Cole is slated to make upwards of $2MM in 2021, the final season of his four-year rookie deal. That’s significantly cheaper than, say, Nick Easton, who doesn’t seem all that interested in a Vikings return.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Foles, Driskel, Butt, Cardinals

After a rough year with the 2015 Rams, Nick Foles nearly retired. That turned out to provide astonishing benefit to the Eagles, who won Super Bowl LII thanks largely to Foles’ virtuoso performance. But going into the 2017 season, Foles had retirement on his mind again. Injuries at the time prompted Foles to inform at least one Eagles teammate, Brandon Graham, he planned to retire at season’s end (video link via ESPN.com’s Tim McManus). Fortunes changed for the 30-year-old passer, who piloted four playoff wins since considering another early NFL exit. The Jaguars guaranteed him $50MM in March on a four-year, $88MM contract. This will be Foles’ eighth NFL season.

Ahead of preseason Week 2, here is the NFL’s latest:

  • Jeff Driskel is not a lock to make the Bengals‘ 53-man roster, with fourth-round rookie Ryan Finley progressing toward the QB2 role. On Tuesday, the team experimented with its 2018 backup as a wide receiver, Jay Morrison of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Driskel would still prefer to play quarterback, but Finley will work with Cincinnati’s second-stringers in the team’s second preseason game. Zac Taylor approached Driskel on Tuesday about taking reps at receiver, per Morrison. Driskel played quarterback at Florida and Louisiana Tech; he was also a late-round Red Sox draft pick in 2013. He rushed for 130 yards last season (5.2 per scramble).
  • Attempting to return to the Broncos‘ 53-man roster after a third ACL tear, Jake Butt spent most of camp sidelined because of another setback. But he made it back to 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, Mike Klis of 9News notes. Despite Austin Fort‘s season-ending injury, the Broncos still have three other tight ends — Noah Fant, Jeff Heuerman and Troy Fumagalli. But the latter, a 2018 fifth-rounder who missed all of last season, worked as an H-back/fullback on Tuesday. Vic Fangio said Fumagalli could fit in there while Andy Janovich recovers from a pectoral injury. This would be a way for the Broncos to roster four tight ends.
  • Despite A.Q. Shipley and Mason Cole listed as co-starters at center on the Cardinals‘ depth chart, the former is expected to earn his job back. The 33-year-old is a “virtual lock” to be Arizona’s first-string snapper in Week 1, Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com notes. Cole has also worked at guard, pointing to an interior swing role for the team’s 2018 starting center. Shipley, the Cards’ center starter from 2015-17, missed all of last season due to an ACL tear but was given a one-year, $1.6MM extension during his recovery.
  • Browns defensive end Chad Thomas dodged a scare in a recent practice. The second-year defender was carted off the Berea, Ohio, practice field Monday and hospitalized. But the Miami product was quickly released and diagnosed with a neck sprain.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver Bryant Mitchell was not as fortunate. He suffered a torn left Achilles’ tendon in the team’s preseason opener, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets. A three-year Edmonton Eskimo, who posted 867 receiving yards in 2018, Mitchell caught on with the Bucs in May.

Cardinals Sign Mason Cole

The Cardinals have wrapped up their 2018 draft class. On Thursday, Arizona inked their final straggler in third round centerMason Cole

Cole, a Michigan product, owns the distinction of being the first true freshman offensive lineman in program history to start the season opener. He did so at the left tackle position, where he spent the first two years of his collegiate career. Starting with his junior season, Cole made the switch to the middle when Graham Glasgow left for the NFL. In the pros, Cole projects to serve as Arizona’s backup center behind starter A.Q. Shipley.

Here’s the complete rundown of the Cardinals’ draft class:

As of this writing, 12 third round draft picks in the 2018 class remain unsigned. In total, 54 of this year’s 256 picks have yet to ink their deals.