Eric Winston and Arizona Cardinals Reportedly Agree on 1-Year Contract

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2013

Offensive tackle Eric Winston's tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs didn't go as anticipated. He was released this offseason after playing out just one year of what was a four-year, $22 million deal.

Winston has landed on his feet, however, as he signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Prior to last season, Winston was considered one of the better right tackles in the league. The Houston Texans drafted him out of Miami in the third round in 2006, and he proceeded to start 87 games for them, including the playoffs, until he was released following the 2011 season.

Winston's release from the Texans was for monetary reasons, but his release from the Chiefs seemed to stem from a lackluster season. It wasn't entirely Winston's fault that the offense struggled with the likes of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn at the helm, but he ultimately paid the price.

Arizona seems to be an ideal landing spot for him, as the Cardinals offensive line has been in disarray for the past several years. The Cards are trying to usher in a new era with Bruce Arians as the new head coach and Carson Palmer at quarterback, so solidifying the line is crucial.

Depending upon which version of Winston shows up, he could go a long way toward accomplishing that. It is unclear if there are plans for Winston to start or to serve primarily as a backup, but he is the type of player who should be able to step in and produce whenever he is called upon.

Winston was especially well-known for his run-blocking prowess with the Texans, and he helped pave the way for Arian Foster during his breakout season in 2010 (1,616 rushing yards, 4.9 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns).

If Winston returns to that form in Arizona this season, running back Rashard Mendenhall could once again become one of the game's top rushers. 

 

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