The Arizona Cardinals signed offensive tackle D.J. Humphries to a three-year contract extension worth $66.8 million on Tuesday evening, according to multiple reports. The extension contains $34 million in guaranteed money. Humphries will earn $21 million in the first year of the extension.
Humphries’ annual average salary of $22.266 million makes him the third-highest paid offensive tackle in the league on a yearly basis, currently trailing just Trent Williams and David Bakhtiari. The deal helps reset the offensive tackle market. It represents a slight overpay for the Cardinals, but it’s a deal general manager Steve Keim had to make nonetheless.
Humphries was previously set to enter a contract year in 2022 after signing an initial three-year, $45 million extension prior to the 2020 campaign. The situation required immediate addressing. The extension is added onto the final year of Humphries’ deal, which means the Cardinals now control his fate through the 2025 campaign. It should also help lower Humphries’ team-high cap hit of $19 million in 2022. He isn’t set to reach free agency until 2026. Should Humphries play out the entire contract, he’ll have spent the first 11 years of his career as a Cardinal. Humphries could remain in Arizona for the remainder of his playing days.
Humphries has quietly developed into a quality starting left tackle despite dealing with some injury concerns early in his career. A model of consistency since then, he has missed just one game over the previous three seasons, and even that was due to COVID-19. That’s the type of player you feel comfortable rewarding with long-term extensions. A former first-round selection (No. 24 overall) of the Cardinals in the 2015 NFL Draft, Humphries was a late bloomer that strung together another impressive season in 2021. The former Florida standout played more than 1,000 snaps and earned himself a solid overall grade of 67.8 from Pro Football Focus last season en route to earning his first Pro Bowl nod. Humphries was credited with allowing seven sacks. He was also called for 12 penalties in 2021.
Humphries has been an ideal fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s unique and versatile air raid scheme. Kingsbury’s system places a ton of stress on its offensive lineman. Finding players to fit Kingsbury’s system isn’t always a straightforward endeavor. It makes retaining him even smarter for a Cardinals roster that is married to Kingsbury’s principle beliefs.
Keim has been taking care of business as of late while shaping Arizona’s future. Humphries’ deal arrives less than two weeks after franchise quarterback Kyler Murray signed a five-year extension worth a staggering $230.5 million. Keim obviously views Murray and Humphries as integral pieces of Arizona’s offense for years to come.
Humphries is one of the more consistent offensive tackles in the league. He is a tone-setter that helps Arizona’s offense click along on its best days. He possesses an infectious amount of energy as Murray’s blindside protector. Humphries’ balanced skill set coupled with his leadership qualities makes him the type of player his teammates want to rally around. There’s no denying that it’s a lot of money for Humphries, but Keim was wise not to overthink the situation. Keeping Humphries in Arizona for the foreseeable future is ultimately a win for the Cardinals.
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