Former Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Eric Winston had remained a free-agent throughout most of the offseason, until Tuesday that is. The defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks signed the 30-year-old veteran to a one-year contract.
Winston hadn’t garnered much interest in free agency this offseason but that didn’t stop him from working hard and becoming the new NFL Players Association president in March. He has been a very consistent offensive lineman throughout his career and many Cardinals fans wanted him to remain in the desert. Instead he is now an arch rival and tweeted his announcement on Tuesday morning.
Season finally starts for me today! Looking forward to chasing a ring with the Seahawks!! Time go to work!
— Eric Winston (@ericwinston) July 29, 2014
Usually the Arizona Cardinals would look at this as a big loss, especially since he remains in the NFC West. Yet, the Cardinals offensive line seems even better than it was last season with the acquisition of Jared Veldheer this offseason and Jonathan Cooper returning from a severe broken leg suffered last pre-season. With the depth the Cards have developed on their offensive line, it makes a lot of sense as to why they had decided to move on from Winston.
Eric Winston did mention last week that he didn’t necessarily need to be promised a starting job, though he does want to fight for one. Last season, the Cardinals gave him that very same opportunity and it worked out as he started in all 16 games. The eight-year veteran had kept himself ready and prepared for that phone call this offseason by working out with Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, running back Arian Foster and former Texan Owen Daniels.
Considering the Seahawks former starting right tackle Breno Giacomini signed with the New York Jets this offseason, it seems as though Winston is a perfect fit for the defending Super Bowl Champions. He will now battle second-year offensive lineman Michael Bowie and rookie Justin Britt, who had been competing for the starting right tackle position.
Winston had played his first six career seasons with the Texans before signing contracts with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 and the Cardinals in 2013. He is one of the most consistent players in all of the NFL, starting in 119 consecutive games, which is the second longest streak among active players.
Phoenix Sports-Kings Assistant Site Manager Ian Johnson @IanJohnsonSK