The Cardinals have added a few key pieces this offseason. One of their starting offensive linemen agreed to a pay cut to help them do so.
In the wake of the Cards adding J.J. Watt, A.J. Green and Rodney Hudson, three-year Cardinals guard starter Justin Pugh revealed he accepted a pay cut (Twitter link). Pugh signed a five-year, $45MM deal in 2018 but agreed to trim some of his 2021 salary recently.
Pugh will drop his 2021 base salary from $7.75MM to $5MM, SI.com’s Howard Balzer notes. In exchange for Pugh agreeing to the slight reduction, the Cardinals will guarantee $4MM of his 2021 base. The Cardinals created nearly $5MM in cap space by making this move, with Pugh’s cap number set to drop from $11.2MM to $6.9MM. He can collect up to $1MM in per-game roster bonuses as well, per Balzer.
Cards GM Steve Keim said Monday he views Pugh as the team’s starting left guard going forward. The former first-round pick has stabilized his career while working at this position over the past two seasons. After injuries derailed his 2017 and ’18 seasons, Pugh has started 31 games since Kyler Murray‘s 2019 arrival. Pugh, 30, remains signed through the 2022 season.
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