The Cardinals added a veteran piece to their offensive line Thursday, signing free-agent tackle Eric Winston to a one-year contract.
The 29-year-old Winston will be expected to compete for a starting job, likely with youngsters Bobby Massie and Nate Potter at right tackle. Winston spent last year with the Chiefs after spending his first six seasons with the Texans; he was released by both teams for salary-cap reasons.
A source said Winston’s deal is for the veteran’s minimum but includes significant incentives.
The Cardinals had looked at Winston in the spring but decided they were satisfied with their situation on the offensive line, which included Levi Brown on the left side, Massie on the right and Potter as the primary backup at tackle. Massie also spent time on the left side spelling Brown, who was still rehabbing a torn triceps muscle that caused him to miss all of last season.
Whether the signing of Winston is more indicative of the Cardinals’ new braintrust being concerned over the current tackle situation — Brown was relatively unimpressive in his spring return — or having the opportunity to pick up a quality veteran at a bargain price is unknown. But he does give the team another option at the position, which was a disaster last season as the Cardinals led the league in sacks allowed.
Winston started 16 all games in Kansas City last season after signing a four-year, $22.5 million deal, and he has started 80 consecutive games overall dating to 2007 with Houston, which made Winston the 66th overall pick in the 2006 draft.