Cardinals are invited to sign the Free Agent Center JC Tretter

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JC Tretter congratulates Baker Mayfield in a 2018 game.

It remains unclear why Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson was absent from the team’s mandatory minicamps this week.

Sixth-round rookie Lecitus Smith and left guard Justin Pugh took reps at center in Hudson’s absence. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury told the media that Hudson’s absence was unexcused. Kingsbury wouldn’t go into detail about Hudson.

“Yeah, no update,” Kingsbury said. “We are working on something with him. As soon as we know, we will have this update.

Hudson, 32, appeared and started 12 games for the Cardinals in 2021 while dealing with a rib injury and a COVID pass. He has a base salary of $10.9 million this season and $8.3 million in 2023.

USA Today’s Cards Wire’s Jess Root outlined the possible options at the starting center position as if Hudson was not returning to the team. Root brought the option to start Pugh, offensive lineman Sean Harlow or free agent center Billy Price at center. The Cardinals visited Price in May.

Root also floated the idea for the Cardinals to sign free agent JC Tretter. Root said, “Tretter was released by the Browns this offseason after being their starting center for five seasons. He has only missed one game in five seasons.

Recent History of Tretter

After playing for the Green Bay Packers from 2013 to 2017, Tretter signed a three-year, $16 million contract in 2017. Tretter was released by the Browns in 2022 after signing a three-year, $32 million extension. dollars in 2019.

Tretter is arguably the best center available in the free agent market. He had a 78.7 PFF rating in 2021 and only allowed one sack out of 1039 snaps. Tretter’s rating was the fifth-highest rating for any Browns player in 2021. The Browns releasing Tretter had more to do with finances than his level of play.

As the veteran center is about to start his 31-year-old season, availability hasn’t been an issue. Tretter has played 16 games in each of the past five seasons.

Any team signing Tretter would get a leader because he’s been president of the NFL Players Association since 2020.

Wait & See game

Right tackle Kelvin Beachum spoke to 98.7 FM Wolf and Luke from Arizona Sports on how Hudson is doing and whether the two sides can come to terms with any issues that arise.

“As far as I know, he’s fine” beachum said. “He just had a son not too long ago. (He) has a young daughter, so I know he puts family first like any father would and I know the rest will be between him and the organization. Know that he is in good spirits and eager to see what comes out of it over the next few weeks.

If Hudson were to retire, signing Trett would be a no-brainer. But if Hudson remains on the team, there are other areas to explore.

The two-time Pro Bowl center also did not participate in voluntary OTAs. Hudson could face a total fine of $47,941 for missing two days of mandatory minicamp. At the same time, Arizona could choose not to fine him.

Christy J. Olson