Sendlein still at the center of things

Posted by Darren Urban on March 5, 2014 – 9:48 am

The Cardinals signed a center yesterday, bringing in John Estes. Estes doesn’t have a lot on the résumé since coming into the league in 2010, playing in just two games with Jacksonville and spending two seasons on injured reserve. He was out of football last season. It probably is more of a sign that backup center Mike Gibson is an unrestricted free agent and might not return more than anything else. The other reserve centers on the roster right now are Tommie Draheim and Philip Blake. Meanwhile, Lyle Sendlein, the starter, plugs along.

It’s a question I get not frequently but also not rarely: Are the Cardinals looking to replace Sendlein? The answer, as it’s been for many years, remains no. That can of course change, if the Cardinals fell into a center in the draft later on that they felt they couldn’t pass on. But I expect Sendlein to stay right where he is, even as the rest of the line could change around him. Sendlein is no longer the cheap one-time undrafted rookie — his salary is $2.85 million this season and $3 million in 2015, the final year of his current deal — but he provides some stability in a unit that hasn’t had a ton. Sendlein might not make a Pro Bowl push ( ranked him 18th overall out of 35 centers, 12th in run blocking and 28th in pass blocking) but he a solid pro who is excellent in the locker room and as a leader.

If there was a time the Cards were going to move on from Sendlein it would have been last year, when the coaching staff changed and offensive line coach Russ Grimm — who loved Sendlein — left. But clearly Sendlein made a good impression on Bruce Arians and Harold Goodwin.


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Posted in Blog | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Sendlein still at the center of things”

  1. By Rugbymuffin on Mar 5, 2014 | Reply

    For the first time in Sendlein’s tenure as a Cardinal, I thought he improved his game.

    So, maybe the coaching was to blame in the past, and the new coaching staff tweaked some things to improve his game.

    I think Fanaika helped and Cooper will help even more this year.

  2. By D on Mar 5, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, of these current UFA’s who do you think will resign and who would be considered most valued/needed to the club:

    E. Winston
    M. Shaughnessy
    J. Dray
    M. Bernard


  3. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2014 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Re-signs

    Great question. In terms of needed to be re-signed, I think I’d go Shaughnessy first for sure, and lump the other three together. As of now, I’d think Benard, Dray and then Winston in terms of what else you have available. But I also am not sure all of them don’t test the market to see what they might be able to get.

  4. By Andy Kw on Mar 5, 2014 | Reply

    Lyle Sendlein is my man

  5. By Josh on Mar 5, 2014 | Reply

    I agree I think sendlein played better this year. However, I think we should pursue in free agency the browns center Alex m. We need to continue to invest more in the interior line. Dan do you think cards have interest in replacing sendlein via free agency?

  6. By jushintliger on Mar 6, 2014 | Reply

    Lyle is an excellent snapper in the shotgun formation.
    A true wolverine.

  7. By clssylssy on Mar 6, 2014 | Reply

    Glad to see that Sandlein will remain the center of things. We need to keep as much consistency as possible and Lyle has done a good job. The way we ended the season last year would seem we are getting things “tweeked” at last and hopefully BA won’t be inclined to fix something that isn’t broke. It would appear we have a very solid base to build depth around, which is what the best teams like the Seahawks and 9ers have done to get where they are now. I think we were capable of beating the 9ers the last game but just didn’t have the incentive since it wasn’t going to get us anywhere but possibly a lower draft position, but this is a new season we know how to beat Seattle and should be ready to go with minor adjustments. Looking to the draft for investment players for our future but really can’t wait for OTAs and Training Camp!

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