The day after Jonathan Cooper was traded, the Cardinals found a veteran to take his place at right guard.
The team agreed to a one-year contract with Evan Mathis Wednesday. Mathis, 34, enters his 13th season having started 90 of 130 NFL games, including 68 of the 72 games he’s played in since 2011. He spent last season as the starting left guard for the Super Bowl champion Broncos.
General Manager Steve Keim confirmed that Mathis will be the starting right guard.
“He’s a guy you watch on tape and it reminded me when we looked at
Mathis also owns a gym in the Phoenix area and has lived in the Valley for 11 years.
Keim said the trade of Cooper – to New England for pass rusher
It sets the right side of the line. The right tackle will be 2015 first-round pick
“That was one of things we talked about in having Mathis beside a guy like D.J.,” Keim said. “You have a guy who is young and inexperienced, but you have next to him a 34-year-old guard who has a wealth of knowledge and understands the game. One of his best attributes has been his intelligence and football smarts.
“Having another player like that can pay huge dividends. And you may be able to find a rookie center who can come in and compete, or maybe someone else in free agency.”
Keim said he wasn’t sure how active the Cardinals will continue to be in free agency, although the Cards have made it a habit of continually finding pieces all the way through training camp – at the right price.
"I think you let things settle and you let it come to you," Keim said.