The Cardinals’ trade for Marcus Gilbert became official on Wednesday. The team dealt their compensatory sixth-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for a player who is projected to slot in as the starting right tackle.
Gilbert, who turned 31 last month, was a second-round pick of the Steelers in 2011 and has started since his rookie year. Gilbert is a naturally talented player, but one that comes with risk.
He has played only 12 games the past two seasons, including five in 2018 due to a knee injury. He was also suspended four games in 2017 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Gilbert has one year left on his contract with a salary of approximately $4.9 million, which could be a bargain if he stays healthy. Gilbert played for current Cardinals offensive line coach Sean Kugler during his first two years in Pittsburgh, where Kugler was the offensive line coach.
The Cardinals had issues at right tackle a year ago. Andre Smith was signed in free agency, but he was released in late November after struggling for much of the year. John Wetzel, Joe Barksdale and Will Holden also started there, with varying degrees of success.