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Justin Murray Signs Exclusive Rights Tender Offer

Right tackle started 12 games in 2019

Right tackle Justin Murray sets to pass block against the Steelers in a 2019 game.
Right tackle Justin Murray sets to pass block against the Steelers in a 2019 game.

His return was assured as soon as the Cardinals delivered their exclusive rights tender offer, but right tackle Justin Murray is officially back on the roster now after he signed his contract Thursday.

What role Murray has has yet to be determined.

The Cardinals liked the way Murray evolved over the 2019 season, arriving on a waiver claim as help after starter Marcus Gilbert went down with a season-ending ACL tear right before the regular season. The Cards re-signed Gilbert last week, so the Cardinals have at least two options to put at the position. They could also spend their first-round pick -- No. 8 overall -- on a front-line rookie to play the position.

As an exclusive rights free agent, Murray was unable to play for anyone but the Cardinals once they extended the tender offer.

The Cardinals are Murray's sixth NFL team since he got to the league in 2016. At one point, they also started Jordan Mills, whom they had signed as a free agent, at right tackle. But eventually Murray settled into the role. Even if he does not start, he figures to be an ideal reserve, with the ability to play both tackle spots and also fill in at guard.

"The way Justin Murray played took some pressure off of (seeking a right tackle)," coach Kliff Kingsbury said at the Scouting combine in February. "We really felt did a great job and feel he will continue to get better. But we're going to look at all our options. He took some heat off of that pressure."

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