Cardinals announced they are trading OT Jared Veldheer to the Broncos in exchange for Denver’s sixth-round draft pick (#182) in 2018 NFL Draft.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2018
Veldheer is a 6’8”, 321lb right tackle who is entering his 9th season in the NFL. He started out his career with the Oakland Raiders but has played the past four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
He is coming off an up and down 2017 season where started out slow for the Cardinals but finished strong before fracturing his ankle late in the year which ended his season.
Veldheer had been the Cardinals starting right tackle for the first nine games of the season before switching to the left side to replace the injured D.J. Humphries after Week 10. Veldheer had a tough start to the season, allowing the fourth-most pressures (27) by an offensive tackle through Week 5. By contrast, he allowed just 12 total pressures in the eight games since, ranking fifth at his position with a pass blocking efficiency score of 96.8 in Weeks 6-14.
Per Pro Football Focus, Veldheer gave up the fourth most pressures during the first five weeks of the season. However, he finished weeks six through fourteen as the 5th best pass blocker during that span with a grade of 98.8
Veldheer is entering his final year of a five year $35 million contract that he signed back in 2014. Per Over The Cap, Veldheer’s cap hit for 2018, the final year of his contract will be $10,156,250.
This trade likely spells the end to Menelik Watson’s career with the Broncos after one disappointing season.
I like this trade for the Broncos. It gives them a proven right tackle option which instantly upgrades the Broncos offensive line. It also allows them to draft a developmental offensive tackle prospect in the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.