There seems to be this predisposition that everything Steve Keim does sucks. Well, I guess that's what happens when you suck for three years. The truth is, though, his latest move is what my girlfriend's been trying to convince me I am for the last 5 years. The perfect fit. Not too long, not too big. You, the Cardinals fan, and me, the boyfriend both role our eyes at that notion. But let me try to explain why D.J. Humphries' new deal worth $45 million over three years, with $29 million guaranteed was the right call.
Fit - The Cardinals weren't going to do better this offseason, and during Kyler Murray's formative NFL years, they can't afford to go cheap on offensive line. Signing long-time Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo in free agency was the only other legitimate alternative, but he's a 31-year old who's been in Indy's system his whole career. Who knows if he would've been as productive in Arizona. Humphries, on the other hand, is a known commodity who thrived last year under the new leadership and system of Kliff Kingsbury. Bruce Arians once claimed Humphries needs a "knee in his ass everyday" to stay motivated, but Kingsbury's softer touch seems to have struck the right cord.
Length - There's an argument to be made that Humphries, now the third highest-paid left tackle in the NFL, should've been locked up longer. Given his injury history that doesn't make sense. He missed 14 games between 2017-2018, and 2019 was his first year starting all 16 games. In most cases it would behoove a team to lock up their 26-year old blind side blocker to a 6-8 year deal, like the Cowboys did with Tyron Smith, because by year 3 or 4, that contract starts to fall below market value, making it team friendly. In Humphries' case, he'll need to prove that he can stay healthy for the next three years. And, if the Cardinals are smart, they'll have a young left tackle ready to take his place by 2023, allowing the Cardinals to give Kyler Murray his second deal in a fiscally responsible manner.
Size - There should be no complaining about the size of this contract. Humphries gets $29 million guaranteed, in a league who's premier players are increasingly pushing toward guaranteed contracts. He's paid like a top-5 left tackle right now, but so what? As seen in the picture above, if Humphries made it to free agency, he'd be the most valuable tackle on the market, and the only good one below the age of 30. You can make the argument that Humphries not allowing himself to get to free agency in March is a testament to how much he likes Kliff Kingsbury, and how much he believes in what the Cardinals are building with Kyler Murray.
It should be noted, I am the Joe Rogan of Phoenix sports. Fair and balanced. Some would say hilarious. I will give Steve Keim the heat he deserves, whether it be in song form or rant form, and I will give him credit where it's due.