Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson was absent for both days of the team’s mandatory minicamp. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury wouldn’t go into detail on Hudson.
“Yeah, no update,” Kingsbury said last week. “We’re working through something with him. As soon as we know, we’ll have that update.”
Hudson signed a three-year, $30 million extension in 2021 with $5 million guaranteed of his $10.9 million base salary in 2022.
However, USA Today’s Chuck Harris, who covers the Cardinals, reports that the 32-year-old center is mulling retirement.
Harris tweeted “From what I am hearing, Rodney Hudson’s absence is because he’s contemplating retirement . . . The Cardinals have been aware since before the draft.”
The reason why he’s considering retirement is not known. In Hudson’s first season with the Cardinals, he missed five games as he dealt with a ribs injury and a COVID stint.
Last week, right tackle Kelvin Beachum spoke to 98.7 FM Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke about Hudson’s situation and said that he had a son recently.
“As far as I know he’s doing well,” Beachum said. “He just had a son not too long ago. (He) has a young daughter so I know he’s putting family first as any father would and I know the rest will be handled between him and the organization. Know that he’s in good spirits and excited to see what comes from it over the next couple of weeks.”
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How Much Relief Could Cardinals Receive If Hudson Retires?
According to Harris, the Cardinals would receive $9.85 million if Hudson were to retire.
Left guard Justin Pugh would be next in line to start at center. Both Pugh and sixth-round rookie Lecitus Smith took reps at center in Hudson’s absence at mandatory minicamps.
The Cardinals could look to add a center via free agency. Arizona hosted free-agent center Billy Price for a visit in early May and could be urged to sign the former first-round pick.
Offensive lineman Sean Harlow also had time playing center during Hudson’s absence in 2021.
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