Tunsil’s transition hasn’t been easy. He has struggled with some of the differences at guard, such as keeping his hand on the ground and understanding the different leverage. That’s resulted in missed assignments in practice.
“Every player on the team has something to work on. He is not alone in that,” offensive line coach Chris Foerster said. “He is really doing a great job — having him in two positions, he is studying, having him learn two spots technique-wise, all the things that go with it. He has done a really, really fine job to this point. (I) couldn’t be any happier with his progress.”
Tunsil will get a good share of reps in the preseason to improve his game. According to Christensen, Tunsil is going to be a building block with Miami for a long time, despite his rookie learning curve.
“He’s really a talented guy,” Christensen said. “He’s going to be a really fine left tackle at whatever point, but there is a learning curve for him at guard. Things actually happen quicker at guard. You have all of the twists. You’ve got a lot more movement. You’re setting outside about 85 percent of the time. It probably is going to be good for him long term to have played in there and understand how quickly things happen in this league.”
At a time when some have wondered whether this would be Carson Palmer’s and Larry Fitzgerald’s last season, Arizona has extended the contracts and careers of both players.
The Cardinals announced one-year contract extensions for Palmer and Fitzgerald on Friday, tying the quarterback to Arizona through the 2018 season and the wide receiver to the team through 2017.
The total deal for Palmer will be just over $24 million, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. He will get a $6.75 million signing bonus and a new $2 million roster bonus, plus $15.5 million in salary and bonuses fully guaranteed in 2017. Before the extension deal, none of his money for 2017 had been guaranteed.
His 2018 salary will be $12.5 million plus a $1.5 million roster bonus, none of which is guaranteed, according to the source.
“Clearly these are two core members of our team who have played major roles in our success,” said Cardinals general manager Steve Keim in a statement. “Each of them had contracts that were due to expire in the next year or two so these extensions provide a measure of certainty and clarity for the players and organization, both now and in the years ahead. It also reaffirms our long-stated intention that when the time comes, these two great players end their stellar careers as Cardinals.”
The deals came one day after Arizona signed defensive back Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million extension, with $21.5 million guaranteed at signing.
The Cardinals wanted to keep the core of their team together for as long as they could, and these extensions will enable them to do just that. Palmer is 36 and Fitzgerald turns 33 this month, but they have played as if they’re in the prime of their careers.