Arizona Cardinals Training Camp Preview: Tight Ends – Sports Illustrated

The first week of the 2022 NFL season is still weeks away, but training camp is just around the corner. The Arizona Cardinals coaches and veteran players will return to State Farm Stadium for their annual training camp on July 26, five days after rookies report.
While some players will glide through the practices with their role on the team guaranteed, others will be fighting to find a place on the 53-man roster. In this series, we’ll take a look at every position group and the players who have a spot on the roster protected and those who will be battling for a roster role.
Tight Ends
Zach Ertz
When Ertz was traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Cardinals in October of last season, it provided the team with another weapon on offense. In 11 games, Ertz totaled 574 yards and three touchdowns. By season's end, the veteran tight end was second on the team in receptions (56) and third on the team in receiving yards.
Last year was just the tip of the iceberg on what Ertz could provide to head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense. In eight seasons with the Eagles, Ertz made three Pro Bowl appearances and was a top-10 tight end in yardage from 2015 to 2019. The wheels came off for Ertz after a high ankle sprain curtailed his 2020 season. The 31-year old turned in a healthy season last year and found his way to being a top-10 tight end again once he traded the green and silver for red and white.
Trey McBride
The youngest tight end on the team, McBride became the Cardinals first selection in last April's NFL draft. The Cardinals second-round pick is an extremely talented pass- catcher. Last season, he led all tight ends in college football with 90 receptions for 1,121 yards. His production led him to being crowned the 2021 recipient of the John Mackey Award, an honor given to college football's best tight end.
McBride brings an exciting amount of possibilities for the offense. Alongside Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams, McBride offers Kingsbury a versatile trio of tight ends who can be used on the field.
Maxx Williams
Among tight ends, Maxx Williams has been on the roster the longest. Since 2019, Williams had been the team's starting tight end before a torn ACL in a Week 5 game against the San Francisco 49ers ended his 2021 season.
The team re-signed Williams to a one year deal this offseason but once healthy, Williams will return to a much more competitive tight-end room. While Williams place on the team isn’t in question, his role as the focal tight end will be limited or shared with Ertz and McBride.
It remains unknown when he will be able to play and it appears likely he will begin training camp on physically unable to perform.
Bernhard Seikovits
The Austrian native signed a futures contract with the Cards earlier this year, but Seikovits initially came to the Cardinals through the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program. In 2021, he spent the season on the team's practice squad.
While he hasn’t accrued any NFL experience, he did make a name for himself on the Dacia Vienna Vikings, a football club in Austria. In 2017, he was named the Austrian Football League's Rookie of the Year after helping lead the Vikings to a championship. Seikovits played with the team until 2021 when he joined the Cardinals.
Stephen Anderson
Anderson enters this season following two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers. Before the Bolts, Anderson spent a brief time with the New England Patriots practice squad and the Houston Texans.
In his five seasons, Anderson has mostly been the third tight end on the roster and spent most of his time playing on special teams.
Deon Yelder
Last season, six tight ends were on the 53-man roster at some point during the season. It was the most Kingsbury had retained since he became the head coach in 2019. One of the players hoping to find a spot on the depth of the roster is Yelder.
Yelder has found brief stints with multiple teams throughout his four-year career. His longest tenure with an organization was the best team a player could want to join. From 2018 to 2020, Yelder played for the Kansas City Chiefs, winning a Super Bowl in the process.
David Wells
Wells will be looking to find a role on the Cardinals roster after making his NFL debut last season. As an undrafted free agent in 2018, Wells signed with the Dallas Cowboys but has spent most of his three seasons bouncing around various practice squads. After signing with the Cardinals in October last season he made his first official start. The Cardinals signed Wells to a futures contract early this year.
Chris Pierce Jr.
Pierce is one of several undrafted rookies signed by the Cardinals following this year's the NFL Draft.
Pierce played five seasons with Vanderbilt as a wide receiver, finishing with 109 receptions for 1,398 yards and nine touchdowns. In his fifth season, Pierce caught a career-high 57 receptions for 657 yards and started in all 12 games. 

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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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