ESPN's NFC West blogger Mike Sando, who covers the Cardinals, posts about the departure of Arizona's offensive guard Deuce Lutui, who signed a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday. Along with calling Lutui a "colorful character", Sando writes:
The Cardinals won't miss Lutui's annual battles making weight (he once reported at 396 pounds), his demands for a new contract and his seeming resistance to motivational ploys. The evidence suggests Lutui had run his course in Arizona, with the Cardinals making little push to bring him back.
Lutui reportedly demanded a long-term contract from the Cardinals during the 2010 offseason when his free agency designation went from an unrestricted free agent to restricted, because he was only a five-year veteran. The settled labor dispute between owners and players cost Lutui for free agency, settling for a qualifying offer of $1.759 million.
The long-standing issue with Lutui is weight, an issue the Bengals have faced in the past with offensive tackle Andre Smith and fullback Jeremi Johnson.
There's two scenarios to expect with Lutui for the Bengals in 2011. Having started all of his 72 games at right guard, Lutui could be the team's backup behind Bobbie Williams, and maybe an eventual replacement if the team elects not to bring Williams back, who is heading into the final year under contract.
There's also the idea he could compete at left guard, challenging left guard Nate Livings for the spot. Historically the Bengals have employed more athletic guards at left guard, however, the team also has a new offensive system, philosophy and coordinator.
Either way the move does give the Bengals much needed depth on their interior offensive line.