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Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson traded from the Las Vegas Raiders to Arizona Cardinals

May 21, 2019; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders center Rodney Hudson (61) during organized team activities at the Raiiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals continue to put in work during the early stages of the NFL free agent period. That now includes acquiring Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson from the Las Vegas Raiders.

According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Arizona has added one of the game’s best centers from Las Vegas in exchange for a swap of draft picks.

Other reports note that Las Vegas has sent a seventh-round pick to the desert along with Hudson in exchange for a third-round selection. That’s a nice bounty given that the veteran center had requested, and was apparently granted, his release from the Raiders earlier in the week.

Read More: NFL salary cap tracker: Where each team stands in 2021

Rodney Hudson represents a major upgrade for the Arizona Cardinals

Las Vegas Raiders trade Rodney Hudson to the Arizona Cardinals
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders center Rodney Hudson (61) reacts as he walks off the field following the game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The idea here is to find more-capable pass-protecting offensive linemen in front of franchise quarterback Kyler Murray. Hudson has provided that in more ways than one throughout his brilliant decade in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, the 31-year-old Hudson has graded out as the best center in the league since he first joined the Raiders from the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs back in 2015. During that span, the Florida State product has allowed all of three sacks. That’s one of the most-remarkable stats we’ve come across in some time.

For the Cardinals, this continues an absolutely tremendous offseason that has seen them already pick up Pro Bowl performers in three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt and seven-time Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green. Obviously, Arizona is looking to make a play in the ultra-competitive NFC West after a disappointing eight-win season.

Read More: Winners and losers from J.J. Watt signing with the Arizona Cardinals

Las Vegas Raiders continue to remake offensive line

This Rodney Hudson trade comes after Vegas moved off Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown in a deal with the New England Patriots earlier in the offseason. Jon Gruden’s team have also released guard Gabe Jackson.

It’s interesting to look at. Despite the Raiders’ offensive line costing a pretty penny over the past couple seasons, they have done well to protect Derek Carr. During this span, Las Vegas’ starting quarterback has been sacked a combined 55 times.

Look for these Raiders to target the offensive line once the 2021 NFL Draft comes calling. They will also look at the second-tier market during NFL free agency for starter-caliber players.