It seems that a temporary truce has been called in the back-and-forth between the Arizona Cardinals and guard Deuce Lutui over his weight, with the team announcing that Lutui will start Sunday’s season opener against the St. Louis Rams.
Lutui weighed 396 pounds when he signed his one-year qualifying offer in mid-June. The team wanted him around the 340-pound range. Not a great bargaining chip for a player who wanted a long-term contract.
“If you’re trying to put your best foot forward … in order to get a long-term contract, you would think when the time comes to sign and you get a physical, you would be in good shape,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt told The Arizona Republic at the time.
Lutui, who has been the team’s starting right guard since 2007, made it difficult for the team not to start him by outplaying his competition at right guard, so much so that the Cards traded veteran guard Reggie Wells to the Eagles. Alan Faneca, signed as a free agent, took the left guard spot when he joined the team.
“I knew exactly what I’m about, as a competitor,” Lutui said after he was announced as the starter. “I’m that guy who stirs the pot a lot on the field. I was able to come back and do the right things. I’m in the spot I imagined I’d be.”
“It’s not the first time I’ve been called fat. It’s one of those things, as a big boy, you’ve got to live with.”