Former Ohio State offensive lineman Branden Bowen will be back with an NFL team headed into spring workouts. The Arizona Cardinals announced that they signed the former Buckeye on Wednesday afternoon.
Bowen, 24, joined the Carolina Panthers last year as an undrafted rookie, but was released when the team cut its roster to 53 players. He spent the rest of the season without a deal, until the Cardinals made their move this week.
Although his NFL career has gotten off to a shaky start, the 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive lineman has experience at both guard and tackle. His versatility should allow him to provide depth to an Arizona front that needs to improve protection for Kyler Murray this offseason.
Bowen’s specialty comes at right tackle, where the 2020 Cardinals starter Kelvin Beachum will become a free agent. Guards Max Garcia and J.R. Sweezy will also hit free agency this offseason.
Arizona expects 2020 opt-out Marcus Gilbert to return with one year on his deal and 2020 third-round pick Josh Jones will also factor into the mix.
Suffice it to say, the Cardinals will have plenty of question marks surrounding their offensive line headed into 2021.
We have signed OL Branden Bowen.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) February 17, 2021
At Ohio State, Bowen sat out most of the 2017 and 2018 seasons with a broken leg. When he returned to the Buckeyes in 2019, he took over the starting right tackle spot and helped lead the Big Ten Champs to the College Football Playoff.
Bowen will now get another shot at the NFL level with the Arizona Cardinals.