The Arizona Cardinals have traded veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft. The 30-year-old Veldheer, at 6-foot-8 and 322 pounds, started 53 games in four seasons with Arizona after coming to the team from Oakland, where he spent his first four NFL campaigns. Veldheer played left tackle the first four seasons and switched to the right side last year.

It was apparent Veldheer didn’t figure in Arizona’s plans under new coach Steve Wilks, especially after the team signed free agent and ex-New York Giant Justin Pugh, who figures to take the right tackle job with D.J. Humphries on the left side. The move Friday saves Arizona $6.9 million in salary cap space. The sixth-round pick is the 182nd overall.

Veldheer’s addition means that, if he’s the starter at right tackle as expected, Garett Bolles stays at left tackle and Menelik Watson, who has never played more than 12 games in any season because of injuries, could be the team’s swing tackle. At the moment, Denver’s offensive line would project to be Bolles at left tackle, Ron Leary at left guard, Matt Paradis at center, Connor McGovern at right guard and Veldheer at right tackle. The Broncos could still use one or more of their nine draft picks on offensive linemen as well.

Veldheer, who will turn 31 in June, had played in 16 games in five of his first six seasons in the league but has had injuries end each of the past two. A triceps injury finished his 2016 season after eight games, and last season he went on injured reserve after 13 games because of a cracked bone in his ankle.

After signing quarterback Case Keenum in the opening hours of free agency (as well as cornerback Tramaine Brock), the Broncos saw the tackles available the open market snapped up quickly, with Nate Solder’s $62 million deal and Chris Hubbard’s $36.5 million contract leading the way. Players like former Broncos draft pick Michael Schofield, former Denver right tackle Donald Stephenson, Seantrel Henderson, Marshall Newhouse and Ben Ijalana all quickly signed one-year deals around the league as well.

And because this year’s NFL draft class is considered decidedly thin at tackle, the Broncos were faced with making a trade to fill a need. The Broncos do still have nine picks in the draft, all in the first five rounds; Denver has four selections among the first 99, including the No. 5 pick overall.

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