Eric Winston waits for call as camps start

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A year ago to the day, Eric Winston was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as his future teammates prepared for their conditioning test.

This year, Winston is still waiting for that call. Well, more like the call.

He's been contacted and recruited by several teams since free agency began in March, Winston said Friday from Houston, but none have offered an attractive enough opportunity to convince Winston to sign.

"It's more of the right situation not presenting itself," Winston said.

"Last year, I thought Arizona was a good spot for me and I think going forward I'm looking for that same kind of opportunity."

Winston doesn't need to be promised a starting job, he said, but wants the opportunity to compete for one. That's what Arizona offered last year, he said, and it worked out in his favor as Winston started all 16 games. The eight-year veteran isn't concerning himself with why he hasn't found a job yet as training camps continue to begin across the NFL. He's just trying to stay positive.

Last offseason taught him to be patient but it's easier said than done.

"It's tough," Winston said. "It's tough on me. It's tough on the family. There's so many balls in the air right now. It's just a stressful time. But, unfortunately, sometimes when you get late in your career it's the nature of the business, as well."

Winston was able to acclimate himself with the rest of Arizona's offensive line quickly last season but he'd rather not wait until the end of training camp to join a team. There's still a playbook to learn and a bond to build, but there's only so much he can control.

The Cardinals are one team with questions at right tackle but Winston doesn't seem to be the answer for them. He made about $2 million last season and improved as the season went on. Even though Winston allowed just one of his seven sacks in the final nine games, he was still rated as one of the worst tackles in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.

Winston has spent his offseason preparing for the right call by staying in shape. He's worked out this summer with Houston Texans Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, and former Texan Owen Daniel. After a Friday morning workout, Winston said he's moving as well as he has in a while.

At 30, he's been putting in the extra work so he can make a seamless transition to anyone's training camp.

"I feel like I'm way more ready this year than last year," Winston said. "Not to say I wasn't ready last year. I just really feel like I'm in as good of shape than I've been in for a long time."