Arizona Cardinals sign guard, pair of tight ends to future contracts

Kevin C. Cox

Arizona adds to its offseason roster.

The Arizona Cardinals announced a pair transactions on Tuesday, as they signed three players to future contracts for 2014. They added two tight ends -- Brett Bracket and Andre Hardy -- and a former Arena League offensive lineman -- guard Christian Johnson.

Brackett (6-5, 246) was in training camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars last year until he was released on September 1. He originally entered the NFL in 2011 with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Penn State and spent time on the practice squad of the Dolphins and Jaguars as a rookie before being placed on injured reserve with Jacksonville in 2012. While at Penn State, Brackett played in 52 games (15 starts) and had 56 receptions for 714 yards and seven touchdowns.

Hardy (6-6, 245) is a former college basketball player who played two seasons at Cal State Fullerton after beginning his collegiate career at Oral Roberts. He signed with the Oakland Raiders as a free agent in April of 2012, but was released a month later. While at Cal State Fullerton, Hardy was selected as the Big West Conference Newcomer of the Year as a junior after averaging 10.6 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game. Hardy's father, Andre, played parts of three seasons in the NFL as a running back with Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco.

Johnson (6-4, 325) spent the past three seasons playing in the Arena League, including in 2013 with the Philadelphia Soul where he earned first-team All-Arena honors after starting 17 of 18 games. He played collegiately at Kentucky and appeared in 36 games with 15 starts at guard. Following college, Johnson played with the Dallas Vigilantes in the Arena League in 2011 before joining the Soul in 2012.

Based on the two tight end signings, especially Hardy, combined with the fact they also have tight end Darren Fells in the fold for future contracts for 2014, the team is looking to get more athletic at the position. Fells and Hardy both are former basketball players.

Aside from the three at the position with future contracts, only Rob Housler remains under contract at the position. Jim Dray, Jeff King, Kory Sperry and Jake Ballard are all free agents once the league year begins. Ballard will be a restricted free agent, so Arizona does maintain some control of him, should they choose to offer him a restricted free agent tender.

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