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NFL Free Agency: Arizona Cardinals release Early Doucet, tender Brian Hoyer, two others

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Arizona makes a few moves to get ready for the upcoming season.

Norm Hall

The Arizona Cardinals made a few moves on Saturday, as they get ready for the beginning of the new league year and actual free agency. The said goodbye to a familiar face and tendered offers to four other players.

Wide receiver Early Doucet, who signed a two-year free agent contract last offseason, was released by the Cardinals, freeing $1.7 million if salary cap space. He was due to make $2 million in 2013, which is not how much a team wanted to pay its fourth wideout.

Doucet struggled in 2012. He appeared in 12 games (three starts) in 2012 and collected 28 receptions for 207 yards. In five seasons with the Cardinals (2008-12), Doucet had 139 receptions for 1,491 yards and seven touchdowns in 54 regular season games (14 starts).

In other news, the team offered quarterback Brian Hoyer a second round tender, as he is a restricted free agent. He is free to negotiate with any team in the league until April 19, but the Cardinals can match any offer, and if they decline, the team signing him will have to give the Cardinals a second round draft pick. The tender is for $2.4 million this season.

They want to keep him around.

Arizona also extended offers to three exclusive rights free agents. Running backs Alfonso Smith and William Powell will return to the team in 2013, as will defensive lineman Ronald Talley.

Powell was a bright spot in the running game last season, leading all the NFL in preseason rushing yards. He had some inconsistencies, but did look good in a few games in 2012. At the very least, we will see both in camp this year.

Talley will hope to land a regular spot on the roster this year and become part of the defensive rotation, as Vonnie Holliday is expected to retire.

The salary cap savings in getting rid of Doucet were eaten with the tender offer to Hoyer. They have an estimated $7 million in cap space at the moment.

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