We already knew about the move to give safety Tony Jefferson a low tender offer as a restricted free agent, but the Arizona Cardinals announced a few other basic contract moves.
In addition to offering the "right of first refusal" tender to Tony Jefferson, the team announced it had done the same for safety D.J. Swearinger and receiver Jaron Brown. As restricted free agents, the Cardinals have the right to somewhat control the fate of these players. With the qualifying tender offer, while another team could sign them to an offer sheet, the Cardinals would have five days to decide whether to match the contract.
By getting the one-year qualifying offer, each player is set to make about $1.7 million for the 2016 season.
As previously noted, not placing a higher tender on Jefferson was a surprise. A capable starter, if Jefferson lands elsewhere, the Cardinals will get no compensation.
At the same time, the $1.7 million in salary for Jefferson, Swearinger and Brown is not guaranteed. They are owed nothing if cut. The offers are simply insurance policies essentially.
Brown made the team in 2013 as an undrafted rookie out of Clemson. He impressed in training camp and in the preseason each year. In three seasons, he has caught 44 passes for 513 yards and four touchdowns. He caught 11 passes in 2015. He is also a key contributor on special teams.
Swearinger was a late addition to the team last season. He was signed to the practice squad December 1 and elevated to active roster December 8. He appeared in four games and started one. He had seven tackles and a forced fumble.
The Cardinals also announced they extended one-year qualifying offers to exclusive rights free agents Josh Mauro and Ifeanyi Momah. As exclusive rights free agents, these players cannot sign anywhere else if the Cardinals do not make them an offer. They will be scheduled to make roughly $600,000.
Mauro was part of the defensive line rotation and showed some promise for the second year in a row. Momah, who signed with the team after the veterans combine, is a former receiver converted to tight end. He impressed in camp and training camp, but spent the entire season on injured reserve.