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Tony Jefferson, others sign restricted free agent tenders

Everyone is back for offseason workouts.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The waiting is over. Safety Tony Jefferson, receiver Jaron Brown and safety D. J. Swearinger are back with the Arizona Cardinals for one more season. The team announced all three signed their contracts for 2016, as all had qualifying tenders on the table as restricted free agents.

Each was given an original round tender, which is worth about $1.67 million for the season. It is not guaranteed, though. They can be cut anytime before the season and they will count nothing toward the salary cap.

Brown and Jefferson were originally undrafted, so their qualifying tender meant the Cardinals could match any offer they got, but if they chose not to, they would not have received any compensation. Swearinger, though, who was originally a second round pick, could left to another team and Arizona would have received that team's second round pick.

Brown (6-2, 205) played in all 16 games last season and had 11 receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown with five special teams tackles. After joining the team in 2013 as an undrafted rookie free agent from Clemson, Brown has played in all 48 games (two starts) the past three seasons and has 44 receptions for 513 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 18 special teams tackles.

Jefferson (5-11, 212) set career highs with 75 tackles (56 solo), two sacks, two interceptions (one returned for a TD) and three forced fumbles last season while playing all 16 games (seven starts). He joined the Cardinals in 2013 as an undrafted rookie free agent from Oklahoma and has played in all 48 games (18) in his first three seasons. collecting 165 tackles (136 solo), three sacks, two interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

Swearinger (5-10, 205) played in four games with one start last season for the Cardinals and had eight tackles, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble after being elevated to the active roster on December 8. He originally signed with Arizona's practice squad on December 1. Swearinger entered the league with Houston in the second round (57th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft and spent his first two seasons with the Texans before playing the first seven games of last season with Tampa Bay.