The Arizona Cardinals started free agency with a splash. Chandler Jones, Jermaine Gresham, and A.Q. Shipley re-signs with the team. Antoine Bethea, Karlos Dansby, and Phil Dawson are the new acquisitions thus far. Even after the transactions, the Cardinals still have a decent number in cap room remaining.
According to NFLPA, Cardinals with about $20.5M in cap room.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) March 13, 2017
This does not include Dansby’s contract, according to Kent Somers.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the Cardinals’ new contracts:
The constant chatter of pass rusher Chandler Jones being a two year rental is no more after signing a five-year $82.5M contract, with $53M in guaranteed money. Many more years of sacks with Markus Golden to come.
#AZCardinals OLB Chandler Jones base salaries 2017 $7M, 2018 $12.5M, 2019 $16.5M, 2020 $16M, 2021 $15.5M.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) March 13, 2017
Jermaine Gresham was a favorite of Bruce Arians. Not only is he a physical receiver for the tight end position, he can also block. He is definitely well worth the price. The deal is a 4 year $28M, with $13M guaranteed. The low base salary for the 2017 season gives the Cardinals some plenty of breathing room to sign, re-sign, and/or extend contracts. First reported by Tom Pelissero.
A.Q. Shipley was basically the leader of the Cardinals’ offensive line and he returns on a bargain deal. Glad he’s back and will provide good competition with Evan Boehm for the starting center position. It’s possible Shipley keeps his starting center job and shift Boehm to the vacant right guard position.
#AZCardinals A.Q. Shipley 2 years, $3.5M, base salaries 2017 $775K , 2018 $1.5M, $725K guaranteed, $250K in roster bonuses in 2017 & 2018.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) March 12, 2017
Below are the breakdown of Antoine Bethea and Phil Dawson’s contracts. Not bad at all for quality veterans. Fills big needs with departures of Tony Jefferson, D.J. Swearinger, and Chandler Catanzaro.
#AZCardinals S Antonie Bethea 3 years, base salaries 2017 $2M, 2018 $3M, 2019 $3M.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) March 12, 2017
#AZCardinals K Phil Dawson base salaries 2017 $2M, 2018 $2.5M.— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) March 13, 2017
The lower base salaries for the first two seasons of Chandler Jones and Jermaine Gresham’s new contracts will give the Arizona Cardinals a better chance in re-signing Deone Bucannon, whose contract is up after the 2017 season with team option for 2018.