John Wetzel and Olsen Pierre were offered an exclusive rights tender on March 7th, a tender for players with less than three years of accrued experience. As of now they will officially be Arizona Cardinals for the 2017 NFL season.
John Wetzel, 6’7’’ 328lbs Offensive Linemen, was an undrafted free agent out of Boston College who signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2013. He bounced around from Oakland to Dallas to Indianapolis, having no security on his job as a backup offensive tackle or even a practice squad spot. On December 9th 2015, the Arizona Cardinals signed him to their practice squad and after the season, he was signed to a future contract with the team.
Steve Keim and Bruce Arians remained intrigued with the offensive linemen and with his solid production during the preseason, he earned a spot on the 53-man roster for the first time in his NFL career. He was given the opportunity to start very soon. The Cardinals lost many offensive linemen to injuries in the 2016 season. Starters D.J Humphries, Evan Mathis, Jared Veldheer, and backup Ulrick John were are placed on injury reserve, paving the way for Wetzel to start. He rotated in and out as an offensive tackle and guard. With Mathis retired and Earl Watford’s departure to Jacksonville, he will now be the swiss-army knife of the offensive line and has a very good chance at making the 53-man roster.
He was active for all 16 regular season games, including 8 starts.
Olsen Pierre, 6’4’’ 293lbs Defensive Tackle, started his career as an undrafted free agent out of Miami(Fla.) and signed with the Chicago Bears in the 2015 offseason. He was later released and the Cardinals signed him to their practice in early October 2015. He was signed to future contracts following the 2015 season and although he made the 2016 53-man roster, he was inactive all season. Bruce Arians loves his potential and kept him on the team in preparation of Calais Campbell’s departure.