With their voluntary offseason workouts getting underway, the Cardinals have secured three of their restricted free agents, the club announced today. As Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com details, safety Tony Jefferson, safety D.J. Swearinger, and wide receiver Jaron Brown all signed their RFA tenders.
All three players received low-end RFA tenders worth $1.671MM from the Cardinals, and there was some speculation that Jefferson, who drew some interest from other teams, including Oakland, might sign an offer sheet, which the Cardinals would have to decide whether or not to match. However, Jefferson and his two teammates will all return to Arizona on one-year, $1.671MM contracts, making them potentially eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2017.
Jefferson, who has started 17 games for the Cardinals over the last three seasons, filled up the stat sheet in 2015, recording 74 tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks, and a pair of interceptions, including one for a touchdown. He suggested earlier in April that he didn’t mind the idea of playing as an RFA this year rather than signing a below-market offer sheet.
“You don’t want to get yourself locked into long-term deals where you don’t even like your salary, and you’re unrestricted next year, so you have a chance to make more money,” Jefferson said.
Swearinger, a former second-round pick, joined the Cardinals last December and appeared in four regular-season games for the team down the stretch, while Brown played in all 16 games, but caught just 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.
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