Cardinals, S Jalen Thompson Agree To Extension

The Cardinals are keeping a key member of their secondary in the fold for the foreseeable future. The team announced on Friday that safety Jalen Thompson has signed a three-year extension. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the pact is worth nearly $40MM, and includes $24.5MM in guaranteed money. 

The Cardinals added Thompson via the 2019 supplemental draft. Since then, he has taken on an increasingly larger role with each passing season. The 24-year-old logged a snap share of 91% in 2021, making him a large part of the team’s plans now and in the future. He had one season remaining on his rookie contract, meaning that he will be on the books through the 2025 campaign.

Ankle issues limited Thompson to just five games in 2020, but he bounced back with a full campaign last year. Starting 12 of 17 games, he racked up 121 tackles, three interceptions and seven pass breakups. His coverage stats – 67% completion percentage and 99.2 passer rating allowed, and five touchdowns surrendered as the nearest defender – weren’t as glowing, but the Washington State product was an integral part of the Cardinals’ backend.

With this deal finalized, Arizona now has two significant commitments at the position; the team signed Budda Baker to a four-year extension in 2020 which briefly made him the league’s highest-paid player safety. That contract has since been surpassed by five others, but its $14.75MM AAV will partner with Thompson’s (roughly $13.3MM) to form one of the league’s most expensive tandems at the third level of the defense.

This deal is also another on a long list of significant extensions worked out over the course of the summer by Arizona, including quarterback Kyler Murray and left tackle D.J. Humphries. With Thompson locked in for the next four seasons, the team has even more cost certainty amongst several of its most important players.

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