The Cardinals are making an effort to keep many of their free-agents-to-be off the market, and made a move to retain some Tuesday – although none of them figured to be going anywhere.
The team tendered two exclusive rights players -- offensive lineman John Wetzel and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre -- while re-signing quarterback Zac Dysert, who was also under the exclusive rights tag.
Wetzel is the biggest name, having appeared in all 16 games and starting eight on the offensive line at both tackle and guard after injuries wiped out the unit. Pierre was inactive for all 16 games, while Dysert spent most of the season on the practice squad, inactive for three games and spending one game as Drew Stanton’s backup when Carson Palmer had a concussion.
Free agency officially begins Thursday, although the "tampering" period officially opened Tuesday, with free agents allowed to start negotiations with teams other than their own.
The Cardinals have put the franchise tag on linebacker Chandler Jones, but are still scheduled to have 15 unrestricted free agents. The two biggest names -- defensive tackle Calais Campbell and safety Tony Jefferson -- are expected to leave because of the sizable offers each should receive on the open market.
After defensive tackle Josh Mauro re-signed, the Cardinals have two restricted free agents-to-be in kicker Chandler Catanzaro and tight end Darren Fells. Neither player is expected to receive a tender offer, but both are candidates to return to the roster depending on their market value.