Olsen Pierre became a key player on the defensive line last season.
The Cardinals have extended tender offers to four exclusive rights free agents, ostensibly keeping them in the fold for the 2018 season.
The team tendered defensive lineman Olsen Pierre, running back Elijhaa Penny, tackle John Wetzel and cornerback C.J. Goodwin.
Pierre had 32 tackles, 5½ sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 2017, becoming a key rotational piece on the line. He is projected to have a substantial role again this season. Penny made the team as the fourth running back after spending the 2016 season on the practice squad. He was a special teams contributor and finished with 31 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
Wetzel has been a valuable fill-in the past two seasons, starting 19 games at tackle and guard in place of injured starters. Goodwin was claimed off waivers from the Falcons in mid-December. He played in two games after being acquired by the Cardinals.
Free agents with two or fewer accrued seasons fall under the exclusive rights tag. Once they are tendered, the players can only sign with their prior team. The Cardinals currently have 18 unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents. Free agency begins on March 14.