Cornerback Eric Green (25) and defensive end Antonio Smith (94) each signed their one-year contracts Thursday and participated in team workouts.
Eric Green was in Florida Wednesday night when his phone rang about 11:30 p.m.
It was his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
The two talked about the cornerback signing his one-year tender offer. The decision was made for Green to hop on a plane as soon as possible to do so. So Green did.
Defensive end Antonio Smith got a similar call from Rosenhaus and came to a similar conclusion.
So both players arrived at the Cardinals' Tempe facility Thursday morning, inked their qualifying offers – worth more than $2 million this season – and proceeded to join their teammates in the scheduled voluntary workout.
"I am real excited," Green said. "I think it's important I am back here with my teammates.
"If you want things to be good around a program and everybody to do well, I think you all need to be there."
Both players could have waited. As restricted free agents, they had until April 18 to field contract offers from other teams. But with both Green and Smith carrying with them first-round tenders – meaning if a team signed them away, that team would owe the Cards a first-round draft pick – it had been unlikely an offer was forthcoming.
Given the Cards' current situation dealing with various other contract issues, a long-term contract extension was also unlikely right now.
"Drew had a chance to talk to the team (about an extension) and we figured how things were going to go and we decided the best thing for us was to get started with the offseason workout program," Smith said.
Smith was the subject of a rumor on profootballtalk.com Wednesday night saying he would boycott the offseason program because he wanted a trade. That wasn't the case, Smith said.
He did, however, enjoy the fact his status has grown enough that his presence would generate attention – and a first-round tender -- considering his humble beginnings as a fifth-round draft pick who had been released.
"I guess you get so caught up in the things you accomplish and the work you have been doing, you never really think about it that way, but that's true," Smith said. "The Cardinals showed they really wanted me."
Green said he had been training in Fort Lauderdale and that he is completely healed from the torn groin that ended his 2007 season early, even playing some pickup basketball over the last couple of weeks. He participated fully in Thursday's workout, including the running portion.
"It feels like my first day in the locker room, seeing some new faces I don't know," Green said. "It is exciting."
The other half of the profootballtalk.com item, defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, remained absent from workouts. Dockett reportedly will stay away because he wants a new contract.
- Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 4/3/08.