Arizona Cardinals free agency tracker: Former Packers LB Krys Barnes signs 1-year deal
NFL free agency is here. For the Cardinals, this means the start of roster reconstruction. Arizona will be targeting multiple positions in free agency — and the NFL draft on April 27-29 — with heavy emphasis on center, guard, defensive line, edge rusher and cornerback. The Cardinals also are expected to be in the market for a backup quarterback, plus help at wide receiver and also must identify their three specialists on special teams.
Here are the latest developments:
Cardinals add another linebacker, Krys Barnes
The Cardinals announced they have signed free agent linebacker Krys Barnes to a one-year contract.
Barnes spent the past three seasons with the Packers after joining them as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2020 out of UCLA. He’s appeared in 35 games with 24 starts and has 186 career tackles with three sacks and nine tackles for loss.
In 2020, Barnes became just the third undrafted player since 2000 to have 75 or more tackles as a rookie.
Cardinals reach agreement with former Lions LB
The Cardinals on Thursday agreed to terms with veteran linebacker Josh Woods on a one-year contract, Woods coming over via free agency after spending the 2022 season with the Detroit Lions as a team captain.
Woods (6-foot-1, 236 pounds) has spent time with the Chicago Bears (2018-21) and Detroit Lions (2021-22) during his NFL career after entering the league as a rookie free agent out of Maryland in 2018. He has appeared in 54 games with one start in his career, and has 33 tackles and a fumble recovery on special teams.
The vast majority of Woods' snaps have come on special teams. He played in all 17 games for Detroit last season and had 10 solo special teams tackles.
Free agent Dogbe chooses Jaguars
Former seventh-round draft pick Michael Dogbe has moved on from the Cardinals, according to reports. Dogbe, who spent the past four seasons in Arizona, has agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars as of Wednesday.
Dogbe played in 13 games with four starts last season. In 2021, he played in 16 games and started one. Dogbe played 33 percent of the Cardinals' defensive snaps and 15 percent of the special teams snaps in 2022.
The Cardinals drafted Dogbe out of Temple in 2019, the 249th pick overall.
Cardinals add to offensive line
The Cardinals added some experience to their offensive line via free agency Tuesday, signing former Tennessee Titan Dennis Daley to a two-year contract.
Daley played in all 17 games last season with 15 starts at left tackle. He has also played guard in his career.
It's Daley's third team in three seasons, as he was traded to Tennessee from Carolina before last season. Daley was a sixth-round pick of the Panthers in the 2019 NFL Draft from South Carolina and appeared in 34 games including 21 starts with Carolina.
Daley has played mostly left tackle in his career but also left and right guard.
-Jose M. Romero
Cardinals re-sign Hamilton and Ledbetter, add Collier
The Cardinals continued to address roster needs via free agency on Tuesday, re-signing cornerback Antonio Hamilton Sr. and defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter and agreeing to terms with former Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman L.J. Collier.
Hamilton and Collier received one-year contracts and Ledbetter signed his one-year tender to avoid becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Collier, a former first-round pick by the Seahawks in 2019 out of TCU, hopes to rebound after a 2022 season in which he spent the first seven weeks on injured reserve with an elbow injury and then a thumb injury. He started 16 of the 45 regular season games he played with Seattle.
All of those starts came in the 2020 season. Collier has three career sacks.
Hamilton played in 10 games with five starts last season and set career highs with 40 tackles (36 solo) and five pass breakups. After overcoming severe burns to his legs and feet before last season started, he returned and got his first career interception.
Hamilton, 30, will be back for his third season with the Cardinals and is well-respected in the locker room among his teammates. With Byron Murphy Jr. having signed with Minnesota and the Cardinals thin at cornerback at present, Hamilton and Marco Wilson provide the game experience for Arizona at the position.
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton’s deal with #Cardinals includes $1.5M guaranteed ($335K signing bonus) and play-time incentives for $2M max value, per source. Some security after Hamilton played 38% of defensive snaps for Arizona last year.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 21, 2023
Ledbetter played in 14 games last season and had 22 total tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hit. He was mainly on the Cardinals' practice squad in 2021.
-Jose M. Romero
Cardinals sign WR Zach Pascal
The Cardinals on Monday afternoon announced the signing of veteran wide receiver Zach Pascal two a two-year contract, and also signed quarterback David Blough to a one-year contract.
Pascal reunites with Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon after the two were with the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
Pascal had two catches in Super Bowl 57 for the Eagles and also played on special teams. The 28-year-old has played five NFL seasons, including his first four with the Indianapolis Colts, and has 165 career regular season catches for 2,038 yards with 16 touchdowns in 81 games.
Pascal was undrafted out of Old Dominion, where he played in college until 2017. The 6-foot-2, 214-pound veteran had a touchdown catch for the Colts in a playoff loss to Buffalo in 2021.
Blough returns to Arizona after starting the Cardinals' last two games of last season. He completed 38 of 58 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns. After starting the season in the Detroit Lions' training camp, he joined Arizona’s active roster in December following 14 weeks on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad.
Blough, 27, has played in nine NFL games with seven starts and completed 138 of 242 passes for 1,435 yards and six touchdowns.
In other roster news, the Cardinals have apparently tendered a qualifying offer to exclusive rights free agent Jonathan Ledbetter, according to the team website. A defensive lineman who played well when healthy last season. Ledbetter had a sack and six total tackles against the Denver Broncos last December.
Cornerback Jace Whittaker was not offered a qualifying tender, it appears, and is listed by the team as an unrestricted free agent. Whittaker, who played in college at Arizona, started four games, broke up three passes and had 15 solo tackles for the Cardinals when he was forced into action on the active roster due to injuries at cornerback.
OL Cody Ford signs with Bengals
Cody Ford, a former college teammate of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray at Oklahoma who cost the team a fifth-round pick when acquired from the Buffalo Bills during training camp last year, signed a one-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals on March 15. The Bengals announced the signing.
Ford appeared in 11 games and started three last season but was unable to play in the first six weeks of the season due to an ankle injury. He played all of the snaps on offense in his three starts and was used at guard and tackle.
Ford's youth (26 years old), versatility and size seemed to make him a bargain when the Cardinals traded for him. But Ford chose to move on.
The Cardinals lost another free agent in defensive lineman Trysten Hill, according to multiple reports. Hill is set to sign with the Cleveland Browns.
Hill was claimed by the Cardinals off waivers in November and played in six games, registering a sack
The Dallas Cowboys waived Hill in November and he was claimed by the Cardinals. He appeared in six games for Arizona, recording six total tackles with a sack.
In all, Hill has appeared in 31 games with five starts.
-Jose M. Romero
Report: Cardinals to release J.J. Watt, Rodney Hudson
In a move that involves salary cap management, the Cardinals are, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC in Houston, releasing former defensive lineman J.J. Watt and center Rodney Hudson.
Watt retired at the end of last season. Hudson is expected retire, ESPN first reported on March 6.
The new NFL calendar year began March 15 with the official start of free agency, so teams are making roster moves. Watt and Hudson's releases were listed as post-June 1 designations to help the Cardinals save some salary cap room.
-Jose M. Romero
Cardinals announce signings of Kyzir White, G/C and DE
Arizona officially announced the signing of former Eagles linebacker Kyzir White to a two-year deal on March 15 as well as the signing of guard/center Hjalte Froholdt to a two-year deal and defensive end Kevin Strong to a one-year deal.
Froholdt, a native of Svendborg, Denmark, appeared in 17 games last season for the Browns and made six starts (four at center, two at right guard). He was part of an offense that ranked sixth in the league in rushing yards (146.5) and rushing touchdowns (19). The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Froholdt was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2019 out of Arkansas.
The 6-4, 295-pound Strong appeared in 16 games last season for the Titans, finishing with 23 tackles, 12 quarterback pressures and two passes defensed. He joined the Lions as an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2019 and has played in 36 career games overall.
Cardinals announce re-signings of Hernandez, Turner
The Cardinals officially announced the re-signing of guard Will Hernandez to a two-year contract, and that they’ve also re-signed linebacker/special teams performer Ezekiel Turner to a one-year deal.
Hernandez, 27, joined the Cardinals last season after spending his first four years in the NFL with the Giants. He started all 13 games he played for Arizona. A second-round pick out of UTEP in 2018, he started all 17 games for New York in 2021 and in 62 career games overall, has made 56 starts.
Turner, 26, returns to the Cardinals for his sixth season after making the club as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Washington in 2018. He had eight tackles on special teams last season and also played a career-high 107 snaps on defense, posting 14 tackles, three for loss, and forcing a fumble. He has 51 special teams tackles in 64 career games.
Report: Byron Murphy Jr. to Vikings
One day after the Cardinals lost free agent defensive end Zach Allen to the Broncos, news broke on March 14 that Arizona is losing its other top free agent, cornerback Byron Murphy Jr., to the Minnesota Vikings.
Murphy has agreed to a two-year deal worth roughly $22 million, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Murphy, a second-round pick out of Washington by the Cardinals in 2019, has 229 tackles, five interceptions, 34 passes defensed and five fumble recoveries in 56 career games.
In Minnesota, he will replace a spot in the secondary vacated by veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals’ former first-round pick, who on Tuesday agreed to terms on a deal to play for the Steelers.
The departure of Murphy, which won’t become official until Wednesday with the start of the league’s new year, which leaves second-year pro Marco Wilson as Arizona’s primary starting outside cornerback. Another outside corner will need to be added via free agency or the upcoming NFL draft.
Hernandez to return to Cardinals
The Cardinals continued to address their offensive line, reportedly re-signing right guard Will Hernandez to a two-year contract.
NFL Media reported the deal is worth $9 million. A source confirmed that Hernandez is re-signing with the team.
With the re-signing of Hernandez and right tackle Kelvin Beachum, the Cardinals now have three-fifths of their starting offensive line under contract – and fourth-fifths if the team opts to use Josh Jones as its starting left guard.
Hernandez started 13 games last season, his first with Arizona after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Giants.
Presently, the team still needs to find a center to man the middle of the offensive line under new head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing. The Cardinals are expected to part ways with veteran center Rodney Hudson, who may end up retiring regardless.
Report: Cards adding Eagles LB Kyzir White
The Cardinals addressed their defense on March 14, the second day of the free agent negotiating window, reportedly coming to terms with Eagles free agent linebacker Kyzir White.
Jordan Schultz from @thescore was the first to report the news. He said White will be signing a two-year deal worth $11 million, which will become official on March 15.
White, 26, played a key role on the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl this past season, ranking second on the team with 110 tackles from the starting weakside linebacker position. He added seven passes defensed, three tackles for loss and 1½ sacks.
A former fourth-round pick out of West Virginia by the Chargers in 2018, White signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia last year after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Chargers. He had a career-high 144 tackles for them in 2021, including two interceptions.
In 64 career games overall, he has totaled 388 tackles, 16 for loss, with 17 passes defensed and four interceptions.
More:Philadelphia Eagles LB Kyzir White set to reunite with coaches on Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals announce three moves
The Cardinals on March 14 officially announced they have re-signed right tackle Kelvin Beachum and veteran kicker Matt Prater to two-year contracts and also have re-signed running back Corey Clement on a one-year deal.
News of Beachum’s return was first learned on Monday in multiple reports. His return means the Cardinals will have both of their offensive tackles – he and left tackle D.J. Humphries – under contract for at least the next two seasons. John Jones, who can play either side and also has seen time inside at guard, is also under contract.
Prater, 38, had said toward the end of last season he would strongly consider a return to the Cardinals under the right situation. Retaining special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers obviously factored into the decision, as did a two-year offer.
Prater will be entering his 18th season and ranks 21st on the NFL’s all-time scoring list (1,674 points) and third among active player behind Robbie Gould (1,961) and Mason Crosby (1,918).
Prater holds NFL records for most made field goals of 50 yards or longer (71), field goal percentage on kicks of 50 yards or longer (74.7), consecutive made field goals from 50 or more yards (14) and holds the record for longest field goals made with Denver (64), Arizona (62) and Detroit (59).
Clement is a six-year pro who has appeared in 72 games with the Cardinals, Cowboys and Eagles. He has 855 career rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 211 carries and 48 receptions for 423 yards and three touchdowns. He projects as Arizona’s No.3 running back behind James Conner and second-year pro Keaontay Ingram.
Beachum’s contract numbers
Kelvin Beachum’s two-year contract to remain with the Cardinals is for a reported $5.15 million, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
Per NFL writer Aaron Wilson, the deal includes a $2.095 million signing bonus and $3.26 million in guaranteed pay. There is also a $20,000 roster bonus for each game Beachum is active – he started all 17 games a year ago – and $1.45 million in playtime incentive in 2024.
Report: Cardinals re-signing RT Beachum
As speculated at azcentral.com, the Cardinals have decided to bring back right tackle Kelvin Beachum, according to NFL writer Jordan Schultz.
Beachum, 33, was the only Cardinals’ offensive lineman to start all 17 games this past season and has been a vocal leader of the team on and off the field.
Contract details were not immediately available, although Beachum reportedly has agreed to a two-year deal.
Beachum created some news recently during a radio appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7-FM when he said Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray needed to “grow up,” among other things.
He has since backtracked from those comments a bit, telling The Republic, “He’s paid substantially, the highest-paid player on the team. There’s responsibilities and obligations and expectations that come with that. I’m excited to see him grow into that valuation.”
With Beachum back on board at right tackle, the Cardinals could consider using fourth-year pro Josh Jones at one of their starting guard positions. They could also opt to re-sign Will Hernandez or perhaps Justin Pugh, assuming he wants to return as he continues to recover from ACL surgery.
For subscribers:McManaman's 2023 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Cardinals select edge rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Broncos reportedly sign Zach Allen
Not long after news broke about Beachum returning to Arizona, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Broncos have agreed to terms with Cardinals free agent defensive end Zach Allen on a three-year deal worth a reported $45.7 million.
Per Rapoport, the contract includes $32.4 million in guaranteed salary.
Allen was one of the Cardinals’ top impending unrestricted free agents along with cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. In Denver, Allen will be reunited with Vance Joseph, who spent the past four years as Arizona’s defensive coordinator – the same job he holds now with the Broncos.
Allen was a third-round pick of the Cardinals out of Boston College in 2019 and had his best season this past year, totaling 47 tackles, including 10 for loss, with 20 quarterback pressures, eight passes defensed and a career-high 5½ sacks in just 13 games.
More:Cardinals' Kelvin Beachum in Africa for service project, not worried about free agency
Here’s a list of Cardinals players who were set to hit free agency:
Justin Pugh, guard (UFA)
Cody Ford, guard (UFA)
Antonio Hamilton, cornerback (UFA)
Max Garcia, offensive line (UFA)
Sean Harlow, offensive line (UFA)
Josh Miles, offensive line (UFA)
Rashaad Coward, offensive line (UFA)
Billy Price, center (UFA)
Zeke Turner, linebacker (UFA)
Tanner Vallejo, linebacker (UFA)
Trace McSorley, quarterback (UFA)
Stephen Anderson, tight end (UFA)
Maxx Williams, tight end (UFA)
Michael Dogbe, defensive line (UFA)
Trysten Hill, defensive line (UFA)
Andy Lee, punter (UFA)
Aaron Brewer, long snapper (UFA)
Nick Vigil, linebacker (UFA)
Pharoh Cooper, wide receiver (UFA)
Charles Washington, safety (UFA)
Ben Niemann, linebacker (UFA)
Josh Jackson, cornerback (UFA)
Darrel Williams, running back (UFA)
Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker (UFA)
David Blough, quarterback (RFA)
Antoine Wesley, wide receiver (RFA)
Jonathan Ledbetter, defensive line (ERFA)
Andre Baccellia, wide receiver (ERFA)
Jace Whittaker, cornerback (ERFA)
Follow azcentral sports as free agency frenzy gets ramped up this week.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Cardinals 2023 NFL free agency tracker: Tracking team's moves