Cardinals use 2nd-round RFA tender on LB Dennis Gardeck

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Jess Root
·1 min read
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The Arizona Cardinals are continuing to do work in free agency with their own players. The latest is linebacker and special teams ace Dennis Gardeck, a restricted free agent.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Cardinals have used a second-round restricted free agent tender on Gardeck, which all but ensures Gardeck will play at least one more season for the Cardinals.

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Gardeck has been with the Cardinals for three seasons after making the roster in 2018 as an undrafted rookie out of Sioux Falls.

He had a big year. After being a Pro Bowl alternate on special teams in 2019, he added another nine special teams tackles in 2020 and made an impact on defense. He played inside linebacker for the first two years of his career but never saw the field on defense. He was moved to outside linebacker and saw limited time with extreme production.

In only 93 defensive snaps, he had seven sacks.

He also tore his ACL late in the season, meaning he will not be able to play until at least midseason. However, this move gives him security and allows the Cardinals to give him at least one more look before signing him to a longer-term deal.

Gardeck is a fan favorite and was a team captain last season.

The second-round tender will pay him nearly $3.4 million in 2021.

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