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Cardinals' Tony Jefferson: Expected to reach open market
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Jefferson (knee) is expected to reach the open market once free agency begins on March 9, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.

Less than one year removed from receiving little interest as a restricted free agent, Jefferson will likely garner offers left and right once organizations can contact unrestricted free agents on March 7. Before reaching the final days of the 2016 league year, though, the Cardinals can negotiate with the safety, who exploded for a career-best 96 tackles (78 solo), despite missing the season finale due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain. The organization is handcuffed due to the presence of fellow unrestricted free agent defenders Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones, hence the reason Jefferson is expected to be available upon the opening of free agency.

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Cardinals' Chandler Jones: In line for Cards' franchise tag
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

The Cardinals are expected to place their franchise tag on Jones, the Arizona Republic reports.

The NFL has entered the two-week stretch in which organizations can utilize both the franchise and transition tags, but decisions must be made by 4 PM ET on March 1. If the Cardinals make such a call, as expected, the two sides will have until July 15 to reach agreement on a multi-year contract. If terms aren't reached, though, Jones will play under a salary in excess of $15 million next season. No matter what comes to pass, he's slated to form a formidable pass-rushing duo with Markus Golden, who both reached double-digit sacks in 2016.

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Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald: Feels 'much better' physically
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Fitzgerald is "much better" physically than he was at the end of the regular season, the Cardinals' official site reports.

Although Fitzgerald didn't shed light on his health often during the Cardinals' underwhelming campaign, he frequently received the oft-used "veteran rest day" in order to avoid undue physical stress during practice. In advance of the Super Bowl, though, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Fitzgerald "got beat up, was dealing with several nagging injuries" in 2016. Fitzgerald took time to make a decision on his future, which was seemingly tied to that of quarterback Carson Palmer. Upon opting to return as of Feb. 1, Palmer made a similar call last Thursday, ensuring the duo will suit up together for the fifth year in a row.

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Cardinals' David Johnson: Nearing end of recovery effort
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Johnson (knee) is approaching the end of his rehabilitation from an MCL sprain in his left knee, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.

An unsightly knee injury resulted in an abbreviated season finale for Johnson. Fortunately for the running back, he was diagnosed with a sprained MCL, which was expected to require a 6-to-8 week recovery effort. Now in the stretch run, he posted a short video of himself jumping out of a pool last Wednesday, revealing that he's nearly 100 percent. Expect Johnson to embark soon on his preparation for a repeat of his breakout 2016 campaign.

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Cardinals' John Brown: Potential solution discovered for sickle-cell trait
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

The Cardinals may have found a solution for Brown's sickle-cell trait, reports. "He is very healthy, looks like they found the issue," team president Michael Bidwill said Tuesday. "We'll get Smoke back the way we had him."

After Brown was diagnosed in Week 7, he was missing in action within the Cardinals' offense, surpassing 30 yards receiving in only two of nine contests. For a burner like Brown, his 55.6 percent catch rate (15 receptions on 27 targets) during that stretch wasn't unexpected, but issues with fatigue conspired to inhibit his varied skill set. If an answer to his health woes has been found, he'd be the obvious candidate for third option in the mind of Carson Palmer behind Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. In such a scenario -- and assuming no additions on the receiving front in the offseason -- Brown could hearken back to his first two campaigns, when he hauled in 12 touchdowns and racked up 1,699 yards on 204 targets.

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