A list of the Cardinals’ unrestricted, restricted and exclusive free agents

Feb 7, 2018, 11:34 AM

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) celebrates a New York Giants missed field goal ...

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) celebrates a New York Giants missed field goal during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The NFL free agency period begins Wednesday, March 14, but the Arizona Cardinals will nonetheless have their work cut out for them before that date.

They must decide what to spend, what positions to spend at and look at freeing up more money with cuts, which could begin on Monday, the day after Super Bowl LII.

On Feb. 20, teams can begin designating franchise or transition tags on players.

Looking ahead to what the Cardinals are planning to lose or gain there and in free agency will help explain any moves in the next month leading up to March 14. Here is a rundown of Arizona’s unrestricted, restricted and exclusive rights free agents with their position, age and 2017 salary (via Spotrac).

Cardinal’s unrestricted free agents (19)

What is an unrestricted free agent?: These players, who have accrued four or more NFL seasons, can openly sign with another team through July 22. After that, their rights revert exclusively to Arizona if they have not yet signed and the Cardinals tendered a one-year deal for 110 percent of their 2017 salary by May 8. If the Cardinals did not tender them, they remain free to sign elsewhere.

WR Jaron Brown (28) $1,910,000
WR John Brown (27) $699,725
WR Brittan Golden (29) $645,000
TE Troy Niklas (25) $1,005,825
S Tyvon Branch (31) $4,000,000
OL Earl Watford (27) $775,000
RB Kerwynn Williams (26) $555,000
QB Drew Stanton (33) $3,250,000
QB Blaine Gabbert (28) $855,000
QB Matt Barkley (27) $775,000
LB Josh Bynes (28) $775,000
LB Kareem Martin (25) $710,890
OT Khalif Barnes (35) $1,000,000
LS Aaron Brewer (27) $725,000
LB Karlos Dansby (36) $2,000,000
OL Alex Boone (30) $900,000
DL Frostee Rucker (34) $1,080,000
CB Justin Bethel (27) $5,000,000
CB Tramon Williams (34) $2,000,000

Restricted free agent (1)

What is a restricted free agent?: Restricted free agents have less than four accrued years in the NFL and are eligible for one-year qualifying offers. Teams put an offer on each player based on what draft pick compensation they would receive should they lose the player. Restricted free agents then can negotiate with other teams who must match the tender chosen by Arizona. The Cardinals can decline to match the offer and receive draft pick compensation.

DL Xavier Williams (25) $527,667

Exclusive free agents (8)

What is an exclusive rights free agent?: Like restricted free agents, exclusive rights free agents are in the NFL three years or less but if lost will not be compensated for. Arizona must offer a minimum salary tender by March 14 to retain negotiating rights with exclusive free agents, otherwise those players become unrestricted free agents.

CB Ronald Zamort (26) $465,000
OT John Wetzel (26) $540,000
DL Olsen Pierre (26) $540,000
RB Elijhaa Penny (24) $465,000
OT Vinston Painter (28) $540,000
C/G Daniel Munyer (25) $465,000
TE Ifeanyi Momah (28) $495,000
S C.J. Goodwin (27) $495,000

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A list of the Cardinals’ unrestricted, restricted and exclusive free agents