ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals tender Jonathan Ward, Antoine Wesley to exclusive rights offers

Mar 9, 2022, 2:04 PM
Jonathan Ward #29 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the...
Jonathan Ward #29 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball during the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals tendered running back Jonathan Ward and wide receiver Antoine Wesley to exclusive rights offers on Wednesday.

The deals span one year. The dollar amounts are unknown.

Ward saw an uptick in play over the course of his second NFL season, receiving 46 offensive snaps (5% of available snaps) and 201 special teams reps (58%) this past season after recording four offensive and 174 special teams snaps in 2020.

Those 2021 snaps translated to nine carries for 33 yards. He also caught three balls for 34 yards, including one of the best catches of the year on a fake punt against the Dallas Cowboys.

The running back also accounted for a forced fumble, five tackles and a kick return for 16 yards.

The signing adds another body to a thin running backs room that as of Wednesday afternoon features Eno Benjamin as the only other rusher under contract through next season. The team’s 2021 starters, Chase Edmonds and James Conner, are unrestricted free agents this offseason.

As for Wesley, the wide receiver filled in for DeAndre Hopkins in the latter half of the season after the No. 1 option went down with a torn MCL.

Following Hopkins’ injury in Week 10, Wesley recorded 15 catches on 25 targets for 139 yards and three touchdowns over the final seven games of the regular season. Two of his scores came in a 25-22 win over the Cowboys.

Outside of Wesley, the Cardinals currently have Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch and Andy Isabella currently under contract through next season. Isabella, however, has been granted permission to seek a trade.

The Ward and Wesley signings come the same day the Cardinals decided to release starting middle linebacker and captain Jordan Hicks. The move makes way for second-year pro Zaven Collins to step into a starting MIKE backer role.

Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the NFL game against the ...
Wills Rice

The 33rd Team: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray in Tier 1 of NFL players under 25

The 33rd Team ranked Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray the seventh best player in the league age 25 and under.
14 hours ago
DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a pass for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions dur...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Seattle Seahawks

After taking a look at the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams, it's time to turn the attention to the Seattle Seahawks:
14 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe....
Sam Graveline

Shook: Marquise Brown best Cards’ candidate to be 1st-time Pro Bowler

Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown has yet to make the Pro Bowl in his career, but NFL.com's Nick Shook thinks that could change in 2022.
2 days ago
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams talks with players before mini camp on June 8, 2022 a...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Los Angeles Rams

After diving into the 49ers' current state of affairs, it's time to take a look at the 2021 Super Bowl champion Rams.
2 days ago
Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45) pulls away from Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Isaia...
Wills Rice

PFF’s Linsey: Arizona Cardinals have NFL’s No. 23 ranked roster for 2022

Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey has the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 23 ranked roster heading into the 2022 season.
2 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
3 days ago
Cardinals tender Jonathan Ward, Antoine Wesley to exclusive rights offers