WR Jerheme Urban (Otto Greule Jr./Getty)
The Cardinals were busy on the eve of free agency, tendering offers to three restricted free agents while declining to do the same for four others. A couple of surprising cuts could prove costly if Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson sign elsewhere.
The Cardinals tendered qualifying offers to Antonio Smith, Eric Green and Elton Brown. Green and Smith were tendered first-round offers worth $2.07 million.
The Cards would receive a first-round pick as compensation if either Smith or Green signs with another team, which is a price steep enough to scare off most potential suitors. Both players were starters last season and are projected to retain those roles in 2008.
All three restricted free agents have until April 18 to sign the offers. They are free to negotiate with other teams in the interim, although all three are expected to wear Red and White next season.
Brown's tender offer was a modest $927,000. Arizona would net a fourth-round pick if Brown signs elsewhere, as Brown was a fourth-round pick when he entered the league in 2005.
Arizona decided against tendering offers to restricted free agents Darryl Blackstock, Tim Euhus, Jerehme Urban and Ahmad Merritt.
The decision on Blackstock is surprising, as the Cardinals are already on the verge of losing Calvin Pace to free agency.
The release of Ubran is also a mild surprise, as he played well in limited reps as the third receiver last season, a role that will be vacant if Bryant Johnson signs elsewhere.
The team also extended offers to exclusive rights free agents Michael Adams, Troy Bienemann and Jamaica Rector.