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Cardinals give one-year offers to three RFAs

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By PFW staff

The Cardinals have given one-year qualifying offers to S Rashad Johnson, RB LaRod Stephens-Howling and CB Greg Toler. All three are restricted free agents.

Stephens-Howling received a second-round tender from the team, Johnson a third-round tender and Toler a fourth-round tender. The players can negotiate with other teams through April 20, and the Cardinals have the right to either match a contract offer or accept the corresponding draft-choice compensation.

Stephens-Howling was second on the team in rushing last season and also served as the team's top kickoff returner. Johnson had 42 tackles and a fumble recovery as a reserve defensive back. Toler didn't play in 2011 after suffering a knee injury during the preseason.

The Cardinals also announced Friday they extended offers to four exclusive-rights free agents: QB Richard Bartel, RB Alfonso Smith, DE Ronald Talley and LB Brandon Williams. They also re-signed CB A.J. Jefferson and WR Stephen Williams.

The way we see it

A player to watch is Stephens-Howling, whom one national league observer dubbed "Darren Sproles Lite." In the right offense, he could be a pretty interesting big-play weapon, but whether he is a consistent enough threat for a team to be willing to relinquish a scond-round pick is another matter altogether. Ideally, the Cardinals would love to retain "LSH" and hopefully get a lot more touches out of him in 2012.

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