The Cardinals have signed six players that took part in the team’s rookie minicamp that occurred this past weekend.
The team also waived six players, including center Marcus Henry, who played four games during the 2021 season, and linebacker Ron’Dell Carter, who had been claimed on waivers from the Houston Texans April 26. Henry was also active for four other games last season, but did not play.
The other four players had been signed as college free agents after the draft: wide receiver Changa Hodge, wide receiver Stephon Robinson, defensive end Will Miles and safety Kekaula Kaniho.
Signed after participating in the minicamp on tryouts were wide receivers Christian Blake and Jared Smart, quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, running back T.J. Pledger, tackle Greg Long and safety Tae Daley.
All the teams rookies will be on the field with the veterans when OTAs begin May 23-25.
Blake (6-1, 181) is the most experienced of the additions, having entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. He was on and off the practice squad his first two seasons, but played in 16 games in each of the last two years. In 2021, he had four receptions for 25 yards. For his career with the Falcons, he played 41 games and totaled 28 catches for 257 yards and had eight special-teams tackles. He became a free agent in March when the Falcons did not tender him as a restricted free agent.
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Smart (5-11, 189) played in 36 games the past three years (2019-21) at Hawaii and had 149 receptions for 1,863 yards and eight touchdowns. Prior to Hawaii, the 23-year old Smart played two seasons (2017-18) at Laney College (Calif.) and appeared in 19 games, catching 70 passes for 817 yards and seven TDs. He is the son of former NBA coach and current Arkansas basketball assistant coach Keith Smart. As a player at the University of Indiana, Keith is best known for hitting the game-winning shot in the 1987 NCAA championship game to beat Syracuse.
Guarantano (gare-in-TAN-no) (6-3, 219) played two games last season at Washington State after spending the first four years (2017-20) of his collegiate career at the University of Tennessee. As a member of the Vols, the 24-year-old appeared in 41 games (32 starts) and completed 494 of 808 passes for 6,174 yards and 38 touchdowns while also running for five touchdowns. He had 13 career multi-TD games and passed for 300-plus yards three times in his career.
Pledger (5-9, 196) played at Oklahoma (2018-20) and Utah (2021) and appeared in 37 games with 1,389 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 239 carries (5.8 average) while adding 21 receptions for 196 yards. A former teammate of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver Marquise Brown with the Sooners, the 22-year old Pledger had his best college season with the Utes in 2021 when he posted career highs in rushing attempts (104), rushing yards (694), rushing average (6.7), rushing touchdowns (10), receptions (10) and receiving yards (107) in helping the team to its first-ever Pac-12 championship and an appearance in the Rose Bowl.
Daley (5-11, 201) played in all 13 games (10 starts) last year at Virginia Tech and totaled 73 tackles (47 solo), four tackles for loss, one pass defensed and one forced fumble. Prior to playing at Virginia Tech, the 23-year old Daley played three seasons (2017-19) at Vanderbilt where he had 108 tackles (74 solo), three interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss, three passes defensed, one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks in 35 games.
Long (6-3, 304) played 11 games the past two years (2020-21) at Purdue after spending the first four years (2016-19) of his collegiate career at Texas-El Paso. In his first season at Purdue in 2020, Long was named honorable mention All-Big 10 after starting all six games that season and helping the Boilermakers average 390.5 yards per game. The 24-year old Long appeared in 19 games at tackle while playing at UTEP.
Arizona Cardinals Sign Six Players After Rookie Minicamp
The players participated over the weekend in the minicamp on tryouts.