Cardinals tender Tony Jefferson, can match any offer he gets

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The Cardinals have tendered restricted free agent safety Tony Jefferson and will have the right to match any offer Jefferson receives from another team.

Jefferson, a former undrafted free agent, received the low tender. That essentially means the Cardinals offered him $1.67 million for 2016 absent a long-term deal and, because Jefferson wasn’t drafted, wouldn’t receive any compensation if he ends up signing with another team and the Cardinals don’t match.

A tweet from Jefferson indicates he may have been expecting or hoping for a second-round tender at a guaranteed salary of $2.55 million for next season. But Jefferson recently turned 24 and has shown a nose for the ball, so he’ll likely attract attention from other teams when the free agency period opens next week and have a chance to make more than he’s currently slated to make.

Jefferson clinched a Monday Night Football win for the Cardinals with an interception last October. He’s started 15 games over the past two seasons and had two interceptions, two sacks and three forced fumbles last season.