The Cardinals now have the second of their two exclusive rights free agents signed to tender offers, and their running back room that much more set.
Jonathan Ward inked his one-year contract on Monday, eight days out from the Cardinals beginning their voluntary offseason training program.
Ward is the fourth back under contract, joining James Conner, Eno Benjamin and Jaylen Samuels. The Cardinals have also recently talked to former Chiefs running back Darrel Williams, and selecting a back in the later rounds of the draft also wouldn’t be a surprise.
Ward has become an important part of special teams — he made arguably the NFL’s catch of the year on a fake punt against the Cowboys — and his work at running back in his two seasons has been limited. In 13 games in 2021, he had nine carries for 33 yards with three catches for 34 yards.
Conner, who just signed a three-year contract extension, will be the lead back. Benjamin is the current top candidate to replace the departed Chase Edmonds, with Samuels bringing with him experience playing with the Steelers and Texans.