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Jarrett Guarantano, JaVonta Payton sign UDFA deals with the Arizona Cardinals

NCAA Football: Utah State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of former Tennessee Volunteers have found an opportunity after going undrafted this weekend in Las Vegas. Former starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and former starting wide receiver JaVonta Payton will both join the Arizona Cardinals for rookie minicamp, each looking to make enough of an impression to push for a roster spot in the fall.

Guarantano is coming off of his one season at Washington State after transferring from Tennessee following the 2020 season. The former four-star passer struggled during his time in Knoxville, eventually losing his job to JT Shrout and Harrison Bailey in his final season.

He opted to transfer with one season remaining, where he played for the Cougars. Guarantano appeared in just two games in 2021, throwing one touchdown a three interceptions in 49 attempts. The New Jersey native now gets a chance to be a camp arm for the Cardinals.

Payton has more of a chance to stick with the team, although it may end up being by way of the practice squad. Arizona has a loaded depth chart, complete with DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Hollywood Brown and A.J. Green.

Transferring in from Mississippi State, Payton grew into an x-factor role for Tennessee last season. He was a gamebreaker for the Volunteers, making several splashes down the field in Josh Heupel’s offense.

Payton played in 11 games for Tennessee, catching just 18 passes. He may those reps count though, racking up 413 yards and six scores. The 6-1, 180 pound receiver will now look to bring that big play ability to the next level, with training camp and preseason football ahead of him.