Karlos Dansby had offers from around the league after being released by Miami, more than a half dozen teams asking if he would want to come play for them.
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When the Arizona Cardinals called, the decision was pretty much over.
Arizona was where he started his career, where his home and cars are, base camp for his support group, from his nutritionist to personal trainer and the person who helps him stretch.
”It made a lot of sense,” the linebacker said Friday after signing a one-year deal to return to the desert. ”My whole team is here, Team Dansby. Everything I need is right here, so it was a no-brainer.”
The move made a lot of sense for the Cardinals.
Arizona has a need at linebacker Daryl Washington suspended the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and facing more potential trouble after being arrested last week on charges he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his baby girl.
Dansby shouldn’t take long to get acclimated to his surroundings.
He was drafted by Arizona in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft and played six seasons for the Cardinals. He started 83 games and had 25.5 sacks with 10 interceptions.
A versatile player who can play multiple positions, Dansby could be a solid fill-in for Washington and help the Cardinals out across the linebacking corps.
”He has played in this system, so we know what he can do,” first-year Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. ”He had a great season last year and there’s no reason to believe there will be a dropoff. It just adds great depth, but also a great leadership presence he’s always had, which is the type of player we want here.”
Dansby spent the past three seasons with Miami and led the Dolphins with a career-high 133 tackles, including one sack, in 2012, but was released after the season.
Dansby said he spoke with numerous teams about one-year deals, but the opportunity to return home and secure a place in Arizona’s history made the decision easy.
”It was frustrating with the release and a humbling situation, but I knew God had a plan for me,” Dansby said. ”To be able to come back this way is unbelievable. When the opportunity presented itself, it was one I had to take.
Dansby has 31.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries in nine NFL seasons.
Arizona also signed four late-round picks from this year’s draft to four-year deals: running backs Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington, receiver Ryan Swope and tight end D.C. Jefferson.
The deals lock up half of Arizona’s 2013 draft class, leaving guard Jonathan Cooper, their first-round pick, linebacker Kevin Minter (second round), defensive back Tryann Mathieu (third) and guard Earl Watford (fourth).
”I was happy to sign the rookies, but that (signing Dansby) makes my day,” Arians said after the first day of the Cardinals’ rookie camp. ”I’m more than excited about having him.”