Cardinals bring back center Sendlein to compete for job

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Lyle Sendlein has come back to Arizona, the one place more than any other that he wanted to be.

Sendlein had been with Arizona all eight of his NFL seasons, the last seven as a starter, before he was released, as expected, in a salary cap move on March 11. At the time, he reportedly turned down a one-year, $1.5 million offer to remain with the Cardinals. Instead, he became a free agent but, failing to find another team, signed a one-year deal with Arizona.

"It will be good to get out of the house and do something other than changing diapers and lifting weights," he said after Friday’s practice.

Coach Bruce Arians said Sendlein did not come in automatically as a starter but would compete for the job with A.Q. Shipley and Ted Larsen. The coach said Shipley is ahead of Larsen so far in camp. Sendlein has started all 32 games and the team’s one playoff contest since Arians came to Arizona.

"He’ll be light years ahead of anybody else who would have come off the street," Arians said. "He knows everything and has played, well respected in the locker room, so it will be healthy competition and I’m looking forward to it."

Sendlein, 31, was a four-time team captain for the Cardinals, including last season.

Now living in Austin, Texas, he said that "deep down we always wanted to come back" to Arizona. He grew up in nearby Scottsdale.

As training camps were about to open, Sendlein talked to other teams but decided to wait and see what opportunity would develop as camps wore on, always hoping it would be in Arizona.

"This is obviously where my heart is," he said, "growing up here and being a big Cardinals fan, going through a lot of change with Arizona. That’s something I wanted to continue."


Sendlein said it didn’t take much to get him here.

"A phone call, a flight and a physical," he said.

After making the team as an undrafted free agent out of Texas in 2007, he started every game in Arizona’s 2008 Super Bowl season. The only games he did not start since then were the last five in 2012 due to a knee injury.

"I’m just glad he’s back," longtime teammate Larry Fitzgerald said. "He’s been a big part of the transformation of this organization. I played in the Super Bowl with him and I know what he stands for. He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever competed with. In terms of his mental capacity, he knows what every single person is doing in terms of line calls, what the defense is trying to do to them."

The Cardinals also signed wide receiver Travis Harvey and guard Nate Isles and released quarterback Chandler Harnish.

Harnish, Mr. Irrelevant as the last player taken in the 2012 draft, spent most of last season on the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster for one week when Teddy Bridgewater was injured.

Harnish had been competing with second-year pro Logan Thomas and undrafted rookie Phillip Sims for Arizona’s No. 3 quarterback spot behind Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton