TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals and free agent guard Mike Iupati have agreed on a five-year, $40 million contract with $22.5 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday.
The person asked not to be identified because the deal has not officially been announced. Announcement of the agreement is pending a physical, which is planned on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-5, 331-pound lineman has played all five of his NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. He is a three-time Pro Bowl player and made the All-Pro team in 2012.
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Iupati is considered one of the best run blockers in the NFL and he joins a team that was last in rushing last season.
Iupati’s deal is richer than the five-year, $35 million contract – with $17 million guaranteed – that left tackle Jared Veldheer signed with Arizona a year ago.
The two deals mean the Cardinals are certain to owe $39.5 million to the two players on the left side of their line.
Iupati has played left guard throughout his career and is expected to play that position in Arizona. That would mean the Cardinals could move Jonathan Cooper, Arizona’s first-round draft pick in 2013, from left to right guard. Cooper missed his rookie season with a broken leg and was slow to come back last season.
Among other things, the Cardinals are looking for a power back either in free agency or the draft. Andre Ellington is not that style of runner and was bothered by a foot injury throughout last season.
Iupati, from American Samoa, was the 17th pick overall in the 2010 draft out of Idaho. He was lightly recruited as a high school player in Anaheim, California, but developed into one of the best linemen in college football at the time.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Cardinals announced the signing of inside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a one-year contract. Woodley played seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was with the Oakland Raiders last year. He played six games last season, five as a starter, before a biceps injury ended his season. The Raiders released him in February.
Defensive end Cory Redding, a 12-year NFL veteran, said in a tweet that he would be visiting the Cardinals on Wednesday.
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