After striking gold with Freeney, Cardinals take shot with Babin
An injury to linebacker Alex Okafor early in the season led the Arizona Cardinals to sign veteran Dwight Freeney off the street.
That turned out to be a pretty astute move for both the Cardinals and Freeney, who leads the team in sacks with seven, including three against the Green Bay Packers - Saturday night's opponent in the NFC Divisional Round.
Arians said #AZCardinals had "looked at (Jason Babin) for a while now. He was the next guy on our list in case we needed one."— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) January 12, 2016
Now, with Okafor done for the season with a toe injury sustained during the bye week, Arizona is hoping it can unearth another gem following Tuesday's signing of veteran linebacker Jason Babin, a first-round pick of the Houston Texans back in 2004.
The 35-year-old Babin appeared in two games with the Baltimore Ravens this season and registered a pair of sacks with the New York Jets in 2014, raising his career total to 64 1/2. Freeney has excelled as a situational pass rusher and the Cardinals could be hoping for much of the same from Babin.
“Coach did mention I’d have a role,” Babin told the team's official website. “It may be a loose definition. What is a role, I don’t know. I’m just here to work, and happy to be playing football. I’ve played in a defense where the verbiage was pretty similar. Hopefully it will be a pretty smooth transition.”
Babin had his best season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, amassing 18 sacks. He started all 16 games with Jacksonville as recently as 2013 and notched 7 1/2 sacks.
"If they didn’t think I could whip the man across from me, they wouldn't have signed me,” Babin said.