Cardinals add defensive end Rucker

March 21, 2013

The Cardinals agreed to terms Thursday on a one-year contract with free-agent defensive end Frostee Rucker. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 29-year-old Rucker spent 2012 with the Browns and started a career-high 16 games, tallying 48 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble and a pass defended. He finished third on the team in sacks and 10th in tackles. Rucker signed with Cleveland prior to last season after playing the first six seasons of his career in Cincinnati.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Rucker played in all 32 games the past two seasons, starting 27 of them, and posted four sacks each year to go along with a combined 108 tackles. In his career, the 2006 third-round pick out of USC has played in 69 games and has recorded 195 tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one interception and eight passes defended.

Rucker adds more depth to a Cardinals defensive line that last week was bolstered by the addition of free-agent defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, a 16-game starter in 2012 with the Raiders who is known primarily for his ability to hold up against the run.

While both Rucker and Shaughnessy played 4-3 defensive end in their previous locales, the Cardinals are still expected to primarily use a 3-4 under new coordinator Todd Bowles. Calais Campbell is entrenched as the starter at defensive end in that alignment -- Darnell Dockett and nose tackle Dan Williams are the other starters up front -- meaning Rucker and Shaughnessy likely will be used in situational roles while providing the Cards with the flexibility to shift into a 4-3 alignment at times.