Cardinals sign defensive end Shaughnessy

March 15, 2013

The Cardinals added to their depth on the defensive line Friday by signing free-agent defensive end Matt Shaughnessy to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal are not yet known.

The news was first announced on Twitter by Cards outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield, Shaughnessy's college teammate and bookend pass rusher at Wisconsin.

The 26-year-old Shaughnessy, entering his fifth year in the NFL, started all 16 games for the Raiders last year and finished with 3.5 sacks and 42 total tackles, playing about 65 percent of the team's snaps. He missed much of the 2011 season with a shoulder injury after posting career-best numbers in 2010, when he had seven sacks, 56 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Listed at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, Shaughnessy is considered particularly adept at stopping the run as a 4-3 defensive end, although the Cardinals are expected to retain a 3-4 defense despite the coordinator change from Ray Horton to Todd Bowles under new coach Bruce Arians. Given Shaughnessy's size, it is likely that he will slide into a backup/rotational role behind Calais Campbell at defensive end; the Cards' other starters up front are Darnell Dockett and nose tackle Dan Williams.

Shaughnessy was originally a third-round pick of the Raiders in 2009 and has started 29 games in his career, including every game in which he's been healthy since Week 12 of the 2010 season.

The Cardinals' other defensive signings this week include linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who is expected to start alongside Daryl Washington; safety Yeremiah Bell, likely to replace Kerry Rhodes following his release; and cornerback Jerraud Powers, who will compete for a starting cornerback job vacated by free-agency departure Greg Toler.