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Arizona Cardinals sign Dwight Freeney to one-year deal

San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Dwight Freeney (93) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

It’s official.

After a day of speculation, the Arizona Cardinals have bolstered their pass rush by adding veteran outside linebacker Dwight Freeney on a one-year deal.

Freeney, a 13-year veteran, spent 11 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, who took him in the first round (11th overall) out of Syracuse in 2002. Freeney was with San Diego the last two seasons.

“I’m so excited,” Freeney told Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “It’s so different because the perspective I’ve had in the last four, five weeks, I’ve been sitting back kind of watching where the chips are falling, seeing who is the great teams and who aren’t, and this is definitely one and I’m excited to be a part of this.

“I just love the game and however I’m going to help this team, however they need me to help, I’m here.”

The 35-year-old has 111.5 career sacks, which is good for 21st on the all-time list and sixth among active players. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time First Team All-Pro (2004, 2005 and 2009). Freeney has had seven seasons with 10 or more sacks and led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004.

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, the deal has incentives built in.

“I think he was top-five in pressures last year,” head coach Bruce Arians told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “He only had four sacks, but he’s still around the quarterback a lot and he gives you a lot of edge presence.”

The Cardinals also placed linebacker Kenny Demens on injured reserve after the third-year player suffered a torn ACL in Sunday’s win over the Detroit Lions.

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