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Arizona Cardinals GM: We’ve been aggressive in our approach to bringing Karlos Dansby back

LISTEN: Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals GM

There’s not much left to say about the season Karlos Dansby had for the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 other than it was great.

Signed to a one-year deal, the veteran led the Cardinals with 122 total tackles while also tallying 6.5 sacks, four interceptions and a team-best 19 passes defensed.

“Karlos was not only a fantastic player on the field for us, he added huge leadership skills to our locker room,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim told the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday as part of Newsmakers Week. “Any time that you can have a middle linebacker with Karlos’ experience, with his intelligence, his ability to line up and help other players around him, I mean, he was a huge asset for us.”

Dansby had a Pro Bowl season without the Pro Bowl nod, and at 32 years old could have found a fountain of youth, of sorts, and be primed for more outstanding seasons in the future. But the question is, will that future be in Arizona?

“We’ve been aggressive in our approach to try and get Karlos re-signed,” Keim said. “Obviously it takes two sides, and I think we will work in the next several weeks towards a common understanding.

“You know, it’s one of those things that, as a general manager and a player, it’s hard to not take things personal at times when it comes to negotiations, but Karlos knows how important he is to us, he knows that we want him back. And he’s obviously a great fit here, and I know he and his family love living in Phoenix.”

The Cardinals originally signed Dansby last March after he was cut by the Miami Dolphins. In search of a longer, bigger contract, the once-before Cardinal returned to his old team on a one-year, ‘prove it’ type of contract.

But now he’s done that, and he — along with any other free agent — will be allowed to start negotiating with teams on March 8. Three days after that, they are allowed to sign.

Four years ago, Dansby left the Cardinals for a bigger contract offer. Is it something he may be interested in pursuing again?

Keim said the plan all along has been in hopes of preventing that.

“But at the same time it takes two, and obviously Karlos has an idea of what he wants to do,” he said. “You’d have to ask him, but at the same time we feel really good about what we have going.”

Keim pointed to Larry Fitzgerald, who restructured his contract and freed up more salary cap space for the team, as someone who stepped up in an effort to help the team improve.

“That’s the same mind set all of our players have to take when it comes to their deals and the structure of the cap,” he said. “You know, we’re going to need some help and we need to put players around you to have some success. At some point all guys need to show some unselfishness, and at the same time we need to reward these guys for playing well.”