Karlos Dansby one of 25 ‘must-sign’ free agents

Jan 14, 2014, 7:33 PM | Updated: 7:33 pm

Follow @theAdamGreenPresented By...

The Arizona Cardinals have expressed a desire to bring linebacker Karlos Dansby back next season, and he has maintained that he wouldn’t mind re-signing with the team.

But that guarantees nothing.

An unrestricted free agent after playing under a one-year deal, Dansby could command a salary the Cardinals are unwilling to pay. It wouldn’t be the first time the sides parted way because of money, and it would be no one’s fault if it happened again.

The question becomes, just how much do the Cardinals value a 32-year-old who is coming off a career season in which he had 122 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and batted down a significant number of other passes?

That does not have to be answered yet, as teams are not able to sign free agents until March 12. But when the time comes, the Cardinals will have a choice to make with someone’s Mike Sando, in an Insider piece, has ranked among the top 25 ‘must-sign’ NFL free agents.

Sando spoke with league GMs when compiling the list, which has Dansby ranked 13th.

Inside linebackers generally aren’t a priority to re-sign at age 32, but Dansby could be an exception. He played more snaps than anyone on the Cardinals defense. Dansby picked off four passes and returned two of them for touchdowns. He broke up 13 passes by either batting the ball, tipping it or getting credit for a pass defensed. The Cardinals have front-line talent at every level of their defense whether or not Dansby returns, but they would have a hard time replacing what he has provided. He and Bennett ranked among the top one-year rentals in 2013. They have earned new deals.

In his career, Dansby has been credited with 823 total tackles along with 38 sacks, 15 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries. He was one of the unquestioned leaders of a Cardinals defense that ranked first in the NFL against the run and sixth overall, and was arguably one of the biggest snubs for the 2014 Pro Bowl.

However, Dansby was named a second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, which was another sign of just how good he was in 2013.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinal wins the Topham Handicap Chase race on the second day of the Grand National Festiv...

Tyler Drake

High horse: Arizona Cardinal takes home Topham Handicap Chase victory

Given the same namesake as the NFL team, Arizona Cardinal finished first in the Topham Handicap Chase on Friday morning.

1 day ago

Monti Ossenfort could control the draft if he trades the No.4 pick, NFL Draft insider Matt Miller s...

Bailey Leasure

ESPN’s Miller: It would take a ‘Trey Lance’ trade package to move Cardinals out of No. 4

NFL Draft insider Matt Miller thinks the Arizona Cardinals could control the 2024 NFL Draft if they decide to trade down.

2 days ago

Presented By...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Arizona Cardinals in good spot with No. 4 pick in 2024 NFL Draft

The Arizona Cardinals have a lot of leverage when it comes to their No. 4 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Burns & Gambo talk about what could be if other teams give GM Monti Ossenfort a call about it.

2 days ago

Nate Wiggins #DB42 of Clemson participates in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil ...

Damon Allred

Arizona Cardinals could trade up from No. 27 for a cornerback, ESPN says

After some successful maneuvering a year ago, Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort is poised to do the same in the 2024 NFL Draft.

2 days ago

Darius Robinson makes a tackle...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals address 2 big defensive needs in Mel Kiper Jr.’s 2-round NFL mock draft

The Arizona Cardinals added a pass rusher and a cornerback in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest two-round mock NFL Draft.

3 days ago

Marvin Harrison Jr. looks on...

Tyler Drake

Mel Kiper Jr. still has Cardinals landing Marvin Harrison Jr. in latest NFL mock draft

Marvin Harrison Jr. is still the answer for the Cardinals at No. 4 overall following a run of quarterbacks in Mel Kiper's latest mock draft.

3 days ago

Karlos Dansby one of 25 ‘must-sign’ free agents