The Cardinals are prepared to let linebacker Karlos Dansby test the open market in free agency this year and will not place the franchise tag on him for a third consecutive season, a team source confirmed Thursday
That does not, however, mean Dansby's days with the franchise are over. The Cardinals will monitor the situation when free-agent offers are allowed to be made and then decide then if they wish to make an offer of their own.
The team appears to be gambling that Dansby won't command as much as a free agent as he would as a franchise player, which could be as much as $16 million guaranteed.
So far we know that Dansby is looking to become one of the highest paid linebackers in the league, and that kind of terminology doesn't exist to Cardinals' management. Aside from Dansby, the Cardinals only true inside linebackers are Gerald Hayes and Reggie Walker. Walker showed promise in his first season in the NFL but is he ready to take over for Dansby?
If the Cardinals don't pursue Dansby then they'll likely add a veteran once free agency begins. The most likely fix to this situation will be drafting a linebacker in April. One thing we've learned is that Ken Whisenhunt prefers to ease rookies into playing time their first year, so would drafting a linebacker help the defense in 2010?
Dansby is 28-years old and will be entering his seventh season in the league. He's spent his entire career with the Cardinals and in that time, he has 555 tackles, 25.5 sacks, and 10 interceptions. At this point, the Cardinal may be best fit to cough up the money and re-sign the talented linebacker. What are you thoughts and should the Cardinals attempt to re-sign Dansby?