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NFL free agency: Arizona Cardinals paying for versatility, speed in Ted Ginn

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The speedy wideout expects to be the number three receiver,, return punts and return kicks.

Scott Cunningham

The Arizona Cardinals wanted get a "burner" receiver to stretch the field. They think they have found that guy in Ted Ginn, whom they signed to a three-year free agent contract on Thursday.

How fast is he? When he spoke to the media on Thursday in his introductory news conference (the video is on the team's website), he said he could run a 4.38 40-yard dash "without working."

The deal, according to Kent Somers, is three years and worth between $9.75 million and $14.25 million, with $5.2 million guaranteed.

While that might be more than you would expect to see general Steve Keim offer as a contract, the situation is rather reminiscent of the deal they gave cornerback Jerraud Powers a year ago.

Last offseason, they let Greg Toler go and he signed a three-year $15 million deal with the Colts. The Cardinals responded by getting Powers for three years and $10.5 million.

Earlier in the week, free agent receiver Andre Roberts left Arizona to sign with the Washington Redskins for four years and $16 million.

Arizona gets a similar player, albeit less proven, for probably less money. And he is faster.

What will his role be?

He expects to make plays as a receiver and he expects to return punts and kicks, "until the coaches tell him otherwise."

The return game I can help out," he told the media. "Patrick Peterson is a great returner, but we can help him concentrate on "D" a litter bit more."

He also plans on making an impact on offense.

"Being able to take the load off Larry Fitzgerald from time to time and get Floyd involved," is what he intends on doing, becoming "a tandem."

He indicated that Carson Palmer was happy to see him brought in, saying that "the smile on his face" was one thing that helped him feel like this was the right place.

Will he be the guy Arians covets to stretch the field? Right now, in March, it looks like it.