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NFL free agency 2015: Lamar Woodley signs with Arizona Cardinals

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The Cardinals pick up a veteran linebacker.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of actual free agency, the Arizona Cardinals announced the signing of outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

Woodley was released by the Oakland Raiders last week, after a season that ended with a biceps injury he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals in 2014. In the six games in which he appeared, he had only five tackles and no sacks.

In seven seasons before going to Oakland, he played for the Steelers and logged 57 sacks, but he had nine combined in 2012 and 2013 after having no less than nine in any of the previous four seasons.

A Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection with the Steelers in 2009, Woodley comes to the Cardinals with 367 career tackles (264 solos), 57 sacks, nine forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and five interceptions in 100 career games (86 starts). He has also played in eight postseason games with 36 tackles, 11 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

He entered the league with the Steelers as a second round selection (46th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Michigan. Woodley played seven years in Pittsburgh (2007-13) where he helped the Steelers to two Super Bowls (XLIII, XLV) while also recording at least nine sacks in four different seasons. He reached 50 career sacks in just 73 games played, 22 games faster than any Steelers player in franchise history. Woodley signed with the Raiders in 2014 and played in six games with five starts before being placed on injured reserve with a biceps injury in October.

Woodley worked with Cardinals linebackers coach Bob Sanders, who held the same position in Oakland a year ago, and he also is familiar with Bruce Arians, who was on the Steelers staff while he played there.

Whether Woodley is expected to be a starter or a rotational guy and veteran leader, the team does not have much at the position. Sam Acho, Marcus Benard and John Abraham are free agents, leaving only Lorenzo Alexander, Matt Shaughnessy and Alex Okafor as the only ones on the roster.

Woodley is good friends with Larry Foote, now a Cardinals coach. They were teammates in Pittsburgh and both grew up in Detroit.

His contract is reportedly for one year, worth $870,000, the league minimum.