Sept 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Karlos Dansby (58) reacts during the second quarter against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Free Agency: Karlos Dansby Player Profile

When Arizona Cardinals fans think of Karlos Dansby, they think of a middle linebacker running back a fumble for a touchdown. Now, Dansby has a chance to make more memories in Arizona.

Dansby, who did very well as a Cardinal when he was with the team, signed a one-year deal to help give Arizona much-needed depth at middle linebacker. With Daryl Washington’s suspension, depth was needed at the position, and Dansby is a great player to fill a huge hole.

The former Miami Dolphin registered 134 tackles in 2012 with the Dolphins, but he is only making $2.25 million in 2013 with the Cardinals. Dansby was only signed to a one-year deal, but he could end up playing in Arizona longer. He’s had some great times in Arizona, and he signed with the Cardinals for less money than he could have received from other teams.

With Washington out, Dansby is almost guaranteed to start at one of the two middle linebacker positions in Arizona’s 3-4. He has intercepted 11 passes and is decent in pass coverage, which would help make up for the pass-coverage struggles of Jasper Brinkley, who will likely start with Washington out.

Dansby has never missed more than two games in a season, also. He’s entering his 10th season, but he’s coming off a season in which he registered more tackles than ever. Dansby failed to force a fumble, but he’s forced 15 in his career. He isn’t known for forcing turnovers, but Dansby has still averaged about three turnovers forced per season.

Expect Dansby to jump in and easily outplay his contract. With a combined 268 tackles among Washington and Dansby, Arizona’s middle linebackers will be great. Brinkley will likely be used for depth once Washington comes back, but he will see the field a good amount as well. As long as Dansby can continue to avoid injuries, he should be able to put up solid numbers once again.

Arizona’s defense ranked 12th in the NFL in 2012, but it still could use improvement. With Dansby and Washington, the middle of the defense will be as good as ever. Dansby operated in a 3-4 in Miami, and he definitely has experience in the scheme. Expect Dansby to fit in very well in a place that adores him, and expect him to be on the field a lot.

Because the Cardinals and Dansby are such a good match and because Dansby is such a good player, this signing gets an A short-term and long-term. If Dansby can keep playing well, it’s likely he’ll be in Arizona again. He loves the desert, and the desert loves him.

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