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Former Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby signing with Cardinals

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Dansby will return to the Cardinals once again.

Former second round draft pick Karlos Dansby is returning to the team that selected him in the 2004 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals.

2017 will be Dansby’s eighth year with the Cardinals (in three separate stints) as he heads into his 14th NFL season. Dansby spent 2016 with the Cincinnati Bengals on a one-year contract after spending 2014-2015 with the Cleveland Browns. Prior to that, Dansby was with the Cardinals in 2013 after spending the 2010-2012 seasons with the Miami Dolphins. All prior years of his NFL career were also spent in Arizona.

There hadn’t been any buzz regarding the Bengals attempting to bring back the 35-year-old linebacker who played 16 games (7 starts) and recorded 114 tackles, 1.0 sack and 6 passes defended in 2016.

Dansby had the most tackles of any player on the Bengals in 2016, though Vontaze Burfict was close behind (101) and missed five games due to suspension and injury. Dansby was a solid player for the Bengals in his one year with the team and greatly helped to ease the pain of Burfict not being in the lineup during his three game suspension.

Dansby joined the Bengals in 2016 hoping to play for a Super Bowl contender, but, the Bengals took a big step back last season and didn’t even make the playoffs. That goal probably remains true for Dansby heading into the 2017 season as he can’t rely on having too many more years remaining in the league.

Dansby played 71.85% of defensive snaps last season, the most snaps played by any Bengals linebacker, so replacing those snaps will be interesting. The thought is that the Bengals will be looking to second-year linebacker Nick Vigil to become a starter in 2017 and the team will almost certainly draft a linebacker with one of their 11 draft picks in the approaching draft.

The Bengals need to get younger on defense and while Dansby was a nice addition to the team and offered insurance at the linebacker position in 2016, an athletic, young player, like Vigil, should be counted on going forward.

Congratulations to Dansby on returning to the Cardinals.