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Cards Nab Jasper Brinkley

Posted Mar 14, 2013

Free agent linebacker agrees to two-year deal to work with Washington

The Cardinals agreed to a two-year contract with linebacker Jasper Brinkley Thursday.

Daryl Washington is a Pro Bowl inside linebacker, but the Cardinals needed to find someone to plug in next to him with the likely free agent departure of Paris Lenon.

They think they found that Thursday when they agreed to a two-year contract with former Minnesota Vikings thumper Jasper Brinkley, the inside linebacker who visited the Tempe facility Thursday.

Brinkley, 6-foot-1 and 252 pounds, figures to plug right into Lenon’s role, although fellow signee Lorenzo Alexander could also work into the mix. After cutting Stewart Bradley and letting Lenon leave, the additions of Brinkley and Alexander have flipped the dynamic back to go with Washington and Reggie Walker.

Brinkley had a career-high 117 tackles in 2012, with two sacks and three forced fumbles in 15 starts. A 2009 fifth-round draft pick, Brinkley made 19 total starts in 48 games with Minnesota, totaling three sacks and four passes defensed.

The signing likely ends the pursuit of another free-agent linebacker who visited, Rey Maualuga. Cornerback Antoine Cason of the Chargers made a free agent visit Thursday, and Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy is reportedly visiting the team Friday.

The Cardinals also have to make a decision on quarterback Kevin Kolb soon. He receives a $2 million bonus if still on the roster by 1 p.m. Arizona time Friday.

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