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Berry Remains a Cardinal


Defensive end Bertrand Berry (92) agreed to a new one-year contract Wednesday.

The Cardinals continued to bring back many of the key free agents from their Super Bowl team Wednesday when veteran defensive end Bertrand Berry agreed to a new one-year contract.

Berry's 2009 salary will be $1 million.

Berry, who will turn 34 during training camp, enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in 2008. He led the team in sacks with five while playing in 18 of a possible 20 games, including playoffs. That was after Berry had missed the second half of each of the previous three seasons with major season-ending injuries.

Berry started in three postseason games and the final two regular-season games after Travis LaBoy's injuries hampered LaBoy's playing time. He had two sacks in the playoffs.

Berry is the second veteran free agent on defense to return this week, after linebacker Clark Haggans also came back.

The big free-agent contract Berry had signed in 2004 ran out after the season, but Berry made it crystal clear he had no plans to retire.

"The 'R' word is not in my vocabulary," Berry said the day the Cardinals cleaned out their lockers. "Let's get that out there right now. There is no thought of that, I have no intentions of that. I am not done by a long shot."

Berry was also unlikely to leave the Valley. Berry had taken a large pay cut in 2008 just to remain in Arizona. He and his family are entrenched locally – he is headlining his fourth annual Bertrand Berry Celebrity Weekend Friday and Saturday to benefit his foundation, and he has become one of the faces of the team while hosting the "Big Red Rage" radio show the past four seasons.

Berry admitted during Super Bowl week he wished he could have had more playing time, but "I made the most of the time I had, and that's all you can do as a football player – take advantage of any opportunity you are given and when your number is called, perform."

He will remain in his role as LaBoy's backup heading into offseason workouts.

With Berry's new contract, there are only five unrestricted free agents of the Cardinals remaining that have not signed a contract – somewhere – to play in 2009: offensive linemen Elton Brown and Scott Peters, tight end Jerame Tuman, fullback Terrelle Smith and cornerback Ralph Brown.

Of those players, Smith and Ralph Brown are the most likely to have a chance to return, but the Cardinals could wait through the draft and see what rookies are brought in before making any more moves.

Contact Darren Urban at Posted 3/18/09. Updated 3/23/09.

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