The Cardinals agreed to terms with free agents (from left) LB Sean Weatherspoon, G Mike Iupati and DT Corey Peters.
It didn't matter whether it was General Manager Steve Keim, head coach Bruce Arians or team president Michael Bidwill – whoever was doing the talking for the Cardinals in the weeks leading to free agency was that the team would be aggressive in their pursuit of players.
If that wasn't clear in the "official tampering" period prior to free agency when the Cards were named in
connection to many players, it was Wednesday the team said it had agreed to terms with guard Mike Iupati, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive lineman Corey Peters.
Iupati (yoo-PAH-tee) is the big catch, a nasty blocker from the 49ers who will sign a five-year contract (multiple reports have it for $22 million in guarantees). Having played the left side his entire career, either he or Jonathan Cooper will have to move to the right side as the Cardinals continue to beef up the offensive line. If Iupati – considered by many the top offensive lineman available in free agency – stays on the left, he will pair with the Cardinals' top free-agent signee of 2014: left tackle Jared Veldheer.
Weatherspoon, who will sign a one-year deal, will play inside linebacker and if healthy, has proved to be a playmaker on the NFL level. The problem is the former Atlanta Falcon has not been healthy. He missed all
of 2014 with a torn Achilles, and in 2013 played in only seven games. Only 26, Weatherspoon is the type of player the Cardinals likely will look to keep around long-term if he can put his injury issues behind him.
Another former Falcon is Peters, who will sign a three-year contract. He figures to play defensive end in the Cardinals' 3-4 base alignment and can move inside on passing downs at 6-3, 305 pounds. He can play the role vacated when Darnell Dockett was released. Peters is also a one-time Falcons' Walter Payton Man of the Year, bringing a solid element into the locker room.
The additions come on the heels of the signing of veteran outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley Tuesday.
The addition of Iupati continues Keim's overhaul of the offensive line. Only center Lyle Sendlein remains from the line that was there when Keim was hired in 2013 and Sendlein could still become a cap casualty. It's also possible the Cardinals are not done adding offensive linemen in free agency.
Arians also wanted to rebuild the defense with speed. Weatherspoon can help, and was necessary for a linebacking corps that needed upgrades. There remains the chance Daryl Washington returns in 2015 but until he is reinstated, the Cardinals have said they will proceed as if he will not be available.
Peters is a step to help a defensive line that already lost Dockett and Dan Williams. Williams agreed to a deal with Oakland. Veteran defensive end Cory Redding, who was with the Colts, is also visiting the Cardinals as a potential addition.
More to come on azcardinals.com.
The Cardinals also re-signed long snapper Mike Leach to a one-year contract. Leach, 38, has played in 200 straight games and is in his 16th season.