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Cardinals Baggs a Pass Rusher

Team reaches to CFL for linebacking candidate


 Pass rusher Stevie Baggs has signed a one-year contract with the Cards.
The Cardinals, searching for pass rushers and trying to get younger at the position, have looked at the Canadian Football League to find a possible piece at linebacker.

Unlike last year, the Cardinals found one of those players.

In signing undersized defensive end Stevie Baggs – who tied for the CFL lead in sacks with 12 while playing for Saskatchewan this season – to a one-year contract Wednesday, the Cards have made the first step in trying to rebuild an aging linebacking corps.

At 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, Baggs could fit with the Cards' 3-4 alignment. With Bertrand Berry's retirement and the unlikely return of free agent Chike Okeafor, the Cards need outside pass rushing candidates. They also need linebackers overall, with the possibility inside man Karlos Dansby could leave as a free agent.  

The Cardinals were interested in CFL pass-rushing star Cameron Wake a season ago, bringing Wake in for a tryout before Wake eventually signed in Miami.

This time, they signed Baggs, 28, a Florida native who played his college ball at Bethune-Cookman before fashioning a journeyman's football résumé with stops in NFL Europe, the Arena Football League and the practice squad of the Detroit Lions. He spent time with the Edmonton and Winnipeg franchises before signing with Saskatchewan last winter (the CFL plays in the summer) and having a breakout season.

Baggs tied British Columbia's Rickey Foley for the league lead in sacks and Foley too is trying to follow in the footsteps of Baggs and Wake to the NFL, reportedly trying out for teams like the Jets and Patriots.

Baggs joins an outside linebackers mix that includes veteran Clark Haggans, 2009 draft picks Cody Brown and Will Davis, and Mark Washington, who spent the last month of the season on the practice squad. The Cards are optimistic not only of their draftees but also of Washington, who impressed during his brief time in Arizona and should be in the mix for a roster spot in 2010.

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