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Cardinals Keep An Edge Rusher With Deal For Dennis Gardeck

Special teams captain remains after agreeing to 3-year deal

Linebacker Dennis Gardeck runs upfield on the pass rush during a home game against the Packers in 2021

The flurry of re-signings by the Cardinals continued Monday when they agreed to a three-year contract with free-agent-to-be Dennis Gardeck .

Gardeck has excelled on special teams and also has found a niche as a part-time pass rusher at outside linebacker.

Gardeck had seven sacks in 2020 before tearing his ACL. He returned in 2021, although he didn't have a sack. With the potential departure of Chandler Jones as a free agent, Gardeck helps with the numbers at outside linebacker. He joins Markus Golden, Devon Kennard and Victor Dimukeje on the roster.

Gardeck had a career-best 23 tackles on defense last season, starting in three of his 14 appearances. Forced into a defensive role in 2020 after an injury to Jones, he was able to capitalize with his first sacks in the NFL before his knee injury. The one-time 2018 undrafted free agent originally worked as an inside linebacker before the Cardinals moved him outside in 2020.

The Cards have brought back five of their own players since Sunday afternoon -- Gardeck, quarterback Colt McCoy, tight end Zach Ertz, defensive lineman Michael Dogbe and running back James Conner.