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Cardinals Pick Up Option On Deone Bucannon

Money linebacker's contract now runs through 2018 season


Cardinals money linebacker Deone Bucannon is now under contract through 2018 after the team picked up his fifth-year option.

The Cardinals have picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of money linebacker Deone Bucannon, a source confirmed Wednesday, extending Bucannon's deal through 2018.

Bucannon, the team's first-round pick in 2014, will make $1.47 million in salary and roster bonuses in 2017. A 2018 option for a linebacker picked 27th in the draft would be slotted at $8.7 million.

The decision had been considered all but a foregone conclusion. Bucannon has been an important part of the defense, building on a role that started as a rookie.

Bucannon missed the last three games of 2016 with an ankle injury with which he had been playing much of the season. He still led the team with 100 total tackles from his hybrid position that encouraged a league-wide trend toward putting certain bigger defensive backs as a pseudo-linebacker.

No surgery was needed on the injury.

"I'm going to come back stronger next year," Bucannon said the day after the season.

The move buys the Cardinals time for Bucannon going into a year in which multiple key players will again be facing free agency after the season, including Larry Fitzgerald, Karlos Dansby, Frostee Rucker, Corey Peters, Justin Bethel and John Brown.

Both running back David Johnson and 2016 sack leader Markus Golden will be eligible for contract extensions after the season as well.

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