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Cardinals Sign LB Donald Butler

Veteran signed on the eve of training camp to bolster depth


Veteran linebacker Donald Butler was added to the roster Wednesday.

The Cardinals have made one more pre-camp veteran signing.

This time it was inside linebacker Donald Butler, who played the last five years for the Chargers before being released in March. To make room for Butler on the roster, the Cards released inside linebacker Quayshawn Nealy.

Butler has seven career sacks and three interceptions, and played well enough in both 2012 and 2013 to earn a lucrative extension after the 2013 season. But he struggled in each of the past two seasons and the Chargers cut him.

Butler started 62 of the 71 games he played for San Diego since 2011.

He joins an inside linebacker corps that is mostly lacking in experience. Starter Kevin Minter – who is going into the last year of his contract – has played a lot, but Alani Fua and Gabe Martin played little last season. The Cards also have rookie Lamar Louis.

Deone Bucannon is still officially listed as a safety but has played "dollar" linebacker the past two seasons (essentially the other inside linebacker in the base 3-4). Behind Bucannon during offseason OTAs was fellow safety Chris Clemons. Clemons could be facing assault charges after an incident outside a nightclub in Scottsdale in May.

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