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Dansby Tagged Again

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The Cardinals decided to use the "non-exlusive" franchise tag on linebacker Karlos Dansby for a second straight season.

For a second straight season, the Cardinals have placed the franchise tag on linebacker Karlos Dansby ? a move designed to buy time for the team to negotiate a new long-term contract.

General manager Rod Graves told Dansby Tuesday, with the club making the not-unexpected move Wednesday. The Cards were not willing to see Dansby hit the open free-agent market and allow him a chance to get away.

?I?m not surprised at all,? Dansby said after being told. ?I?m optimistic we can get something done. But we?re going to see.?

Once Dansby signs the tender sheet, he will be guaranteed a 2009 salary of $9.678 million, after making $8.1 million under the tag in 2008.

?Karlos is someone else who had a great year, he has become a great leader on the defense,? Graves said prior to exercising the tag. ?We see him as a core member and one we want to extend with a long-term deal.?

Dansby can still sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Cardinals will have the chance to match any offer. If the Cards do not, they would receive two No. 1 draft picks from that team. Because of the lofty price, it?s unlikely another team would be willing to make a run at Dansby.

That?s one of the reasons players don?t usually like to be tagged. While Dansby has at times called the franchise tag an honor, he also has made it clear he would rather not be tagged again. Instead, Dansby wanted to get to the unrestricted market untethered.

Dansby has also made it clear he is looking for a large contract, especially after former teammate Calvin Pace was given $20 million in guarantees as a free agent last season.

?It?s a blessing to be in this position to receive a huge payday,? Dansby said before the end of the season. ?I think I?ve been playing well.  It all depends on the organization and how they feel about our future together. I?m trying to win right now and be a winner. I definitely want to stay.?

The Cardinals have until July 15 to reach a long-term contract with Dansby or he will have to play with the tag in 2009.

Dansby said the team and agent Kirk Wood ?have been talking a lot.? A deal is not imminent, however.

Dansby is one of seven players to receive the franchise tag this offseason, joining Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, Falcons punter Michael Koenen, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, Chargers running back Darren Sproles and Bengals kicker Shayne Graham.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 2/18/09. Updated 2/18/09.

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