Dansby's long-term future doubtful in Arizona

Since his arrival in 2004, Karlos Dansby has been a major fixture of the Arizona Cardinals' defense. However, his contributions past this season are in doubt now that the two parties have all but conceded reaching a contract extension before the July 15th deadline. For the second consecutive season Dansby will be out to prove himself, this time more than likely for a new employer next year.

After being slapped with the franchise tag for the second straight season, LB Karlos Dansby was hopeful he'd be rewarded with a lucrative multi-year contract. However, that scenario hasn't taken place and the Arizona Cardinals could be searching for a new leader in their linebacking corps next year. While playing in the spotlight last season under a one-year deal, Dansby had a tremendous campaign accumulating a career high 119 tackles along with four sacks and two interceptions.

There were several factors working against a long-term extension last year, particularly Dansby's inability to stay on the field for an entire season. However, Dansby put those concerns to rest in 2008 playing in all 16 regular season games and an additional four contests in the playoffs. With Dansby proving his durability and showing improvement during each of his five NFL seasons, many are questioning the Cardinals' decision not to lock up the star defender for the long haul.

Adrian Wilson

In years past, Arizona's unwillingness to invest in Dansby could have been due to cheap ownership but that's not the case at this point in time. The Cardinals have rewarded several players of late, including WR Larry Fitzgerald, QB Kurt Warner and most recently SS Adrian Wilson. The organization has also fielded requests from WR Anquan Boldin and DT Darnell Dockett on their current contracts but has refrained from inking a new deal.

Following Wilson's five-year, $39 million contract extension, the Cardinal faithful were optimistic Dansby's situation was next in line to be addressed. Dansby switched agents earlier this offseason but his new representation has failed to change the outcome of the negotiations. As it stands now, Dansby is set to sign his one-year contract tender and will be due to make just under $10 million in 2009.

If Dansby does indeed leave the desert following this season, there will plenty of teams lining up to secure his services. Dansby is just 27 years of age and has already accumulated 446 tackles during his career. Furthermore, with a growing number of teams switching to the 3-4 defense, the Cardinals' recent transition to the odd-man front will give him extra value on the open market. There's still a chance Dansby remains in Arizona but since a new deal has yet to materialize, a change of scenery is likely on the horizon.

Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
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