Cardinals Tag Dansby

Karlos Dansby (Stephen Dunn/Getty)

The Arizona Cardinals franchised LB Karlos Dansby today, keeping the versatile linebacker off the open market. Dansby will earn nearly nine times his base salary from last season, but forfeits the financial security of a longer deal. Both sides continue to work towards a long-term resolution.

The Cardinals and Karlos Dansby have until July 15 to come to terms on a long-term deal. If no arrangement is made, Dansby will sign a one-year contract that guarantees him more than $8 million next season.

Should another team make a play for Dansby, the Cardinals would have the right to match the offer or collect two first-round draft picks as compensation. The steep price will likely deter potential shoppers, but there are a lot of teams in the market for a raw talent like Dansby.

Last year was Dansby's most productive season. He finished with a career-high 98 tackles, four sacks and four forced fumbles.

The Cardinals consider Dansby one of their prized players and want a contract with long-term wording. In the interim, Dansby is fine with the franchise tag.

"A lot of players worry about the tag, they want some stability," said Dansby in December. "But I think being tagged would be an honor."

Arizona has about $30 million in cap room but is holding the purse strings with Dansby. Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson are all awaiting new deals, and GM Rod Graves wants to ensure there is enough money to go around.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications.

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