TEMPE, Ariz. - Four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter agreed to a three-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday.
Porter, entering his 12th season, spent the past three with the Miami Dolphins, who released him on March 5. He played the first eight years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Never afraid to speak his mind, Porter engaged in a highly publicized war of words with Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens before the Super Bowl in 2006. Porter’s Steelers beat the Seahawks, 21-10.
With 92 career sacks, Porter trails only Jason Taylor (1271/2) among active players. Porter has 12 career interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, 23 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries with two returned for touchdowns.
Porter will join a team with a coaching staff that includes several members of the Steelers’ staff when he was with Pittsburgh. They include coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
It’s a big move for a Cardinals team that had suffered several major personnel losses this offseason. Pro Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner retired, Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle was released to save money and signed with the New York Giants, former Pro Bowl linebacker Karlos Dansby signed wth the Miami Dolphins, and former Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded to the Baltimore Ravens.
Porter disputed the perception that, because of his declining stats with the Dolphins, he could no longer play at the elite level he had established in Pittsburgh.
“I’ve got a lot left,” he said last week. “All you have to do is turn on the tape and I feel like I don’t have to sell myself. What I did on the football field is going to sell that for me. With my role being reduced to the playing time I did have and missing three games, I still mustered up enough to lead the team (with nine sacks).”
Former Seahawks linebacker and special teams captain Lance Laury signed with the New York Jets. He had 21 tackles and one forced fumble on special teams last season. … The Tennessee Titans acquired defensive end Jason Babin after the Philadelphia Eagles declined to match the Titans’ offer. Babin, a first-round draft pick in 2004, has played for Houston, Seattle, Kansas City and Philadelphia. Last season, the 6-foot-3, 267-pound end played in 12 games and had 20 tackles and 21/2 sacks for the Eagles.