Cardinals bolster defensive depth after signing veteran LB to deal

A Columbus native who attended Purdue before being drafted by the Bengals, Markus Bailey will soon take up residence outside the Midwest. Winter clothing will be far less relevant for the veteran special-teamer.
Cardinals bolster defensive depth after signing veteran LB to deal

The Cardinals are adding the linebacker/ST presence,’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Agreeing to a one-year deal with the NFC West club Tuesday, Bailey will head to the desert as a likely second-string presence and soon-to-be regular for Arizona’s specialty units.

For the most part, Bengals DC Lou Anarumo pointed Bailey’s focus toward special teams. The former seventh-round pick only passed the 100-snap barrier on defense in one of his rookie-contract seasons. On special teams, Bailey exceeded 275 snaps in each of the past two seasons. He topped out at 309 ST plays last year.

A 2021 Logan Wilson injury did lead to the Bengals using Bailey as a fill-in starter. Bailey made three starts during the Bengals’ Super Bowl LVI-qualifying season. He ended up playing 26 snaps against the Rams in that season’s decider.

Arizona was not especially aggressive at linebacker this offseason, but the team still has some pieces from 2023. Kyzir White remains under contract, as does Krys Barnes. The Cards added Mack Wilson last month as well, and fifth-rounder Owen Pappoe is going into his second season.

Bailey, 27, will mix in with this group, likely set to work as a backup and ST regular for a second team.

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