Cards get Rhodes; Pennington staying in Miami

Published March 06, 2010

| AP

On the second day of the NFL's free agent signing period, the Arizona Cardinals went the trade route to fill a big need.

The Cardinals acquired safety Kerry Rhodes from the New York Jets on Saturday for a fourth-round pick in this year's draft and a seventh-rounder in 2011.

Rhodes is expected to move into the starting spot opposite All-Pro Adrian Wilson that was vacated when Antrel Rolle, a Pro Bowl selection last season, signed as a free agent with the New York Giants on Friday — the day after he was released by Arizona.

Among the noteworthy free agent moves Saturday:

— The Miami Dolphins agreed to terms on a one-year deal with quarterback Chad Pennington.

— The New England Patriots agreed to terms on a long-term deal with Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

— The Green Bay Packers re-signed veteran left tackle Chad Clifton to a multiyear deal.

— The Atlanta Falcons signed free agent cornerback Dunta Robinson, the Houston Texans' career interceptions leader, to a six-year, $57 million contract.

— The Detroit Lions announced the signings of defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and wide receiver Nate Burleson.

The Jets received Arizona's original pick in the fourth round; the Cardinals acquired another Friday night from Baltimore in exchange for wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

"He fits a lot of the things that we do defensively," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Rhodes in a statement, "and the prospect of having him alongside a perennial All-Pro like Adrian Wilson is very exciting."

The deal came a day after Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said he expected Rhodes to participate in the offseason program in a few weeks, and play in New York this year and beyond "unless something changes."

Apparently, something did change — and Tannenbaum jumped at the chance to deal Rhodes, whose future with the Jets was uncertain after a shaky season in which he feuded with coaches over his role.

Rhodes has four years left on his contract and was due a $2 million roster bonus next week. Expected to be one of the standouts on coach Rex Ryan's defense last year, Rhodes struggled and even lost his starting job.

After trading Boldin and losing top free agents in Rolle and linebacker Karlos Dansby, who signed with Miami, the Cardinals got a player they feel can have an immediate impact.

Pennington agreed to terms on a one-year deal that's expected to be signed by Monday, a person familiar with the discussions said Saturday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins hadn't announced an agreement.

The Dolphins did announce the signing of Dansby to a $43 million, five-year contract.

Pennington is recovering from the third operation of his career on his throwing shoulder. Twice he has returned from injuries to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year, most recently in 2008, when he led the Dolphins to their first playoff berth in seven years.

Pennington will return as a backup to Chad Henne.

The Patriots put the franchise tag on Wilfork last month, keeping him from becoming a free agent and giving the sides more time to work out a contract. Wilfork announced the deal on his Twitter feed and Patriots spokesman Stacey James confirmed Saturday that an agreement had been reached.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but ESPNBoston.com, citing an NFL source, said the contract was for five years and $40 million.

Clifton will now return to the left tackle spot he has occupied for Green Bay for most of his 10 seasons in Green Bay. Terms were not disclosed, but ESPN.com reported that his deal was for three years and $20 million, with $7.5 million in guaranteed money.

In other moves Saturday, the Washington Redskins signed guard Artis Hicks away from the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders released running back Justin Fargas, saying he failed a physical. Fargas was owed a $1.7 million bonus if he was still on the roster Monday.

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AP Sports Writers Bob Baum in Phoenix, Dennis Waszak Jr. in New York and Steven Wine in Miami contributed to this report.

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