The Cardinals are occasionally known as "Pittsburgh West" because of their predilection for bringing former Steelersto the Valley of the Sun. It started under coach Ken Whisenhunt, who arrived in 2007 after serving as the Steelers offensive coordinator.
And it's continuing under Bruce Arians (who, it turns out, succeeded Whisenhunt in Pittsburgh before a one-year stopover in Indianapolis): On Wednesday, the Cards signed running back Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers' 2008 first-round pick.
But the organization appears to be expanding the personnel pipeline to include other AFC North teams: former Browns returner and wideout Josh Cribbs is headed to Arizona and the details should be finalized Thursday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.
(Although, Cribbs basically confirms his careeer with the Browns is over)
It's been a blessing to be in Cleveland, wishing the best to the city & the Team. If I could stay I… instagr.am/p/W0go4DtItb/— Josh Cribbs (@JoshCribbs16) March 14, 2013
Cribbs came into the league as an undrafted free agent quarterback out of Kent St. He excelled early as a return specialist before later seeing time at wide receiver. And like the Bears' Devin Hester, Cribbs is much more dangerous in the return game; he had just seven receptions in 2012 after a career-high 41 in 2011.
Cribbs' role in Arizona isn't immediately clear; he would add depth as a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andrew Roberts. And with all-world cornerback Patrick Peterson doubling as one of the league's most dangerous punt returners, Cribbs could be on kick-return duty (he was named to the All-Decade team as a kick returner and has eight career kickoff-return touchdowns).
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In related personnel news: The Cardinals have been busy during the first 24 hours of free agency restocking a roster that limped to 5-11 a year ago. In addition to Mendenhall, the team agreed to terms with special teams ace Lorenzo Alexander (formerly of the Redskins), cornerback Jerraud Powers (Colts), safety Yeremiah Bell (Jets) and quarterback Drew Stanton (Colts).
Stanton, who according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers, signed a three-year deal, is intriguing for one glaring reason: his addition could mean the end to Kevin Kolb's rocky two-year tenure in Arizona.