Jason Babin to Cardinals: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2016

New York Jets defensive end Jason Babin (58) celebrates after sacking Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals signed linebacker Jason Babin on Tuesday ahead of their divisional-round clash with the Green Bay Packers, according to Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site.  

The team pursued Babin after a toe injury knocked Alex Okafor out for the remainder of the playoffs.

Kyle Odegard of the team's site reported that the Cardinals didn't hesitate to put their new signing to work:

Head coach Bruce Arians added that Babin will have a role against the Green Bay Packers, per Urban.

Babin last appeared for the Baltimore Ravens, playing in Weeks 4 and 5 before being released in October. He failed to make a single sack or tackle.

At this time of the season, the Cardinals' options were limited as they looked for a replacement for Okafor. Not only is the free-agent market pretty bare, but the front office would have to find somebody who could fully grasp the playbook in a matter of days.

In Babin, Arizona at least found a player with years of experience under his belt and a history of being a good pass-rusher—albeit a few years ago. In 148 career regular-season games, Babin has 64.5 sacks and 372 combined tackles.

Nobody will expect the 35-year-old to be his Pro Bowl self from 2011 and 2012; he remained available this late into the season for a reason.

Still, the prospect of going into an important playoff game with Kareem Martin—four starts in the last two years—as their only choice at weak-side linebacker wasn't an optimal route for the Cardinals. Babin provides much-needed depth at the position as Arizona looks to build a game plan for stopping Aaron Rodgers.