Five thoughts on Clark Haggans' return

A few thoughts after the Arizona Cardinals announced Clark Haggans' re-signing Tuesday:

  • Haggans started all 16 games last season and played 75 percent of the defensive snaps for Arizona. He remains valuable as the Cardinals develop younger options at outside linebacker. If all goes to plan, O'Brien Schofield will grow into the starting role. Schofield had 4.5 sacks last season, 1.5 more than Haggans.

  • Haggans was 30 years old and his sack numbers were declining when Arizona signed him in free agency from Pittsburgh before the 2007 season. The fact that Haggans remains viable five years later is a tribute to him. It also reflects the Cardinals' protracted search for anyone as good, let alone better. Missing on 2009 second-round choice Cody Brown remains costly.

  • Haggans displaces inside linebacker Paris Lenon, 34, as the oldest defensive player on the team. Haggans is the oldest defensive player in the division. That will change if/when the Cardinals re-sign defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday, 36. Haggans' three sacks last season were a career low as a starter, but as Lenon has proved, some players can remain productive into their mid-30s.

  • The Cardinals signed Quentin Groves from Oakland recently, raising some questions about Haggans' status. Groves, 27, was a second-round pick for Jacksonville in 2008. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt has said he thinks Groves has the physical qualities needed to play outside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 scheme. Groves has no sacks in 22 starts over the past three seasons, however.

  • Arizona released undrafted rookie free agent Broderick Binns to make room for Haggans on the roster. Schofield, Sam Acho, Haggans, Groves, Brandon Williams, Zack Nash and Antonio Coleman are the outside linebackers on the Cardinals' roster at this point. Acho started 10 games and had seven sacks last season.

OK, that's five. It's fortunate, in retrospect, that I didn't promise 10 thoughts. Unless you've got five more.