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Levi Returns After All

Posted Mar 16, 2012

Veteran tackle, with new five-year deal, wants to play on left side

Tackle Levi Brown agreed to a new five-year deal with the team Friday.

Levi Brown isn’t sure exactly what his future holds with the Cardinals now that he signed a new five-year contract Friday, but he definitely has an opinion on the subject.

While there has been talk about Brown, who moved to left tackle from right tackle in 2010, possibly moving back to the right side, Brown would rather not go.

“I don’t know about the speculation, but I do care – I’d like to play left,” Brown said. “We’ll see what happens, but my preference is the left side.”

The left side was where Brown had played in college before arriving to the Cards and starting his career on the right side, playing there his first three years but always wanting to move back. After two seasons there, it was possible his time with the Cards would be up, when the team released him because of salary cap reasons Tuesday.

It was a short stint in free agency.

Brown, who has started 72 straight games for the Cardinals, could move back to the right side. His role will be determined by the rest of free agency and the draft as the team likely continues to search for another tackle. The Cards did host free agent tackle Demetrius Bell Wednesday, and Bell played the left side in Buffalo.

“I went to the market, some teams threw some numbers out, and in the end, I felt like here there was a little bit of unfinished business,” Brown said. “I feel good where this team is headed and I think we have a chance to win.”

The career for Brown since coming to the Cards as the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 draft has been bumpy. He’s been dependable, never getting hurt, but his play has been inconsistent. That seemed to change over the last half of the 2011 season when Brown played arguably the best of his career, one of the reasons the Cards never hesitated in saying they wanted him to stay.

His bulky rookie contract forced a move however – he was originally going to have a salary cap figure of almost $17 million – and Brown decided to test his worth in free agency rather than restructure his old deal.

“It was something my agents and I had talked about before, that we had talked to the Cardinals before they released me and they weren’t going to pay the salary cap number, so (being cut) was expected,” Brown said. “I wasn’t really all that upset about it.”

With Brown back, at least three pieces are set as probable starters – Brown at tackle, Lyle Sendlein at center and Daryn Colledge at left guard. New free agent Adam Snyder right now figures to be the right guard, and as of now, Jeremy Bridges would likely be the right tackle.

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