Tuesday's move follows the suspension of Arizona standout linebacker Daryl Washington for one year for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Sims, Detroit's first-round draft pick and the ninth selection overall in 2006, played the last two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, appearing in 22 games, 12 as a starter. The eight-year NFL veteran played four seasons in Detroit, then one each in Philadelphia and Indianapolis before going to the Cowboys.
Sims has appeared in 109 NFL games, 87 as a starter. He had a career-high 172 tackles for the Lions in 2007.
The Cardinals lost their other inside linebacker from last season, Karlos Dansby, to free agency.