March 09, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Cardinals have reached agreement on a two-year contract with free agent safety Tyvon Branch, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced, said the contract is worth up to $10 million with an $8 million base salary and $5 million guaranteed.

The 6-foot, 210-pound Branch played last year for the Kansas City Chiefs after seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders. He played in all 16 games, with one start, for the Chiefs with 43 tackles, 35 solo. Branch had one interception, one sack and five passes defensed.

The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

The addition of Branch makes it more uncertain whether safety Rashad Johnson will be back with Arizona. Johnson, last season's starter and a popular player in the Arizona locker room, is a free agent. The Cardinals have tendered offers to two restricted free agent safeties - D.J. Swearinger and Tony Jefferson.

Branch played seven seasons with Oakland before being released after the 2014 season. He signed a one-year deal with Kansas City and played a significant role on the Chiefs' stout defense.

Branch started 57 consecutive games for the Raiders and signed a four-year, $26 million extension with Oakland before the 2012 season. But leg and foot injuries severely limited his playing time in 2013 and 2014 and he was released in a salary cap move in February 2015.

The Cardinals did not address their biggest need, a pass rusher off the edge, in the first day of free agency and the biggest names at that position went elsewhere.

As expected, starting right tackle Bobby Massie won't be back for the Cardinals. He signed a three-year contract with the Chicago Bears. The Cardinals are hoping first-round draft pick D.J. Humphries, who didn't play at all as a rookie last season, will be able to fill the right tackle role.


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