Mike Iupati among 5 free agents to agree to terms with Arizona



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FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2013, file photo, Atlanta Falcons' Sean Weatherspoon (56) intercepts a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, Wis. The Arizona Cardinals have announced they have agreed to terms on contracts with three free agents _ guard Mike Iupati, inside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Corey Peters. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer, File)


FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2013, file photo, Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) celebrates after the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Atlanta. The Arizona Cardinals have announced they have agreed to terms on contracts with three free agents _ guard Mike Iupati, inside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Corey Peters. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)


TEMPE, Arizona — The busy Arizona Cardinals have kept up the pace.

Guard Mike Iupati, inside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and defensive tackle Corey Peters were introduced at a news conference at Cardinals headquarters on Wednesday. A short time later, the team announced it had signed defensive end Cory Redding and center/guard A. Q. Shipley.

Iupati, a three-time Pro Bowl player for San Francisco and All Pro in 2012, agreed to a five-year deal worth up to $40 million with $22.5 million guaranteed. Weatherspoon agreed to a one-year contract and Peters has a three-year deal.

Redding and Shipley got two-year contracts. Both were with the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Weatherspoon and Peters came from the Atlanta Falcons.

The soft-spoken Iupati, one of the most vicious run blockers in the NFL, made it clear he would have preferred to stay with San Francisco and said leaving the 49ers was "emotionally difficult."

"It just didn't work out," Iupati said. "You've just got to move on. ... It's a job. You've just got to do your job and compete. It's just hard playing for somebody for five years; it's home."

He said he determined over the weekend that he wouldn't be returning to San Francisco. Iupati later said in a radio interview he chose the Cardinals over the New York Jets.

"I think it's a perfect fit for me and my family," Iupati said at the news conference. "I really think that their program, their organization, is really cool. Honestly, they have a good team. I'm really excited to just jump in and contribute and hopefully get the goal that we always want."

Iupati joins a team that was among the worst in the NFL in rushing last year.

" Yeah, they want to run the ball more, and they want to pass it as well," he said. "Hopefully adding me will solidify the offensive line."

Iupati isn't known for his pass blocking, but he said he played all of last season with a broken foot. It also should be easier to block for the pocket passer Carson Palmer than the highly mobile Colin Kaepernick.

Although he called Kaepernick "a great quarterback," he said he "had fun blocking for Alex Smith. It's different. It's a different style quarterback."

Weatherspoon, the Falcons' first-round draft pick in 2010, missed all of last season with an Achilles injury and has had an assortment of other health problems. He has played in seven games in the past two seasons.

"Moving forward, I'm just looking forward to getting a new set of wings," he said.

Weatherspoon said that given his injuries, he knew he would have to go with a one-year contract.

"I think it's the best deal for both parties," he said. "I'm looking to establish myself, re-establish myself, and show what I can do. It's a great organization. You can see the excitement in the building and it's something I wanted to be a part of."

Peters reportedly got a three-year deal worth $11.25 million, with $5.75 million guaranteed. He said he could have gotten more money elsewhere.

"But the entire package (in Arizona), it was just better," he said. "The way the front office handled everything, the plan that they had for me, I felt like it was a better fit for me in the long run. ... I'm hoping to be here for the rest of my career."

Weatherspoon and Peters live about a mile apart. Weatherspoon called Peters "a good friend" and said their wives are "thick as thieves."

All three had a positive reaction to meeting coach Bruce Arians.

Redding is a 12-year NFL veteran who started 45 games over the last three seasons with the Colts. He started all 16 games last year with 38 tackles, 28 solo, and 3½ sacks. He has also played with Baltimore, Seattle and Detroit.

Shipley played in 15 games last season with the Colts with five starts after Indianapolis claimed him off waivers from Baltimore. In his 19 career starts, 10 are at guard and nine at center.


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