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Raiders free agent linebacker Groves signs with Cardinals

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Oakland Raiders linebacker Quentin Groves riles up the crowd at coliseum (photo by Levi Damien)
Oakland Raiders linebacker Quentin Groves riles up the crowd at coliseum (photo by Levi Damien)

Raiders former starting linebacker Quentin Groves has signed with the Arizona Cardinals according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Groves spent the past two season in Oakland after they traded a fifth round pick to the Jaguars to acquire him.

The Jaguars drafted Groves in the second round and after two seasons there, he was considered a disappointment and the team sought to move on from him while receiving some compensation in return. They found a willing trade partner in the Raiders who saw a speedy young linebacker they could plug in on the weak side to replace the departed Thomas Howard.

Groves struggled to find his way in the Raiders defense and after a 22 games as the everyday starter, the team acquired former first round pick Aaron Curry from the Seahawks in trade just before the 2011 trade deadline.

Curry was instantly named the starter by then coach Hue Jackson which effectively ended Groves' run in Oakland. He played out the season mostly on special teams and following the season he saw the writing on the wall.

"First off I just want to say thank you," said Groves. "Thank [the fans] for eight sellouts... I just wanna say thank you to them for all the love and the gracious support they showed us. I love them to death. I might sign to another team next year, but at the end of the day I'm still a Raider. Deep down in my heart, I'm still a Raider... You know, this league is funny. You can be here one year and gone the next. I could be here one day and gone the next. That's the funny thing about this league. I pray I'm back though."

"You just have to say, 'It's a business'... You just gotta roam. You just gotta roam when you're free."

Groves was a fan favorite for his outreach on Twitter to meet up with fans. He even once offered autographed photos to anyone on Twitter who asked for one. If he can find a home with the Cardinals, the fans there will love having him on their team.

In Arizona, Groves is expected to provide depth at the outside linebacker behind starters O'Brien Schofield and Sam Acho. He will also, of course, contribute on special teams.