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Mike Iupati plans to leave 49ers for Arizona Cardinals

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Former San Francisco 49ers guard Mike Iupati is staying in the NFC West.

Iupati plans to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Monday, per a source involved in the negotiations.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection by age 27, Iupati ranks No. 4 on Around The NFL's top 101 free agents. He was reported to be drawing interest from the Jets, Bills, Raiders, Chargers, Vikings and Redskins as well as the Cardinals.

Although merely average in pass protection, Iupati has been one of the NFL's premier run blockers throughout his five-year career.

An offensive line that was among the league's most ineffective in 2012 and 2013 now has the makings of an intriguing group if Jonathan Cooper pans out. General manager Steve Keim recently stated the team still has "huge expectations" after the 2013 first-round draft pick began showing his "natural bend, his athleticism, his speed" late in the 2014 season.

The Cardinals have expressed reservations about Andre Ellington's durability and have been mentioned as a possible trade candidate for Adrian Peterson.

The addition of Iupati is another sign that Keim and coach Bruce Arians plan to overhaul the rushing attack this offseason.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast analyzes early free agency news, including Ndamukong Suh to Miami, Devin McCourty's new deal and much more. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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