The Arizona Cardinals welcomed free-agent linebackers Joey Porter and Larry Foote for visits Thursday, and both expressed a desire to join the team after seeing some familiar faces.
Porter said Arizona was his first stop after the Miami Dolphins released him last week because it's relatively close to his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., and Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and assistant head coach Russ Grimm are there. Both men coached Porter when the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker was with the Steelers.
"I was looking to play for a West Coast team, and I know everything Whiz is about," said Porter, who played for the Steelers from 1999 to 2006. "He had me over there in Pittsburgh for eight years so I don't have to be blindsided by some new coaches and trying to wonder how I fit. I know exactly how I fit. I know how he would try and use me if I was here, and I am just trying to be a piece to the puzzle that's already there."
Porter disagreed with those who say his decrease in playing time with the Dolphins signals a downward slide in his abilities.
"I've got a lot left," Porter said. "All you have to do is turn on the tape, and I feel like I don't have to sell myself. What I did on the football field is going to sell that for me. With my role being reduced to the playing time I did have and missing three games, I still mustered up enough to lead the team (with nine sacks)."
Foote, an inside linebacker, led the Detroit Lions in tackles last season despite missing two games. He started every game for the Steelers from 2004 to 2008, and said "it would be a dream come true" to be reunited with Whisenhunt, Porter and ex-Pittsburgh linebacker Clark Haggans, who's also in Arizona.
"I'm begging," Foote told the Arizona Republic. "I want to get back to a winner. I feel more comfortable with a 3-4 (defense). Pittsburgh wants me back, but I want to be a Cardinal, and hopefully we can get it done."
The Cardinals are looking for someone to compete with Matt Leinart, the only quarterback the team has under contract after Kurt Warner's retirement.
The Cardinals further beefed up their offensive line by agreeing to a three-year, $9 million contract with guard Rex Hadnot, a league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. Hadnot, a six-year NFL veteran who has started for the Dolphins (2004-07) and Browns (2008-09), could receive $12 million with incentives.
The Cardinals said Friday that they had signed Hadnot and gave backup center Ben Claxton a one-year contract.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.