The Arizona Cardinals made a pair of roster moves to deal with the defensive line depth on the team. After rumors he was coming in Tuesday for a workout, the team announced they have agreed to terms with veteran defensive lineman Tommy Kelly on a one-year contract.
To make room for Kelly on the roster, the team released Ryan McBean, who was signed last week after Darnell Dockett suffered a season-ending torn ACL.
Kelly (6-6, 310) is a 10-year NFL veteran who played nine seasons with the Oakland Raiders (2004-12) and last season with the New England Patriots where he started five games before being placed on injured reserve (knee) on November 2. He began his NFL career as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Mississippi State in 2004 and played in 129 games (117 starts) with Oakland, including starting all 16 games in his final five seasons (2008-12) with the Raiders.
A Jackson, MS native, Kelly signed with New England as a free agent in 2013 and collected 23 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. Kelly has at least one sack in all 10 seasons in his NFL career, including a career-high 7.5 sacks with Oakland in 2011.
For his career, the 33-year old Kelly has appeared in 134 games (122 starts) and has recorded 442 tackles (302 solos), 36.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and one interception. He was released by the Patriots on August 25.
Kelly will wear jersey #73.
Kelly was recovering from a torn ACL himself, which he suffered early in 2013. According to Pats Pulpit (our Patriots blog), "Kelly looked to have regained his quickness and power and had been playing football at the same level as prior to his injury."
Cardinals fans might remember Kelly from the 2012 preseason, when he (as a member of the Raiders) said that Kolb was "scared" playing quarterback for Arizona.
With only one preseason game left, one would think that Kelly is probably going to make the final roster, giving the Cardinals seven defensive linemen that look like locks -- Kelly, Frostee Rucker, Dan Williams, Calais Campbell, Alameda Ta'amu, Ed Stinson and Kareem Martin.
That essentially means that players like Bruce Gaston and Isaac Sopoaga are on the outside looking in.
We will see if Kelly plays Thursday and how well he does.