The Cardinals made another move to shore up their defensive line depth when they signed veteran Tommy Kelly to a one-year deal on Wednesday. Kelly was supposed to work out for the Cardinals on Tuesday but his flight was delayed, pushing back the process.
Kelly signed a two-year with the Patriots in the 2013 offseason and started five games, recording 22 tackles (12 solos) and 2.5 sacks. But he tore his ACL in Week 5 and was eventually placed on injured reserve. He was released on Aug. 25.
Kelly was expected to start at defensive tackle alongside Vince Wilfork, but the Patriots have moved away from a 4-3 front this season, and Wilfork is slated to play most of the snaps at nose tackle.
Kelly (6-6, 310) played his first nine seasons with the Oakland Raiders (2004-12). He has appeared in 134 games (122 starts) and has recorded 442 tackles (302 solos), 36.5 sacks, nine forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and an interception.
Kelly will likely battle with recent signee Isaac Sopoaga for a roster spot as the Cardinals try to improve their line rotation in the wake of Darnell Dockett’s season-ending ACL injury that forced veteran Frostee Rucker into the starting lineup.
In a related move, the Cardinals released defensive ineman Ryan McBean on Wednesday, just seven days after signing him.
Veteran linebacker James Harrison, who broke Cardinals’ fans hearts with an epic, 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII, was scheduled to visit the Cardinals this week, a team source confirmed. But The Arizona Republic reported his signing is not a foregone conclusion any time soon. If Harrison were to sign after Week 1, his salary would not be guaranteed.