Former New England Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has signed a one year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. The Patriots cut Kelly on Sunday, August 24th, in a move to bring the Patriots roster to the 75 player threshold.
Kelly had been recovering from an ACL injury he sustained early in the 2013 season. From this view, Kelly looked to have regained his quickness and power and had been playing football at the same level as prior to his injury. However, Bill Belichick and the front office opted to release Kelly and move forward with the younger players on the roster.
The Patriots were thin at defensive tackle as Chris Jones recovered from a high ankle sprain and Sealver Siliga returned from a hand injury. Kelly had been playing with the first unit defense, so his release came as a surprise. Jones and Siliga will both warrant first team snaps upon their full return.
Kelly was just one of the nicked up Patriots defensive tackles, along side Siliga and Jones. Stalwart Vince Wilfork is coming back from an achilles injury, rookie Dominique Easley is returning from an ACL injury, and new acquisition Jerel Worthy is returning from both an ACL (from the end of the 2012 season) and a back injury. Of the players with a chance to make the roster, sophomore Joe Vellano is the only fully healthy option.
Best of luck to Kelly with the Cardinals.
In an additional move, rookie sixth round pick Jemea Thomas has been claimed by the Dallas Cowboys off waivers.