Making a quick effort to add another option to improve their pass rush, the Arizona Cardinals signed former Canadian Football League linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo to a one-year deal Friday.
Over the last two seasons, the 6-foot-5, 258 linebacker played in 31 games for the Toronto Argonauts and recorded 65 tackles and 23 sacks. He was the CFL East Division’s most outstanding rookie after collecting 12 sacks in 17 games during the 2014 season.
Okpalaugo visited with the Seattle Seahawks and also had interest coming from the New York Jets before inking a contract with the Cardinals.
The Fresno State Bulldog product entered the 2013 NFL Draft and went undrafted. He joined the Miami Dolphins in camp but did not make the final roster. Okpalaugo also spent time on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad in 2013 and briefly was with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.
The Cardinals were in the bottom third of the NFL in total sacks last season and recorded 36 over the course of the regular season. Eight came from midseason signee Dwight Freeney, who is a free agent this offseason.
As of now, there are lingering questions at outside linebacker. Markus Golden enters his second season following an impressive rookie campaign, but Okpalaugo joins a group of question marks that include the Cardinals’ 2015 fifth-round pick, Shaq Riddick, and undrafted 2015 rookie Zack Wagenmann.
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