GLENDALE, Ariz. — Less than 48 hours after defensive tackle Darnell Dockett went down with a season-ending ACL tear, the Arizona Cardinals brought in reinforcements.
The team signed veterans Isaac Sopoaga and Ryan McBean to one-year contracts. Both players worked out for coaches prior to Wednesday’s practice at University of Phoenix Stadium and both were in uniform for the afternoon session.
Sopoaga, 32, signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles in March of 2013, with $5 million guaranteed. In October, after Sopoaga had registered 10 total tackles in eight games with Philly, he was dealt to New England along with a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft in exchange for a fifth-round selection. In six games with the Patriots, he had two tackles and a sack.
The veteran was inactive for both of New England’s playoff games and he was cut in March.
Sopoaga is glad to have landed with his fourth NFL team.
“First, I’d like to give thanks to our graciously heavenly father for this wonderful opportunity,” he said following Wednesday’s practice. “I’m so thankful for the Arizona Cardinals — it’s fun to be out here.”
Coming into training camp four weeks in can be daunting for anyone, but Sopoaga has a plan in place to learn what he needs to know.
“I’ll pick it up one day at a time and there are guys that have been here that I trust and they’ve been working hard from the beginning of preseason,” he said. “We are all professionals. Even though they’re young, they’re pros.”
While training camp has been going on, Sopoaga has been working out at his home in San Jose, Calif., hoping for the phone to ring.
“I’ve been training over there the same way the teams have been training,” he said.
That training paid off as the ink was barely dry on Sopoaga’s contract before he was in 11-on-11 action in practice, even participating in a couple of snaps with the first team defense.