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Cardinals sign NFL supplemental pick Jalen Thompson to 4-year deal

Washington State safety Jalen Thompson (34) disrupts a pass intended for Arizona wide receiver Shun Brown during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

The Arizona Cardinals signed 2019 NFL supplemental draft pick Jalen Thompson to a four-year deal on Wednesday.

Arizona also announced that it released offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, a June waiver-wire addition from the Cleveland Browns. Harrison on Wednesday was issued a felony arrest warrant in North Carolina on assault and strangulation charges.

Thompson, a Washington State product who plays safety, was the first and only player selected in the supplemental draft that included five players. He was projected as a mid- to late-round pick had he entered the 2020 draft and as a junior in 2018 made 66 tackles with 3.0 for loss and two interceptions. He also had eight passes defensed.

At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Thompson’s best year came in his sophomore year, when he recorded 73 tackles, 5.5 for loss, plus four picks and three fumble recoveries.

“He’s really explosive, jumps high, gets to balls you don’t think he can get to, and he hits a ton, ’cause he’s not a really big guy but I mean he just unloads it,” WSU head coach Mike Leach told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf on Thursday.

Thompson was a late addition to the supplemental draft after losing his final year of college eligibility at the end of June due to an NCAA violation related to banned substances.

WSU head coach Mike Leach confirmed a report from The Spokesman-Review that indicated Thompson’s NCAA violation occurred after the safety took an over-the-counter supplement from a nutrition store that was not a steroid.

“He had a guy that worked at … one of those supplement stores like a GNC, brings his stuff home — and his roommates lifted weighs and stuff — so Jalen takes it and it’s got a banned substance in it,” Leach told Doug & Wolf. “And it’s a fairly onerous penalty to pay.”

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