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Cardinals release DE Darius Philon after assault arrest

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals released defensive end Darius Philon on Saturday after he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The move comes swiftly after Philon was booked Friday on one count of aggravated assault, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s website.

Philon, a sixth-round pick in 2015 by the then-San Diego Chargers, signed a two-year deal worth $10 million to join Arizona this offseason and was slotted in as a starting defensive end. That contract included a $4 million signing bonus, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson.

Now, Philon departs Arizona without taking a snap for the team in the regular season. He tallied one tackle in the preseason opener Thursday.

Prior to Philon’s release, head coach Kliff Kingsbury did not want to comment on Philon’s future with the team when meeting with reporters earlier on Saturday.

The 25-year-old appeared in 32 regular season games for the Chargers during the past two years, recording a combined 64 tackles with 8.5 sacks.

The Cardinals had already been hit with a loss along the defensive line when 2016 first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche was pulled over for traffic violations twice this offseason before arriving to training camp out of shape as he recovered from an ACL tear in December. The team waived Nkemdiche on July 27, and he has since signed with the Miami Dolphins after clearing waivers.

“I think that’s an area that with Steve (Keim) we’ll have to address where we’re at depth-wise to get through camp and continue to evaluate players on that D-line,” he said. “But I like what Zach Allen has brought. I’m really excited that we have him here, obviously.”

Rookie Zach Allen will take the starting defensive end role in place of Philon and did so Saturday.

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