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Robert Nkemdiche, the Cardinals’ 2016 1st-round pick, joins Seahawks

Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche #90 of the Arizona Cardinals on the bench during the preseason NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers at University of Phoenix Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Robert Nkemdiche, the Arizona Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2016 who was released by the team two offseasons ago, has landed back in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.

The Seahawks announced they added the defensive lineman on Thursday.

Nkemdiche didn’t play in the 2020 season. He was waived by Arizona in training camp of 2019, head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s first in charge, after checking in out of shape as he recovered from a torn ACL in his knee.

Prior to his release, Nkemdiche also was arrested for speeding and driving on a suspended license in June 2019. He entered training camp for the season on the PUP list before he was let go.

“It’s just a performance-based business and we decided as an organization that was best for us,” Kingsbury said. “We wish him well and hope he gets a fresh start somewhere else. And that’s really all it came down to.”

The defensive tackle latched on with the Miami Dolphins following his Arizona tenure, but he was released in November 2019 due to reported tardiness issues.

The 29th overall pick in 2016 had his best season in 2018 under Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks. Nkemdiche played in 10 games and recorded 32 tackles, 4.5 sacks and nine tackles for loss.

His best game came two outings before he suffered the season-ending knee injury: a 2.5-sack, seven-tackle outing against the Chargers.


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