The Cardinals have re-signed defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu before he reached restricted free agency.
A day before free agency officially begins – and with speculation across the league flying about what players will play for what teams – the Cardinals re-signed one of their own Monday.
Defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu, scheduled to hit restricted free agency Tuesday, re-upped on a one-year contract. It's an important move, if for no other reason than to create depth with Darnell Dockett defecting to the 49ers last week and starting nose tackle Dan Williams expected to draw interest as an unrestricted free agent.
The official free agent period begins Tuesday at 1 p.m. Arizona time. There have already been multiple reports that the Cardinals are moving toward the signing of Falcons inside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who – if healthy, after missing all of 2014 with a ruptured Achilles – would add a nice piece to the Cardinals' front seven.
Multiple reports Monday afternoon all said that 49ers guard Mike Iupati, the top interior offensive lineman on the market, is also possibly headed to the Cardinals.
Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim has said repeatedly the team will be aggressive in free agency. That figures to include at least some interest on the defensive line, although the Cardinals will be in better shape if Ta'amu can regain the form that left the team impressed in 2013.
Ta'amu, who tore his ACL in the 2013 season finale, made it back in 2014 to appear in the season opener but never regained the level of play he showed his first season in Arizona. Even with the season-ending injury to Dockett, Ta'amu never was part of the defensive line rotation, appearing in only seven games and being credited with only one assisted tackle.
But with Williams' future up in the air, it was important the Cardinals were proactive in retaining a player who can clog the middle. At this point, Williams is expected to test the free agent market and may not return.
With the return of Ta'amu, the Cardinals have six defensive linemen under contract for 2015: Calais Campbell, Kareem Martin, Josh Mauro, Frostee Rucker and Ed Stinson are the others. There is also the possibility of re-signing veteran Tommy Kelly.