Cardinals defensive tackle Frostee Rucker hopes to stay healthy and be productive in 2017.
The Cardinals lost a veteran leader on the defensive line when Calais Campbell signed with the Jaguars, but brought another one back on Friday.
Frostee Rucker signed a one-year contract, returning to his role as a rotational player and a strong voice in the locker room.
"It's always been a blessing and a pleasure to be able to play here," Rucker said. "We want to win. That's why I came back."
Rucker, who will be 34 in September, didn’t register a sack last season but had eight combined in the two seasons prior. Injuries have hampered him the last couple of years but Rucker still believes he can be a positive contributor when fully healthy.
"I've been working hard, and I'm going to continue to work very hard this whole spring and get back to where I left off a couple years ago -- feeling good, feeling healthy, feeling fast and physical," Rucker said.
With Campbell’s departure, the Cardinals will look for defensive tackles Robert Nkemdiche and Rodney Gunter to assume a bigger role in 2017. Rucker has led the younger players in his four previous years with the team, and will once again be counted on to mentor his younger position-mates in a crucial season for the defensive line.
"You guys call it leadership," Rucker said. "I just call it being myself."
Rucker said there's no doubt Campbell's loss is a big one, but being around the NFL as long as he has, knows "the ship keeps sailing."
"We're going to miss him," Rucker said. "Guys are going to have to step up and find their way, find their voice."
Keeping track of the arrivals and departures during the free agency period