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Cards to take a look at CFL pass rusher

Posted by Darren Urban on February 18, 2016 – 5:03 pm

The search for pass rushers is leading the Cardinals to investigate one of the best of the Canadian Football League. The agent of defensive end/linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo of the Toronto Argonauts tweeted that Okpalaugo is coming in for a workout with the Cardinals after doing the same with the Seahawks and the Jets. The agent also said the Jets have already made Okpalaugo an offer.

UPDATE: The Cardinals signed Okpalaugo.

Okpalaugo, 6-foot-5 and 258 pounds, had 11 sacks in 14 games this season for Toronto after posting 12 in 17 games for the Argonauts in 2014. He went to the CFL after brief stops with the Dolphins, Vikings and Cowboys, failing to get on to a 53-man roster after being undrafted out of Fresno State. But he’s had CFL success, and perhaps that will change his NFL future.

It isn’t the first time the Cardinals have looked at pass rushers from Canada. The Cards had Cameron Wake in for a workout during the playoff run to the 2008 Super Bowl — presumably for the following season — but decided to pass. Wake turned into a Pro Bowler for the Dolphins with 70 career sacks since 2009. There is no guarantee Okpalaugo, 26, will become the next Wake. He might end up as the next Stevie Baggs, a pass rusher the Cards did sign and try and work into the defense.

Perhaps most interesting is the teams involved here. The Cards know each situation well. The Jets, of course, are led by former Cards’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. And the Seahawks are in an arms race with the Cardinals for NFC West supremacy.

Tristan Okpalaugo


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Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »


13 Responses to “Cards to take a look at CFL pass rusher”

  1. By Steve on Feb 18, 2016 | Reply

    This guy has had 23 sacks in the last couple of seasons in the CFL but it is a different game up north. I do hope however that the Cards will sign this guy and give him a chance during training camp to show what he’s got, glad that Keim is leaving no stone unturned.

  2. By sportsblogger16 on Feb 18, 2016 | Reply

    This guy has some amazing burst off the line and his tape vs Oregon is really good. If Bowles wants him, he is probably worth looking into.

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2016 | Reply

    That is right. I forgot they looked at Wake. Aaaaggghhh.

    Man, that is another name added to the long, long list of pass rushers.

    As for Tristan Okpalaugo, when at Fresno, he showed a good burst,good motor, long arms, really long arms and even a little spin move, but was very high, not strong, and not really athletic when he changed direction.

    But something happened to this guy in Canada. He is much more fluid and athletic. He can cover running backs, he shows a great burst off the edge. He covers area in a hurry. Shows several moves, dip, spin, swim to get to QB.

    He has the ability to come to the NFL and put up double digit sacks as a 3-4 OLB.
    Looking at the draft, I would say only Noah Spence would be ranked over him as an OLB. ( I really need to see workouts of Floyd)

    Keim, get this guy. It is tough to know how his game translates against big NFL tackles. He was cut by Miami and Dallas in 2013. But he is much stronger and more athletic than the guy in 2013. Hopefully, he is a cardinal.

  4. By texascard on Feb 19, 2016 | Reply

    Quality depth along the defensive front is of great importance to get this team across the finish line. An elite pass rusher would be nice but they are very rare and may be difficult to get in the short term. But quality depth is within our reach for immediate future. Keims diligence will pay dividends. Good job

  5. By Big Ken on Feb 19, 2016 | Reply

    Why not? It’s going to be a 90 man roster for a while.

  6. By Scott H on Feb 19, 2016 | Reply

    Hey, if there are pass rushers to be found in the CFL, then look there! It says something that the Jets have already made an offer….

    But at the same time….I hope we’re not going to go into camp with a bunch of un-knowns and question marks and low-budget fliers only to end up with very little to show for it. The draft and FA seem to be the surest places to look.

  7. By Rob D on Feb 19, 2016 | Reply

    Exactly, if Bowles wants him he must have some potential.

  8. By Steve on Feb 19, 2016 | Reply

    Well Darren, looks like you were right about Randy Gregory, just got suspended for 4 games. If he were a Cardinal, Keim might just have cut him.

  9. By JohnnyBluenose on Feb 20, 2016 | Reply

    I remember when Stevie Baggs tried out for our Cardinals in 2010 and I was disappointed when he was one of our last cuts. He was 29 at the time. Okpalaugo is 27. Maybe being two years younger will make a difference. We’ll see. Baggs continued to play football until 2013, including time on the Ravens practice squad in 2012. He was a very good player in the Canadian Football League for about ten years. Now he makes a living as an actor, as a motivational speaker and he has written a book. I guess there is life after football. Good for you, Stevie Baggs.

  10. By hminus on Feb 20, 2016 | Reply

    SK is doing his due diligence…check EVERYWHERE for an answer & SOMETHING will turn up…

  11. By Andy Kw on Feb 21, 2016 | Reply

    Any more than $2.5M per year for Stanton and I’d be shocked. If he is demanding for a lot, just let him walk. I’d rather this team draft a QB like Kevin Hogan to backup Palmer. Cheap but can also be our future franchise QB.

  12. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2016 | Reply

    Meanwhile, we needed to lock up DREW BUTLER before he became a FA. Really? We were expecting him to be such a hot commodity that we couldn’t let that happen??

  13. By Davian sanchez on Feb 28, 2016 | Reply

    We need to sign janorious Jenkins from the rams he can make our defense even more solid . quaterbacks are not gonna want to throw it to Peterson or Jenkins

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