Tommy Kelly, Isaac Sopoaga & Patriots' cap

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
4:38
PM ET
Kelly
Former New England Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly has signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, it was announced on Wednesday.

This has two trickle-down effects on the Patriots:

1. Kelly no longer a post-Week 1 option. When the Patriots released Kelly on Sunday, one line of thinking was that he could return after the first week of the season when his contract wouldn't be guaranteed, similar to what happened with veteran defensive lineman Gerard Warren in the past. While that was always a possibility, the Patriots obviously knew there was no guarantee he would be available and weren't counting on it as they turn to a younger group of linemen. That's the way it unfolded, as the team's early release of Kelly helped him land a new job perhaps quicker than had the Patriots waited until the final cutdown on Aug. 30.

2. Cap relief from Sopoaga could be lost. The Cardinals had previously signed defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga to a one-year contract, and if he makes their roster, the Patriots will receive an $855,000 credit on their 2015 salary cap. The credit would be a result of the contract the Patriots inherited when they acquired Sopoaga from the Eagles last season, which included a $1 million guarantee for this season. Now that the Cardinals have signed Kelly, it could impact if Sopoaga sticks on the roster and if the Patriots receive their credit.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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