Ta’amu, a restricted free agent, played just 23 snaps in 2014 after coming off ACL surgery at the end of 2013. He didn’t record a tackle in seven games.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said in September that Ta’amu was healthy but wasn’t yet back at the level he played at in 2013, when Ta’amu played 221 snaps in 14 games as he and Williams rotated at nose tackle. Toward the end of last season, Ta’amu said he felt like he was back at full strength but was inactive for five of the Cardinals’ final six games.
With upcoming free agent Williams unlikely to return to Arizona, Ta’amu’s re-signing gives him a chance to make an impact on the Cardinals’ defensive line. In former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, the nose tackle wasn’t a critical position because of how many teams used three or more receivers. Williams played 413 snaps in all 16 games. If new defensive coordinator James Bettcher runs a similar defense, Ta’amu may not be used often.
Ta’amu earned $570,000 last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, making the decision to bring him back low risk and high reward, just in typical general manager Steve Keim fashion.