GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 30: Joel Wilkinson of the Suns is tackled by Ahmed Saad of the Saints during the round one AFL match between the Gold Coast Suns and the St Kilda Saints at Metricon Stadium on March 30, 2013 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Former AFL player earns NFL contract

Former Gold Coast Suns player Joel Wilkinson has joined NFL franchise, Arizona Cardinals, as he looks to pursue an American football career.

The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that Wilkinson, who played 26 games for the Suns between 2011 and 2013, has signed as a cornerback, after recently training with the club.

The 24-year-old weighs 80kg and is just over six foot tall, making him a great size for a successful cornerback in the NFL, but he will face a tough task making the Cardinals’ 53-man roster, with considerable depth in the ex-Sun’s position.

Wilkinson is not the first Australian to join the Cardinals, with former Geelong star Ben Graham playing four seasons with Arizona as a punter.

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The Cardinals were one game away from reaching the SuperBowl this year.

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