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Bauman, Golden, Sopoaga, Hardy among Arizona Cardinals’ final roster cuts

And then there were 53.

By NFL rule, the Arizona Cardinals had to trim their down from 75 players Saturday to 53, and general manager Steve Keim and Co. have done just that.

One player released is a Chandler native who played his college ball at Northern Arizona. Another is a nine-year veteran who was signed just over a week ago to help fill the void left by defensive end Darnell Dockett’s injury.

The following players were released by Arizona at the league-mandated deadline:

• RB Zach Bauman

• LB Marcus Benard

• C/G Philip Blake

• LB Jonathan Brown

• WR Dan Buckner

• C John Estes

• DT Bruce Gaston

• WR Brittan Golden

• TE Andre Hardy

• CB Jimmy Legree

• CB Bryan McCann

• T Kelvin Palmer

• RB Jalen Parmele

• DT Isaac Sopoaga

• G/C Anthony Steen

• S Curtis Taylor

• LB Adrian Tracy

• DT Christian Tupou

• S Anthony Walters

• CB Teddy Williams

• T Nate Potter (released with injury settlement)

Additionally, the Cardinals placed cornerback Eddie Whitley (foot) on injured reserve.

Bauman, second all-time in rushing yards for NAU, was the team’s leading rusher in two of the four preseason games, although he played sparingly in the other two. The 22-year-old running back finished preseason with 16 carries for 49 yards and he scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Golden is one of the few on the list that is a holdover from 2013, when he had four receptions for 136 yards. The 26-year-old wideout had multiple catches in each of the four exhibition games, and he finished preseason with 18 receptions for 129 yards (7.2 yards per catch).

Hardy, a former basketball player at Cal State Fullerton, entered preseason as the No. 3 tight end on the depth chart, but he did not register a reception in the final two exhibitions, and he finished preseason with two catches for 24 yards. The team appears to have gone with imposing tight end Darren Fells — who also played collegiate basketball (Cal-Irvine) — instead. Fells caught seven passes for 68 yards and a touchdown in the preseason. The Cardinals kept four tight ends on their final roster: Fells, Rob Housler, rookie Troy Niklas and offseason signee John Carlson.

After Dockett went down with an ACL injury, Sopoaga was signed Aug. 20 ahead of the final two preseason games. The 32-year-old veteran did not register a tackle with Arizona before being released.

Walters was about to enter his fourth NFL season before being cut Saturday. The 25-year-old safety joined the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2011 out of Delaware, and went on to appear in 33 games in three years while recording 21 special teams tackles, seven tackles on defense and one forced fumble. The Cardinals signed him to a one-year deal in May, but decided not to bring him on for the regular season.

Potter was drafted by the Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he appeared in 21 games (starting six) over the last two seasons.

Also notable from Saturday’s cuts is the 26-year-old Williams. The Texas-San Antonio product caught one pass for 51 yards last season with the Cardinals, but he attempted to make the roster this year as a cornerback. Williams tallied seven tackles (five solo) and one pass defensed in preseason.

Arizona kicks off its season ESPN Monday Night Football-style by hosting the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 8 at 4:20 MST. Tune in to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM to hear the action.

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