Like every team in the National Football League, the Arizona Cardinals’ roster is down to the league-mandated 53 players.
The number 53 will be constant during the season. However, the names that make up the roster will change, maybe even before the Cardinals open the regular season next Monday night against the San Diego Chargers.
“I’m never done,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim told Doug and Wolf Tuesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We’ll bring in about four or five players (Wednesday) and see how they look on the hoof, watch them move around a little bit. We may have to make some decisions.”
One of those tough decisions happened over the weekend when the Cardinals were awarded a waiver claim on free agent outside linebacker Thomas Keiser, who was cut by the Chargers. Rookie seventh-round pick Walt Powell, a receiver who impressed during the preseason, was cut to accomodate Keiser. Powell has since been claimed by the New York Jets. Keiser’s inclusion on the roster means the Cardinals have 11 linebackers.
One of the 11 is Glenn Carson, an undrafted rookie out of Penn State. Keim says the decision came down to Carson or Powell, with the receiver losing out.
“When you look at the preseason tape, there was a time when Walt Powell did a few nice things,” he said. “But at the end of the day when we looked at Walt vs. Glenn Carson, we felt like Glenn outperformed him and earned the right to be on our roster.
“We think Glenn has a bright future, a guy who could end up contributing down the road and playing some special teams for us.”
Meanwhile, the addition of Keiser gives the Cardinals’ defense an ingredient Keim felt was lacking after the roster cutdowns.
“(Thomas) has some natural pass rush ability,” Keim said. “One thing I felt like we were missing was a guy who can bring natural edge pressure. Thomas has done that. He’s a guy that in the past three years has had nine sacks. In limited playing time last year, he had 4.5 sacks and he’s got some wiggle and bend off the edge.”
But even with the first game of the season less than a week away, Keim will do what he does — continue tinkering with the roster.
“As I’ve said many times before, it’s a fluid process. The back end of the roster is always going to be changing.”