Arizona Cardinals roster projection – Version 4.0
While several storylines will emerge from camp, the one everyone will be watching is the battle for the 53-man roster.
Key dates to watch are Sept. 2, when clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the active/inactive list prior to 1 p.m. There’s also the day after on Sept. 3 when the claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction expires at 9 a.m. One hour later, teams may form their practice squad of 10 players.
Here’s the fourth version of my 53-man roster projection. I’ll update the roster as moves are made throughout camp.
QUARTERBACKS (3): Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert
The Cardinals will keep three quarterbacks on the active roster, they won’t need one on the practice squad.
RUNNING BACKS (4): David Johnson, Kerwynn Williams, Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington
T.J. Logan underwent wrist surgery and is likely out 12 weeks. Depending on his recovery time, he could return in Week 8 against the Rams in London.
Elijhaa Penny is a practice squad option. Undrafted free agent James Summers will likely get a ton of carries in the fifth and final preseason game against the Denver Broncos.
RECEIVERS (6): Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Jaron Brown, J.J. Nelson, Chad Williams, Brittan Golden
Brittan Golden, Jeremy Ross and Aaron Dobson are fighting for one spot. Both Golden and Ross play on special teams, Dobson has the ability to become a down the field threat because of his size.
Carlton Agudosi, Krishawn Hogan and Chris Hubert will likely be waived when cuts are announced and would be options for practice squad.
TIGHT ENDS (3): Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah
Momah is trending to secure a roster spot. Hakeem Valles, Gerald Christian and Ricky Seals-Jones are eligible for the practice squad. I believe the Cardinals will still look for another tight end when time permits, otherwise Momah could be the third one to make the roster.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9): D.J. Humphries, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Evan Boehm, Jared Veldheer, Cole Toner, Dorian Johnson, Will Holden, John Wetzel
Kaleb Johnson, Tony Bergstrom, Givens Price, Jonathan McLaughlin and Daniel Munyer are the likely cuts. Ulrick John could be the odd man out at swing tackle.
Johnson, Munyer, Price and John could be selections for the practice squad.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (7): Frostee Rucker, Corey Peters, Josh Mauro, Rodney Gunter, Robert Nkemdiche, Olsen Pierre, Xavier Williams
Pasoni Tasini, David Moala, Peli Anau, Ed Stinson are all expected to be released, and the Cardinals will likely keep seven at the position. Tasini would a perfect fit for the practice squad.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (4): Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Jarvis Jones
Jones is a wild card considering all the time he’s missed. Terance Waugh and Alex Bazzie will need to show their worth in the final two preseason games to garner a roster spot.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS (5): Karlos Dansby, Deone Bucannon, Haason Reddick, Josh Bynes, Scooby Wright.
It could come down to Bynes or Philip Wheeler for one spot. Wright will make the team strictly on special teams. Wheeler, Zaviar Gooden, Tre’Von Johnson also competing for one of the inside linebacker spots.
CORNERBACKS (4): Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel, Brandon Williams, Tramon Williams
Sojourn Shelton and Ironhead Gallon would be options for the practice squad if released.
SAFETIES (5): Tyrann Mathieu, Antoine Bethea, Tyvon Branch, Budda Baker, Harlan Miller
Miller and Rudy Ford are competing the final safety spot. Whoever gets cut could be an option for the practice squad.
SPECIALISTS (3): LS Aaron Brewer, P Matt Wile, K Phil Dawson
Matt Wile appears to have the advantage going into the Atlanta game. He has more experience at the NFL level and was on the Cardinals’ roster late in 2016. Arizona will continue to evaluate other punters.
Players are eligible for the practice squad if they clear waivers. Teams are allowed to up to 10. Here are some likely candidates:
TE Ricky Seals-Jones
WR Krishawn Hogan
WR Carlton Agudosi
S Rudy Ford
RB Elijhaa Penny
CB Sojourn Shelton
CB Gump Hayes
CB Ironhead Gallon
OT Ulrick John
OT Givens Price
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