First day back, but roster still evolving

Posted by Darren Urban on April 18, 2016 – 3:24 pm

The Cardinals returned en masse to the team facility Monday for the first day of the offseason program. The vibe is always a little different that first day, when many of these guys haven’t seen each other in a while and they are all happy to come back together (and Larry Fitzgerald gives Tyrann Mathieu a “tackle” to say hello.)

But the roster here on April 18 isn’t the roster that will be there at the end of training camp. It likely won’t even be the one that makes it to the start of organized team activities next month. There was a taste of that Monday when veteran defensive lineman Cory Redding was cut as the Cards saw a) the need for cap space (it freed up $3 million) and b) the depth on the defensive line. Right now, the Cardinals have 75 players on the roster. As of now, there will be six draft picks, leaving room — for now — for nine undrafted players. Usually the Cards want to bring on more undrafted guys, so I won’t be surprised to see more cuts post-draft.

(The undrafted guys don’t count against the roster until after they officially sign — which could be as late as Wednesday or Thursday after the draft — so there is a little wiggle room there roster-wise.)

I’ve had some ask me about guys like Jerraud Powers and Dwight Freeney. I don’t think the door has closed on either, but we’re likely in a spot now where the Cardinals will see how the draft plays out before making decisions. In Freeney’s case, given his age and the fact he was so effective with little prep last year, would anyone be surprised (assuming he came back) he didn’t sign until training camp starts?



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21 Responses to “First day back, but roster still evolving”

  1. By Steve on Apr 18, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: Over at ESPN, Cards beat reporter Josh Weinfuss called Shaq Riddick as the player who could surprise and to keep an eye on during camp, do you agree with that assessment? Not trying to pit you against Weinfuss but lets face it, Riddick never suited up last season so I don’t know.

  2. By Darren Urban on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Riddick

    I think at this point, Shaq has a long way to go to move up the depth chart. A big offseason for him.

  3. By D on Apr 18, 2016 | Reply

    If your not fired up with the schedule release and the players back working out, then football is not your sport.

    The draft is next week, which I am glad because I am so tired of the mock drafts. So, I might as well do my last mock draft. I believe the Cards will see what is available when they are on the clock. I think the 3 top needs in Round 1 would be: CB/S, C and DL.

    If their player is not there when on the clock, knowing Steve K, he’ll try to drop 5 or so places down to add another draft pick. (Trading down is not as easy as in mock drafts, need other teams to have a player they really like ) If he can’t move back, here are my guesses:

    RD 1 #29– R. Nkemdiche DE. The guy is Darnell Docket’s twin brother. I believe he will fall because of the off field issues and the fact that he is one strange dude. I am also assuming he won’t start his NFL career in the substance abuse program But, the Cards have met with him more than one time and he could be a very good player, assuming a pass specialist his first year, replacing Frostee on passing downs. He needs to play the run better, but you add him next to Gunter and Campbell and Jones. you have a top 5 Dline in the NFL. ( I am also assuming Center R Kelly from ALA will be gone before 29)

    RD 3–I. Seumalo Center (OR. State). The kid is big and strong and would benefit learning from the Card’s very experienced Guards. As long as his health checks out, he would be a nice sleeper interior OL prospect that should be still on the board at the end of RD 3.

    RD 4– K.J. Dillon SS. Cards could use another big hitter in the secondary, not knowing if Jefferson or Swearinger will be on the team past this year.

    Another name to watch in this round if we have not taken a secondary player prior, would be R. Robinson CB from LSU. The kid has speed and length.

    As deep as Steve K has built this roster, it’s going to be difficult for players drafted in Rounds 5 and 6 to make this team.

    RD 5–C. Jones QB (doubtful he will still be available )
    RD 5– P. Slater OT –would be a good practice squad player to develop at LT
    RD 6– M. Boehringer WR. (have to throw in a small school WR )

    Off the subject question: Does anyone else think it was cruel how fast AC/DC threw out B. Johnson so quick after 36 years? He only sang on one of the top biggest Hard Rock albums of all time. More to come on the real reason for this change.

  4. By Scott H on Apr 18, 2016 | Reply

    Shoot, Freeney can sign ANY TIME he wants! As long as he does. Heck, he can sign at half-time of Week 1 and he’d probably still get a sack in the 2nd half of that game.

    Follow in the footsteps of Chris Johnson, Dwight. Come back to help finish this un-finished business.

  5. By Dr. G. on Apr 18, 2016 | Reply

    Michael B ~ Mr. Keim ~ Coach BA ~

    If the future is the plan,
    You’ll choose Paxton Lynch.
    If you’re thinking right now,
    Then pick Noah Spence!
    And satisfy our goal,
    To win the SUPER BOWL!

  6. By MostlyRight on Apr 18, 2016 | Reply

    If Freeney still has the desire to come back I hope he does. It would not hurt at all to have that depth, experience, locker room presence and spin move as a tool when a fresh body is needed to go after the QB. Seems like a limited role would be just a perfect fit for him and us.

    Powers is of course no upgrade where we may need one a bit, but if willing to come back at a reasonable price he’d be welcomed back with open arms and another asset.

  7. By clssylssy on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Great to see one hundred per cent participation by our guys with no “hold outs” like some others around the league! With the Seahawks loading up their already impressive defense,it looks like it’s going to be a nasty fight for the Division title so the strength & conditioning is going to be especially important with everyone in top form. So proud of our guys & their positive attitude…Team Is What It Takes!

  8. By Scott H on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Um, can someone please tell Larry to take it easy on the Honey Badger right now??? No contact until training camp, please! I get the impression it must be scary to be around the team facilities and not know where Fitz is going to “greet” you from!

    Love the pic, but…..does it look to anyone else like Fitz is wearing a skirt???

    Very glad to see Fitz looking jovial and in good spirits. Not that I expected anything less, but we all saw how emotional he was after that loss in Carolina. Looks like he has shaken that off and is ready to get back on the clock.

  9. By Chris on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    What is they pick up a DE and trade Campbell away for a draft pick?

    Use that Pick to get a Center in the 3rd or 4th round

    It opens up almost 10 million in cap and you dont have to worry about signing a 30 year old player to a 4 yr 60 million dollar deal which is what he will want considering what Malik Jackson got this off season

  10. By erik on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    I feel the Cards got lucky that no one made an offer for T. Jefferson. Obviously, they figured this would be the outcome or I would think they would have put a better tender on him.

    I am just wondering if he (Tony Jefferson) is at all a part of the future plans? He is an excellent player and should be locked up to a long term deal. Darren, do you think that is in the teams plans? Or does Tony want to get to free agency next year and see what he is worth? I could understand if he thinks that way, especially the way he was low balled. Please do not misunderstand me and think I am calling the Cardinals cheap. I realize they are not. I just thought this particular case was different.

  11. By Darren Urban on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: Jefferson future

    We will see on that. I would take issue with the concept Jefferson was lowballed. If that were the case, wouldn’t someone have come it to offer him better? It would seem the Cards, at least at this point, hit Jefferson’s market correctly.

  12. By chris on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Just saying there are 35 Defensive linemen in the league that have more sacks than Campbell. 35 of them!!! You dont pay 30 yr old run stuffing DE in a 3-4 15 million dollars.. to get 46 solo tackles.. Rucker got 20 last year and missed a bunch of games and his salary this year… 1.3 million

  13. By raisinmxzone on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply


    If there was a player you were surprised with when they came in during the first day, who would it be? As far as maybe someone who put in the work in the weight room.

  14. By Darren Urban on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    raisin —

    RE: Surprise

    Not really. Bucannon looks pretty cut up. Says he’s about 221. It’s a good size for him.

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Dr G,

    I like your win now vs future.
    But I think win now would lean more towards a shut down CB like Mackenzie Alexander or Eli Apple. I think signing a vet like Freeney and pairing him with Chandler Jones with young guys behind them and a CB who can play opposite PP is win now.

    But I wouldn’t be upset with Spence. or Lynch . Just not my pick. I’m thinking one of those two CBs or trade down if possible. Trading down in round 2, I am grabbing Jaylon Smith.

    As for QB, I like 3 guys in the middle rounds. The first two could go as high as late 3’s or early 4’s. the 3rd guy is more a 5th-6th rounder.

    1. Jacoby Brissett – all the tools, just needs to learn to QB. Checks down and is cautious. You fix that and he could be a steal.

    2. Brandon Allen – big arm, 66% comp with 3300 yds and 30 tds. Can drop it in a bucket on deep throws. Is a leader. I think Dallas grabs him as he is kind of like a Tony Romo. Worth the chance.

    3. Kevin Hogan – smart guy who can lead. needs a run game to be successful. can throw the deep ball but doesnt have a rocket. He is pro ready and at least will be a solid back up.

    Brissett is the most talented but something about Allen tells me he could be one of those guys like Brian Hoyer, who will get his shots to start, and could be a better version.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply


    Campbell –

    I said this before, Campbell is not worth 15 million. And to pay him a huge salary with the cards probably isn’t in his future. There is a reason they have not extended his contract.

    But, you might be on the brink of a super bowl and Campbell is better than anyone out on the street you can pick up. He also, is a leader along the d line. So, if the cards can make his salary work, then why not keep him, even if you draft a young defensive lineman.

    Next year is next year. deal with it then.

  17. By Dr. G. on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    jtdg – – I cannot disagree with your CB position to help the Defense, however, you could agree that having 2 shutdowns on the same team is difficult to muster. We’ll be OK with one in a later round.

    If we pick a CB, good also, but I can see a dice roll on Spence at #29. The more physical positions can play quicker…CBs take some time to get it together in the NFL.

    Palmer must have some thoughts on the last Carolina game that he will not share….lest he might shoot blood from his eye sockets. Our offense in total ((save for DJohnson)) was anemic to such a fault that we have not seen “almost” ever since the Keim//BA era.

    October 30, 2016…This game should be a barn burner.!! …be well

  18. By erik on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    It is hard to argue with your point, Darren. Obviously, the Cardinals did get it right. I just know, based on what I have read from you and others, that Jefferson keeps track of every perceived slight and lives with a chip on his shoulder. I’m just wondering what he thought about the offer. I’m sure he wanted more, as would anyone in his position. I am just curious as to whether or not he would hold it against the team, if he did in fact feel like he was “low balled”. I doubt we will know the answer to that until this time next year, though.

  19. By Darren Urban on Apr 19, 2016 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: Jefferson Part II

    If the Cards offer him a good extension, or the best offer if he hits the market, he’ll stay. If they don’t, he’ll move on. I’m sure he isn’t thrilled he didn’t get more this season, but I don’t think it’ll impact his play and money will talk when it comes to his future.

  20. By dkerry5242 on Apr 20, 2016 | Reply

    What the heck is up with Peterson and Bethel needing surgery? If they knew it,Why did they wait so long?

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