Brinkley released, opens door for Minter

As has been expected for some time, the Arizona Cardinals released backup inside linebacker Jasper Brinkley on Friday. The move saved Arizona $2.2 million in cap space. He was scheduled to earn $2 million next season.

Brinkley filled a much-needed role last season during the first four weeks, filling in for the suspended Daryl Washington. When Washington returned, however, Brinkley’s role shrunk dramatically. He played just 27 snaps in the final 12 games, not nearly enough to justify both his cap hit and his salary. Brinkley's release also shows that Arizona wasn't looking at him as a replacement in case Dansby isn't re-signed. He had 30 tackles on defense and five on special teams.

The move also opens the door for second-year linebacker Kevin Minter to be the primary backup to Washington and whoever is compatriot is at inside linebacker -- Dansby is a free agent and his future with the team is up in the air as of Friday. Minter spent last year on special teams while learning the tricks of inside linebacker from Washington, Dansby and Brinkley, but this moves shows that the Cards are ready to hand over the backup keys to the second-round pick.