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Waiver claims and Cardinals' roster strength

The NFL awarded two players to the Arizona Cardinals off waivers from the pool of players released on the mandatory NFL reduction from 75 to 53 players Saturday.

Arizona was one of 11 teams to not have any of its own released players awarded to another team off waivers immediately following the reduction to 53-man limits. That could reflect the perceived strength of the Cardinals' depth as the team builds under a first-year coach and first-year general manager. Perhaps the players Arizona let go weren't very appealing. But as noted last month, the number of released players claimed off waivers can be a misleading way to measure roster strength.

Sometimes, the connections a player has around the league can make him appealing.

The Cardinals received Indianapolis Colts tackle Bradley Sowell and Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu off waivers. Sowell was with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin in Indianapolis last season. Goodwin was the Colts' offensive line coach, so he would know Sowell well.

The Green Bay Packers had a league-high five released players awarded to other teams off waivers following the reduction to 53 players. The Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles were next with four apiece, followed by the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns with three apiece.

Six teams had two of their players awarded elsewhere: Tennessee, Atlanta, Baltimore, Minnesota, Chicago and Miami. Eight teams had one: Washington, Dallas, Cincinnati, Oakland, New Orleans, Detroit, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh.