TEMPE, Ariz. – Bruce Arians walked into his news conference Friday morning wearing a black Cardinals golf shirt and a black driving cap.
It wasn’t just a coincidence that the Arizona Cardinals head coach went with a dark wardrobe. There was a reason.
“It’s the toughest day in the NFL,” Arians said.
He was wearing black in honor of the 704 players who will be cut by 4 p.m. ET Saturday in order for teams to get down to the 53-man limit.
“[You] build relationships with guys over a period of months, young guys, passionate guys about their jobs and you have to tell them it’s over,” Arians said. “Not totally over, but over for the moment.”
The Cardinals will announce the final cuts Saturday, Arians said, but he said the team had already released 10-15 players by noon Friday. Among the initial cuts were veteran defensive lineman Matt Shaughnessy, fullback Robert Hughes and rookie running back Paul Lasike, according to ESPN NFL Insider Josina Anderson.
Arians predicted four of five players would be picked up by other teams. Whoever makes it through with two accrued years or fewer will be eligible for the Cardinals’ practice squad. Arians said there are players who hadn’t been notified as of late Friday morning that Arizona wanted on its practice squad.
As the other 31 head coaches will be doing Saturday afternoon, Arians will be scouring the waiver wire looking for players who could fill specific needs. That’s also one of the toughest parts of the job, Arians said. He might congratulate a player for making the roster Saturday and cut them Monday if Arizona signs someone better.
But the chances of that happening this year aren’t high.
“Very, very slim,” Arians said.