The Arizona Cardinals cut 22 players on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: There was just one defensive lineman cut on Saturday, and it was veteran defensive tackle Red Bryant. The 32-year-old was initially signed by Arizona on Thanksgiving last year and then re-signed with the Cardinals in March, but a combination of his age and depth on the defensive line cost Bryant this job. He played a prominent role in Arizona’s run defense late last season, but with the return of Corey Peters, the drafting of Robert Nkemdiche, who can play across the line, and the maturation of both Rodney Gunter and Xavier Williams, Bryant’s services on the field weren’t needed -- although he provided a veteran presence in the locker room.
Most significant non-move: Any of the other defensive linemen. The Cardinals kept nine defensive linemen this year -- Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Nkemdiche, Josh Mauro, Rodney Gunter, Xavier Williams, Corey Peters, Ed Stinson, Olsen Pierre -- a signal of just how deep the Cardinals’ defensive line group is. However, Pierre left Thursday’s game with an injury, so that could eventually factor into the Cardinals’ roster in the next week or so.
Cards take risk cutting Barkley: Despite steadily progressing throughout the preseason, quarterback Matt Barkley was released. While it was expected, Barkley may have shown enough during the preseason to earn himself a roster spot on another team, which would mean he wouldn’t be available to add to the practice squad -- and the Cardinals want a quarterback on the practice squad.
Cards comfortable with three tight ends: A strong training camp and preseason by third-year tight end Troy Niklas put the Cardinals at ease enough to keep just three tight ends on the roster after they released Ifeanyi Momah and Hakeem Valles on Saturday. Momah, who had an impressive camp last year before a knee injury sidelined him for the season during practice in Week 1, was the most likely to be the fourth tight end if Arizona kept a quartet. However, his blocking wasn’t up to par all camp. A healthy Niklas turned heads and impressed coach Bruce Arians over the last month with an array of good catches and reliable, consistent performances.
Cardinals moves: Cut: QB Matt Barkley, C Taylor Boggs, CB Cariel Brooks, DT Red Bryant, WR Marquis Bundy, LB Donald Butler, S Chris Clemons, T Rob Crisp, S Matthias Farley, WR Brittan Golden, CB Trevon Hartfield, WR Chris Hubert, G Antoine McClain, CB Harlan Miller, TE Ifeanyi Momah, RB Elijhaa Penny, T Givens Price, LB Shaq Riddick, WR Jaxon Shipley, TE Hakeem Valles, RB Kerwynn Williams, CB Ronald Zamort. Waived/injured: LB Tristan Okpalaugo.