With final cuts for the Arizona Cardinals announced on Friday, getting the team down to the required 53-man roster, there was one notable development. There was not a single undrafted rookie free agent that made the team. Just one season ago, Max Hall, Max Komar and Stephen Williams made the final squad.
Many point to the NFL lockout and the fact that with the loss of OTAs and minicamps as the reason why this happened here and in many other places. This surely is a factor. There definitely was less time for these players to learn the team's schemes. However, there is another reason that no UDFAs made the Cardinals this year, and it is a positive thing,
The reason is the level of talent. Sure, the undrafted rookies have not had as much time to make an impression, but the Cardinals improved the talent level.
Max Hall had a great camp a year ago, but he made the roster only because Derek Anderson and John Skelton were the other quarterbacks. He isn't on the team if Matt Leinart is not released. This year Kevin Kolb is here, John Skelton is a season better and Rich Bartel just was better. But last season only Anderson had starting experience.
The talent at receiver is better this season as well. Chansi Stuckey was signed. Andre Roberts was drafted a year ago and DeMarco Sampson was drafted this year. With Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet already in the fold, there was no room for an undrafted rookie. As it is, Komar was not going to make the team.
Yes, Williams made the squad this this year, but had he come in this year as the undrafted rookie, he would have been left off the squad.
So while there was certainly the time factor, the Cardinals did not simply overlook players because they had not seen enough of them. This year the players in camp are just better. And that is something to be happy about.