Preseason is drawing to an end and the dreaded cuts are going to have to be made August 27th to reduce from 90 currently on the team to a 75 man Active Roster, and have the final Active/Inactive 53 man roster set August 31st.
Cutting the current roster from 90 to 75 seemed like an easy task, cutting mainly undrafted free agents and camp bodies such as our extra fullbacks and running backs. The hard part was making the next step and cutting players from 75 to the final 53.
To help make the final 22 cuts I leveraged the previous season depth chart, looked at the tendencies of the team such as carrying four TEs, and bringing back most starters which helped me fill out a majority of the positions on both sides of the ball. But once you total that up it was the first time I truly appreciated how few slots were available to bring in new talent to the team and ensure that there is depth throughout the team.
Below is my first attempt at projecting the 2012 Arizona Cardinals 53 man roster:
On the Offense you'll quickly notice that I couldn't actually make the decision on the 4th running back between Powell and Smith. So I reserve the right to add the 'or' there. Personally, I'm more impressed with Powell this preseason and would like to see him make the team in case we have any issues with the health of our two primary backs. I think Powell could fill in for any of the three lead backs we have on the roster.
I cut WR Stephen Williams as I like the potential that WR LaRon Byrd has shown in the preseason and thought he would be a great guy to keep on the roster. You'll also note that QB Rich Bartel was cut, but I think that was one of the easiest decisions to make.
Seventh round draft pick LT Nate Potter was cut and added to the practice squad, but depending on how the mess at LT shakes out he could be a surprise to make the team. Levi Brown was placed on IR which caused me to shift and give RT Bobby Massie the start and shift up the line.
On the Defense cutting the CBs was difficult, especially cutting CB/ST ace Mike Adams. Justin Bethel's emergence makes Mike Adams expendable for Special Teams and it keeps Bethel around to learn the game and grow as Free Safety.
In the OLB dual Quentin Groves makes the team and Brandon Williams is cut as he hasn't stood out in the preseason to me. I was only able to keep five CBs due to keeping three FSs due to Bethel being there. But Sanders is the depth for Rhodes at this point.
What would you change? What would your 53 man roster look like? Who would you add to your practice squad from the cuts?