Arizona Cardinals cut ties with Jasper Brinkley, John Lott

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The moves raise questions and free up some salary cap space

The Arizona Cardinals made a couple of moves on Friday, one that was not expected and one that was.

The team released linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who had signed a two-year free agent contract a year ago, and they also fired strength and conditioning coordinator John Lott, it was announced on the team site.

Brinkley played in 15 games (three starts) last season and had 30 tackles on defense and five special teams tackles.

He began the season as the starter, but was relegated to special teams play after Daryl Washington returned from his four-game suspension. The move saves $2.2 million in actual salary money and saves $2 million against the salary cap. His release creates $200,000 in dead money.

Lott' firing is more surprising. He had two more years on his contract, at $500,000 per year. However, he was not hired by Bruce Arians. He was a holdover from Ken Whisenhunt's staff.

There could be a lot of reasons why. The team said this in a statement:

"Coach (Bruce) Arians let John know this morning that he's making a change and going in a different direction in that role. Everyone at the team is certainly grateful to John for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best moving forward. The search for a replacement is underway."

We do know that Lott and Arians had different philosophies on a few things. Under Whisenhunt, Lott would lead team stretching. Arians did not believe in taking practice time to stretch and expected players to take care of that on their own before practice.

Last year, Lott was not at the NFL Scouting Combine leading the bench press drills, as he had more many years before. He was back at the Combine this year, so perhaps this was something that did not please Arians -- but that is pure speculation.

Pete Alosi is currently the strength and conditioning assistant coach.

Perhaps with the release of Brinkley, we are on the verge of hearing that Karlos Dansby has agreed to terms on a new contract.

We will keep you posted.

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