We know what the 53-man roster is for the Arizona Cardinals. The cuts are done and a trade was made. But were there any real surprises? Perhaps, but really.
Here is what the 53-man roster looks right now for the Cardinals and some analysis.
Quarterback (3): Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Matt Barkley
This position had the surprise of the weekend when the team traded for Barkley. One thing is clear -- they were done with Logan Thomas. Don't expect Thomas back even on the practice squad.
Running back (4): Andre Ellington, Chris Johnson, David Johnson, Stepfan Taylor
This year is the first for Bruce Arians in which he goes with just four running backs to start the year. Cutting Kerwynn Williams was perhaps a surprise, but when you have to choose at fourth running back, you want a guy who is able to be specialized. While Williams is the better runner, Taylor is superior at blocking, receiving and overall special teams. Getting rid of Robert Hughes was surprising simply because pretty much everyone believed he was a lock for the roster, but he is simply a bigger Taylor. With keeping a third quarterback, one position had to be shorted.
Wide receiver (6): Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, J.J. Nelson, Jaron Brown, Brittan Golden
Jaxon Shipley made a push, but Golden's value on special teams apparently gave him the edge.
Tight end (4): Darren Fells, Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas, Ifeanyi Momah
Mr. Irrelevant Gerald Christian landed on injured reserve, and that actually helps him long-term. I believe he would have been cut anyway. This way, he is still under contract come next year and he is more likely to get a shot after Gresham presumably goes elsewhere.
Offensive line (9): Jared Veldheer, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Jonathan Cooper, Earl Watford, Lyle Sendlein, D.J. Humphries, Bradley Sowell, Ted Larsen
Bobby Massie does not count yet because of his suspension to start the season. One would have to think one of these guys will get cut when he returns. After all, 10 offensive linemen seems like a lot. Sowell's job was probably saved with the suspension, as many believe Watford will be the starting right tackle until Massie returns.
Defensive line (7): Calais Campbell, Rodney Gunter, Frostee Rucker, Coory Redding, Ed Stinson, Josh Mauro, Xavier Williams
These happen to be the seven guys I personally believed would be on the roster. Some thought Matt Shaughnessy or Alameda Ta'amu would make it. However, the writing was on the wall for Ta'amu when Bruce Arians talked about positional flexibility and how playing only one position isn't what he wants on the D-line. Josh Mauro became the younger, cheaper version of Shaughnessy, as he can play all the same positions. We know Shaughnessy is one of the best at setting the edge, but Mauro really played well in camp and the preseason. And you can't have a guy buried on the bench who will count $2.7 million against the cap.
Inside linebacker (4): Sean Weatherspoon, Kevin Minter, Kenny Demens, Alani Fua
The only decision to be made was whether to keep Fua or Gabe Martin. The staff is really intrigued by Fua's length, speed, versatility and cover ability. Martin could make the practice squad.
Outside linebacker (5): Alex Okafor, LaMarr Woodley, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Shaq Riddick
There are exactly zero surprises here. Cutting Lorenzo Alexander opened the door for Riddick.
Cornerback (3): Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel
The team can go with three guys for now because, as it is, Bethel doesn't even play on defense. Tyrann Mathieu plays nickel corner, so Bethel becomes the depth. If Peterson, Powers or Mathieu are ever hurt, Bethel comes in. Don't be surprised if a cornerback is brought on waivers, but only two of these guys will ever play, barring injury.
Safety (5): Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson, Tony Jefferson, Chris Clemons
Why five safeties and three corners? It is because in regular nickel/dime sets, the Cardinals go with four safeties. An injury to one means they need a guy on the bench more than a cornerback. Bucannon and Mathieu both will not likely ever leave the field, as they will start at safety and each move to either linebacker (Bucannon) or the slot (Mathieu) when opposing offenses go with at least three receivers. Clemons has also been the seventh DB when the Cardinals go with that personnel group.
Specialists (3): Drew Butler, Chandler Catanzaro, Mike Leach
Not everyone is happy about Butler over Dave Zastudil, but that is how it will be.