I know we have discussed it here on Revenge of the Birds before, but I think it is important to restate that not every veteran currently on the Arizona Cardinals roster is safe heading into the slow part of the NFL off-season. With the draft set to start next Thursday night, the plans of the team will be altered forever with the players they decide to select. It may also change the uniform some of the current Cardinals are wearing.
For example, I have mentioned Tyvon Branch a couple of times in the past. The team replaced the departures of Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger with veteran Antoine Bethea. They also have what they hope to be a fully rejuvenated Tyrann Mathieu and Harlan Miller, who emerged last year as a potential safety prospect late in the season. Branch is being paid a good sum of money, but the problem is, they would only save a little over $300,000 against the cap by cutting him at this stage, either as a pre-June or post-June cap casualty. It really isn't worth it to cut him at this juncture, but if the team does not feel he can be a contributor that stays healthy, they may cut him just for a roster spot (highly unlikely).
Drew Stanton is a guy that I am really keeping an eye on. The team has Carson Palmer for what many expect to be his final season. Behind him are Stanton and Zac Dysert, a holdover from last season. Dysert is a project that may never become much, but he is a cheap #3 QB that knows the offense. If the Cardinals decide to draft a quarterback, especially within the first couple of rounds, Stanton could be sent packing. Cutting him right at the conclusion of the draft would save the team $1.65 million against the cap.
Another player that may want to keep his eyes up is Corey Peters. Yes, the defensive line may be considered thin as it is, but Peters is getting paid a lot of money for what many would consider average production. Cutting him would actually save the Cards almost $3 million in cap room. If they come out of the draft with another defensive lineman (which would not surprise me) somewhere in the first couple of rounds, I could easily see Peters being sent packing.
Of course, there are other lesser known players that could be cut such as Kareem Martin, Troy Niklas (a perennial bust), or Alani Fua, but these are outlier players that were always going to be on the fringe regardless.
What do you think? Are there any Cardinals players that should keep a bag packed just in case the team drafts a replacement for them a week from now?