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Arizona Cardinals protected player list

What if the NFL held an expansion draft, who would you protect on the Arizona Cardinals?

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is hosting an expansion draft and that means that almost all players are available to be picked in the expansion draft.

That means all NHL teams had to come out with a protected players list, a list of players not eligible to be drafted by the Las Vegas expansion team.

Here are the guidelines from

“Each team had the option to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie, or eight skaters and one goalie. All players with continuing and effective no-movement clauses had to be protected. All first- and second-year professionals are exempt from selection, as are unsigned draft choices.”

Thanks to the guys over at Buffalo Rumblings for the idea to apply this to the Arizona Cardinals, here are the rules they used and I copied:

Of the 48 players currently in the Sabres system, Buffalo protected 11, which equates to 22.9%.

With 90 players on the Bills roster right now, protecting 21 of them (right around 23%) would be easy. Instead, let’s use that same percentage and the above guidelines from Buffalo’s (likely) 53-man roster to make 12 “protected player” selections:

  • Carson Palmer
  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Patrick Peterson
  • Chandler Jones
  • Jermaine Gresham
  • Corey Peters
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • John Brown
  • Deone Bucannon
  • Mike Iupati
  • Phil Dawson
  • Josh Mauro

This was really difficult.

Palmer, Fitz, Peterson, Jones were all easy calls. From there, it became about weighing options.

Gresham/Peters/Dawson all are the only players worth a darn at their respective positions. It would be difficult to replace any of them, at least to me.

Bucannon had to be protected because of the inside linebacker situation and how young he is. Mathieu is a superstar when healthy, I don’t think the makeup of the team, even with Budda Baker would be wise to not protect him.

With Iupati, it came down to Iupati, Shipley or Veldheer, and I decided the most productive veteran got saved. They had to have a veteran on the line, could you imagine a Humprhies/Johnson/Boehm/Toner/Wetzel offensive line?

John Brown came down to replaceability. We saw how bad the passing offense was without him, Chad Williams is in house, but I'm not sure he's ready to replace him.

Mauro is the only defensive end on the roster that you know what you're getting.

Obviously not having to protect the ‘15, ‘16, or ‘17 class made this harder, because most of the young talent you want to keep is found there.

Who would be your 12?