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Breaking Down The Cardinals Roster


With the season coming to a close, azcardinals.com writer Darren Urban gives his personal take on the majority of the Cardinals’ roster heading into the offseason. UFA is unrestricted free agent. RFA is restricted free agent (and whose movement can be controlled with a tender offer, which gives right of first refusal). ER is exclusive rights, meaning a player must accept a tender offer.

Free agency figures to play a big role in how the roster evolves for next season, given all the free-agents-to-be. Comments are for today and the future for any particular player could be fluid.

Curating a roster for the new head coach -- whoever that might be -- will obviously have a significant impact.

QuarterbacksSigned ThroughComment
Matt Barkley UFA Signed as an extra arm, unlikely to return
Blaine Gabbert UFA Possible piece but one that is fully dependent on who the coach is and what he might want
Carson Palmer Retired Not a surprise he decided to wrap things up, and likely would've even if Arians had remained
Drew Stanton UFA With Arians' departure, the Cardinals may move on
Running backsSigned ThroughComment
D.J. Foster 2018 Showed value as third-down back although Logan's return might deny him playing time
Bronson Hill 2018 Figures to keep a roster spot for now, depending on offseason additions
David Johnson 2018 Oh, what could have been. Still the biggest part of the offense for next season
T.J. Logan 2020 Looked like he might be return guy the Cards need, which will be target for coming season
Elijhaa Penny ER Helpful as a short-yardage banger inside
Adrian Peterson 2018 Big offseason question: Can you keep older backup (at $3.5M) who doesn't play special teams?
Kerwynn Williams UFA When he plays, he produces, and fits well in locker room. Would think Cardinals would want to keep
Wide receiversSigned ThroughComment
Jaron Brown UFA As a deeper option and a special-teams guy, Cardinals could use him back
John Brown UFA Another big question. Do you want bring back -- on a cheaper deal -- and see if he can stay healthy?
Larry Fitzgerald 2018 Still a star. So, Larry, are you playing in 2018 or what?
Brittan Golden UFA Helpful on special teams, but might be a spot that doesn't survive coaching change
J.J. Nelson 2018 Was trending up, and then struggled mightily with consistency
Chad Williams 2020 Didn't show much, so the third-round pick goes into an important offseason this year
Tight endsSigned ThroughComment
Jermaine Gresham 2020 Too many penalties but the Cards like his emotion. Will have to come back from a torn Achilles
Gabe Holmes 2018 Came in so late, hard to know exactly what you've got
Ifeanyi Momah RFA Injuries have derailed two straight years
Troy Niklas UFA Finally was (mostly) healthy, but after four years, do Cards look to move on?
Ricky Seals-Jones 2018 Impressed as an undrafted rookie once he got a chance
Offensive linemenSigned ThroughComment
Khalif Barnes (T) UFA He got an extra month in the NFL he wasn't expecting
Evan Boehm (G) 2019 Still has work to do as a guard. Could he get a look at center, his natural position?
Alex Boone (G) UFA Was a fortunate signing, but the Cards will consider options at the position
Will Holden (T) 2020 Got some rookie playing time and did OK for early work
D.J. Humphries (T) 2018 Is turning into a solid left tackle, so he just needs to stay healthy
Mike Iupati (G) 2019 Will be interesting to see if Cards give it another shot or just move on
Daniel Munyer (C) ER They liked his potential, which is why he stuck around
Vinston Painter (T) RFA Down this deep on depth chart, the Cards might try new possibility
A.Q. Shipley (C) 2018 Played every offensive snap -- solidly -- as one of the few guys who managed to play all season
Max Tuerk (C) 2018 Might try to take an offseason to look at what they have
Earl Watford (G) UFA Cards were fortunate they were able to find him off the street and plug him in the lineup
John Wetzel (T) ER Wasn't expecting to start almost all season, but he was forced to
Jared Veldheer (T) 2018 Minor surprise that he said he wants to play for sure in 2018, but Cards need to decide what they want at tackle
Defensive linemenSigned ThroughComment
Rodney Gunter 2018 Some flashes, but Cards are still waiting for a breakout
Josh Mauro 2018 Like the year previous, was a steady piece
Robert Nkemdiche 2019 Dealt with some injuries, still not performing like they need a No. 1 pick to perform
Corey Peters 2020 Got a deserved extension, continues to anchor middle
Olsen Pierre ER Proved to be an excellent find and that Cards were right to "redshirt" him in 2016
Frostee Rucker UFA Solid on field, and a leader in the locker room. Almost 35, so Cards have to decide if they'd like back
Xavier Williams RFA Still seems to be the odd man out when everyone is healthy
LinebackersSigned ThroughComment
Bryson Albright (OLB) 2018 Was helpful after all the injuries, especially on special teams
Deone Bucannon (ILB) 2018 Finally was looking like the old Buc late as he came back from ankle problems
Josh Bynes (ILB) UFA An excellent under-the-radar camp signing, and the Cards should want him back
Karlos Dansby (ILB) UFA Reached the 40-20 club and wants to play, but Cardinals may want to get younger
Markus Golden (OLB) 2018 Promises he'll come back strong after tearing ACL
Chandler Jones (OLB) 2021 A team-record 17 sacks and one of the best defensive players in league
Gabe Martin (ILB) 2018 Cut, went to Saints, came back and now will probably get another shot to stick
Kareem Martin (OLB) UFA In a similar position as Alex Okafor the year before -- will he find a lucrative contract on market?
Haason Reddick (ILB) 2020 Top pick spent rookie season split between inside and outside. Future looks likely inside
Edmond Robinson (ILB) 2018 Late signing has some experience and fits at end of roster
Scooby Wright (ILB) 2018 Was able to do some things on special teams and that'd be his likely role going forward
CornerbacksSigned ThroughComment
Justin Bethel UFA Had another shot at CB and it didn't work. Expected to get fresh start elsewhere
C.J. Goodwin ER Late-season waiver claim will have a chance to prove himself this offseason
Patrick Peterson 2020 Again proved he was one of the best in the game
Brandon Williams 2019 Had big chance to get into lineup. Never came close, so crucial offseason awaits
Tramon Williams UFA Veteran rescued defense midway through season, and made himself candidate to return
Ronald Zamort 2018 Camp ACL tear cost him a chance to make roster inroads
SafetiesSigned ThroughComment
Budda Baker 2020 Showed he was well worth trading up for in second round
Antoine Bethea 2019 Had career-high 5 interceptions and was a steadying influence in secondary
Tyvon Branch UFA Was excellent before his knee injury, complicating consideration about bringing back
Rudy Ford 2020 Showed some speed and flashed on special teams before getting hurt
Tyrann Mathieu 2021 Led NFL in snaps played and is healthy as he continues comeback
Harlan Miller 2018 Remains the break-glass-in-case-of-emergency secondary piece
SpecialistsSigned ThroughComment
Aaron Brewer UFA Solid after coming off IR, but Cards have to decide if they want different option
Phil Dawson 2018 Missed eight field goals, but finished incredibly strong. Paying a premium if they keep
Andy Lee 2018 Closed so strong it's hard not to see him being the punter in 2018

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