The Cardinals released center Lyle Sendlein after eight seasons.
When Lyle Sendlein came to the Cardinals, he was undrafted out of the University of Texas and the team already had high-profile free agent signee Al Johnson to play center.
It didn't take long for Sendlein to earn his place. With Johnson battling injuries and Sendlein – who grew up in nearby Scottsdale – fighting for his role in the NFL, he quickly turned into the anchor of the offensive line.
That lasted through Thursday, when, on the heels of the Cardinals signing free agent center A.Q. Shipley and with Ted
Larsen on the roster, the team cut Sendlein with one year remaining on his contract.
With the departure of Sendlein and Darnell Dockett in the past week, the Cardinals now have just two players remaining from their 2008 Super Bowl team – wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and defensive end Calais Campbell.
Sendlein had been scheduled to make $3 million in salary this season, saving around that much on the salary cap. He will leave $1.125 million in dead money on the cap. Given the arrival of Shipley and Larsen and after a season in which Sendlein did not play as well as hoped, it was a contract that the Cardinals chose not to keep.
The team's offensive line will now have a complete overhaul since General Manager Steve Keim arrived, as every position will be manned by a new starter compared to Keim's first game as GM in September of 2013. As it stands now, Jared Veldheer and Bobby Massie will be the tackles, Mike Iupati will be one guard with Jonathan Cooper, Earl Watford or Larsen battling for the other spot. Larsen or Shipley would be the center.
The locker room will lose something with Sendlein's departure. One of the tougher players the Cardinals have had, he was four times named one of the team's captains. He played in 119 games over eight years, starting 109 of those contests. He started every game for the Cardinals since 2008 except for the final five of the 2012 season after tearing the MCL in his left knee.
Most of the time, Sendlein played through any issues. In 2008, Sendlein played almost the entire season after tearing the labrum in his left shoulder early in the year.
"I think Lyle's another solid player that's got great leadership skills," coach Bruce Arians said the day after the season ended. "I don't see any diminishment in his play."
Sendlein was also a regular at Cardinals' community events year round.
"Completely shocked right now," tackle Bradley Sowell said on Twitter.
Images of longtime center Lyle Sendlein, who was released by the Cardinals on Thursday