Veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was among the Cardinals' first round of cuts Monday.
Lorenzo Alexander was part of Steve Keim's first free-agent class in 2013, a veteran who could help with special teams and bolster the linebacking corps. Dave Zastudil, who signed in 2011, was a veteran punter who had been excellent for the Cardinals.
But injuries undercut their time the last couple of seasons, and now the Cardinals have decided to move on from both.
Alexander and Zastudil were among the first round of cuts for the team Monday, as the Cards moved within one of the 75-man roster limit. Ten were released. The Cardinals have to trim one more off the roster by Tuesday.
Besides Alexander and Zastudil, those cut were: ILB Glenn Carson, G Nate Isles, ILB Edwin Jackson, ILB
Andrae Kirk, S Shaq Richardson, TE Gannon Sinclair, WR Ryan Spadola and S Darren Woodard. The Cardinals also waived-injured wide receiver Travis Harvey (hamstring).
Zastudil's release means Drew Butler has won the punting job.
"I think he won the battle easily, on a daily basis," Arians said.
Butler had a terrible playoff game in Carolina last season, but had 34 punts downed inside the 20 during the regular season. He averaged 42.1 yards a kick and had a net average of 36.8 yards, both of which ranked 31st in the league.
Arians liked what he saw from Butler at training camp, however. Butler averaged 46.3 yards a punt in his four punts, with a 38.5 net. Zastudil averaged 41.8 and 37.4 on his eight punts.
"(Drew) had a heck of a year other than the playoff game," Arians said.
The release of Alexander and Zastudil will also save more than $2 million on the salary cap, after their roster replacements are factored in.
Alexander made a couple of special teams tackles in Oakland and had run with the first unit at outside linebacker much of the offseason and starting training camp. After hurting his foot and missing 2013 and having that injury affect him in 2014, he said he was finally feeling healthy.
"Last year I was going through the motions, doing what I could do from the experience side and it's not fun knowing how much better you can be when you are healthy," Alexander said in June.
But the Cardinals signed LaMarr Woodley and drafted Markus Golden and Shaq Riddick, all three of which should end up on the 53-man roster.
"It's always hard when you let a vet go who has been a cornerstone," Arians said. "Never easy saying goodbye to those guys."