NFC West: Stanley Arukwe

NFC West roided-out rosters: Updated

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
12:00
PM ET
We've ranked NFL teams by age, both for full rosters and for projected starters only.

Next up: the latest 27-column sortable rosters for NFC West teams, built by yours truly and made available for download here.

No actual 'roids were used in constructing these rosters, but they're muscular enough to provoke suspicion.

I've updated contract information for most players, revealing the final seasons for which players are under contract.

Summary information also shows various aspects of roster composition.

For example, the 49ers have a division-high 13 players with at least one Pro Bowl on their résumés, by my count. That's two more than the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams combined (Seattle has 10). Some previously acclaimed players might not be playing near a Pro Bowl level at this time, inviting a closer look. But if you find those sorts of breakdowns interesting, you might enjoy poring over these rosters.

Update: The Cardinals announced the signing of running back Thomas Clayton and guard Rich Ohrnberger. The team released receiver Stanley Arukwe and center Ryan Bartholomew. Bartholomew received a waived/injured designation. He would become eligible for injured reserve upon clearing waivers, although teams sometimes workout injury settlements that result in a player becoming a free agent.

I've updated the downloadable file as well.

The chart, updated to reflect those roster moves, shows recent counts by team and position.
Our two-day look at NFC West rosters continues with projections for the Arizona Cardinals' offense.

Quarterbacks (4)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.0

Safest bets: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton

Leading contenders: Ryan Lindley, Rich Bartel

Longer odds: none

Comment: Coach Ken Whisenhunt was ready with a quip when asked to pinpoint when the team would like to have its quarterback competition settled. Two years ago, he said. Instead, Kolb and Skelton figure to battle deep into the exhibition season. The Cardinals have five preseason games to use for evaluation. Bartel's grip on the No. 3 job could be ending after Arizona used a sixth-round pick for Lindley.

Running backs (8)

Average number kept since 2003: 5.2

Safest bets: Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, Anthony Sherman, LaRod Stephens-Howling

Leading contenders: Alfonso Smith

Longer odds: William Powell, Javarris James, Jared Crank

Comment: The Cardinals have been banking on Wells and Williams returning from knee injuries. Neither participated fully in offseason workouts or practices. Wells' agent said the team was playing it safe with his client to maximize Wells' availability in 2012. The team did not make lineup contingency plans in case Wells or Williams isn't ready or suffers additional injuries. It's Wells and Williams or bust at this point. Sherman is developing into a first-rate fullback. Stephens-Howling has been one of the better special-teams players around. Smith also has value on special teams if the Cardinals decide to keep a fifth back in Week 1, as they have done for the past four seasons.

Wide receivers (12)

Average number kept since 2003: 6.1

Safest bets: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet

Leading contenders: Isaiah Williams, Stephen Williams, DeMarco Sampson, Jaymar Johnson

Longer odds: LaRon Byrd, Stanley Arukwe, Tre Gray, Gino Crump

Comment: The Cardinals have never kept fewer than six wideouts on their Week 1 roster since Whisenhunt became coach. They kept seven in 2009. Arizona appears to have excellent quality through its top four options at the position. Fitzgerald is an all-time great and in his prime. His presence should help free Floyd to produce as a rookie first-round draft choice, provided the team's quarterbacks do a better job finding open receivers. Floyd's arrival signals Roberts' move to the slot, where the Cardinals think he's ideally suited. Doucet was productive from the slot on third down last season.

Tight ends (6)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.2

Safest bets: Todd Heap, Jeff King, Rob Housler

Leading contenders: Jim Dray, Steve Skelton

Longer odds: Martell Webb

Comment: This position should become a strength with Housler's expected emergence as a fast, athletic receiving threat. Again, the Cardinals are counting on Kolb and/or Skelton to find the open receivers they missed too frequently last season. Age and injury concerns follow the 32-year-old Heap into his 12th season and second with the Cardinals. His $2 million salary would not appear to put him at significant risk, provided Heap bounces back this season. King exceeded expectations as a receiver last season. The Cardinals had never kept more than three tight ends on their Week 1 roster until last season, when they kept four.

Offensive linemen (15)

Average number kept since 2003: 8.7

Safest bets: Levi Brown, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, Jeremy Bridges, Bobby Massie

Leading contenders: Senio Kelemete, D'Anthony Batiste, Nate Potter

Longer odds: D.J. Young, Braeden Clayson, Ryan Bartholomew, Scott Wedige, Chris Stewart, Blake DeChristopher

Comment: Sendlein and Colledge give the Cardinals two solid contributors on the perimeter. The team is counting on Brown to build upon the improvement he showed at left tackle late last season. Brown does appear determined to shake his negative reputation. Questions abound on the right side of the line. Snyder appeared headed for a backup job somewhere when the Cardinals gave him $3.5 million per season, including $5 million up front, to start at right guard. Pairing Snyder with Bridges or Massie on the right side would seem to invite trouble. Perhaps the Cardinals know something others do not. Can line coach Russ Grimm develop the young talent Arizona added through the draft?
Good morning, NFC West, and welcome back from a s-s-s-low weekend in the division.

On the bright side, depending upon your perspective, we're only 76 days away from the Hall of Fame game between our own Arizona Cardinals and whichever New Orleans Saints employees remain in good standing with the NFL by Aug. 5.

While the Saints see rehab for their reputation, the Cardinals are focused on getting their running backs healthy.

Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams haven't played or practiced since undergoing knee surgeries. Wells underwent a less serious procedure, but his durability has been a concern dating to college. Williams is nine months into his rehab from a torn patella tendon; the one-year anniversary falls on Aug. 19.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals haven't done much to address the position, an indication both backs could be on track for 2012. Urban: "Williams, who is anxious to get back on the field right now, admits the team will likely not push him now, instead wanting to preserve him for camp. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the team takes the same tact with Beanie. He's made that work before. Last season, Beanie didn’t get any summer work -- no one did, because of the lockout -- and he still had a career-high 1,047 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns and a 4.3 per-carry average despite battling his knee injury most of the season." Noted: Wells has missed five games in two seasons. He had 228 yards against St. Louis in Week 12 and a combined 198 yards in four subsequent games to end the 2011 season.

Also from Urban: Undrafted rookie receiver Stanley Arukwe ran the 40-yard dash in a wind-aided 4.19 seconds this offseason.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams general manager Les Snead for thoughts on where the team has improved this offseason. Snead on the defensive line: "We've got two young ends (in Chris Long and Robert Quinn). We've added (Kendall) Langford. We've got Darell Scott coming back. Bam! You throw in (Michael) Brockers, and all of a sudden that unit gets strong. Now the DL becomes a dominant unit."

Also from Thomas: Joe Long, brother of Jake, clears his own path.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls for calm over the Rams' stadium situation. Miklasz: "Less than 20 years ago, this region put up a lot of money to attract the Rams and enhance the convention-hosting capability in downtown St. Louis. We may ultimately decide to reject the allocation of additional public money for the stadium/convention center. Before our initial investment is essentially thrown in the river, before we dismiss the possibility of Kroenke and the NFL stepping in as our financial partners in this endeavor, we should at least make a sincere effort to see if this investment makes sense. That will require calm, rational discussion."

Howard Balzer outlines salary details for recent Rams additions Mario Haggan and Barry Richardson.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee has this to say about Jim Harbaugh's recent comments regarding Michael Crabtree's sure hands: "I was reminded of last offseason when Harbaugh said Alex Smith was a 'very accurate passer.' Or when he said Smith was an 'elite' quarterback. Or when he insisted Smith deserved a spot in the Pro Bowl. Not only does Harbaugh always back his players publicly, he pumps up the players that are in need of a little inflating. Last year that was Smith, who had been kicked around like no other 49er in the last quarter century but who responded with the best season of his career. This year Crabtree may be getting the same kind of treatment."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers still have only one proven return specialist: Ted Ginn Jr.

Also from Maiocco: big plays for a 49ers Hall of Fame.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News offers assorted 49ers notes, including this one: "Rather than report to the 49ers offseason conditioning program, franchise-tagged safety Dashon Goldson headed to South Florida and has hooked up with Bommarito Performance Systems. Among the 49ers who’ve previously worked with trainer Pete Bommarito are Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Kendall Hunter, Ricky Jean Francois, Tavaris Gooden and rookie Cam Johnson."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team felt as though seventh-round draft choice Greg Scruggs was a bargain. A turf-toe injury slowed the defensive lineman at Louisville last season. Farnsworth: "Where Scruggs fits with the Seahawks remains to be seen, but for now he is working as a pass-rusher from the three-technique tackle spot as well as at the five-technique end position in the base defense -- a backup role that was filled last season by Anthony Hargrove, who signed with the Green Bay Packers in free agency."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times checks in with former Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna, who is teaching math and coaching football at his high school alma mater. O'Neil: "It's not hard to imagine a former NFL quarterback filling his afternoons with football. It's tougher to imagine that same man -- a guy who was making $3 million last year -- arriving on campus at 7 a.m. and bringing breakfast for kids who need extra help, hosting a home room and then teaching two periods of algebra."

Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle says Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin remembers one game more than any other last season: the one against Cleveland, when Baldwin finished with no receptions during a 6-3 defeat.

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