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Arizona Cardinals cut-down analysis

8/25/2014

The Arizona Cardinals made 13 moves to trim their player roster to 75. NFL teams have to get down to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Most significant move: Releasing kicker Jay Feely. This was a move that was widely expected throughout the past few weeks and was likely sealed when Feely missed a 48-yard field goal attempt Sunday night against Cincinnati. Feely struggled last season with his kickoff depth and hang time, and unveiled a new approach during the preseason that gave him a few more yards, but when a coach loses confidence in a player, like Bruce Arians did last season, it’s hard to regain that, especially when the next option is a 23-year-old with a booming leg.

Starks’ run ends: Max Starks’ reunion with Arians lasted about three and a half weeks, but his time with the Cardinals was hampered by an ankle injury. He weighed about 345 pounds when he signed with Arizona on Aug. 1, down from his last reported weight of 370. Starks could’ve found a role as Arizona’s swing tackle, but after playing in just two games last season, he likely needed more time to get into game shape. But with the ankle hampering his progress, Starks went from working with the second team to the third team.

What’s next: Reducing their roster from 75 to 53 will leave the Cardinals with a few tough decisions. Receivers Brittan Golden or Walt Powell have played well enough to be kept on the roster, although Powell may have the upper hand because of his return ability. Whether Nate Potter is kept on the roster or put on practice squad will be another move to watch. Linebacker Marcus Benard has played steadily and been a quiet force throughout camp, but he may be squeezed out because of numbers and the addition of Desmond Bishop. And Teddy Williams, who Arians moved from wide receiver to cornerback, could be an option to be released, although his job could be saved because of a possible role on special teams.

Cardinals moves: Cut K Jay Feely, T Max Starks, QB Ryan Lindley, LB Keenan Clayton, LB JoJo Dickson, C Tom Draheim, WR Reggie Dunn, LB Derrell Johnson, S Orhian Johnson, WR Kevin Ozier, DT Justin Renfrow, CB Brandon Sermons, RB Damien Thigpen.