NFL Nation: Steve Sanders
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Biggest surprise: There weren't any big ones. Undrafted rookie linebacker Reggie Walker did beat out veteran Victor Hobson. The team kept seven receivers for now, including Lance Long, after injuries affected Early Doucet, Anquan Boldin and (previously) Steve Breaston. I would not expect the Cardinals to keep seven receivers all season, a reminder that this is the team's initial 53-man roster, not the final one.
Arizona sought to upgrade its secondary through the draft and free agency. That spelled the end for veteran safety Aaron Francisco. I thought the team might keep veteran center Melvin Fowler as insurance. Rookie returner LaRod Stephens-Howling stuck around, costing fullback Tim Castille a chance to continue with the team. Tight end Leonard Pope's demise had been on the horizon for a while and it was a bad sign when he was playing deep into the second half of the fourth exhibition game.
No-brainers: The team also released quarterback Tyler Palko, receiver Steve Sanders, receiver Ed Gant, cornerback Wilrey Fontenot, running back Chris Vincent, cornerback Jameel Dowling, fullback Reagan Maui'a, guard Trevor Canfield guard Carlton Medder, defensive end Alex Field, defensive tackle Keilen Dykes, tackle Oliver Ross, receiver Onrea Jones, defensive tackle Rodney Leisle, linebacker Chase Bullock and linebacker David Holloway. Canfield, chosen in the seventh-round, was the only 2009 draft choice released.
What's next: The heirarchy at tight end will continue to shake out, with Dominique Byrd essentially getting an extended tryout while Ben Patrick serves a four-game suspension. The team still could use a backup center with some experience.
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
A few notes on a Monday evening:
- You can assume that Detroit is on the short list of teams that ex-Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote will consider. Unable to swing a trade for the veteran linebacker, the Steelers released Foote on Monday. Foote said last week he would like to return to Detroit, his hometown. He also played at the University of Michigan, and the Lions have a pretty empty hole at middle linebacker. (Currently, rookie DeAndre Levy is on top of the unofficial depth chart.) Although Foote's best days probably are behind him, he would team with Ernie Sims and Julian Peterson to give the Lions a credible group of linebackers.
- The Lions made several other roster moves, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press. They released tailback Brian Calhoun, ending his disappointing three-year run with the team, and also cut receivers Travis Taylor and Steve Sanders. They also signed defensive end Eric Hicks, who played for new defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham in Kansas City. Hicks did not play in 2008.
- Green Bay released linebacker Jason Hunter, a casualty of the team's switch to the 3-4 defense. Hunter had appeared in 42 games over the past three years, but at 271 pounds he is too small to play defensive end in a 3-4 but is probably ill-suited to play linebacker. The Packers also signed four players following their rookie minicamp, including former University of Pittsburgh punter Adam Graessle.