As the Arizona Cardinals begin their quest to cut the team's roster size from 90 to 53 by the end of the preseason, we're taking a look at every player at each position group and determining their odds of making the final cut.
Player: Zac Dysert
Experience: One NFL season
Contract status: 2017- $615,000
2016 season quick review: Dysert spent the 2016 preseason with the Miami Dolphins, where he lost a battle with former Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty for a roster spot prior to the regular season. After being cut on September 3 by Miami, the Cardinals worked quickly to sign Dysert, and brought him in the next day to lead the team's practice squad. Dysert spent almost the entirety of the regular season on Arizona's practice squad, but after a late-season injury to Dolphins' starter Ryan Tannehill, Miami reportedly expressed interest in signing Dysert to its active roster. The Cardinals wanted to prevent Dysert from leaving the organization, so the team ultimately promoted Dysert to its active roster on December 13. Dysert did not take a snap for the Cardinals last season and was never active, but the franchise re-signed him this offseason to compete for a job yet again.
Projected roster status: Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians has expressed a preference of keeping two quarterbacks instead of three on his active roster, but Arizona made an exception late in the regular season to protect Dysert from departing for Miami. However, it's unlikely Arizona would make a similar move at the beginning of the season this year, especially considering the team has both Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton competing for the No. 2 job. Because the Cardinals now have two more experienced backup options, Dysert's road to the 53-man roster is straight uphill.
Projected depth chart status: If Dysert does find a way to earn a spot on the Cardinals' 53-man roster in 2017, it would be as the team's third quarterback. Dysert could wind up on Arizona's practice squad again, but if he wants to stick on an NFL roster, the odds of him finding a job with the Cardinals aren't particularly strong.
CardinalsSource.com analysis: Because Dysert spent all of training camp with Miami last season, CardinalsSource never received a thorough opportunity to evaluate his skill set and determine if he's a potential fit for Arians' offense. Nevertheless, Arizona's decision to promote Dysert to the active roster late last season suggests the Cardinals were impressed by Dysert's body of work with the scout team, and felt as though his presence added value to the quarterback unit. Because Dysert was added when the Cardinals were essentially eliminated from playoff contention, there was no need for Arizona to protect its scout team quarterback from leaving when it no longer had a dire need for a scout team quarterback. That should serve as a vote of confidence for Dysert, who will likely never become an NFL starter, but may have the tools to develop into a capable backup. Dysert's career has been long and winding and he's bounced from team to team, so the Cardinals' decision to promote him at the end of the 2016 season was likely one of the first times Dysert has felt a team valued what he brought to the table. As a result, even though Dysert may now be in a position to chase better opportunities with other franchises, he elected to remain in Arizona this offseason and try to continue learning and developing in the same offensive system.
Overall value: Should Dysert make the Cardinals' 53-man roster this fall, he provides the team with an excellent value considering he's making the minimum salary for a player with his level of experience. That suggests that if the Cardinals get any sort of production at all out of Dysert, the decision to sign him and keep him was worth it. Though it's unlikely Dysert does carve out a role with the franchise in 2017, there are no drawbacks to keeping him in the fold and allowing him to develop under the guidance of the Cardinals' coaching staff.