It started Saturday when the team parted ways with two picks from the 2009 draft class, LB Cody Brown and OL Herman Johnson. After sitting out all of last season with a wrist injury, Brown did little in the preseason. However, it would have made some sense to give him a little more time but the coaching staff wasn't willing. Brown has since moved on to the practice squad of the New York Jets.
Meanwhile, Johnson had been playing tackle but may have been better suited to play on the interior. Johnson was slow on the perimeter and was beaten on several occasions throughout the preseason. Additionally, he reported to training camp overweight and had been in coach Ken Whisenhunt's doghouse up until his release.
While the majority of the other roster moves were anticipated, three cuts on Sunday were also rather unexpected. CB Marshay Green, LB Pago Togafau and FB Reagan Maui'a – the only fullback on the roster – are the latest casualties. Green displayed a great deal of promise as a rookie and cutting ties with Togafau leaves Arizona with just three inside linebackers and only six total options at the position as a whole.
More help will be on the way, particularly at inside linebacker, in the secondary and potentially on the offensive line as well. A few notable fullbacks were released after the team signed Johnson, so another newcomer there isn't out of the question.
As of now, Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington and Reggie Walker are the only inside linebackers, a very limited spread for a 3-4 defensive scheme. Reinforcements will be on the way here and it will more than likely be two players. One name to keep an eye on is Bobby Carpenter. Carpenter was a first-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys but was traded to St. Louis earlier this year. He's been somewhat of a disappointment but a fresh start is apparently what Carpenter needs.
Another player of interest could be former Jets FB Jason Davis. Owen Schmitt – who was released by the Seattle Seahawks – is also an option but Davis might be the blocking back the team covets. Veteran Tony Richardson is also out in New York, but his increasing age and decreasing athleticism probably won't be as enticing. Whoever the Cardinals settle on at fullback will probably start and take up the only roster spot in that area.
In the trenches, general manager Rod Graves and company might show some interest in center Justin Hartwig. Hartwig played the last two years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lyle Sendlein has done a nice job anchoring Arizona's offensive line but a veteran like Hartwig could be a solid addition. He'd more than likely be considered an upgrade over Ben Claxton, who's currently in the top 53.
Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at firstname.lastname@example.org
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