Of the potential cuts looming later this week, WR Lance Long may be the headlining player who could be leaving the desert. Long has displayed ample ability over the last two seasons and continues to show improvement. However, given the Cardinals’ extreme depth at the wide receiver position, Long will likely find himself on the outside looking in. If Long were to secure a roster spot he’d have to surpass either Early Doucet or Sean Morey, two unlikely scenarios.
Another position where Arizona has assembled a great deal of talent is at safety. Similar to Long, safety Matt Ware may find himself looking for a new employer due to the Cardinals’ depth at the position. Ware has been a valuable reserve and special teams member over the last handful of years, but the arrival of rookie safety Rashad Johnson could force Arizona’s hand in regards to Ware’s future with the team.
Another backup safety that could be involved in the upcoming cuts is Aaron Francisco. There was plenty of buzz regarding Francisco entering last season but much of that has worn off after a lackluster 2008 campaign. A productive outing in Thursday’s game in Denver should help Francisco solidify his spot on the active roster. Both Francisco and Ware are battling the Cardinals’ backup cornerbacks for the potential final roster spot.
Back on the offensive side of the ball, the logjam at the tight end position must eventually be broken up. The Cardinals currently have six tight ends on the roster but Ben Patrick will be suspended for the first four games, essentially leaving the team with five. Nonetheless, multiple cuts are expected to take place at the position with Patrick and Leonard Pope looking like the safest bets to remain at this point in time.
Unfortunately for Arizona, many of the players released in the coming week will catch on with another team. The Cardinals have assembled a tremendous amount of talent on the 2009 roster and other organizations will be licking their chops to sign Arizona’s dropped players. While a surplus of capable performers is certainly a luxury it can also be the cause for difficult decisions. With the final preseason game acting as the final stage before regular season, those decisions will be coming soon.
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