Possible pink slips ahead for loyal Arizona Cardinals
A few Arizona Cardinals who’ve been with the organization for quite awhile may be playing for other teams this upcoming season
There was one Arizona Cardinal in particular interested to see how Blaine Gabbert would perform during the club’s first preseason game. Drew Stanton, the Cards’ current number-two quarterback, didn’t take the field at all during last week’s Hall of Fame game loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He instead watched helplessly from the sidelines as Gabbert made a strong case to be Carson Palmer’s backup.
The 33-year old Stanton has been with the franchise since 2013, but it’s possible his days in the desert may now be numbered. General manager Steve Keim made a point of praising Gabbert for his eye-opening performance against the Cowboys. The front office may decide that the 27-year old is a better, cheaper alternative for Stanton.
Arizona has gotten quite a bit out of Andre Ellington, a sixth-round pick out of the 2013 Draft. But after the Cardinals acquired both David and Chris Johnson during the 2015 offseason, the running back out of Clemson’s role was reduced significantly. Due to the team’s strong depth at the position (Kerwynn Williams, T.J. Logan and Elijhaa Penny are also vying for jobs), Ellington may be donning another team’s colors when the 2017 campaign gets underway.
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Wide receiver Brittan Golden has been the consummate pro since signing with the Cards in 2013. Though he has contributed just 13 career receptions for 223 yards and one score in four years, the 29-year old has been a valuable special teams performer.
Unfortunately, there are 12 wideouts currently in training camp, with only six most likely remaining after final cuts. Golden may ultimately fall outside of that top six.
When Keim drafted Troy Niklas in 2014, he believed he had found the complete tight end. The product of Notre Dame is exactly that on paper, an excellent blocker with good hands and YAC (yards after catch) ability.
But his inability to stay healthy has been a nuisance. Any more missed time by Niklas could persuade management to part ways with the former second-round pick.
Ed Stinson has had three relatively nondescript seasons as a Cardinal. The defensive end has tallied just 26 tackles and one sack as a pro. The Alabama alum may fall just short of a roster spot when final cuts are made this time around.
Like Stinson, linebacker Kareem Martin also arrived in 2014. The third-round pick has been somewhat of a disappointment, registering a mere 27 tackles and three and a half sacks since entering the league. His spot may also be in jeopardy, thanks to the addition of four new linebackers, Haason Reddick, Karlos Dansby, Jarvis Jones and Philip Wheeler.
Out with the old, in with the new. Changes take place in every walk of life. Some of Arizona’s players will find that out all too soon.