5 - Cameron Thomas, EDGE
Few were expected to take a larger leap in 2023 than Cameron Thomas, but following a solid preseason and even scoring the Cardinals first touchdown, the second-year EDGE rusher has done hardly anything. In Week 18 he still has zero recorded sacks, just 22 combined tackles with three for a loss, and one quarterback hit.
While there is hope on the defensive side of the ball for Lopez and Collins, Thomas may be out of chances, so don’t expect him to be in town next season. And if he is, he could easily go the same direction as his 2022 draft day brethren, Myjai Sanders.
Update: Cameron Thomas has been ruled inactive for Week 18, so he will not get a final audition.
6 - Blake Gillikin, P
When the Cardinals needed a punter, Blake Gillikin stepped in and played the role well. But like Roy Lopez, he also falls into the category of brass always seeking to replace since he too is a cast-off. However, there is a lot to like about Gillikin, including the fact that he averaged 50.6 yards per this season, allowing just two of his 48 punts to land in the endzone for a touchback.
He could have placed more than 18.8 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line, but then again, the Cardinals offense wasn’t exactly the league’s best overall, so he gets a reprieve there. Much like Lopez, Gillikin just needs a good game, and he should find himself on the roster come late-July and early-August to at least compete for a spot.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference and PFF [subscription])