The Arizona Cardinals cut their roster down to the limit of 53 players yesterday. In that, they were forced to release both veterans like Clark Haggans and some young talent that was just impossible to keep around due to the numbers game.
Luckily, the team can build an eight man practice squad with the players that clear waivers. Here are all the rules regarding the practice squad and who is eligible for it. After the jump, get my take on some of the players they could use to help fill out that unit.
Gideon looked very good during the preseason at the safety position. Many thought that he might eventually make the team over veteran James Sanders, but he still seems a bit raw in deep coverage. If Gideon can develop his skills in coverage and continue to strengthen his game as a box safety, he could one day be a nice rotation player for the Cardinals.
With all of the shortcomings the Cards have along the offensive line, stashing one or two players on the practice squad might be a good idea. Wedige, a center, performed well in the preseason, but he lost out due to his lack of versatility, in my eyes. The team has players like Adam Snyder and D'Anthony Batiste that beat him out because they can shift around and play multiple positions along the line. If Wedige somehow develops a knack for playing guard, he will find a spot in the NFL.
The former Arizona State Sun Devil didn't make a ton of plays, but he showed that he can at least be a consistent player an inside linebacker. He, like the others, just needs time to hone in his skills. The practice squad can do that for him and I think he gets the call, possibly over Quan Sturdivant.
Let's face it, Young looked pretty awful during the preseason. But the thing is, that's okay. He is too raw at left tackle, but he has the potential to be a Levi Brown type of player if he can improve his pass protection skills. He's also more fleet of foot than Brown, so he has that going for him. I still say he can be an asset.
These are just some of the players that I think make the eight player squad, but the Cardinals will look around at other teams' players and add them as well. In all, it becomes a mini farm system for football players and if they develop, they can go on to contribute to their teams in big ways.