Across the NFL, teams are preparing for final roster cuts that will get them to their final 53-man roster. The Arizona Cardinals are naturally one of these teams. At some positions there is not a lot of question. At quarterback, we know that Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Rich Bartel will be the guys on the roster. At running back, Beanie Wells, Alfonso Smith, LaRod Stephens-Howling and someone else will round out the position.
At the wide receiver position, there is more uncertainty at the end of the roster, although the top is very clear.
We already know that Larry Fitzgerald is the top dog. His new $120 million deal only confirms this. Second-year player Andre Roberts and fourth-year guy Early Doucet are the other players that are a lock for the roster. However, which of the two will be the number two guy that starts with Fitz is not perfectly clear. It looks like it will be Roberts, but that situation is still fluid.
With Max Komar getting hurt and being waived/injured, we know he is out. That leaves returner Stephen Williams, seventh-round draft pick DeMarco Sampson, free agent signee Chansi Stuckey, and camp invitee Isaiah Williams to battle it out for the final spots.
The question is whether the team will carry five or six receivers. Typically, it would be six, but if they go with four tight ends on the squad (which is highly likely), they may only go with five.
If they go with six, it should be easy. Isaiah Williams will be the guy on the outside. If only five, then it gets interesting. Stephen Williams has had a strong camp, but did last year and was completely unproductive during the season. Stuckey has a brand new contract, but not a ton of guaranteed money. Sampson has been a gem, but when the regular season starts, who knows if it will translate into on-field success. He also has been hampered by a hamstring injury recently.
My guess is that they will go with six and that will leave Isaiah Williams off the squad. He could be brought back to the practice squad if he clears waivers.
We may know as early as Friday what wil happen. If there are any injuries in Thursday's game, that will change things, as well.
Regardless of who makes the roster, it has the appearance that, no matter who makes it, it will be a more talented corp of receivers than in 2010. Of course, that might just because the starting quarterback is not Derek Anderson, John Skelton, or Max Hall.