Cardinals Slash Roster from 90 to 80 Players

Howard Balzer

The Cardinals won’t be waiting until Aug. 16 to reduce their training camp roster to 80 players.

On Sunday, one day after their six draft choices officially signed rookie contracts, and two days before the arrival of the entire roster, the team announced they had waived 10 players including quarterback Drew Anderson and linebacker Vontarrius Dora.

The other eight were all signed as undrafted rookie free agents this year following April’s selections.

Those eight are defensive end T.J. Carter (Kentucky), tackle Jackson Dennis (Holy Cross), guard Andrew Dickinson (Findlay), tight end Parker Houston (San Diego State), wide receivers Shane Leatherbury (Towson) and Devin Phelps (Shepherd) and cornerbacks Jarren Williams (Albany) and Bejour Wilson (Liberty).

Anderson, from Murray State, signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent last year and was waived in the cutdown to 53 players. After clearing waivers, he was signed to the practice squad only to be released the following day. He returned to the practice squad on Dec. 4 and was signed to the active roster on Dec. 28. He dressed, but did not play, in the season finale against the Seattle Seahawks.

The departure of Anderson leaves the team with just Brett Hundley and Chris Streveler as backups to Kyler Murray, which is not a great depth situation. Teams normally have four quarterbacks in camp, but if the Cardinals go that route, the extra arm won't be needed until the acclimation period ends on Aug. 10.

Dora was also in training camp with the Cardinals last season and was waived on Aug. 31. Like Anderson, he was added to the practice squad the next day and was released on Sept. 3. He returned to the practice squad on Nov. 13 and was signed to the active roster on Dec. 18. He was inactive for the final two games of the season.

As part of the agreement Friday between the NFL and NFLPA, teams are permitted to keep 90 players on their rosters until Aug. 16 as long the workouts previous to then are conducted with split squads. Teams that opt to have everyone work together have to be at 80 players when camp opens Tuesday, which appears to be the route the Cardinals are taking.

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