Kyle Soelle

Cardinals Get Down To 53 Players

The source of some strange, unpredicted preseason trades in the past few weeks, the Cardinals have been busy trying to figure out the 53-man roster they’ll open the season with. While some of their biggest cuts came in the days leading up to the deadline and the team is likely to continue making adjustments leading up to opening day, here are the cuts made to officially set team’s initial 53-man roster:



Placed on IR:


Veteran running back Clement and former Ravens standout Williams both fell victim to a resurgent Keaontay Ingram, who surpassed them both on the depth chart after getting healthy. That means a roster spot for undrafted rookie Emari Demercado, who will get to reap the unfortunate benefit of Marlon Mack‘s season-ending injury. He’s joined by undrafted wide receiver Daniel Arias and tight end Blake Whiteheart.

The release of the long-time Cardinals long snapper, Brewer, comes as a bit of a surprise as the only other long snapper on the roster, undrafted rookie Matt Hembrough, is currently on injured reserve. They’ll likely target a free agent who is left available after cut day.

Quarterback Kyler Murray was not moved from the physically unable to perform list, nor was cornerback Garrett Williams moved from the non-football injury list. Both will attempt to make returns shortly after the start of the season. Rookie backup center Gaines’ first NFL season is unfortunately over before it could begin after sustaining a knee injury in the team’s preseason finale.

Cardinals Add 10 UDFAs

The team that did the most wheeling and dealing on Day 1 of the draft picked up a few extra picks for 2024. Some of the Cardinals’ most recent UDFA class could be factors by that point. Here is Arizona’s post-draft contingent:

One member of the Spartan duo will have a decent chance to crack the Cardinals’ 53-man roster. They are guaranteeing $200K of Slade’s salary, Tom Pelissero of tweets. As’s Howard Balzer notes, that guarantee tops six of the veterans the Cards signed this offseason. Slade missed four games due to injury last season, but the former Michigan State defensive tackle earned second-team All-Big Ten accolades in 2021. Like Slade and numerous other UDFAs this year, Brooks used the extra eligibility year enabled after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division II transfer forced three fumbles last season. Slade’s teammate, Brooks, received $80K to sign, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets.

The elder of the NFL’s two Aaron Brewers — Arizona’s long snapper of the past seven seasons — is not under contract. The Cardinals have Joe Fortunato, who has played one career game, set to compete with Hembrough for the position. While another Cardinals-Brewer contract should not be ruled out, Hembrough was one of three finalists for the Patrick Mannelly award given to the top Division I-FBS long snapper. He spent six years at Oklahoma State.

Demercado played five seasons with the Horned Frogs but only totaled 338 carries. Ranking inside Scouts Inc.’s top 300 prospects, Demercado enjoyed his best season during the Big 12 program’s surprising run to the national championship game. He finished with 681 yards (5.6 per carry) and six rushing touchdowns as a senior. The Cardinals did not draft a running back but have 2022 sixth-rounder Keaontay Ingram and veteran Corey Clement behind starter James Conner.