The Arizona Cardinals, like the rest of the NFL, will have to make final cuts Tuesday, trimming their roster from the offseason 90 to 53.
Most of the positions will be fairly easy. At some positions, there are questions as to which back-of-the-roster players they will keep.
At one position — outside linebacker — they will end up cutting a player they seem to either really like or were expected to be an important contributor.
There are seven players that fit this bill — Zaven Collins, Dennis Gardeck, rookie BJ Ojulari, Victor Dimukeje, Cameron Thomas, Myjai Sanders and Victor Dimukeje
Collins and Gardeck have been getting first-team reps all offseason. Collins is new to the position.
Ojulari was drafted in the second round this year.
Thomas and Sanders were drafted last year in the third round. Both showed promise and talent late last season as their playing time increased.
Sanders has not played in the preseason, suffering a hand injury early in training camp.
Luketa is loved by coaches. He was a team captain in the preseason finale, played offense, defense and special teams.
Dimukeje has been ahead of Sanders on the depth chart all of the preseason, has made plays and apparently is a core special teamer for coach Jeff Rodgers. He was held out of the preseason finale. Maybe it was because of an injury, but it might be because he is a lock to make the final roster.
The Cardinals likely can only keep six.
Would they cut Sanders? Perhaps he isn’t a fit in this defense.
Luketa or Dimukeje make sense, but if they are core special teamers, Rodgers will want at least one of them on the roster.
When final cuts are announced, we will see how this plays out.