Cardinals Release Fan-Favorite Receiver, 14 Others During Final Cuts

Getty Images Greg Dortch makes a tough reception against the Kansas City Chiefs in the preseason in 2021.

Finally, the deadline for the NFL 53-man roster on August 31 is complete. The Arizona Cardinals have made their decisions and could very well keep some for the practice squad if they were to be unclaimed through the waiver wire.

On August 30, Arizona cut 10 players. There were a few surprises on defense such as letting go safeties’ Chris Banjo, James Wiggins and Shawn Williams. Wide receiver KeeSean Johnson was the only shock on offense.

On August 31, the team made a series of cuts and even went below the limit with 52 players.

The Cardinals released WR Greg Dortch, OL Sean Harlow, OL Koda Martin, TE Ross Travis, international TE Bernhard Seikovits, DL Margus Hunt and LB Reggie Walker.

The Cardinals currently have Justin Pugh and Robert Alford on the Reserve/COVID list, which means the team is carrying two extra players. GM Steve Keim will have to make more cuts in the near future.

So this process leaves third-year receiver Andy Isabella, third-string QB Chris Streveler, camp breakout Antoine Wesley, defensive lineman Michael Dogbe and 2021 sixth-round picks linebacker Victor Dimukeye and cornerback Tay Gowan intact.

Arizona keeps three quarterbacks in Kyler Murray, Colt McCoy and Chris Streveler. The Cards also retain four running backs on the roster with Jonathan Ward and Eno Benjamin surviving the deadline.

Devon Kennard had great things to say about rookie Dimukeje, who made Arizona’s initial 53-man roster, on Tuesday:

“He’s a young guy who has a bright future ahead of him,” said Kennard. “I think he has a chance to be a really good player in this league. Eager to learn.”

There were a few players cut on August 31 who could sting the Cardinals if they were to be claimed by other teams.

Greg Dortch

Greg Dortch was easily a fan-favorite during the preseason. You could make the argument he was Arizona’s best wide receiver in the preseason.

Not only did Dortch perform on offense, but he also made a statement returning punts against the Dallas Cowboys. Dortch had three punt returns and averaged 11 yards per return against the Cowboys.

Now, players like Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella or even rookie Rondale Moore could be given punt returning duties. Either way, many fans on social media were up in arms over the move.

One fan brought up a great point.

If Dortch clears waivers, the team will likely put him on the practice squad. But, any team can claim him now. That will be tested.

Dortch has caught all five targets for 71 yards in the preseason and was the highest-graded offensive player against the Kansas City Chiefs according to Pro Football Focus. He’s bounced around teams such as the New York Jets and practice squads for the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Falcons.

Antoine Wesley won the battle against Dortch. While Wesley was out for a couple of weeks with a minor issue, he came back and played his first preseason game against the Chiefs. It’s important noting the team didn’t waive Wesley while being sidelined. Other players weren’t so lucky.

Wesley emerged and coach Kliff Kingsbury took notice. Remember, Wesley played for Kingsbury back in Texas Tech.

“Anytime Antoine’s had an opportunity to make a play, he’s made a play,” said Kingsbury on August 30. He keeps showing up big. He gives a lot of length outside. He’s had a nice camp.”

Kingbury mentioned length the day before Dortch’s release. Wesley’s 6’4 206 lb has the length and Dortch doesn’t, standing at 5’7 175 lb.

There’s still a chance Dortch could land on Arizona’s practice squad.

Ross Travis

Ross Travis was one of our five players on the roster bubble against the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately, the game never happened due to Hurricane Ida. Ross Travis and veteran Darnell Daniels were neck and neck in snaps (8 and 9) against the Chiefs while Demetrius Harris had more (14). It seemed like Harris’s veteran stability got him on the roster along with Daniels, leaving Travis out the door.

While Travis doesn’t have the track record, he did make a nice grab against the Dallas Cowboys. It would’ve been nice to see Travis getting another opportunity in the preseason.

Earlier today, we mentioned that the Buffalo Bills released Jacob Hollister. In 2019, Hollister caught 41 passes in only 11 games, with a very efficient 69.% catch rate.

The cornerback position is a very vital position to look at now that Malcolm Butler was placed on the Reserve/Retired list. But, wouldn’t you think the Cards could look into any possible fire-power at the tight end position? Maxx Williams, Darnell Daniels and Demetrius Harris isn’t scaring anyone.

That’s a position worth monitoring.

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