The Arizona Cardinals passing game begins and ends with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The future Hall of Fame pass catcher has been a steady force for the franchise since being drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. Last season showed how reliant on Fitzgerald the Cardinals have become, as the veteran finished with over 100 receptions while no other wide receiver on the roster could muster more than 31. After previously reviewing the position group and their 2017 form, today we take a look at three receiving options in free agency.
2017 Salary: $1.93 million
Ideal Salary: $3-$4 million
Donte Moncrief was drafted by Indianapolis in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. His best season came in 2015 where he finished with 65 receptions for 733 yards and six scores. Moncrief has the size and speed to be a solid receiver in the NFL, perhaps not the main guy, but a solid second option if used properly. The Colts have struggled offensively the last two seasons and Moncrief’s production has slipped as well. The Cardinals could get lucky and sign the talented receiver and have him learn under Fitzgerald for an affordable price.
2017 Salary: $1.3 million
Ideal Salary: $1.75-$2.25 million
Brown has been with the Cardinals for the last five seasons. He’s primarily been a third and fourth option for the offense. In 2017 he saw his most productive season with 31 catches on 69 targets for 477 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Brown has good size but needs work to continue to grow as a receiver. He is a relatively affordable after coming off his rookie contract and not getting much look so far in free agency. He may not be a big splash, but sometimes it is important to have bodies at the position and hope they can progress.
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2017 Salary: $3.04 million
Ideal Salary: $3.5-$4.5 million
Danny Amendola is no stranger to the NFC West. He spent his first four season with the St. Louis Rams and was known as a talented slot receiver who was often injured. He’s spent the last five years in New England where he’s been a solid contributor and a postseason stallworth for the Patriots. Amendola is now 32 but coming off a 61 catch season. However, over the last three seasons he’s had a catch rate over 70 percent. While Amendola does not have large touchdown numbers, he is great underneath and over the middle and is one of the more sure-handed receivers in the league.
Who do they sign?
Free agency has already seen some big names switch teams at the wide receiver position. It is no secret the Cardinals are focusing on finding a quarterback. The lack of a quarterback will present issues with recruiting free agent receivers. Why go to a team that has no clear plan at quarterback? Steve Keim and the front office will need to figure things out soon or the team could be stuck with the draft to replenish a depleted wide receiving room.