I can remember the beginning questions of last year’s team when all of the critics looked at all of the potential receiving tandems around the league last year and many said that the Arizona Cardinals could be in the top tier of the league. But now that the season has come to an end it seems the Cardinals have fallen one short of a three receiver tandem as wide receiver Andre Roberts seems to have been given the green light to test the market.
Roberts 2013 season didn’t go as he and many others would have liked it to go, as the four year veteran receiver struggled with playing time and also the first year woes of Bruce Arians offense.
The start of the pre season Roberts looked all the part of a third wide receiver in an explosive offense when it seemed he would be the deep threat as Larry Fitzgerald and the emerging Michael Floyd would work over the coverage in the middle and the sidelines, But Roberts had an up and down type of year instead.
Roberts finished the season with 43 catches for 471 yards and only 2 touchdowns, not much of a threat throughout the season as the offense tried to get acclimated to the new scheme and sputtered the first 8 games. When the receivers finally started to grasp the x’s and o’s it was not Roberts as an intricate part, instead the team tried to find other guys within that may have a bit more speed to get down field as they brought in wide receiver Brittan Golden.
Roberts was left to make the best of his time on the field and in some instances he did that with big catches in crucial moments of a games, but for the most part he also dropped crucial balls and was not able to get deep as the threat of speed and getting behind the defense was just not there, while also struggling at times getting off of bump and run coverage.
The early season problems with the offensive line may have had something to do with time to get down field but the Cardinals are finding themselves looking for a third wideout to compliment the two beast on the outside.
I have a free agent list of my own that i think would be perfect fits for this offense in regard to speed and craftiness and a threat to get defenses having to roll coverage away from the outside guys.
The first option on this list is Andre Roberts, as he knows the offense and another year of it will probably suit him good, remember he was learning the new system and now more acclimated may just be a better receiver next year. The market may not be so kind to him but in this league there is always room for a third and fourth wide receivers that have played some crucial minutes.
If Roberts does not pan out the list of receivers is probably just as bleak, after the top guys the Eric Deckers, Hakeem Nicks of the world are gone early that will leave a list of good guys that can make a better name for themselves playing behind Fitzgerald and Floyd.
The list : Julian Edelman, Jeremy Maclin, Emanuel Sanders, Dexter McCluster, Jacoby Ford, Deavon Hester, have all one thing in common and that is the threat of speed.
Edelman would be a good fit to move the chains inside as a security blanket but not so good as a deep threat,but would give them what they didn’t get to see in rookie Ryan Swope.
Maclin could be a two on any team but coming off that injury will drop in to a three and a good one at that. Sanders is speed and a real deep threat that would fit like a glove in this offense but he may be trying to get one or two type of money and that may not be in the Cardinals best interest.
McCluster,Ford, Hester would be cheaper guys and speed would be their best attributes and also could provide some return skills as well sense the team did not do as well in that department last year.
Jacoby Ford would bring his experience in playing with quarterback Carson Palmer, as Palmer made him look at times like a number one or two for two years in Oakland.
It will be very interesting to see how this shakes out, Cards fans let me know what you think of these possibilities.