The Cardinals Wide Receiver Quandry

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

The wide receiver position isn’t as stable at the end of 2016 as it looked previously.

Early Monday morning, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd was arrested on DUI charges after being found passed out behind the wheel of his car in Scottsdale, Arizona. Once thought to be the eventual heir apparent to Larry Fitzgerald, Floyd’s place in the team’s future is now firmly in limbo. His 2016 season, both on and off the field, has also left the Cardinals in a tough spot at a position that looked strong in 2015.

In 2015, the receiving corps sparkled. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown both had more than 1,000 yards, while Floyd added 849 yards of his own, and they combined for 22 touchdowns. They had also just added speedster JJ Nelson through the draft. Things looked set for the foreseeable future. The 2016 season, however, has seen things go the other way.

The latest problem is Floyd’s DUI, but that’s certainly not the beginning of the problems. His season on the field was not going as planned either. In a contract year, he hasn’t had the kind of season that earns a player a big payday. Through 13 games, he has just 33 receptions for 446 yards and four touchdowns. He has had numerous drops at big spots, and might not have been re-signed by the team anyway. The DUI might be the final nail.

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Larry Fitzgerald has remained the star for the Cardinals, but at 33 years old, is nearing the end of his career, despite the fact that he’s playing like an All Pro. He’ll likely be back in 2017, and there’s no reason to think he’ll suffer a major drop-off, but the retirement talk is out there, and questions about how long he can dominate the way he has thus far.

The Cardinals other 1,000-receiver from last year is John Brown. He has been hampered this season with soreness related to the sickle-cell trait he was diagnosed with. After averaging 850 yards and six touchdowns in his first two seasons, he has just 399 yards and one score this year. His health is a concern, and he has just one year remaining on his contract as well.

As the 2016 season comes to a close, and the offseason begins, the Cardinals will have some questions to answer at the wide receiver position. With all of the question marks around the position, the 2017 receiver position might look much different from 2016.