Arizona Cardinals should consider acquiring Brandin Cooks
With Larry Fitzgerald nearing retirement the Arizona Cardinals will be needing to bring in a number-one wideout to replace him
When it comes to the wide receiver position, the Arizona Cardinals have been spoiled. Since drafting Larry Fitzgerald in 2004, the club has never been without a “go-to” guy at wideout entering a season. That could all change as soon as next year.
There’s a good chance that 2017 will be Fitzgerald’s final campaign. His heir apparent was supposed to be Michael Floyd, the Cards’ first-round draft pick in 2012, but inconsistency and an arrest for drunk-driving last season led to a parting of the ways.
Word out of New Orleans is that wide receiver Brandin Cooks is being shopped. Cooks has complained at times about how he’s been used in coach Sean Payton’s offense. The Saints may now be tiring of those complaints, and are hoping to receive “significant ” compensation in a trade for their first-round pick of 2014.
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Cooks, despite being just 23-years old, is entering his fourth season in the NFL. He caught 78 balls for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He put up similar numbers in ’15, tallying 84 receptions for 1,138 yards and nine scores.
According to reports, the asking price for the Oregon State University product is a first-round pick. The Cardinals hold the 13th overall pick in this coming April’s draft.
John Brown will be the most accomplished member of the receivers once Fitzgerald retires, but “Smokey” battled a sickle-cell condition in ’16. J.J.Nelson has flashed potential, but is more suited for a complimentary role going forward. Jaron Brown has good size and hands, but tore his ACL last October.
Even before Cooks’ name surfaced as a trade possibility, the idea of the Cardinals drafting a receiver in the first round was talked about. It’s also true that the organization still needs to find their future quarterback sooner rather than later. But unless North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky was to fall to them at #13 (not likely), the front office would most likely be reaching by selecting one of the other signal-callers at that spot.
Because of Cooks’ reasonable 2017 salary cap number (roughly $2.6 million), there should be a decent number of suitors inquiring about him. Arizona will put a limit on what they’d be willing to give up for him, if they’d have any interest at all. But it’s certainly an idea worth exploring.