A wide-open competition for the Arizona Cardinals’ number-two wide receiver job has presented Brice Butler with a golden opportunity
The Arizona Cardinals are looking to be dazzled this summer. Starting jobs are not easy to come by in the NFL. The Cards’ happen to have one up for grabs at the wide receiver position, and a free agent addition of theirs is relishing the chance to seize it.
Brice Butler has spent five seasons in the league, primarily as a backup. Many seventh-round draft picks don’t hang around the pros for that long, but the San Diego State University product has managed to do so. That’s all well and good, but Butler has aspirations for so much more.
The wideout was selected by the Oakland Raiders in 2013, but spent just two years with the club. The 6’3″, 220 pounder played in 10 games as a rookie (two starts) but contributed only nine receptions for 103 yards. A year later, Butler more than doubled those modest numbers, snagging 21 balls for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
Apparently not impressed, the Raiders shipped Butler to the Dallas Cowboys in September of 2015. An opening-day injury to Dez Bryant had sent owner Jerry Jones scrambling to acquire a pass-catcher with size, so the deal was consummated. In a limited role that year (two starts), Butler hauled in 12 passes for 258 yards and zero scores for his new squad.
The Cowboys used Butler a bit more over the next two campaigns. He tallied 16 catches for 219 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. Last season, Butler caught 15 balls for 317 yards and another three six-pointers.
After signing a two-year, $2.6 million contract, the veteran is hungry for additional playing time. The Cardinals need a compliment for the outstanding Larry Fitzgerald. Considering the questionable competition that currently surrounds him, it would seem that Butler has a fairly-decent shot at filling that role.
One player standing in Butler’s way is fourth-year speedster J.J. Nelson, but the 5’10”, 158 pounder may be better suited for the slot. Second-year receiver Chad Williams and rookie Christian Kirk have talent, but still have to be considered unknowns at this point. Greg Little is a 29-year old who was once productive for the Cleveland Browns, but has done nothing since 2014.
The Arizona situation is a promising one for Butler. If you’re a wide receiver looking for playing time, the desert is most certainly the place to be. Butler may be one impressive training camp showing from achieving that goal.