Arizona Cardinals have decision to make on unsung wideouts
It’s yet to be determined if Pharoh Cooper and Damiere Byrd will be a part of the Arizona Cardinals receiving corps in 2020
Over the course of the 2019 campaign, elements of the Arizona Cardinals “Air Raid” offense began to be revealed. While the running game was far from ignored, head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s system appeared to revolve primarily around the passing attack. The Cards utilized a variety of pass-catchers, including two particular wide receivers who had been cast aside by the organizations they had previously played for.
After a nondescript beginning to their NFL careers, both Pharoh Cooper and Damiere Byrd seemed to be a good fit with the Cardinals. The Los Angeles Rams had given up on Cooper in December of 2018, only to have Arizona claim him off of the waiver wire just a day after his release. Byrd signed with Big Red in March of last year, after three unproductive campaigns with the Carolina Panthers.
Cooper, who was surprisingly cut by the Cards at the end of August, was smartly brought back by the front office in October. The 5’11, 208 pounder proceeded to haul in 25 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown in 12 appearances (one start) for the team. Cooper also averaged 22.4 yards on 25 kickoff returns and 7.6 yards on 17 punt returns for the Cardinals.
Byrd, who had been inked to a one-year deal, appeared in 11 contests (three starts) for Arizona last fall. The 5’9, 180 pounder registered 32 catches for 359 yards and a score, averaging 11.2 yards per reception. Byrd had totaled just 12 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns during his three seasons with the Panthers.
The Cards front office will have to make a decision on Cooper and Byrd this offseason. Both players are entering free agency, and will be looking to capitalize on the potential they flashed on the football field in ’19. Whether Cooper and Byrd are in the franchise’s plans going forward is a question that will need to be answered by management in the upcoming months.