The Arizona Cardinals have one of the top wide receivers in the NFL in Larry Fitzgerald, but they have struggled to find a suitable compliment to him since Anquan Boldin last played for the team in 2009. Fitzgerald should still have plenty of productive years left, but he will turn 30 before this season starts and unearthing a possible heir apparent for him could be on Arizona’s radar fairly soon.
The Cardinals used their 2012 first-round pick (13th overall) on Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd in the hopes of finding a legit No. 2 wide receiver, but he had a largely disappointing rookie season with 45 receptions for 562 yards and two touchdowns. Floyd did finish the season strongly though, with 14 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown in Week 16 and 17 combined, and during the early part of OTAs he has reportedly been working as a starter opposite Fitzgerald.
Floyd’s primary competition for a starting job is Andre Roberts, who had 64 receptions for 759 yards and five touchdowns in 2012 as the second fiddle to Fitzgerald in the Cardinals’ pass offense for most of the season. But he only had 14 catches for 120 yards over the final four games, which coincided with Floyd’s emergence a bit and could be a sign of what will come in 2013. In any case, the battle between Floyd and Roberts is likely to linger into training camp as long as both players remain healthy.
Arizona upgraded their quarterback situation this offseason by trading for Carson Palmer, which should help Fitzgerald rebound from one of his worst seasons in 2012 and help the entire offense function more effectively than it did with four quarterbacks starting games last season. I fully expect Floyd to win a starting job and reap the benefits of Palmer’s presence in 2013, and better numbers than he put up as a rookie should follow.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.