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Free Agent Primer: Wide Receivers

Posted Mar 2, 2014

Position-by-position look for Cardinals finds two veteran pass catchers in place

Wide receiver Andre Roberts is expected to test the free-agent market.

Free agency begins on March 11. The Cardinals have many key pieces in place, but there are still needs to be addressed. We’ll break it down by position over the next 10 days as unsigned NFL players prepare to hit the open market.

More free agent analysis: QB I RB

Free agent primer: Wide receiver

Cap numbers of players under contract for 2014: Larry Fitzgerald ($8.6 million salary); Michael Floyd ($2.72 million); Teddy Williams ($570,000); Jaron Brown ($498,000); Javone Lawson ($496,000); Brittan Golden ($495,000); Dan Buckner ($420,000)

Scheduled free agent: Andre Roberts

Need: Medium

Analysis: The Cardinals have all but one of their wide receivers under contract, including stars Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. The exception is No. 3 wideout Andre Roberts (43 catches, 471 yards, 2 TD in 2013), who may look for more playing time and a bigger contract elsewhere. Brittan Golden, Jaron Brown and Teddy Williams showed flashes of promise during the season, but the team will still be on the lookout for Roberts’ replacement. Coach Bruce Arians prefers a speed guy to stretch the defense vertically, and while Golden and Williams have that trait, both are unproven.

The free agent market is deep with receivers, allowing for a possible value play. General Manager Steve Keim could decide to focus on other areas of need early on and add a veteran wideout later at a below-market price. The philosophy worked to perfection last season when he picked up linebacker Karlos Dansby, linebacker John Abraham and right tackle Eric Winston months after the start of free agency. The Cardinals are in good shape at the starting positions with Fitzgerald and Floyd, which allows them to be patient, but Keim won’t hesitate to add another receiver if the right player is available.

Notable scheduled NFL free agents: Anquan Boldin, Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker, Golden Tate, Julian Edelman, Doug Baldwin, Ted Ginn, James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerome Simpson, Jerricho Cotchery, Robert Meachem, Sidney Rice, Jacoby Jones, Darius Heyward-Bey, Kenny Britt, Damian Williams, Andrew Hawkins, Dexter McCluster, Mario Manningham, Plaxico Burress, Nate Burleson, Santana Moss, Kyle Williams.

Notable past free agent WR signings by the Cardinals: Sean Morey (2007)


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