When wide receiver Steve Breaston left Arizona for Kansas City before the 2011 season, many fans were not only disappointed, but they were skeptical at what type of organization the Cardinals were looking to build on. After all, without a legitimate #2 wide receiver, what targets outside of Larry Fitzgerald would newly acquired QB Kevin Kolb have to throw to?
Breaston accepted a 5-year contract offer from the Chiefs, but when looking back on it today, would it have been wise for the Cardinals to match it? Let's find out after the jump.
There is no denying that Breaston is still a high impact player and can make a difference for any team when he is on the field. After being drafted in the fifth round for his return abilities, Breaston worked his way up to become part of a three headed monster with both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin during the Cardinals' two separate playoff runs in 2008 and 2009.
From that, he took his skills and cashed in on a big payday to the tune of $22.5 million. Unfortunately for him, his first season as a Chief was a bit of a roller coaster. Not only was their chaos with the team involving the coaching situation, but Breaston didn't have one of his best years. He still had 61 receptions, but he was only able to turn those into 785 yards. For comparison, Breaston had 47 receptions for the Cardinals in 2010 and racked up 718 yards. Keep in mind, that was with Derek Anderson, Max Hall and a rookie in John Skelton throwing him the ball.
Would he still be an asset to the Cardinals if he were kept around? It's hard to doubt that. But now, the Cardinals have drafted Michael Floyd, a potential stud that has #1 potential, but will be playing across from Larry Fitzgerald as a #2 receiver. That will force Andre Roberts and Early Doucet to the slot position, making them more effective as well.
So looking back, as a fan, it may have benefited the Cardinals to let him walk away. They did not have the type of money to dole out to keep Breaston around, especially if they wanted to keep Larry Fitzgerald and eventually, Calais Campbell as well.
I really like Breaston as a player, personally, but as someone that cares more about franchises than players, it was probably better for the team to watch him leave.
What are your thoughts? Was it wise for the Cardinals to let Steve Breaston sign with Kansas City in free agency? Tell us in the comments section below and vote in the poll.