It's just seven days until training camp begins, so I will be counting the days down one at a time, highlighting 7 players who I believe must use this training camp to cement their place on the team. This piece won’t include obvious picks, such as longshot UDFAs or clear camp bodies. No, this list will be 7 players who you may expect to make the 53, but it may not be as clear cut as you believe. So read on, and at the end, voice your opinion in the poll and comments below and let me know what you think- expendable talent, or necessary depth?
Jaron Brown, wide receiver, entering his 4th season after joining the Cardinals as an UDFA in the 2013 draft.
Jaron Brown, like Ellington and Okafor, is entering the last year of his rookie deal, and he also hit the performance markers, so he is making the same salary- 1.67 mil. If cut, the Cardinals would incur no cost.
Jaron Brown currently sits 5tvch at the position, having fallen behind John Brown and JJ Nelson recently. The Cardinals typically carry 5 to 6 receivers, so he appears safe. But their depth at other positions doesn’t make it as clear cut as you might think. Plus his salary, while not a hinderance, is high when you take in his production. There are a lot of mouths to feed. But on the other side, Floyd and Fitzgerald’s contracts are both up, and that uncertainty may make Jaron more valuable as the season plays out.
Last year, Jaron caught 11 balls for 144 yards and a TD. In his 3 year career, his stats come out to a reasonable 44 catches for 513 yards and 4 TDS. Assuming he has fallen behind JJ Nelson, those numbers should only decrease.
The Bottom Line:
If the team keeps 5 receivers, then I cannot imagine Jaron not being that guy. Then again, 1.67 mil is a pretty penny for a guy expected to catch about 10 balls. Maybe he loses his spot as the team carries 4 TEs, or 4 RBs, or an extra offensive lineman. Ultimately, it's a numbers game.