The Arizona Cardinals have big plans for 2016. Michael Floyd does too. Neither have worked out through three games. The Cardinals are 1-2, and Michael Floyd has put up pedestrian numbers. It seems unlikely that either of these stats keep going. But what if Floyd continues to put up mediocre stats? Do the Cardinals have his replacement on the roster? Or will they have to pursue that person in the draft or free agency?
Through three games, Floyd has only brought down nine catches, 134 yards, and one touchdown. The majority of those numbers come in two games, Week One and Week Three. He posted two catches for eight yards and a touchdown in Week Two.
Floyd is on pace to put up 714 yards, five touchdowns, on 48 catches. Those kinds of numbers don't traditionally mean long term contracts. If this continues who's available?
On the team the Cardinals have Jaron Brown. While he will be a free agent in 2017 as well, they could tie him up for a few more years to make sure he is the replacement for Floyd. Brown came into Arizona in 2013 as an undrafted Free Agent from Clemson. He has earned more and more playing time in that time, and has looked at times to be a good NFL Wide Receiver. He would come as a cheaper option to the Cardinals, due to lack of playing time and lack of a name around the NFL.
Free Agency yields little true options. Alshon Jeffery headlines the wide receivers. But with a 14 million dollar cap hit this season, and his success in the NFL to this point, he's likely worth way more than the Cardinals will be willing to afford. Kamar Aiken is a possible option. At 6'2 he entered the league with Buffalo in 2013. He posted 944 yards and five touchdowns in 2016, but thus far he only has three catches for 19 yards.
Andre Holmes out of Oakland has the physical stature to be Floyds replacement. He is 6'4 210 pounds. However, he is statistically worse than Floyd, having amassed less yardage than Floyd in the same time span.
The former Quarterback Terrelle Pryor will also be a free agent in 2017. Pryor made the conversion to Wide Receiver in 2015. He has shown glimpses of being a capable NFL Wide Receiver, and is the swiss army knife for the Cleveand Browns. Pryor has 244 and no touchdowns through three games. He is more a speed weapon that a 50/50 catcher, but Arians has shown he loves his players with speed.
The Draft offers better options for the Cardinals however. Juju Smith-Schuster headlines a talented wide receiver corps in 2017. Schuster has struggled early on, posting only 197 yards in four games. However, those numbers jumped significantly under Sam Darnold against Utah. Prior to that game, USC only targeted their ultra-talented Wide Receiver 19% of the time. At 6'3 220, Schuster is projected to go early in the draft, but if his weak season continues, he could fall later or could just enter the 2018 draft.
Mike Williams out of Clemson is another early option. Williams missed nearly the entire 2015 season with a neck injury. In 2016 after shaking off some rust he's played better than expected. He's recorded 20 catches for 303 yards and caught a touchdown.
Lastly Jehu Chesson is the tallest receiver of the early round options. At 6'3 he lacks the yardage production you'd expect from a four year senior, but has shown he's a more than capable redzone threat. He recorded nine touchdowns in 2015, after missing his sophomore season due to injury. He's a second round option if the Cardinals decide to go elsewhere.
What about you? Should the Cardinals focus their efforts elsewhere in the draft? Or should the Cardinals just keep him? Comment and take part in the poll below.
A special thank you to my good friend Nicolo for the idea and some of the options for this article.
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