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Larry Fitzgerald’s return means acknowledging the failure to find anyone to take the torch from him

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The team has struggled to find the answer next to Fitz since Anquan Boldin left.

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Fitz re-signing was basically a formality, but it doesn’t change the fact it continues to be an issue for the Cardinals. Here is the thing, I am 100% happy to have Fitz back, but there are some harsh realities:

  1. Fitz at $11 million is too much money because that is WR1 money in today’s market.
  2. The Cardinals WR1 is Fitz, which is why he keeps getting paid.
  3. The Cardinals have failed to grow another WR next to Fitz since Anquan Boldin was traded and that makes paying Fitz a must every offseason.
  4. Paying Fitz has bought time, but it has also allowed the team to continually kick the can down the road.

The team drafted Michael Floyd in 2012 and didn’t invest another top 64 pick in a WR until 2018 with Christian Kirk.

They drafted two wide receivers in the top 100 in that time, John Brown and Chad Williams, neither of which worked out in the terms of passing the torch, or even lessening the need for Fitz.

Which means that since 2004, the Cardinals have been terrible in their investment at wide receiver through the draft.

2005: LeRon McCoy, Pick 226
2006: Todd Watkins, Pick 218
2007: Steve Breaston, Pick 142
2008: Early Doucet, Pick 81
2010: Andre Roberts, Pick 88
2011: DeMarco Sampson, Pick 249
2012: Michael Floyd, Pick 13
2013: Ryan Swope, Pick 174
2014: John Brown, Pick 91 and Walt Powell, pick 196
2015: J.J. Nelson, Pick 159
2017: Chad Williams, Pick 98
2018: Christian Kirk, Pick 47

None of those picks have gotten a second contract with the team and only two, Michael Floyd and 2007 fifth round pick Steve Breaston, have more than two seasons with 700+ yards.

It has been a problem to say the least. Now, the Cardinals sit with the 33rd pick and the 65th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Can they find a sidekick for Kirk and help pass the torch from Fitzgerald?