Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd

The Arizona Cardinals' toughest stretch of the schedule comes at the end of the season. Arizona visits St. Louis on Thursday night in Week 15, hosts Seattle in Week 16 and travels to San Francisco for the finale. This stretch will dictate Arizona's New Year's plans, either propelling the Cardinals into the postseason or sending them packing to ring in 2015 on a tropical beach somewhere. Arizona's resolve will be tested.

Complete Cardinals season preview.

Floyd, Bishop out; Ginn to play

August, 16, 2014
Aug 16
8:25
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Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd isn't expected to play Saturday night in Minnesota because of a groin injury, while receiver Ted Ginn is expected on the field.

Ginn missed last weekend's game and most of this past week of practice with a knee injury suffered Aug. 7.

Recently signed linebacker Desmond Bishop also won't play against the Minnesota Vikings along with WR Teddy Williams, LB Kevin Minter, LB John Abraham, LG Jonathan Cooper, DT Bruce Gaston and T Nate Potter.

Ruled out prior to the trip were C Lyle Sendlein, S Tyrann Mathieu and NT Alameda Ta'amu.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals will probably be without wide receivers Ted Ginn and Michael Floyd for Saturday's preseason opener against the Houston Texans.

Ginn (knee) and Floyd (groin) were listed as "not expected to dress" about 90 minutes before kickoff at University of Phoenix Stadium, along with safety Tyrann Mathieu, center Lyle Sendlein and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu. The last three were expected to miss this game. Mathieu and Ta'amu are both on PUP while Sendlein is out with a calf injury.

Ginn appeared to injure his right knee at the start of Thursday's practice while fielding punts. He walked off the field gingerly and spent the next few minutes stretching and working it out. He later returned to practice.

According to the Cardinals' depth chart, John Brown and Jaron Brown will slide up into the second and third receiver roles. Playing without two starters will shuffle the playing time and likely give receivers like Brittan Golden, Walt Powell and Dan Buckner more snaps.
Flush the Pocket will be your daily morning dose of the Arizona Cardinals. It will recap the top storyline from the previous day and give you a look at what everyone is saying locally and nationally.

Training camp may be going on but all eyes around the football world are focused on Canton, Ohio, for Saturday's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. One of the seven inductees is Aeneas Williams, who will become the first Arizona Cardinal to be enshrined.

Throughout the weekend, plenty of great writing will be done on Williams and his journey to the Hall of Fame, from growing up in New Orleans to walking on at Southern to playing for the Cardinals and Rams.

Here's a tidbit of what's out there:

From Canton, Ohio, Kent Somers of AZCentral.com writes about Aeneas Williams' whrilwind Friday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Terrance Harris of The Times-Picayune writes about the night before Williams' induction as Part 4 of a six-part series titled "Aeneas Williams: The making of Pro Football Hall of Famer." Here is Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Howard Balzer of Fox Sports Midwest writes about the totality of Williams' career.

Jim Thomas of the Canton Repository writes about the big weekend for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune writes about Gill Byrd's impact on Williams' career.

Elliot Harison of NFL Media takes a deeper look at Williams.

 

In other news...

Bob McManaman of AZCentral.com gives a recap of Friday's practice and writes about Tyrann Mathieu's two comebacks.

Nathan Brown of AZCentral.com writes about new tackle Max Starks being a mentor to younger players.

Randy Hill of FoxSportsArizona.com writes about Michael Floyd's potential.

 

 

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 4

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:

• He’s been one of the talks of camp, but Michael Floyd put his offseason improvement on display Tuesday. On one pass, Floyd got a step behind cornerback Patrick Peterson for a touchdown that sailed in just beyond Peterson’s reach. Floyd then hauled in another score over cornerback Justin Bethel. Earlier Tuesday, quarterback Carson Palmer praised Floyd’s size and his ability to overpower cornerbacks, which was the case Tuesday. Bethel is listed as 6-0 and Peterson 6-1, but Floyd played taller and bigger than the 6-2, 220 pounds he’s listed as.

• Arizona got a look at a few backups that were called upon in a pinch. With RB Andre Ellington (neck) and CB Antonio Cromartie (pectoral) out Tuesday, RB Stepfan Taylor and CB Jerraud Powers were inserted into their respective first-team spots. NT Christian Tupou (groin), who was already replacing Dan Williams, was replaced by a combination of players, including Anthony McCloud.

≺ Taylor filling in for Ellington was telling in terms of the battle for the second running back job. It’s between Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer, but with head coach Bruce Arians’ decision to run Taylor with the starters, it appears that he’s leading the backup running back race. The importance of winning the second spot this year is greater than past years because of Arians’ decision to use more two-back sets.

• Arians got what he wanted when it came to adding speed to the offense. On at least two occasions, Ted Ginn and John Brown had to slow down to haul in a Carson Palmer pass. That speed could be a blessing and a curse. Last season, Palmer had a knack for slightly underthrowing receivers, forcing them to come back for passes. Ginn and Brown will have to learn how to time their runs perfectly with Palmer’s passes.

• Rookie safety Deone Bucannon secured an interception that got the crowd riled up.

• Rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who Arians praised Tuesday morning for being perfect through camp, missed three kicks in row during the afternoon practice. The three he missed were end-over-end kicks, different from his regular kicks. By my count, Catanzaro went 7-for-10, missing field goals from 41, 47 and 48 yards.

• After Catanzaro came off the field, special teams coordinator Amos Jones pulled his young kicker off to the side for a short talk near a water cooler. By Catanzaro’s body language, it was clear he wasn’t happy with himself.

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 1

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
8:50
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
  • Arizona’s first day of training camp provided a few highlight-worthy moments for fans but it finished without any major newsworthy events. The practice appeared to be injury free but we’ll know more Sunday morning when Cardinals coach Bruce Arians addresses the media. Watching camp this year will be like watching a Pro Bowl practices with the likes of cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Peterson matching up against receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Throughout Saturday, Cromartie showed no signs of a hip flexor injury, running stride for stride with Fitzgerald and denying the eight-time Pro Bowler a few catches. Saturday still featured its share of Fitzgerald catches.
  • During the first two days of media availability, offensive players have raved about how they feel “light years” ahead of last year. It showed throughout practice. Routes were clean and crisp, and quarterback Carson Palmer was hitting receivers in stride. On a few occasions, he gave individual direction before snapping the ball. There were also minimal interruptions by Arians and other coaches, a sign that the offense was executing at a higher level.
  • When safety Tyrann Mathieu emerged from the bowels of University of Phoenix Stadium, where he was going through a rehab workout, and walked onto the field about an hour into practice, the crowd gave its bigger cheer of the afternoon. The Honey Badger acknowledged it with a wave.
  • Right tackle Bobby Massie and right guard Paul Fanaika spent the entire practice working with the first team. Sunday will tell if Arians plans on rotating in Bradley Sowell at tackle and Earl Watford at guard, giving them both reps with the starters. Both lined up with the second team Saturday.
  • It was only Day 1 but some of the rookies looked like rookies in their first training camp practice. Logan Thomas began the day working ahead of Ryan Lindley as the second-string quarterback. Throughout the course of the day his accuracy declined, as some passes hit the ground short of the receiver toward the end of practice while others sailed high. The velocity on some of Thomas' passes at times was too much for some receivers to handle.
There’s a youth movement going on in Arizona, and people are starting to take notice.

In their annual list of the Top 25 NFL players under the age of 25, ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando and Draft Insider Mel Kiper included two Arizona Cardinals on this year’s list. But, in my opinion, there should've been three.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson was ranked fifth on the list, behind No. 1 Andrew Luck, No. 2 Robert Quinn, No. 3 Luke Kuechly and No. 4 Muhammad Wilkerson. Based on last year’s production, it’s a fair assessment, especially since Peterson’s return numbers have been declining each season since 2011. Sando and Kiper noted that and mentioned that “his play at cornerback has yet to become consistent. You won't find a better all-around athlete, however.”

When evaluating Peterson, Sando and Kiper rated him on future potential saying Peterson has “the size, speed, athletic ability, recovery speed and versatility to be great over the long haul.” With the decision by Arizona head coach Bruce Arians to reduce Peterson’s punt returns, Peterson will have more time to focus on becoming a better cornerback.

Floyd
At No. 23, Sando and Kiper chose wide receiver Michael Floyd. While Floyd had a breakout season in 2013 with 1,041 yards, he still flew below the radar playing for the Cardinals and in the wings of Larry Fitzgerald. An interesting question was raised in Floyd’s description: How much longer will Fitzgerald be the “unquestioned” best receiver on the Cardinals? In his shadows is Floyd, who’s entering his third season in the league. In his first year working with quarterback Carson Palmer, Floyd earned his trust quickly, especially on 50-50 balls, as Sando and Kiper noted.

Two other Cardinals were considered for the list: guard Jonathan Cooper and safety Tyrann Mathieu. Cooper has yet to play an NFL down since suffering a broken leg in last year’s preseason. But Mathieu should’ve been included on this list, in my opinion.

Despite missing the final three games because of ACL and LCL injuries, Mathieu established himself as one of the top young safeties in the league. His nose for the ball and big plays led him to be a starter for 11 of the 13 games he was healthy for. The only other free safety on the list is San Francisco’s Eric Reid and even though he played an entire season, his impact wasn’t as great as Mathieu’s. One aspect of the rankings was potential, in which Sando and Kiper included health concerns. While Mathieu's knee is a reason for concern currently, as they noted, Reid's concussions might be of bigger worry for the future.
The Arizona Cardinals' biggest key to success for the next three seasons can be summed up in one word: offense.

How the Cardinals can adapt and adjust on the offensive side of the ball will determine whether they continue to build on the foundation that coach Bruce Arians laid in 2013 or whether they regress back to the state of mediocrity.

The first step to being successful over the next three seasons is finding a long-term solution at quarterback. Current starter Carson Palmer is entering the final year of his contract because his third season voids if he remains on the roster five days after the Super Bowl. A young, steady, productive quarterback is needed to take over this team, and the question then becomes is Logan Thomas that guy? The Cardinals also need to solidify the right side of the offensive line, like they did the left side by signing tackle Jared Veldheer and drafting guard Jonathan Cooper.

Stability up front can make the offense run despite rough conditions behind it. In three years, the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd might not be wearing Cardinal red anymore. Fitzgerald is coming up on the end of his career in the next few years, and Floyd might be a free agent in the next two. The Cardinals will need to make Floyd their next No. 1 receiver and build around him to remain successful.

Running back and tight end are the two positions that are young and feature players poised to be around for the next few seasons, but, in order for the Cards to be successful through 2016, the rest of the offense needs to be stabilized and shored up.
TEMPE, Ariz. – With the first day of Cardinals' OTAs in the books, we were able to take a lot away from the 95-minute practice. Here are a five things we learned during OTAs:

1. Michael Floyd made a statement. He looked good enough to cause quarterback Carson Palmer to gush about him during his time with the media. Floyd was making hard and easy catches, and even blew by cornerback Patrick Peterson on a go-route. On one play, Floyd made an awkward catch while falling out of bounds and Palmer ran down field to tell Floyd he should step back toward the pass before making the catch.

2. Coach Bruce Arians doesn’t watch a lot of players individually during these practices. It was hard for him to talk about specific players at length because he usually evaluates them after watching the tape. It’s tough with 90 guys to hone in on a few players.

3. The majority of the snaps Tuesday were taken by Palmer and Drew Stanton on their respective fields. Both got three snaps to every one by Ryan Lindley and Logan Thomas. Palmer was on the main field with the starters and veterans while Stanton worked on the rookie field.

4. Guard Jonathan Cooper saw his first significant practice action since breaking his left fibula in the Cardinals’ third preseason games last year. He’s not quite at 100 percent, Arians said, but he’s close. When asked about Cooper, Arians joked he didn’t want to jinx the left guard. Cooper played with the first team throughout practice, looking close to form.

5. Even though he was the Cardinals’ first-round pick, safety Deone Bucannon wasn’t running with the first team just yet. Tony Jefferson, entering his second season, was the strong safety with Rashad Johnson playing free safety. It’s not uncommon for a rookie to not be playing with the vets on the first day of OTAs. Last season it took Tyrann Mathieu a few practices to earn his way onto the main field.
Bruce AriansAP Photo/Ross D. FranklinArizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will get a look at his full team Tuesday when OTAs begin.
This time last year, the buzz around the Cardinals was about a new coach with a new culture and a new scheme. This year, it’s about how do the Cardinals make the playoffs?

As the Cardinals’ offseason team activities (OTAs) begin Tuesday, there’s a lot to ponder from the past year and much to speculate on going forward. The next month will begin determining the fate for a lot of players on the current 90-man roster. As Cardinals coach Bruce Arians loved saying last year, this is when they have to put it on tape.

Here are 10 observations as the Cards begin OTAs:

  1. The top three running backs are established with Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer sitting atop the depth chart, but after that is a major drop-off. As of now, there isn’t is a viable option for the fourth back, which was occupied by Alfonso Smith a season ago. He’s gone and so is Ryan Williams, leaving the fourth spot up for grabs. That running back, however, may not be on the field Tuesday.
  2. There’ll be a lot of eyes on the newcomers this offseason, such as quarterback Logan Thomas, cornerback Antonio Cromartie, safety Deone Bucannon and left tackle Jared Veldheer. But the most intriguing position battle of the offseason starts Tuesday with two returning offensive linemen at right tackle. Arizona hasn’t re-signed Eric Winston for a reason: It wants to see what Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie can do. The two were college teammates at Ole Miss but neither are the clear-cut choices to assume the starting job. There have been questions about Massie’s ability to pick up the playbook for the last few seasons and Sowell was able to hold his own at left tackle last season but there’s a reason Arians didn’t keep him there. It’s yet to be seen if he’ll fare better on the right side.
  3. Losing Karlos Dansby was a major blow to the Cardinals’ inside linebackers but it could get worse. Having Daryl Washington practice with the first team may be for naught if he’s suspended for a significant amount of time by the league for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Cardinals are already in tryout mode with second-year linebacker Kevin Minter but if Washington is lost for more than a game, what was a strong point of the Cards’ defense will be its liability. Veteran Larry Foote may need the reps this offseason to get ready for a larger role next year but this is also a chance for an unknown inside backer to get noticed.
  4. It’s one thing for Cromartie to say his hip is better but it’s another for him to go out and show it. He’ll have the eyes of the media – although it’s not quite like New York – on him this offseason. If Cromartie’s hip isn’t an issue, he’ll be half of one of the league’s top cornerback tandems. If his right hip flexor is still hampering him during OTAs, he’ll be wise to just sit and let a young cornerback earn some time. But next up on the depth chart is the man Cromartie replaced, Jerraud Powers, who is likely itching to win back his spot.
  5. The top three wide receivers are a shoe-in. Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn will have jobs in 2014. It’s the other eight receivers on the roster who’ll be fighting for their jobs starting Tuesday. Arians clearly likes small, speedy receives -- he drafted two -- but now he has an abundance of them on the roster and will start weeding through them this week. One or two will make the cut but the rest will left fighting for the final few spots on the roster as a gunner or a special-teams machine.
  6. What a difference a year makes. Last May, the Cardinals were as confused as ever when it came to learning Arians’ offense. This year they know the wrinkles and intricacies of his complex offense. The days of Fitzgerald and Floyd lining up in the wrong places are over. The next step can be taken, which could mean a quicker start for the Cardinals than a year ago. And the result of that could then a game or two in January.
  7. Throughout the smokescreens before and during the draft, there was one truth that rose above it all: Arizona wasn’t drafting a quarterback unless he could win a spot on the roster. After the Cardinals picked Logan Thomas, Arians made it clear the first two quarterback spots are taken. That means Ryan Lindley’s third-string job is up for grabs. He’s been lending a helping hand to Thomas but when practice gets going Tuesday, he’ll need to turn it up to show Arians that he made a mistake. That may be harder than anticipated because Logan was drafted to not get cut.
  8. One of the few players with the most to lose and the most to gain during OTAs is tight end Rob Housler. He fell short of expectations last season and never grew into the player Arians had envisioned him being. It doesn’t help Housler, cut from the receiving tight end mold, that he isn’t fond of blocking. The Cardinals went out during the offseason and added two tight ends who are tailor made to fit Arians’ two-tight end scheme. Add in Jake Ballard, who joined the team around midseason last year, and Arizona has a three-tight end rotation that could see Housler as the odd man out.
  9. Tuesday will be the first day that left guard Jonathan Cooper can take the field for since he broke his leg against San Diego in the Cardinals’ third preseason game. How much Cooper can do starting this week will be an indication of how far along in his rehab he is. If he’s practicing in full, training camp will be a sure thing. If not, then training camp may be the first time Cooper will work out at full capacity.
  10. Another offensive lineman the Cardinals are anxious to see on the field is guard Earl Watford. The second-year player feels he has a better grasp of the playbook and the offense in his second offseason. He’ll be given a chance to win the starting job over last year’s starting guard Paul Fanaika. If he does, the job may be Watford’s for the foreseeable future.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- John Brown had the plan all hashed out.

He was going to spend a year at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas getting his associate degree, then move home to Miami and try to walk on at Florida International University in order to be closer to his brother, James Walker, who was lying in a hospital bed, fighting for his life.

Besides their relation, football had been their bond. As a child, Brown, one of the Arizona Cardinals' third-round picks, would carry Walker's pads to practice. He watched his older brother on the field and wanted to be a part of the game.

Walker was shot three times in front of a Miami night club on July 4, 2010 -- once in the head and twice in the chest. About two months after the shooting Brown's plan started to unravel. In Kansas, community colleges can only have 12 out-of-state players. Brown didn't find out he was Coffeyville's 13th until the day before the first game. But instead of dropping out, he stayed in school and was allowed to practice.

The following April, nine months after the shooting, Walker died. Brown's motivation to move back home was gone, but football was still a priority.

“But when I thought about it, he passed so I was like, I just wanted to get far away," Brown said.

Armed with the memories of his brother, Brown set out to return to the field.

"It just made me a better man, just seeing the stuff I had to see with my brother put up a fight for nine months before he passed," Brown added. "It taught me a lesson that no matter how hard things get, you can't give up,” Brown said. “I thought about giving up but looking at what he did, there was no way I could give up and if I made it through that I believe I can make it through anything.”

Fortunately, a small Division II school 77 miles away from Coffeyville had its eyes on Brown.

Pitt State was recruiting Brown, all 5-foot-10 and 179 pounds of him, while he was practicing. But even that wasn't part of the plan.

Brown played his freshman season of college at Mars Hill University, a small Division II school in the middle of the North Carolina mountains. He was forced to sit out his sophomore season there after his ACT score was flagged, which is how he ended up at Coffeyville. The plan all along was for Brown to return to Mars Hill, but when Pitt State offered a full scholarship, it was an opportunity Brown wasn't about to pass up.

“I was out for two years,” Brown said. “I was just amped up to play and show the guys what I could do and do it for my brother. I told the guys when I first got in, like two months before the season, I was like, ‘The first time I touch the ball I'm going to score.'”

Brown wasn't kidding.

On his first play as a Gorilla in 2011, Brown returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown.

That play kicked off a record-breaking career for Brown. In three years, he had 185 receptions for 3,387 yards and 34 touchdowns -- all Pitt State records. His touchdowns and receiving yards placed Brown fifth all-time in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association's record books. Brown also returned three punts and two kicks for touchdowns at Pitt State, while rushing for six more.

And the Gorillas won the 2011 Division II national championship on Brown's heels.

He parlayed his collegiate career into a spot at the East-West Shrine Game which landed him a spot at the NFL scouting combine. That's where he shined, running a 4.36-second 40-yard dash.

It was fast enough to draw the attention of Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who likes small, speed receivers.

“Fits the mold that B.A. was looking for that he has talked to me about since the day that he has got here: fast, explosive, T.Y. Hilton-type of player, guy who can take the top off the defense, has dual return ability in the punt- and kick-return game,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim said of Brown. “He has been phenomenal since the season was over. We went and worked him out privately and a great workout for us.”

After liking what they saw, Keim and Arians used the Cardinals' second third-round pick to draft Brown, who'll likely be a fourth receiver and back-up kick and punt returner.

Of all the adjustments he's making as a professional football player, speed isn't one of them.

“I'm just a person who plays fast,” Brown said. “When I got in the East-West Shrine Game, I showed them that I can play with speed. I think it will be faster here but I think I will adjust real quick.”

After just a few practices, Brown said his speed hasn't been tested but he gets the feeling the quarterbacks are aware of it.

“I think Carson Palmer kind of knows that I have speed,” Brown said.

It took six years and three schools for Brown to reach the NFL. But with his speed and his brother in mind, Brown will make up for how long it took.

“I most definitely appreciate it,” Brown said. “I learn from (wide receivers) Michael (Floyd) and (Larry) Fitzgerald every time they go up, just to learn and see if I can do what those guys do.

“It's actually crazy, but you can't be too excited. You just have to do what you can do and focus on helping the team.”
For the seven days leading up to Thursday's first round of the NFL draft, ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss will rank the team's five best draft picks from each round -- seventh to first -- dating back 1994, when the NFL draft went to its current seven-round format.

1. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, 2004 -- A sure-fire Hall of Famer, Fitzgerald is widely considered the best player in franchise history.

2. Simeon Rice, DE, 1996 -- He quickly established himself as one of the top ends in the NFL and continued on a torrid pace throughout his career while taking home four All-Pro nods and three Pro Bowl selections.

3. Patrick Peterson, CB, 2011 -- In his first three seasons, Peterson has been named to the Pro Bowl all three years and an All-Pro twice, while becoming one of the best match-up corners in the league.

4. Michael Floyd, WR, 2012 -- In just his second season Floyd became a 1,000-yard receiver and a formidable option across from Larry Fitzgerald.

5. David Boston, WR, 1999 -- Boston's best years in the NFL were spent in Arizona, where he became a Pro Bowl receiver.
With the Arizona Cardinals' remaining cap space steady the last couple of weeks, it’s a good time to look at who’s taking up the largest portion of the Cardinals’ cap space. According to the most recent numbers by ESPN Stats & Information, Arizona’s cap space this week is $4,522,983, which changed slightly from last week because of the release of LaRon Byrd and Dan Giordano.

Two weeks ago, free agency kicked off with a flurry of moves. The Arizona Cardinals joined the frenzy almost immediately. During the last 14 days, the Cardinals have been steadily active and made improvements to their lineup -- some significant, some not so much.

Only two positions are truly open at the moment: right tackle and strong safety. The Cardinals will try to fill both of those in the draft if they can’t find other options through a trade or the rest of free agency.

Here’s an updated look at Arizona’s 2014 lineup as of today (new starters in bold):

OFFENSE

QB: Carson Palmer

RB: Andre Ellington (Rashard Mendenhall retired)

TE: Rob Housler

TE: Jake Ballard (Jim Dray signed with Cleveland)

WR: Larry Fitzgerald

WR: Michael Floyd

RT: (Eric Winston -- free agent)

RG: Paul Fanaika

C: Lyle Sendlein

LG: Jonathan Cooper (Daryn Colledge released)

LT: Jared Veldheer (Bradley Sowell)

DEFENSE

DE: Calais Campbell

NT: Dan Williams

DT: Darnell Dockett

OLB: John Abraham

ILB: Kevin Minter (Karlos Dansby signed with Cleveland)

ILB: Daryl Washington

OLB: Matt Shaughnessy (re-signed)

CB: Patrick Peterson

CB: Antonio Cromartie (Jerraud Powers)

FS: Rashad Johnson/Tyrann Mathieu

SS: (Yeremiah Bell -- free agent)

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jay Feely (re-signed)

P: Dave Zastudil

LS: Mike Leach

KR: Ted Ginn Jr. (Javier Arenas signed with Atlanta)

PR: Patrick Peterson
Starter: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd

Backup: Andre Roberts, Jaron Brown

Under contract in 2014: Fitzgerald, Floyd, Brown

Cash committed in ‘13: $17.8 million

Cap committed in ‘13: $14.4 million

Recap: When the Cardinals traded for Carson Palmer, Fitzgerald became a new wide receiver. Having meddled among mediocre quarterbacks since Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 season, Fitzgerald was rejuvenated with Palmer, catching 82 passes for 954 yards and 10 touchdowns. While Fitzgerald began a resurgence at 30, it was one of his protégés who really found his footing. Floyd showed the NFL what a first-round receiver should be capable of, breaking the 1,000-yard mark in his second year. Despite a lackluster couple of seasons, Fitzgerald still garnered the attention of a Pro Bowler, which allowed Floyd to roam free as double teams ascended on Fitz. Floyd's size and strength -- which he improved during the offseason -- made him a mismatch for almost every corner to cover him, as was evident in Seattle in Week 16. As good as 2013 treated Fitzgerald and Floyd, it wasn't very nice to Roberts, who was the third receiver in a two-receiver set. He was dropped to the third option in favor of Floyd and his numbers sunk with it, making it unlikely he'll return to Arizona in 2014. Brown, however, was a suitable fourth option for the Cardinals, catching 11 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown.

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