Do the Cardinals still have the best one, two receiving punch in the NFC West after trading Anquan Boldin?
Of course they do. For now. I think.
Fitzgerald had 13 touchdown receptions and averaged 12.4 yards per catch last season.
Larry Fitzgerald and just about any good No. 2 receiver will rank among the best in the league. And there's no denying Steve Breaston's status as a solid No. 2. He has 132 catches over the past two seasons while playing about 70 percent of the offensive snaps. Breaston should only play more with Boldin catching passes for Baltimore, even if the Cardinals lean harder on the running game.
Fitzgerald and Breaston should reign supreme among NFC West receiving tandems, but the 49ers' Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree could make them work for the honor. They have a chance to overtake them, particularly if Kurt Warner's retirement costs the Cardinals a few octane rating points.
Davis matched Fitzgerald in touchdown receptions with 13 last season. His yards-per-catch average was superior (12.4 to 11.3) because he finished the season with more long receptions. Davis was more of a big-play threat.
Even if we give Fitzgerald the edge over Davis, which is reasonable, it's fair to think Crabtree could make significant gains. Crabtree already averaged more receptions and yards per game than Breaston last season despite missing minicamps, training camp and the first five games. The in-season assimilation he made was remarkable for a rookie. Eleven games and a full offseason should benefit Crabtree substantially in 2010.
"I would give it to Arizona just because of Larry," Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said. "Maybe I am a little biased on this one and Arizona does get nothing from the tight end, but Fitz is just such a special player. He tips the scales. My view might change by midseason, though."