Cardinals not against adding veteran wideout

Larry Fitzgerald (Getty)

The Cardinals wouldn't mind adding a veteran receiver, but are comfortable with the position for the time being.

The Cardinals wouldn't mind adding a veteran receiver, but they don't see the desperate need that many of their fans do.

Steve Breaston departed via free agency for Kansas City, leaving the starting spot opposite Larry Fitzgerald open. That seemed to leave a need for a "speed" receiver who can stretch the field to take some pressure off Fitzgerald.

The Cardinals did show interest in a handful of veterans, but were looking for bargains.

They negotiated with Braylon Edwards before he went to the 49ers. Showed some interest in Malcolm Floyd before he re-signed with the Chargers. And they had some mild interest in trading for the Bills' Lee Evans.

In the end, however, they made none of those deals, backing up their public assertions that they were happy with the corps of receivers.

It's a gamble because other than Fitzgerald, none of the receivers has much experience. But coaches think the position is deep in talent.

Andre Roberts, the second-round pick in 2010, is starting now and trying to hold off Early Doucet for the starting job.

Chansi Stuckey, a free agent from the Jets, has a chance to play, but he will be challenged by others. Stephen Williams, an undrafted rookie a year ago, again is playing well in camp and has the size (6-feet-5) and speed to make plays deep.

"It's something we're not worried about," Williams said of the No. 2 receiver's job. "We just worry about what we can handle in-house. We know what we have. We have great receivers and we're young, too."

Roberts played well in the second half of last season, and coaches think he has the speed to make plays downfield. But he hasn't done it.

Doucet, a third-round pick in 2008, has suffered injuries in his previous three training camps. When he's been healthy, he's proven he can be effective, especially working from the slot.

Rookie DeMarco Sampson, a seventh-round pick, has looked like a veteran in camp. He runs good routes and has good hands. Sampson missed two college seasons because of injuries, so he's older and seems mature. He'll contend with Max Komar for the fifth or sixth receiver's spot.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't stressing about the No. 2 receiver's job, partly because he thinks the title is a misnomer. The Cardinals use multi-receivers sets a lot, and different plays will feature different receivers, Whisenhunt said.

"There are a lot of times where we'll tailor specific packages to fit the individual strengths of the receiver," he said.

The No. 2 receiver is less a concern than in past years partly because the team has threats at tight end for the first time in years. When healthy, Todd Heap is one of the finest receiving tight end in the game.

Jeff King is known more for his blocking, but has been a productive receiver at times in his career.

The bottom line is the Cardinals are ready to give some of their young receivers a chance. They think they've bolstered the position over the last two years, and bringing in a veteran will only delay the development of young players, such as Roberts, Doucet, Williams, Sampson and Komar.

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