The Arizona Cardinals have some decisions to make after the 2016 season at wide receiver. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd will be free agents and John Brown will be eligible to have his contract extended.
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With the current state of wide receiver contracts, it seems reasonable they will only be able to give only one of the two a large contract.
Taking Fitzgerald out of the equation, which player should that be?
One measurement suggests Floyd should be the guy to get paid, according to SB Nation’s Seth Cox. He looks at both receivers’ numbers with Carson Palmer throwing to them (in split numbers) and when Palmer is not the quarterback throwing to them (out of split).
Look at the “In Split” we see that Brown is better, but slightly with Palmer, projected as a 65 catch 1004 yards and eight touchdowns while Floyd is 58 catches 935 yards and six touchdowns.
Yet, look at the “Out of Split” and we see, Floyd is better and it is not really close: Brown projects to 45 catches 610 yards and three touchdowns while Floyd projects to 48 catches 930 yards and six touchdowns. There’s no difference in production for Floyd since Bruce Arians came to town. Without Palmer, Floyd is the same wide receiver. He is not quite as good as Brown with Palmer, but he’s much, much more productive without Palmer on the field than Brown projects, over 300 yards better than Brown on only three fewer catches.
If you are arguing to pay Michael Floyd, there is your ammunition, because Carson Palmer is on the clock, and you have to start preparing for post Palmer.
Simply put, Brown’s productions seems much more quarterback dependent. Floyd can do the same thing, regardless of the guy throwing him the ball.
Floyd is more of the mold of Julio Jones, Terrell Owens and Calvin Johnson. They have size, speed and ball skills.
Brown is more of a modern receiver, smaller and quicker, like Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton and Emmanuel Sanders.
It really is a matter of preference. If Floyd can consistently play to his potential, he can beat anyone a number of ways. Brown is even faster, but is not as skilled going after a ball high in the air.
Floyd’s overall numbers have been consistently underwhelming, while Brown’s appear to be in ascent.
Paying both seems to be extreme and would prevent a team from investing more at other positions, and putting a lot at receiver with uncertainty at quarterback in the future is a questionable venture.
Floyd seems to be the same guy with any quarterback. Brown is more productive overall.
For my money, I lean toward Floyd, especially if Fitzgerald is gone. I like his size/speed combo, plus his physicality. It seems less common than the Brown type.
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It appears the Cardinals are in a bad situation. It could also be viewed as a good one. There might not be a wrong or a right answer. They pay one and they get a highly talented receiver. The other gets paid elsewhere and is productive there.