Wide receiver help remains on the agenda for the Arizona Cardinals, who need to find a marquee running mate for DeAndre Hopkins this offseason.
A.J. Green didn’t work out in that role in 2021, while Christian Kirk has already joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. The Cards’ list of question marks at the position also includes Andy Isabella, with the former second-round pick being allowed to explore a trade.
All of a sudden, the Cardinals look like they need a “splash move” to help prop up the depth chart. It won’t be easy, not when most of the big-name receivers available have already been taken off the market, either via free agency or trade.
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Those developments leave Odell Beckham Jr. as the lone star attraction the Cardinals could decide to acquire. Beckham tore his ACL in Super Bowl 22, but he’s a potential signing the Cards can’t ignore, according to one NFL insider.
Beckham Still In Play for Cardinals
The Cardinals making a late move for a premier wideout is an idea posited by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler: “Bringing back A.J. Green isn’t off the table. The Cardinals very much want him back after having a good experience with him. But Arizona isn’t afraid of a good splash move, which is why perhaps a marquee option such as Odell Beckham Jr. shouldn’t be counted out here.”
Fowler’s assertion the Cards’ experience with Green was “good” is open for debate. Green was signed last offseason to take some attention away from Hopkins, but all he contributed was 54 receptions, 848 yards and three touchdowns.
What Green didn’t do was pick up the slack after Hopkins missed seven games with hamstring and knee problems. The Cards needed Green to step up, but instead his numbers cratered, per Cardinals beat reporter Johnny Venerable:
As Venerable pointed out, the Cardinals might want to consider going younger at receiver. Fowler identified second-year man Rondale Moore as the likely No. 2 option alongside Hopkins.
That would surely change if Beckham switched teams in the NFC West.
Beckham a Top-Notch Supporting Act
He started his career as a go-to receiver for the New York Giants, but it wasn’t until Beckham was released by the Cleveland Browns and moved to the Los Angeles Rams last season that he found his niche.
As it turned out, Beckham proved exceptional as a supporting act to last season’s receiving leader Copper Kupp. Beckham had some big games for the Rams, particularly during their postseason run.
He made nine catches for 113 yards in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Beckham also reeled in this touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl before injury struck:
The 29-year-old reminded everyone that he can still beat coverage on the outside and still make the difficult catches. Those are the qualities the Cardinals count on Hopkins to provide, but no man is an island.
Pairing Hopkins with Beckham would be a dream ticket for the Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray. Only durability could scupper this triple threat.
Staying healthy was a problem for Hopkins last season, while Beckham hasn’t completed a full season since 2016. His potential return date from his latest setback is said to be “at least October, or possibly longer,” according to Matt Galatzan of Rams Digest.
It would still be worth the Cardinals putting Beckham alongside Hopkins and Moore. He’s almost five years younger than Green and still productive.
Signing Beckham wouldn’t preclude selecting a receiver from a deep draft class at the position to further supplement the options around Hopkins.