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Is Early Doucet on Borrowed Time with Arizona Cardinals?

February 12th, 2013 at 6:58 AM
By Steve Smith

'' photo (c) 2008, Seth Page - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Is Early Doucet's time almost up as an Arizona Cardinal?

Any way you slice it, 2012 was a disappointing season for the LSU product. Injuries, dropped passes and poor quarterback play were the main culprits last season as Doucet's numbers were down across the board as Arizona's slot receiver.

After a fine 2011 campaign in which he established career highs with 54 receptions for 689 yards and five touchdowns, Doucet missed four games with various injuries last season and his performance tailed off dramatically. The 2008 third round draft pick finished with just 28 catches for 207 yards and no touchdowns.

It was a season to forget.

The Red Birds could free up $1.7 million in cap space by cutting Doucet, who slipped to fourth on the wide receiver depth chart last year. Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and rookie Michael Floyd were all more productive and Floyd really came on strong near the end of his rookie season in 2012.

If the Cardinals do decide to release Doucet and get some salary cap relief, they can move Roberts into the slot and draft a younger wide receiver in April. In contrast to Doucet, Roberts had a terrific 2012 season, setting career highs in receptions (64), yards (759), and touchdowns (5). Those five touchdown catches led the team.

The idea of moving Roberts into the slot to replace Doucet is an attractive one because Roberts has good hands and runs routes well. He is playing under his rookie contract so he is also cost effective for Cardinals management. He's also missed just two games in three seasons in the NFL.

It will be interesting to see what the Cardinals do about Doucet under the Bruce Arians regime. It could be getting late for Early.

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Tags: Andre Roberts, Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Early Doucet, Football, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, NFL

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