Arians 'loves' Cardinals' addition of WR Brice Butler

It wasn't long ago that Bruce Arians' Cardinals boasted the NFL's premier receiving corps led by Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown.

Now that Fitzgerald is the last man standing in the wide receivers room, new coach Steve Wilks is left to wonder who else will emerge to catch passes from Sam Bradford and Josh Rosen.

To hear Arians tell it, general manager Steve Keim has enjoyed a "real solid" offseason, starting with the under-the-radar addition of former Cowboys wideout Brice Butler.

"I love the Brice Butler pickup," Arians said recently, via the Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman. "He's a tall deep threat. He does what Michael Floyd did -- a big, tall guy that can take the top off (of a defense). ... I don't know why he didn't get more time last year with Dallas, but the fans out here are going to love this kid.

"He could be the No. 2 guy behind Larry."

Butler signed a modest two-year, $2.6 million contract in April after catching 15 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns last season. Although the 28-year-old was stuck behind Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley on Dallas' depth chart the past few years, he has shown a knack for big plays in timely moments.

Arians isn't alone in his high regard for Butler's skill set. When David Johnson predicted earlier this offseason that Bradford would lead an offensive renaissance in Arizona, the All-Pro tailback singled out Butler as an intriguing new weapon.

The battle for targets behind Fitzgerald is wide open, with Butler joining a cast of characters that includes rookie Christian Kirk, 2017 third-round pick Chad Williams, fourth-year speedster J.J. Nelson and former Steelers wideout Coby Hamilton.

"It's hard to say right now who's going to be that No. 2," Wilks acknowledged last week. "We're still working and those guys understand now ... the best 11 are going to play. We're trying to create competition."

If Arians' scouting eye is to be trusted, Butler will be one of those 11 taking the field in the season opener.

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