Cardinals free agent WR Pharoh Cooper signs with Panthers

Mar 20, 2020, 1:08 PM | Updated: 1:12 pm
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Pharoh Cooper (12) celebrates a first down after a catch against th...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Pharoh Cooper (12) celebrates a first down after a catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Free agent receiver Pharoh Cooper, who spent most of 2019 with the Arizona Cardinals, signed a deal on Friday to join the Carolina Panthers.

Cooper, 25, joined Arizona last offseason and made it through training camp before being cut heading into Week 1. The Cincinnati Bengals picked him up off waivers and played him in Week 1, but he was waived shortly after being an inactive for a Week 2 game.

With injuries mounting, the Cardinals re-signed Cooper heading into Week 5 and he immediately provided help. Cooper made two catches against the Bengals in Arizona’s first win of the season and went on to contribute 25 catches for 243 yards and a touchdown.

Cooper was a fourth-round pick by the Rams in 2016 and played there through 2018.

Arizona’s acquisition of No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins likely proved as the writing on the wall for Cooper and fellow receiver Damiere Byrd to depart in free agency. Byrd agreed to a deal with the New England Patriots.

With Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk projecting as the top three receivers on the roster, Arizona also has depth in the form of three 2019 draft picks: Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson.

Trent Sherfield also returns for his third season with Arizona, and it’s possible the Cardinals add more talent in the draft. The 2020 class includes one of the deepest groups of receivers to come out in some time.

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