ARIZONA CARDINALS

Mike Thomas could back up Patrick Peterson

Aug 21, 2013, 6:21 PM | Updated: 6:22 pm

The Cardinals are desperately looking for receivers. Although they feel very good about their top three, they aren’t very confident about what follows. It’s one of the reasons why the Cards are using Patrick Peterson on the offensive side of the ball.

Peterson as a receiver brings the one element to the Cardinals offense that is sorely missing: speed. Peterson can run by cornerbacks, which takes the top off the secondary and loosens it up for other receivers. Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd are deep threats because of their vertical game, but not because of their speed.

Enter Mike Thomas.

The volatile wide receiver was cut from the Detroit Lions — after he was drafted, extended and traded by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Cardinals signed Thomas Tuesday and he brings speed to Bruce Arians’ master plan. Thomas has run a legitimate 4.3 forty and has been productive in the league.

Thomas was a 4th round pick. He led the Jaguars in receptions in 2010 and 2011 with 66 and 44, respectively. Although those numbers aren’t mind-bending by any standard, the Jaguars haven’t had quarterback production in years. The Jaguars thought he took his foot off the gas and traded him to the Detroit Lions for a 2014 5th round draft pick in 2012.

Knowing the Cardinals can only play Peterson offensively between 10-15 snaps per game, Thomas could be Peterson’s stand-in while he’s resting on the bench. The Cards want somebody to vertically stretch the secondary and open their offense up. I have no idea if Thomas will make the team, but as it stands now, he looks like Peterson’s backup.

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