Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports

Report: Cardinals, Ross agree to extension

The Arizona Cardinals will bring Jeremy Ross back to the team in 2017, after reportedly agreeing to a one-year extension with the wide receiver and return specialist.

As the 2016 season crawled along, the Arizona Cardinals' lack of depth at the wide receiver position came to be exposed on a weekly basis. 

Outside of veteran Larry Fitzgerald, no Cardinals' receiver demonstrated the type of consistency the team was hoping to see from the unit, which forced running back David Johnson into an expanded role.

Johnson wound up finishing second on the team behind Fitzgerald in receptions, as the second-year back out of Northern Iowa logged 80 catches during his sophomore campaign in the NFL.

On Friday, the Cardinals worked to address their depth issues at wide receiver while adding to the team's special teams capabilities, as Arizona reached a deal on a one-year contract extension with Jeremy Ross, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

In recent weeks, general manager Steve Keim has emphasized the importance of improving on special teams, as the Cardinals ranked near the bottom of every significant category in the NFL this season. The re-signing of Ross could help Arizona accomplish this goal, as the return specialist gives the Cardinals a legitimate option on kick returns and punt returns. 

Ross has bounced around the NFL over the last five seasons, earning opportunities with the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. The Cardinals signed Ross late in the season after the team cut wide receiver Michael Floyd following his arrest for Driving Under the Influence.

In two games with Arizona, Ross caught four passes for 37 yards including one touchdown reception in the final week of the season against the Los Angeles Rams. 

Ross' best season came in 2014 with the Lions when he started 13 games and caught 24 passes for 314 yards and one touchdown.

Ross may have a challenging time making the Cardinals' 53-man roster this fall depending on how aggressively the team pursues wide receiver help in free agency and in the NFL Draft. With Fitzgerald nearing the end of his career, John Brown facing uncertainties regarding his health and Jaron Brown recovering from a torn ACL, the Cardinals will need options to help improve the level of competition on the field during training camp. 


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