Steve Breaston was conspicuously absent in the Arizona Cardinals 27-26 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Day. He did not have a pass thrown his way the entire game (and obviously had no catches) and was left on the sideline most of the second half, even in two-receiver sets, as the Cardinals elected to go with rookie Andre Roberts.
Since then, he has made a little noise on Twitter, giving the impression he is unhappy with things. This is something to cause concern among fans because Breaston is in the last year of his contract with the Cardinals and his status after this year is uncertain. Thus far, the Cardinals have not made a move to re-sign him beyond this year.
Take a look at some of his Twitter comments after the jump.
After the game he tweeted:
No burn...guess I get on this need for speed hot pursuit, Yikes!
This obviously was a reference to his lack of playing. No biggie, right?
After sending a tweet to teammate Jay Feely, telling him to go to bed, Feely told him he couldn't and asked what the wide receiver was doing. Breaston's respose?
@jayfeelyI'm celebrating your victory lol
Wait, the last I checked, Breaston was still a member of the Cardinals. Shouldn't he be saying "our victory?" It would seem that his lack of playing took him out of the team's picture. It could also simply be a reference to the fact that Feely was the guy who won it for the Cardinals.
Early on the 26th, he the tweeted this:
Goodmorning...all they got to do is give Stevie a chance and I'm going to do my dance :-)
This could be something innocent again. He is a poet, after all. Rhyming is what he does. It also looks like he wants more in football. His dance would come after scoring touchdowns.
Later on, he tweeted that he was going to go shoot some hoops. Kurt Warner wanted to join him. Here's what he responded:
"@kurt13warner: @SBreaston15I'm in, where you playing? And don't say UofP stadium, lol!"-> don't know about that 1 n e more..what's good?
His response to playing at the stadium was odd. I'm not interpreting body language or appearances, but rather words. This could be "I don't want to be at the stadium again. Don't like the place." It could also be, "Play at the stadium? Ha! Looks like I don't play there anymore."
Perhaps there is too much reading into this, but combined with other tweets, you can tell he is unhappy.
The most telling tweet is this:
What would 'Q' do? If you recall, 'Q' is Anquan Boldin, the very good, but very unhappy Arizona wide receiver. With the exception of one time, when there was a mix up in communication about being left inactive when he had an injury and his status for the game was uncertain, he never complained about playing time. It was always about his contract situation.
Breaston is having a contract situation. He under contract only until the end of this year and obviously would like to have a new contract. He has also earned a new deal. He is a good enough receiver to be the number one guy on many teams. He makes a difference on this team.
When Boldin was here and missed games, he was missed, but the team did well in his absence. Before this bad year for the Cardinals, when Breaston has missed time, it was different. The offense did not run as well. This year, the offense has just been bad and the quarterback play has been abysmal, so his impact is not as noticeable.
But it is clear that for one thing or another, Breaston is not happy. It is completely understandable. He wants to stay here and does not have that security yet. Competitively, he wants to play. I see nothing wrong with that. I do question the Cardinals' use of him, though.
Ken Whisenhunt said that the decrease in playing time was the result of wanting to spell Breaston, and he noted knee soreness. I personally do not buy this. Breaston was not on the injury report and he was obviously upset with not playing. An injured player might want to play, but will understand when he sits because it is his health.
Perhaps Breaston did something or did not do something to get into Whiz' doghouse. I doubt that. Perhaps it was a way to reward Andre Roberts or to just give him more of a look during the game. I would understand that. But hiding behind some phantom soreness seems fishy.
One thing does keep me a bit more optimistic -- his tweet responding to a fan who responded to his WWQD question:
So with one game left in the season, expect Breaston's effort to be unchanged. He will play his butt off until the end.
Hopefully, the end will not be after this Sunday. Breaston should be here for years to come.