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Topic: Arizona Cardinals QB Situation Possibilities for 2011
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 05/08/11 23:29
The NFL Draft has come and gone and one of the surprises for many was that the Arizona Cardinals didn't select a QB in round 1. Instead of taking Blaine Gabbert they opted for CB Patrick Peterson, and while I totally agreed with the decision to pass on Gabbert to take arguably the best player in the draft in Peterson, there was still some uncertainty that they would try to get a QB later in the draft.

Turns out the Cardinals decided to not draft a QB at all.

I can't say I blamed them. There simply wasn't a QB available to them after round 1 that warranted a selection given their other needs.

But where does that leave them for the 2011 season? Right now, because of the uncertainty surrounding the lockout, the Cardinals are one of as many as 10 teams that swing in limbo as to what they are going to do at the QB position once this lockout/CBA mess is finally resolved.

Their plan apparently is to go after a veteran free agent to insert in the starting lineup right away. Their other options, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, and Max Hall all are poor options at best. Skelton showed some promise when he finally got his chance, but he is still at least another year away from being starter ready. Anderson is as good as gone, and Hall was really overhyped because of local ties in Arizona.

There are several veteran options available for Arizona.

1) Kevin Kolb. This would require working out a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, but apparently the team was in talks with the Eagles for a brief time and it is believed the Cardinals are one team that is willing to part with a 1st round pick to get Kolb. Now I'm not totally sold on Kolb. I've liked him in the past, but his experience comes exclusively from a west coast style of offense and that's not what the Cardinals run. Certainly of the options though, Kolb has the biggest boom factor and while he carries quite a bit of bust potential in him, he would be given every chance to achieve the next level in his own development and help get the Cardinals back to the top of the NFC West.

2) Kyle Orton. Again, likely a trade would have to happen as Orton is under contract with the Denver Broncos, but he probably would only cost a 2nd or 3rd round pick to acquire. Orton has a bigger body of work than Kolb and has proven to be a capable starter both for winning and in being able to execute an offense. He can be a game manager as he was in Chicago, or he can be a bit of a gunslinger like he was in Denver under Josh McDaniels. He's miscast in the gunslinger role though and while you can win with Orton, you donít get the feeling you can a Super Bowl with him. But if the Cardinals believe in Skelton and are looking to develop him for the starting job in another year or two, Orton would come at a more reasonable price than Kolb both in what they would have to give up to get him, and what they'd likely have to pay him.

3) Carson Palmer. Palmer is intriguing to me as I really haven't been much in his corner since his 2008 elbow injury. But I wasn't in Kurt Warner's corner much given his thumb problem prior to coming to Arizona either a few years ago. Palmer was once one of the elite QB's in the game and is a smart QB who has shown plenty of ability to still be able to wing the football despite questions about whether he still possesses that tremendous arm strength he used to have prior to the injury. Palmer clearly wants out of Cincinnati and while he is due some big money on his current contract, he is only 31 years old and could resurrect his career in the right circumstances. Could Arizona be the right circumstance for such a rebirth of a career? It could indeed and the more I think of the possibility of Palmer as the starting QB of the Arizona Cardinals, the more I kind of warm up to it. Of course, Kurt Warner's recent endorsement of Palmer being a great fit for Arizona certainly carries some weight as I had dismissed the idea previously as absurd. Palmer would come at a cost, but maybe the Cincinnati Bengals would take a second round pick and maybe a RB like Tim Hightower to just get rid of him and the headache he's become for them.

4) Matt Hasselbeck. The Seahawks low-balled the free agent Hasselbeck and there's a chance Hasselbeck would welcome a change to a division rival so he can prove to Seattle he still has something left. Hasselbeck is certainly smart enough and has the arm strength to be an effective starter, but he'll turn 36 in 2011 and he's been unable to stay healthy the last few seasons. When healthy, Hasselbeck offers leadership and proven ability, but he's at the tail end of his career and we've seen plenty of QB's whose careers come to an abrupt end once they get to a certain age. Hasselbeck could be one of those.

5) Donovan McNabb. I can say with a high degree of certainty that McNabb is not on the Cardinals radar. He would have to come ridiculously cheap and would be on a short leash in Arizona as he just seems to have lost the confidence in many around the league. McNabb has a house in Arizona and trains there during the off-season, but other than that, he isn't garnering much interest. His poor showing in 2010 is a sign that his career is coming to the end. He may have some magical moments left in the tank, but in 2010 they were sandwiched between many moments of total mediocrity.

6) Alex Smith. It amazes me that anyone thinks Arizona is interested in Smith as he has been given every opportunity in San Francisco and has yet to put it together. He doesn't give the feeling of a QB who is ready to finally realize his potential and become a solid NFL starter; rather he feels like someone who is going to spend the next 6 years being a backup. Arizona will pass on Smith.

7) Marc Bulger. While there has been a lot of talk about Bulger being the guy the Cardinals want, I just canít see him as being more than the consolation prize if the team can't get Kolb, Orton, Palmer, or Hasselbeck. Bulger got shell shocked in St. Louis and was very happy and willing to join Baltimore last year as the clear backup to Joe Flacco instead of going to a place where he could compete for the starting job. Bulger has had success in the past, but that was when he had a strong offensive line and plenty of weapons to throw to. Once he started getting battered around, he had the "happy feet" of a QB who was looking more for where the hit was coming from than what play he could make downfield. He still may have something to offer, but I have serious doubts. He'd be better than McNabb or Smith, but that's about it. I could be wrong though and maybe there is still fire in him.
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 dana_260
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Post Date: 05/10/11 06:52
The Grapevine has the Cardinals†at the top of the list for the services of Kevin Kolb; Something AZ giving up the 2012 1st and 3rd round picks,,,lets see how that holds up?
 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 05/12/11 11:56
Wow a 1st and 3rd for Kolb? Seems like an awful lot to give up for a QB, who is still somewhat unproven in the NFL. I don't believe we have got a really good look at Kolb...yet. Due to the unfortunate injury last year he was not given his job back and Vick ended up stealing the spotlight. While I am sure money and playing time will both be factors in his possible decision. Personally I think he is better served to stay in Philly. I think the Cards would be much better off with a proven vet, who has been around the league. I think the they need an on the field leader, like Warner was. Don't think Arizona will get that in Kolb.
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 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 05/12/11 13:00
Of the group, Kolb is the only one who has the chance to be a top tier NFL (and fantasy) QB. I agree he's yet to prove himself, but he has had some outsatnding games and should get better with experience.

A first and a 3rd would be too rich for my blood given the uncertainty of him becoming that type of QB, but sometimes to hit the big payoff, you have to gamble†big.

At the very least it's refreshing to think of the Cardinals as a team that isn't being timid and instead sounding aggressive about getting someone they really want (who isn't past his prime).
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 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 05/12/11 13:11
Would you feel better heading into the season with Kolb as your starter knowing you gave up a 1st and 3rd for next season? A vet will bring Arizona a competent QB at a cheaper price tag, while not necessarily losing draft picks for 2012.
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 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 05/12/11 13:18
Depends on how much I would have to give up to get Palmer or Orton. But while both of those guys are good veterans, neither is a franchise QB for years to come. And both have questions of their own about how high their ceiling is. Kolb is the gamble for greatness with the big risk attached to him.
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 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 05/12/11 18:18
IF Arizona were my team I would accept a short term stop gap with Kyle Orton. He is a proven NFL QB. I think last year we saw jsut what sort of stats he could put up when given time. Unfortunately the situation got ugluy as the seaosn went on with Kyle.

I think Arizona would be a better match. Fitz would be happy, I think the arm strength and "get the ball down field" mentality of Orton would really help out a struggling backfield. This would give Wells a bump as a rusher, and Hightower as a prominant PPR guy out of the backfield.

Unfortuantely with as little as I have seen as Kolb I can't speak for just what he could do. He looked good in what little I saw of him last year. Had 2 games over 250 yards passing, 1 of which over 300 with a 3 TD performance and 3 TDs over the next 4.

But right now...I think any FA or traded QB is better than what the desert dwellers have on their roster.
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 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 05/13/11 13:20
You know Russ, I happened to catch Tim Hasselbeck, I believe on ESPN talking about the possible moving QBs and he believed in Kolb as well for the Cards moving forward. Especially given the young team the Cards have they would be able to build a very solid offense around him, Wells/Hightower and Fitz (not young and if he stayed).
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 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 05/15/11 13:51
Kolb has been a favorite of many TV analysts for the Cards. Local radio here in Phoenix also likes Kolb as the preferred choice for AZ. It's a lot of hype for someone that although I like and think has great upside, could also turn out to be a bust.

We'll have to wait and see what happens when players and owners get their repective heads out of the backsides and get some sort of agreement for at least the 2011 season, and hopefully beyond.
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 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 05/16/11 13:03
Yeah that is the risk some team will have to take. What hurts him a bit was not playing much last year after he went down early. But as a professional he should be able to rebound in 2011 after playing a backup roll to Vick. I was a big Kolb fan heading into last season and was frustrated to see him lose out to Vick. But it was all on Andy Reid and in retrospect it was a very good move to keep Vick as the starter, but we can only speculate how he would have done as a full season starter.
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Stephen
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