Jockeying for QB has begun

Posted by Darren Urban on March 5, 2018 – 11:55 am

The Scouting combine is the perfect place for quarterback speculation, with all the top draft possibilities coming in to talk, all the teams on hand to watch and speak to the media, all the agents there to whisper things and free agency coming just a week after its conclusion. It’s fun to wonder about anyway, but important since the Cardinals don’t have a quarterback, period, as of now.

There was plenty suggested about what free agents might go where, what could happen to first domino Kirk Cousins (the Cardinals have been named as a potential suitor, but Cousins was always thought to be drawing many) and what kind of money he could make, and where all the other QBs might fit after that: Case Keenum, A.J. McCarron, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, Josh McCown, and, of course, whether Drew Stanton and/or Blaine Gabbert could still end up in the mix here in Arizona. All those puzzle pieces then impact the draft and the top names there.

What might be more interesting right now is to try and pinpoint not the individual quarterbacks per se, but the teams that might be interested in drafting a young QB. It might not impact how free agency plays out directly, but it could turn some free-agent decisions for those getting bridge QBs into higher pressure situations come the draft. For instance, the Giants already have Eli Manning, and could take RB Saquon Barkley second overall. But a quarterback has to be in play there, given Manning’s age.

Looking at the league, however, you can make the case — to varying degrees of urgency, of course — that 15 teams in the first round (and the Browns and Bills each have two picks in the first round) could consider a young QB going forward. And that doesn’t include the Cardinals. Some are obvious: The Browns, Broncos, Jets and Vikings — and Cards — have to have a QB (if they don’t have someone like Cousins who would be a long-term solution.) Some teams need to groom someone behind a QB who is older: The Giants, Redskins, Chargers, Saints, Steelers and Patriots. And then there are the teams that might be looking to move on from their current situation: The Dolphins, Bengals, Ravens, Bills and Jaguars.

That’s a lot of places a QB could go — and another reason it’s dangerous for a team to think they can get the guy they want into the second round, when a team might just spend a late first-rounder to grab a guy.

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40 Responses to “Jockeying for QB has begun”

  1. By D on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Many pieces will fall next week with the QBs.

    I would think we will hear by next Tues where K. Cousins and C. Keenum will be playing. (maybe Monday night)

    Jets, Broncos, Vikings and Cards are all eyeing the same players..Cousins, Keenum, Bridgewater…..which ever team misses out on these 3 will go the McCown/Bradford route and look into the draft for long term solutions.

    A. Norwell will cost big $. The only way AZ could afford him is to release both Iupati and Veldheer, meaning 3 out of the 5 starters for next year will be new faces and a whole new right side of the Oline. But Norwell is worth it if the Cards want to run the ball first.

    Right side Oline-
    sign C. Fleming from the Pats in UFA or C. Hubbard OT from the Steelers
    Draft B. Smith from Auburn for RG in Round 3.

    Wetzel could play RG until the draft pick is ready hopefully by mid season.
    Center- Shipley/Tuerk

    Backups-Boehm, Holden, Wetzel

  2. By JTDG on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Well, I think the Browns will not draw a big name FA QB. If I was a betting man, here is how I believe the first 4 picks go.

    I’m thinking Saquan Barkley goes number 1 overall. I just don’t think the Browns want to risk losing him to the Giants.

    The Giants , then take Darnald to play a year behind Manning at #2.

    I think the Browns will then trade up with the colts for 4 to 3 to get Josh Allen because I think that is a spot where teams will be able to move up to.

    Then, the Colts take Bradley Chubb at 4.

    I think Cousins ends up in Minnesota as they have 50 million in cap space and a super bowl contender team.

    So, that leaves Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and AJ McCarrens .

    With Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Mason Rudolph all there to be drafted, it will be interesting which direction the Broncos and then Jets go.

    With the cards sitting at 15, with 23 million in cap space, they are in a tough spot.

    With the way Barkley performed this year and at the combine, how do you not take him if you are the browns since you have 2 of the top 4 picks.
    If I were the browns, I would try to lock up the number 2 pick with the Giants so I could have the top 2 picks. But the Giants are in the drivers seat. They get Barkley or Darnald.

  3. By RagingREDBird on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    I am so tired of QB talk. The truth is none of us know anything and all this talk is just nervous anticipation over something half the group will mostly hate the answer the Cards bring us. The other half will find a way to back the person and get excited about them cause honestly what other chose do we really have as a fan.

    Everybody acts like we know what we are talking about.

    Here is my uneducated guess…I would take over priced Kirk, knee weak Bridgewater, hot wife Tannehill and for cheaper cost short but spunky Case.

    Foles is fools gold, Sam can go eat his green ham, McCown would be a feel good story at best.

  4. By Scott H on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    There was some discussion on Fox Sports radio today about how the Kirk Cousins thing seems to have become a 4-horse race between the Vikings, Jets, Cardinals, and Broncos.

    First, don’t the Vikings already have more QB’s than they can use??

    Mathematically, I guess it’s simple, then – the Vikings sign Cousins, they ditch their 3 current QB’s and since there are 3 teams left, everybody gets one. Done!

    But as it was being discussed today, there was less mention of the Cardinals than the other teams. Hard to believe the Browns aren’t mentioned in relation to Cousins. But, then again….it’s the Browns, so maybe that DOES make sense.

    I could see Elway going hard after Cousins. He seems to prefer veteran QB’s and there is a decent offense in place.

  5. By faster on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    browns: jackson preffers mccarron and a rockie, so i expect mccarron.
    the first round, i think they will trade down, depend on the fa signigs, and then up again, and choose barkley. with the third pick, i would expect.
    denver will never pay cousins 30 mio, so i expect them to try keenum.
    and there are rumors tthat a afc team is offering a second round pick for foles.

    interesting times.

  6. By JTDG on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    I keep hearing people speculate that Ryan Tannehill is available. Even Darren eluded to it.

    I would sure like to hear that from the Dolphins. After all, who then QBs them? They are in the same boat as AZ if they trade him. Makes no sense.

    Same goes for Dalton. His backup , AJ McCarrens is a FA, so they would have no one. again, doesn’t make sense.

    Not sure why these two names keep coming up. The Dolphins need to stop paying DTs 26 million a year, and find weapons for Tannehill.

    Same goes with Dalton. The Bengals let Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler , two very good lineman walk, Sanu walks, and then they blame Dalton. Stupid.

    The Jags were smart. They have a QB who has been up and down in Bortles but they locked him up, because you can’t win without a QB. Now Bortles will get back Allen Robinson next year. That was smart

    I just don’t see Dalton or Tannehill as “available” . Of course the dolphins are trading away their best wr and trading for an OLB who hasn’t had double digit sacks since 2014.

    To further my comments above, I think the Browns sign McCarrons, draft Barkley #1 overall and then at 4, they may take Allen, but it would not be a surprise if they took Fitzpatrick the S/CB from Alabama and then take a QB at 33 like Rudolph.

  7. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: “Available”

    To be clear, I never said Tannehill or Dalton would be “available.” Both those teams need backup QBs because McCarron is gone and Matt Moore might be. And, as with Flacco, if one of those teams finds the right young guy early — a la Mahomes/Alex Smith — they might pull the trigger and change in 2019. In the context of what I wrote, that certainly is a possibility.

  8. By D on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    MN-has a good team and big $-good selling point in free agency
    Jets- have tons of $ and NY marketing– difficult to turn down in free agency
    Broncos-have above average team-would be pressure to live up to Elway
    Browns-have tons of $ but are the Browns. AJ McCarron and draft pick makes sense
    AZ-has good defense, D. Johnson and Larry Fitz.

    I have yet to see a QB agent allow a player to sign with a team for less $

  9. By Ken Moroney on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    #1 I don’t want Stanton if he is free and agrees to sell beer and clean toilets.
    #2 I don’t want to tie up so much money in Cousins; he isn’t all THAT.
    #3 I prefer Bradford and a drafted QB first round, or the nose tackle rookie MAN.
    #4 I don’t want Bridgewater..injuries..would be OK with McCown for 1-2 yrs.
    #5 Trade for or pick up Jimmy Graham if the price is zone dude.
    #6 Hate to see Jaron Brown go..he is a bargain for us and is valuable.
    #7 Agree with bye bye Honey Badger..too expensive for what he has done for us
    #8 IF Jonathon Stewart has just a little bit left and is super cheap, buy him
    #9 Absolutely have to have a new man to pressure the middle on D..anyone!
    #10 Tyrod would be OK, but draft a rookie QB also…throw to TE in 2018-2019
    #12 Don’t draft a QB retread with concrete cleats..gotta be able to run a little

  10. By Dr. G. on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Offense~ Boone, Watford, Niklas, JaronB, Stanton, KWilliams, Barnes, JBrown, Gabbert, Penny, Barkley

    Defense ~ Rucker, Dansby, TWilliams, Bynes, Martin, Bethel, Goodwin, XWilliams, Brewer

    Reserve//Injured ~ Branch, BGolden, Momah, Munyer, Zamort

    This is the list of men who are free agents with only 5 or 6 who are restricted to a matching offer…so we go into FA and the Draft with 45% of the team on the bubble or just gone. The Practice Squad is not counted because any team can tap them if we don’t counter. Most of these men are no longer wanted; does this say anything about previous acquisitions?

    Now additionally, it is very likely that at least a few more will be cut as Cap casualties. This leaves the team with about HALF ~ 1/2 the needed 53 man roster.

    Soooo…in addition to some probable FO & Coaching anxiety to get a QB and a couple backups…we can see that there is a ton of work to be done that is not mentioned much, if at all. Go SKeim! But the QB thing takes precedence.

    And, as I see it, we will see necessarily about 65 new faces and names in camp to get to 90 to run things. Bizarre numbers? Not necessarily…we do have a player core that is fairly solid. But the bottom line is that we’ll see All New Coaching Staff looking for a few Diamonds, maybe even Undrafted. ⚓⚓

    And then ~ back to the main news, it all starts with the IGNITION KEY, THE QBs…

    The fun starts next week 3/14…pins & needles anticipating Keim/Wilks 🏈moves…be well Cards Fans 🏁

  11. By Dr. G. on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Noted… when I say other team positions are not mentioned much, it was not intended for this blog or the combine…it was for the news media generally. It is tiring to hear Cousins’ name everywhere…👎

  12. By Steve on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Darren: You have a picture of OSU QB Mason Rudolph under your blog, pure coincidence? or do you have intel on the Cards being interested in him??

  13. By Darren Urban on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Rudolph

    The Cardinals have no quarterbacks. They are interested in all of them, at least at this point.

  14. By Scott H on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Some thought on Foles, regardless of which side of that you may be on….

    First, it is being reported that an un-disclosed AFC ream offered Philly a 2nd round pick and the Eagles said no. Also being reported that the Eagles will be asking for no less than a 1st AND a 4th round pick for him. Pretty steep. Wonder if they believe they CAN actually get that or if that is where they are starting the bidding to induce better offers.

    But here is where the Foles situation could play into the Cardinals hands a bit. First, the Eagles are approx $9 million over the cap, so….they gotta make some moves. And they gotta get under the cap on / by March 14th. That is in our favor.

    Second, Foles may never have more value than he does RIGHT NOW. So….holding onto him might be a gamble for them. That is in our favor.

    Third, the Eagles could use some draft picks, seeing as they do not have a 2nd OR a 3rd round pick this year. And the Cardinals DO have some picks to play with in a trade, if they choose. That is in our favor.

    So, using the slide rule, it would seem that the Eagles and Cards could be good trade partners here. I wonder… the Eagles give us their 1st round pick this year ( 32nd ) in for exchange for our 1st round pick ( 15th ) and another pick, maybe a 3rd or a 4th?

    That seems a good and fair deal for them…..would we want Foles that bad?

    I think I would.

  15. By creditcard on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Cards are in a tough spot. No QB on the roster, $26 Million in cap space, and an Offensive line that plays matador more than football in any given Sunday.

    Cards obviously need a seasoned QB AND a rookie to groom. Both of these QBs better be able to take a hit, AND be able to scramble. This too is obvious.

    If the O-Line doesn’t get fixed, I would vote to see if Usane Bolt is willing to be QB for a year or so — at least he can run. (sarcasm)

    Above all, the Cards need to have good coaching on the O-line, I cannot think that all the line draft picks the Cards invested in (and turned sour), were bad from the start. I believe some of the picks were poor,but also coupled with terrible O-line coaching.

    If the Cards are going to any noise this coming year, the most important person in the organization very well might be the O-line coach.

  16. By lloyd wolf on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    So a week or so from now 20% of us will be satisfied and 80% will be in the “why didn’t they” school. My only thought is they could resurrect John Unitas (rip) and with the line in today’s condition he would be awful…we all better hope that Ray Brown is the teacher that Wilks thinks he has in him…otherwise more of the same.

    If Palmer wasn’t pummeled so much he would still be playing.

  17. By Richard S on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Sorry to read about Beanie Wells problems in the online Arizona sports. Also the story about Jaron Brown being a free agent and drawing interest. I hope the Cards are interested in signing him. It’s not just a QB that makes a team but the QB’s I saw on NFL Network at the combine looked pretty good. There were a lot of talented individuals one of whom will hopefully fall to the # 15 draft slot.

  18. By Patrick on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    I always love comments like ragingredbird. “I am so tired of you guys talking about quarterbacks because it does not matter”. Then says what he/she would do for a quarterback. ?!?!?!

  19. By CARDS62 on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H

    I hate trading for QBS with the Eagles as they seem to know when to get rid of QBs. What did we give up for Kevin Kolb a second rounder? Did not work out too well for us. Eagles received a first for Sam Bradford after he did nothing for the Rams and now Minnesota does not seem to want him anymore.

    I just think there is a glut of veteran QBs out there with more to be on the market after the draft so lets not over pay as none seem to stand out to me over the rest. Should be able to get for nothing or next to nothing in trades. We will just have to pay their salaries, and draft a rookie, and I am hoping we bring back Blaine Gabbert. Just like the ball he throws and he is mobile.

    Go Cards!

  20. By JosEPh on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    The league just announced the new 2018 salary cap $177 Million up $10 from 2017. So now the scene has changed. All Teams have more room to spend. So the Cards reported $23 to 26 million cap space is bigger, $10 million bigger.

    So all you capologists get with it! There’s New Money in town!

  21. By Marcelof on Mar 5, 2018 | Reply

    That seems to be a great QB Class, which makes me believe it’d be dumb not to trade up in order to get one you feel would fit your needs.

    They are all poised to be elite QBs in NFL, pay they price they deserve, trade it up, risk it once at least.

    Eagles did it….
    Rams did it…
    ok, Redskins did it too (still laughing)

    Do you really see any potential QB on Free Agency, one who is worth more than a trade up?

  22. By joe holst on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    trade for Andrew luck

  23. By clssylssy on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    So sad to read that former RB Beanie Wells, is battling brain trauma believed to have been caused by his years playing football. At 29, Wells is dealing with severe headaches and aphasia symptoms, which would be especially terrifying and tragic for anyone at any age but, even more so in someone so young.
    Wells had an outstanding career at Ohio State, helping them to win three Championships, before being drafted by the Cardinals as a first round pick. While on the Cardinal roster, Wells wa plagued with injury, so did not turn out to be the “diamond in the draft” fans had hoped.
    In past years, our GMs and coaching staff haven’t put a lot of emphasis on player’s physical health or medical history, which, IMO, has often doomed us to a roster of injury prone players. With, Tyrann Mathieu’s contract now becoming a point of contention, with his injury history being highlighted as a reason the Cards can no longer afford him (that occurred pre-contract), it will be of interest to see how many of these injured and discounted players Steve Keim fills our roster with, or if our scouting department does a better job in their “due diligence”. Hopefully, this new regime will place more of a premium on the health of players.
    What I find especially, sad about the Beannie Wells story is not only the tragedy of his situation, but the fact that I haven’t heard so much as a peep from our “Cardinal family” , offering emotional support and empathy, presumably bc they fear culpability down the road. I had always believed the Bidwills to be humanitarians and the Cardinal Organization better than that.

  24. By Darren Urban on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Medical history

    Other than Ryan Swope, with which players the Cardinals have drafted has the team ignored injury history?

  25. By RagingREDBird on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply


    Well played. My hypocricy called out.

  26. By clssylssy on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    I wasn’t just referring to players drafted but also those signed to fill out our roster from FA. My point was that I think it is critical to sign healthy players all around and that basically when signing players with histories of previous injury, it’s a risk and there should be no whining about all the injuries when we have half of the team on IR midway through the season and we miss the playoffs.
    One would think that when making a big investment in a player, the health “maintenance” would be as important as if you were buying a race horse or a car.

  27. By Scott H on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    CARDS62 –

    RE: Hate trading with the Eagles…

    I DO hear that! Not so long ago, when I was not as in favor as Foles as I am now, I was saying the same thing – this was another trade where we were gonna be fleeced by the Eagles again, etc.

    But if nothing else, I think Foles can stay healthy….healthier than Kolb, anyway.

    But ya gotta envy ( or hate, in my case ) the Eagles for having themselves in this position again….having that QB to dangle when other teams need one so badly.

  28. By Christopher Whitaker on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    Plan A: Nick Foles
    Plan B: Nick Foles
    Plan C: Nick Foles

    He is a proven winner in crunch time: Playoffs & SB. Palmer could
    never do THAT ! He choked ! Only gotta pay Foles 7.5 million. Use
    that vast savings to ink FA O-Linemen. Draft a WR with our 2nd
    round pick. That, my friends, is the irrefutable ticket to success. They can re-sign Stanton to back up Foles.

  29. By Christopher Whitaker on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    Also cut or trade Mathieu to free up more cap space.

  30. By JohnnyBluenose on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    I did not know about Beanie Wells having health issues and I am sad to learn that. His once promising career was cut very short and now it seems his own personal future could be in jeopardy. I sometimes think about Ryan Williams, aka Little Sweetness. He was only a Cardinal for a few years and he suffered a horrible knee injury in one of his first pre-season games and he was never the same player. He overcame many obstacles to get to the NFL and he seemed like a very nice young man and it seems very unfair to me that his football dreams were destroyed. I hope he is doing OK. A football career can be short and often the relatively big money a player earns in a few years does not last too long and some of them struggle to find another path. I hope Ryan Williams has or will find his.

  31. By Joe C. on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    Clssy, so which players are you referring to that Keim and the scouts disregarded the injuries on?

  32. By Dr. G. on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    Cards Fans send our best to you Chris “”Beanie”” We recall when you were healthy that you could run “”through and over”” defenders with regularity. It was common for many Fans to stand up when you got the ball. Our wishes for your reclamation of good health…get well & be well…

  33. By Scott H on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    As I’ve said, I do not follow college football, so I don’t know the players coming out in the draft. That is why I have very little to say about particular players. But….

    I hear people talking abut Baker Mayfield’s cockiness and I look at him….and I swear, I think I see Johnny Manziel! And that scares the hell out of me.

    Man, I’ll be glad when this QB thing is over. Or, at least when we KNOW who our QB is and we can start debating the pro’s and con’s of whoever that is.

  34. By Dr. G. on Mar 6, 2018 | Reply

    Well, how many times will we dance around the May Pole regarding a possible Foles trade? He may be a good acquisition, but that deal will be muy costly.

    The Eagles realize that Foles as MVP, is at the pinnacle of his value, but with Wentz missing most of camp with very limited practice, would they roll the dice that he will be ready when the season starts? You have a guarantee with Foles…if you’re the GM, do you send Foles on his way ((on a gamble))? I’ve said before ad nauseum that I will eat my sombrero if they let him go.

    ((Caveat = If If If If the Cards get him by some bizzare move, it would be good if we don’t get fleeced.)) You know he played at UofA!

    For those social media buffs, there’s a new millionaire in Philly, Maddie agreed to marry Carson Wentz recently after the SB.

    Still, our best first long-term action is to try to move up with a big trade exchange for the QB we can cheer for years to come…and add a FA ((keep Gabbert too))

    With the boost in the Cap, a couple trades and/or a couple cuts, the Cards can be in good position to assemble a competitive roster going into camp…

  35. By Scott H on Mar 7, 2018 | Reply

    C. Whitaker –

    I hear ya about Foles. I’ve come around on him, too. But ya can’t blame people for not being sold on him. The body of work just last season with Philly is a 50-50 proposition. For half the time he played ( actually, a little more ) he was shaky at best. AT BEST. Didn’t look good at all in some of those late season games ( Oakland, Dallas ). Then, from the 2nd half of that playoff game against the Falcons through the Super Bowl, he was anywhere from very good to off-the-charts amazing. The man was as good against the Patriots as any QB has ever been. But before the playoffs started? I kid you not – fans out here were wondering if the Eagles should start their 3rd string QB because of how shaky Foles looked.

    Taking that into account….the asking price seems crazy.

    But what DOES speak very well of Foles is how he found it in him to play his best as the stakes got bigger. Un-like Case Keenum, who just seemed to fold in that NFC title game.

    Foles is a tough call for any team right now. With what the Eagles are asking, he is a tough call. Part of me hopes the Cardinals win the Nick Foles derby. And part of me hopes somebody else wins it first so we don’t!

  36. By Joe C. on Mar 7, 2018 | Reply

    Because the Eagles have Wentz injured they can use that as leverage to play hardball. If you want Foles you have to pay a premium because they need him. I don’t think they’ll be letting him go for less then top dollar whatever that is.

  37. By Scott H on Mar 8, 2018 | Reply

    Joe C-

    RE: Foles

    Foles is a tough call for the Eagles, too. If your’re them… you keep him knowing Wentz is coming back from a VERY serious injury and is probably not going to be ready to go to start the 2018 season? Or do you trade him knowing his value will NEVER be what it is right now?

    Granted, their problem is a good problem to have. But there is the potential for THEM to make a really bad decision here, too.

    Wouldn’t it just be nice for the Cardinals to NOT need a damn QB every time the Eagles have one to deal?

  38. By p.bailey on Mar 8, 2018 | Reply

    Kiem will screw it up.

  39. By RBledsoe on Mar 12, 2018 | Reply

    If the Cardinals draft Josh Allen, They could at least through training camp a Center/Quarterback battery of Josh Allen and Josh Allen. (followed by an Arsenio’s “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…”).

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