Seeking QB without QB is new for Cardinals

Posted by Darren Urban on January 11, 2018 – 4:55 pm

Michael Bidwill mentioned the other day — after Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer had announced their retirements — that the Cardinals didn’t have a coach or a quarterback in 2013 for a time, and that worked out OK. So being without both right now is not a concern. The coach situation will be sorted out sooner rather than later, and then comes the QB. What exactly will happen is TBD, in part based on whoever the coach will be. Besides, a shift in QBs (with Palmer’s retirement) is often coming with a new coach.

The Cards were looking for a new QB in 2013 as Bidwill noted, but unlike now when the non-Palmer QBs all have expiring contracts — Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Barkley — the Cards actually did have quarterbacks they could have kept in 2013 when Arians arrived. They actually had four as free agency began.

Kevin Kolb, beat up as he was, was due a big contract. John Skelton was still around, as was Ryan Lindley, and the Cardinals even extended a tender offer to restricted free agent Brian Hoyer for 2013. When Stanton signed as a free agent the second day that was possible, the Cards basically had four QBs. A couple of days later, the team let Kolb go. When Hoyer finally signed his tender offer on April 1, the team released Skelton. Palmer arrived the next day in trade. Hoyer was later released in mid-May. Lindley stuck around as the third QB that season.

There is much more up in the air right now. There is no pat hand to play, unless one or more of the FAs-to-be get an extension — which could happen. There were at least placeholders back in 2013, had the Cards not found what they wanted.

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29 Responses to “Seeking QB without QB is new for Cardinals”

  1. By Nick Pepe on Jan 11, 2018 | Reply

    Happy new year Darren!
    2 quick questions, one easier than the other.
    How much has the coaching and qb vacancy altered your post season plans, if any? And if you had to take a stab, who do you think dons the headset on our sideline next year? Hey- at least I didn’t ask you about Larry!
    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member, 1970-71

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 11, 2018 | Reply

    Nick —

    RE: Questions

    1) Not sure if you are asking personally or professionally. Obviously, we have a lot of things we normally wouldn’t be writing about.
    2) I have no idea at this point, to be honest.

  3. By Matt on Jan 11, 2018 | Reply

    This is why we need Pat Shurmur. He will bring one of the 3 vikings qbs (Bradford, Bridgewater, or Keenum) with him. Bring Barkley back on a low deal (if we keep 3 qbs), let Stanton and Gabbert go and draft a qb. Imo Stanton has overstayed his welcome and now that Arians is gone no protection and Gabbert may become too expensive a backup but is a good failsafe option. My qbs to draft are Rosen, Darnold (though hese two will not be available unless we trade up), Josh Allen (also unlikely to be available) Baker Mayfield, Rudolph (oklahoma state). No Lamar Jackson. He’ll be a wr. Cant pay Cousins or Brees (if he is available) the money unless god forbid Fitz retires. Otherwise, good luck to Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim plus the new coach.

  4. By CARDS62 on Jan 11, 2018 | Reply

    Coach and Quarterback is a lot to get right so hopefully we can repeat our success from last time and especially find a young star QB in the draft this year.
    Exciting and nervous time for Cardinal Fans.

    I just think we have to get Chandler Jones some help with rushing the QB, and Larry some help with pass catchers. Really hoping Larry comes back for the next two years if we can hire the right coach and select the correct QB and we are contenders.

    San Fran really came on at the end of the year, and Rams will definitely be back, and Seahawks have Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll so we have our work cut out for us.

    GO Cards!

  5. By dynosoar on Jan 11, 2018 | Reply

    What are the odds of landing Garoppolo. I see a few people on this blog mentioning him so I went looking to see what the possibilities are.

    It appears the 49ers will have a difficult time paying him and he’ll hit the open market. JTDG, any info on the 49ers cap space and if they could keep him? Could we land him with our cap space?

    It would be a cool twist of fate that he becomes a franchise QB in Phoenix where he had his first NFL start and win. Pretty cool indeed. If Steve wants to be aggressive in pursuing a QB, this would be aggressive.

    Whatever happens, I love our Cardinals and am enjoying the search.

  6. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Jimmy G

    The Niners may not want to pay him as much as he’ll get, but they have loads of cap room. He’s not going anywhere.

  7. By Daniel Nicholson on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Like to see Alex Smith as Cards next QB. He is steady, athletic, accurate, mobile, he is hard to sack . I say wait and see on Case Keenum, how he plays in first playoff start. Draft definitely holds intrigue on who and how Steve Keim can get future QB. Thanks for all the great work and time you put in Darren.

  8. By Lifetime Fan on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Nick –
    My money is on Matt Patricia, I think he is the type of down to earth no BS guy that Bidwell and Keim would like. Also, I would love to see a more defensive-minded run-first brand of football in AZ for the next couple of years, especially as they develop a QB. Arians bombing the ball and being aggresive was fun to watch, but at the end of the day his strategy lost us more games than it won.

  9. By Nick Pepe on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Personally. And the uncertainty is killing me!



  10. By Scott H on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Have already said, since 2018 appears to be a re-set / re-building year, I say keep Stanton here for some sense of stability and a solid veteran presence, and draft a QB you feel is capable of being our future. Assuming that kid is not going to be ready to roll right off the bat, let Stanton hold down the fort.

    And, BTW, I really do believe Stanton would be a good mentor and teacher for a young QB

    That may seem a simple approach, but….with no QB even under contract as we speak, what else are we gonna do? There’s not always gonna be a Kurt Warner or a Carson Palmer ready to step in and save us. At some point, this organization has to be able to get it right with a QB in the draft and grow the team around that guy. If not now, when?

  11. By D on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    A Shurmur and Fangio coaching pair wouldn’t be bad if they end of replacing BA, especially if Shurmur can bring either Keenum or Bradford here as a bridge QB. I was wanting D. Brees to get to this SB, now I have another reason for the Saints to win and continue on, because I wouldn’t want Mr. B and Keim having to wait more weeks on Shurmur if the Vikings continue to win.
    SF had plenty of talent when Fangio coached that very good Defense in 2011-14, similar to what AZ has now (if Golden comes back healthy and Reddick can flourish at the ILB spot ) AZ D would stay a 3-4 and continue to be aggressive. I believe A. Bethea played one year under Fangio and could be an asset for others.

  12. By clssylssy on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    While it looks like Matt Patricia will likely go to the Giants, Shamur seems to be the front runner here & is now rumored to be taking his DC with him which could also sweeten the deal, looking at the way the Vikings have played this year.
    This almost seems to good to pass up but I have to wonder how strong a HC he would be as there are many knowledgeable coordinators who don’t really translate to HCs ( Coach Whiz , Todd Haley, etc) bc they are more about the X’s & O’s, their players, & getting wins than entertaining the fans & media.
    Shumur only lasted about five minutes in his only other HC position with the Browns which leaves me to wonder if he has a strong enough personality to not be a “yes” man for SK.
    Looking at Shumur’s resume, his strength has definitely been in the development of players, which is something the Cards have never had & might be the miracle we need to make this team relevant again.
    Very interesting situation with, it appears, possibly Steve Wills still in the running for a possible second interview.

  13. By joe holst on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    they already have 6.5 million in ‘dead” money devoted to the position so they will have to go cheap if they are smart about it. I would look at Drew Stanton and draft a QB in the 2nd or 3rd round.

  14. By mitchaz on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Word is the Pat Shurmur is the Cardinals’ leading candidate, followed by Steve Wilks and Mike Munchak.

    Per the NY Post, the Giants’ 3 finalists are Shurmur, Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels.

    Let’s pause right here—if the Giants make an offer to Shurmur, chances are, he will coach the Giants. Let’s face it—the Giants have QB Eli Manning, the #2 pick in the draft (likely Darnold or Rosen), one of the top trios of WRs in the NFL (Beckham, Marshall and Shepard), a potential maverick at TE (Evan Engram) and a star-studded defense (DE Pierre-Paul, DE Vernon Olivier, DT Snacks Harrison, CB Janoris Jenkins, CB DRC, CB Eli Apple and Pro Bowl S Landon Collins).

    It is also possible that Shurmur could convince the Giants tho move on from Eli Manning so that he could bring Case K, Teddy B or Sam B with him while he grooms Darnold or Rosen. The Giants are on the cusp of moving on from Manning anyway.

    The aspects that might dissuade Shurmur from coaching the Giants—the pressure cooker which is New York—and inserting a team chock-full of divas and malcontents. Plus, the fans seem to be adamant about holding on to Eli Manning—and, in light of Manning’s struggles over the past few years—Shurmur might prefer a fresh start in Arizona.

    The Cardinals’ #2 favorite is Steve Wilks. Curiously, despite the owners in attendance during his early week meeting with the Giants, and with their new GM Dave Getelman (who knows Wilks as well as anyone) presiding, Wilks didn’t make the Giants’ short list. Furthermore, Wilks’ scheduled meeting with the Colts was cancelled. Some are saying that the Colts realized they strictly want an offensive minded HC, while others are saying that Wilks cancelled the meeting.

    Regardless, right now it looks like only one team, the Cardinals, have Wilks on their short list. Reports are that Wilks may have John DeFilippo lined up as his OC, which certainly makes a Wilks/JDF package very appealing. However, let’s pause here for a minute—if the report that JDF is atop the Seahawks’ OC list is accurate, why would JDF choose the Cardinals over the Seahawks?

    While Michael Bidwill has a good spin regarding the Cardinals’ QB situation (with no one signed the HC and OC could have a hand in which QB they want), as the saying goes “a bird in hand is better than two in the bush”, and that bird happens to be Russell Wilson. Ff you have HC aspirations the way JDF does, you take the bird in hard, especially that stunning osprey.

    If JDF signs with the Seahawks, where does that leave Wilks? Can he attract Mike Shula? How about Darell Bevell? Apparently, Wilks mentioned Mike McCoy as a possibility.

    i would prefer Mike Shula over Bevell and McCoy. Although i would rate them 1A. Shula, 1B Bevell. 3. McCoy. Shula’s offenses are very balanced—he calls a good mix of runs and play action passes. Bevell is more difficult to assess because the Seahawks’ best plays were often off of RW scrambles and read options.

    Interestingly, Mike McCoy reportedly has interest from the Bills to be their new OC, now that they have let Rick Dennison go.

    Number 3 on the Cardinals’ reported list is Mike Munchak, the mystery candidate—in that there has been no word or speculation (at least from what I am aware of) of whom he would bring with him as OC and DC. Not sure how fond he is of the Steelers’ OC Todd Haley, but after Haley’s freakish bar mugging incident and a season in which the Steelers coaches appointed an intermediary to stand between Haley and Big Ben on the sidelines during games 9to mitigate tensions), chances are Haley will be out as the Steelers’ OC. A Munchak/Haley offensive combination is intriguing. Who then would be the DC?

    According to reports, the Bears are showing interest in James Bettcher, as they anticipate Vic Fangio might wish to go with Pat Shurmur wherever Shurmur signs.

    Speaking of Fangio, it’s actually quite a compliment to Shurmur that Fangio wants to hook up with him. Of course, in the NFC Central, Fangio had to lock horns with Shurmur 3 times over the past two years. Fangio won over Norv Turner’s (OC) Vikings 20-10 in October of 2016, but after Shurmur was named the OC after Turner’s hasty resignation during the 2016 season, Shurmur has won all three encounters with Fangio by scores of 38-10, 20-17 and 23-10.

    At this point, the Giants, Lions, Colts and Cardinals are waiting for the playoff games this weekend to see which apples are shaken from the tree. By current rules, the Cardinals can meet next week with any of HC candidates they have already interviewed, even if the coaches are still in the playoffs.

    If you, like I and others, are hoping the Cardinals can sign Pat Shurmur with Vic Fangio as the DC, we have to hope the Giants go with Patricia or McDaniels and that the Lions are still focused on a defensive minded head coach with old Patriots’ ties, either Patricia or Mike Vrabel.

    If it came down to the Colts and the Cardinals, it’s possible that Shurmur would rather work for Michael Bidwill and not Jim Irsay, especially in light of the uncertainty of Andrew Luck’s future.

  15. By JTDG on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply


    The 49ers have 120 million in cap space for 2018.

    Jimmy G will get 18-22 million a season, which barely puts a dent in their number.
    They have a couple free agents in Eric Reid and Carlos Hyde they may want to resign, but truthfully, they are in an amazing position.

    So, to have 100 million after you sign your QB, there is no one they couldn’t get.
    CBs Trumaine Johnson and Malcolm Butler, TE Jimmy Graham, NT Dontaire Poe, Wrs Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins, Maybe even Lev Bell if the Steelers let him test the market.

    With Jimmy G in place, winning the last 5-6 games, and 100 million to spend, the Niners and John Lynch are in an amazing spot.

    Remember folks (and you too Darren) when we argued before last year that John Lynch would turn this team around? Still want to argue?

  16. By JTDG on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Lifetime Fan,

    “Arians bombing the ball and being aggresive was fun to watch, but at the end of the day his strategy lost us more games than it won.”

    OK, I am not going to sit here and defend BA and his game planning. Whether you liked it or not is just personnel opinion.

    But to say his philosophy cost us to lose more than we won? Did you see the record the cards had under BA? Even in 2017, he broke even.

    I get that some want a more traditional approach with a run first, play defense type of game plan. I even get that one might say BA’s approach would never win a super bowl (which I would argue, look at 2008 superbowl). But I get it.

    But he won games. He won a lot of them.

  17. By Scott H on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Bridgewater, Bradford, Smith…..I don’t want any of them.

    Keenum? How can ya really be sold on him? I can’t discount the year he is having this year, but…..keep in mind, that has been with a pretty solid team around him, maybe the best defense in the NFL. He isn’t gonna have all that here. And who knows who the coaching staff is going to be?

    I probably would have been willing to go with Jimmy G, but he’s off the table.

  18. By Steve on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Reading on multiple sites that Shurmer is the favorite to land the Cardinals HC job. I have heard that wherever Shurmer goes, he will bring Bears DC Vic Fangio with him so if we get them both l guess Betcher goes to Chicago according to Mike Jurecki.

  19. By Steve on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Darren: Any chance you and Kyle and Paul can do a future video on potential QB’s the Catds could be targeting in both free agency and the draft?

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: video

    We will likely do something like that.

  21. By Scott H on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    RE: The Giants have Manning….

    Um…did you watch Eli play this year??? I can’t imagine anyone being real excited about having Eli as their QB for 2018. I say there is NO WAY Eli is back in NY with a new new GM and a whole new coaching staff rolling in there. That new regime isi NOT going to want to be saddled with a shot out Eli Manning. They’re going to want to move on with some exciting new blood.

    Seriously, Eli looks like he is DONE.

    Someone at work suggested to me a few weeks ago that the Cardinals should get Eli Manning for their next QB. And I wanted to punch him right in the face!

  22. By Richard S on Jan 12, 2018 | Reply

    I wonder if Larry will have to learn a whole new system with all new routes or if the playbook stays the same and is slowly modified by the new coach. I guess the current playbook belongs to the team, not Coach Arians.

  23. By Dan Nicholson on Jan 13, 2018 | Reply

    Here’s to hoping the Cards can get Alex Smith. He is accurate. Very mobile and hard to sack and a proven winner. Pretty sure cards will draft a QB also. Bradford is good , just is injury prone and availability is a big ? Kurt Warner was really high on Bridgewater, said at the time was way more accurate than others coming out in that draft.Keenum we will really find out about with playoffs now. Thanks Darren for all you do each season, greatly appreciated.

  24. By Dan Nicholson on Jan 13, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG. RE : salary cap: wish cards had 120 million….. Have you heard what cap numbers are with Carson retiring, such as dead money , cap gained with his retiring?

  25. By JTDG on Jan 13, 2018 | Reply

    Dan Nicholson,

    The cards have 28 million at the moment in cap space for 2018. (this includes Carson’s savings)

    The retirement of Carson saved the team 14 million in cap space and has given the team dead money of 6.625 million. He will have no dead money in 2019 and will be off the books.

    Some probable cuts to create cap space;

    1. Adrian Peterson – 3.5 million with no dead money. With DJ back, seems like a no brainer.

    2. Mike Iupati – He has a cap hit of 9.7 million, which isn’t bad for a top guard. But he hasn’t played well (or injured) since 2015. His dead money is 3.4 million. That would free up 6.3 million in cap space.

    3. Jared Veldheer – He has a cap hit of 10.1 million. Unfortunately, his move to the right side was not good and he has ended the year on IR the last two years. He has dead money of 3.25. Which gives cap relief of 7 million if released. With Will Holden and John Wetzel at RT, I don’t see the need to keep him.

    Then comes the more complicated ones;

    1. Tyrann Mathieu – He has a cap hit of 14.1 million and dead money of 9.3, so his release saves 5 million in cap space, but saves 14 million in 2019. The problem is, he has a 5 million dollar bonus due in march. If he receives it, it will make his 2019 numbers be 14 million cap with 14.2 million in dead money. So, if you keep him for 2018 at 14 million, you need to keep him for 2019 at 14 million and he still will have dead money in 2020 of 3 million. The contract is problematic because if he plays like the last 2 years or gets injured again, or with a new coach, doesn’t have the same role, that is a huge hit to your cap.

    With Iupati, Veldheer, and Mathieu, I get a down year. But for all 3, it has been 2 down years, which signals a trend to me.

    Then there is Larry;

    We all want Larry back. I want to see him get to #2 all time in the record books. I also know we have no other receivers and need him back. But just looking at numbers, Larry’s cap hit is 16.85 million. If he retires, he would have 4.85 in dead money and free up 12 million in cap space. Of course, that is one person who I will eat the cap hit with.

    So, if all these things happen above, the cards would have 61 million to play with. I would do the first 4 and hope Larry returns and hit FA with 49 million in cap space.

  26. By clssylssy on Jan 13, 2018 | Reply

    I’ve heard that Bradford is going to play against the Saints, although he’s not played since week 5, and Keenum may end up taking over. Nonetheless, I think that speaks to how much faith the Vikings have in him. Both of these guys have come light years since playing for Fisher and the Rams and I wouldn’t mind either one as a bridge or interim QB, although I like Stanton as my first choice mainly bc I know he is both very tough and very smart,is well liked by the players and knows the lay of the land. Depending on the HC hire, I think Stanton would also be an enticement if Larry is on the fence (although not the major factor).
    I now see the Cards are pursuing the Patriots linebbacker coach, DeFillipo is going to the Seahawks in a lateral move, Fangio staying w the Bears, & Shurmur
    also to the Hawks as a QB coach?? So much anxiety provoking speculation that will continue until after the playoffs which ironically make the playoffs and SB rather anticlimatic😦
    I’m not impressed with this draft class other than Darnold (who I don’t see even as an immediate starter) but I’m sure Keim will draft somebody “just because” &
    Shurmur was our best hope for developing our QBs & offense in general.

  27. By Big Ken on Jan 14, 2018 | Reply

    With Mathieu playing all those snaps last season I don’t see the Cardinals cutting him. Ideally he would restructure his deal, but I guess we would be back living in that perfect world.

  28. By Dan Nicholson on Jan 14, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks JTDG. That was very informative

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