So many assumed the Cardinals would have a quarterback in place by today, the day trades could first happen (starting at 7 a.m. Arizona time) and the day players started to trickle back to the facility. Not gonna happen.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he does not expect any news today, and that the Cardinals are working on a number of different fronts in terms of a quarterback. That can’t be a surprise; you can’t put all the eggs in one basket in case it doesn’t happen. Various reports today link the Cards not only considering Kevin Kolb but Kyle Orton and Matt Hasselbeck. Granted, at this point agents are going to leak all kinds of things like that to puff up interest (and contracts) for their players.
Whisenhunt even commented on the various lockout reports that went on, each indirectly or directly putting quarterbacks like Marc Bulger, Kolb and Orton in a Cards’ uniform once the lockout ended. “At 7 a.m., all those deals vanished,” Whisenhunt said. (Whisenhunt, by the way, was careful never to name any quarterback in particular throughout his entire press conference.) Someone like Kolb would need a contract extension, and the prices for Kolb and Orton in a trade would obviously be different. Bulger and Hasselbeck, on the other hand, are free agents.
“We are looking at a number of different options,” Whisenhunt said. “I don’t know when we will get any kind of news on anything. … It’s not, you call up, ‘Hey we got a deal’ and it’s done. You have to negotiate and talk about different scenarios, then you have to go back and discuss it and then call you back. And other teams are in the mix. It’s a process.”
In the meantime, the quarterbacks still on the roster were throwing today — John Skelton, Rich Bartel and Max Hall (Derek Anderson, who is expected to be released once players can Thursday, was not here).
Tags: Derek Anderson, free agency, John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton, Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, Max Hall, Rich Bartel
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While everyone waits for the league year to start — and, at its root, waits for the Cardinals to have a chance to figure out its quarterback situation — the possibilities remain open speculation. Suddenly, it begins to feel very familiar.
In fact, as I read about how NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi felt about Kevin Kolb during a Sports 620 KTAR interview this morning, and how Kolb has generated a range of believers and non-believers when it comes to his abilities and what it could mean to the Cardinals if there indeed was a trade here, it felt very deja vu. Is Kolb the right guy? What’s he worth in a trade? Is what the Eagles want and what the Cards (assuming they’d want Kolb) are willing to give up at least in the same ballpark? Hard to know, given Kolb’s relatively short career and seven NFL starts.
This is about more than Kolb, though. So many questions are flying around about Marc Bulger too, and he’s got a much longer resume. And Donovan McNabb and Kyle Orton and even Carson Palmer. I realized it reminded me so much of the ramp-up before a draft when it comes to quarterbacks. Obviously, the veterans have played in the league, but this feels a lot like how Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett, etc., were deconstructed over and over. Such as Sam Bradford last year.
It’s the position, of course. It’s the position and the importance it carries and, this offseason, its the days of dead time that allows for possible paralysis by analysis. The trade market for a player like Kolb doesn’t hurt either; unlike the draft, there is someone on the other side of the equation (the Eagles, in this case) hoping Kolb’s value is driven up during all these discussions.
Like the draft, however, it’ll be impossible to know what any of these quarterbacks could really do in a different situation until they get to a new place. Until someone gets here to Arizona. The naysayers could be right about Kolb, for instance. But like the draft, that’s why a team has scouts. They scout veteran players too. You have to assume, whichever player the Cards chase, they believe he will be successful. Why else get him?
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton, Marc Bulger, Ryan Mallett, Sam Bradford
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Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner appeared on The Dan Patrick Show today and the NFL Network analyst was talking, not surprisingly, about quarterbacks. He spoke about Cam Newton (he’d start him right away in Carolina given the Panthers’ QB situation, although he thinks it is better for a rookie to sit) and then was asked about the QB situation here in Arizona.
Warner said he talked to coach Ken Whisenhunt recently and Whiz asked him his opinion on some possible available QBs. Marc Bulger was one, Donovan McNabb was not (shocker!). Then Patrick asked Warner, out of Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer, McNabb and Bulger, who would Warner’s pick be for the Cardinals.
Warner said it would be Palmer (who, again, comes with the caveat that he would have to be acquired in a trade and the Bengals have said they will not trade him). Palmer still is playing at a high level, Warner said, and thought that Palmer fits Whisenhunt’s style of offense perfectly. It’s an interesting take, especially since the draft weekend rumors seemed to make Palmer’s destination Seattle if Palmer was indeed moved.
But until the labor situation is cleared up and the Cards can actually get their hands on a veteran QB, this is the kind of stuff we will be speculating about.
Tags: Bengals, Carson Palmer, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Kurt Warner, Marc Bulger, Seahawks
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We can say there is nothing going on NFL-wise right now as the labor issues remain unsolved, but the speculation hasn’t stopped, especially when it comes to the most important position on the field. And since the Cards are searching for a quarterback, it’s not a surprise that when SI’s Peter King weighs in on the various possible veteran quarterback moves around the league, the Cards are part of the discussion.
King notes that a team is already willing to pony up a first-round pick for Kevin Kolb but that the Eagles are hoping to get a higher first-rounder. As my cohorts Matt Maiocco and Kent Somers have already tweeted this morning, it means it can’t be the 49ers or Cards making that offer. No way Andy Reid thinks he is getting better than seventh or fifth in the draft. Besides, I don’t think there is any way either of those teams parts with that high of a pick for Kolb. Does that rule out the Cards? No. Maybe the right package of picks would be of more interest to Philly. And who knows? The team that is offering that first-rounder is unknown for now — maybe it’s just Philly saying such things to spark a market.
(A market, of course, that is only talk until there is a new CBA since no player trades can be made.)
King also talks about Marc Bulger in Arizona, a notion that is anything but new. Kurt Warner did an interview with Chuck and Vince on KDUS (1060 AM) late last week and said he thinks his former teammate still has something left to give despite not playing very well since 2006. “The thing I look at, putting guys in certain systems and how does it fit their skill set,” Warner said. “If the Cardinals want to do what we did when I was there, I think Marc fits the bill extremely well.” Warner also said the Bengals QB Carson Palmer fits.
(By the way, it was asked of me this morning about King mentioning Max Hall today in his Bulger note. King wrote “coach Ken Whisenhunt … has not totally given up hope on Max Hall.” King doesn’t mention Skelton.While I think it’s fair to say Whisenhunt “has not totally given up hope” in regards to Hall, I do think it gives the impression Hall remains ahead of Skelton in the pecking order. I do not think that is the case.)
I don’t know what it will take for Palmer to be acquired, if the Bengals even are willing to trade him and not force him to make a retirement decision. And the idea of Kyle Orton isn’t absent either, although again, until we have a better idea of when this can all happen, we won’t get a true idea of if any of these things can happen.
Tags: Carson Palmer, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Kurt Warner, Kyle Orton, Marc Bulger, Max Hall
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Two reports over the last 24 hours regarding the Cards’ search for another quarterback caught the eye, for different reasons.
First came the ESPN report that the team asked Larry Fitzgerald’s opinion about the QB situation. It happened. Am I surprised? No. Even though Fitzgerald said himself he wasn’t comfortable in that position, it makes sense. The Cardinals, if you recall, got input from a handful of key players when they were undergoing the coaching search that eventually ended with Ken Whisenhunt being hired. This doesn’t seem any different. (And it’s not like Fitzgerald is going way out of the box by mentioning Kevin Kolb potentially and also Marc Bulger. I think the Cards were always going to investigate Kolb — assuming he can be traded for at some point — and Bulger has long been high on the potential list.)
I was a little more interested at the comment by Peter King this morning, writing “I think I would be very surprised if the Arizona Cardinals didn’t take a quarterback with the fifth pick.” I would never rule out the Cards taking a QB, not this early in the process. But to declare it probable? No way. Not with so much uncertainty around the QBs that will be available. Could they wow scouts by the time the draft rolls around? Sure. Maybe there will be a guy who is worth it. There’s no way you draft a QB just to draft a QB unless you feel good about him, however; as the Cards are finding out after the Leinart pick in 2006, taking a QB high means you are committing to that guy as your future — and if you miss, it puts you in a bad position.
Unless the Cards trade for Kolb, I expect them to draft a QB and sign a veteran.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Marc Bulger
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I made it all the way to January 12.
Obviously, quarterback is going to be a hot topic, probably all offseason. This isn’t the last time I am going to address it on the blog. But it will be the entry I link back to – over and over – whenever someone asks me about one of the popular names floating out there, whether it is a current NFL player or a potential draftee.
So expect to see the URL often in the blog comment section.
I don’t know who is going to play quarterback for the Cardinals in 2011. I don’t know who is going to be on the roster. I don’t think they know right now, and they can’t. The draft isn’t until late-April, and the nitty-gritty talks about who will be available and where they rank on the draft board have yet to occur. Free agency is a little less than two months off, and that’s only if there is no work stoppage. If there is a work stoppage, no free agents can sign anywhere until it is resolved. The same will go for trades involving players.
Those are some of the many reasons I have tried to hold out on talking about potential QBs. I didn’t last very long. So here goes, with the understanding of my limited knowledge of the college guys relegated to watching them on TV here and there:
Kevin Kolb: Might as well start here. If Kolb doesn’t get to start in Philly, he wants to start somewhere else. Ears all over Arizona perked up. But then Andy Reid talked about keeping both Kolb and Michael Vick, and reality sets in. Let’s say the Cards want Kolb (and I don’t know if they do). Forget about working out a trade for a moment. Why would the Eagles deal Kolb? He is under contract for relative peanuts in 2011 ($1.4M) and for now, Michael Vick isn’t under contract at all. Vick might be franchised, or there might not be any tag. Plus Vick got beat up by the end of the season. The Eagles need a backup. Lot of hoops to be jumped before you could ever see Kolb out West (or anywhere besides Philly).
Donovan McNabb: Ahh, my favorite subject. First, he has to be released. If it happens before the lockout, I believe he can be signed. But will that happen? Regardless, I don’t see it here. McNabb will have been let loose by two different teams. His play was less than consistent this year (and yes, I know some people don’t think he had enough weapons). There are questions about his fitness (the Washington stuff earlier this season wasn’t out of the blue), his accuracy and his age. Plus, he’s spent almost his entire career in a West Coast offense that doesn’t exactly mirror the Cards’ offense. I just don’t see it.
Marc Bulger (pictured below): He was a candidate this last offseason and is expected to be one again. He followed Kurt Warner once before. He’ll be available and he’s experienced. These are the plusses. He also hasn’t had a good season since 2006, struggling with less talent in St. Louis and declining skills.
Matt Hasselbeck: Why would the Seahawks let him go now? Or might he have made himself that valuable where they can’t keep him?
Kyle Orton: Has probably proven himself better than many expected. But the reports are the Broncos want a second-round pick for him. I don’t see the Cards doing that, unless they see Orton as a long-term solution (with, for example, Skelton as a backup for now). Would the Cards negotiate a lower pick? I could see that. Again, however, it’s a trade, so until there is a new CBA, Orton is a Bronco and in limbo.
Vince Young: Has skills and has been a winner. Also has reputation for not working hard enough at his craft and has proven he doesn’t handle adversity well. Not a good combination. I don’t see him as a realistic option.
Cam Newton: Was great this past college season – with the operative word being “college.” He was just OK in the national championship game. He’s not Vick, so you can wipe out most of the running part of his game as it translates to the next level. He’s got a ways to go if he is ever going to be a top-flight NFL QB, and I don’t see – right now – how you spend the No. 5 overall pick on him.
Ryan Mallett/Blaine Gabbert: Again, I need to see how these guys sort themselves out during workouts/combine, etc. But right now, hard to tell. Gabbert seems more highly regarded than Mallett, but things can always change as the draft approaches. There are also teams ahead of the Cards who will be looking at QB. I’ll say this: No one left in the draft is Andrew Luck. And the Cards can’t afford to whiff on the No. 5 overall pick.
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton, Marc Bulger, Matt Hasselbeck, Ryan Mallett, Vince Young
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May means Twitter showers are big news in the NFL, and so are rumors of still-on-the-street veteran quarterbacks. It can be no surprise Marc Bulger was, once again, linked to the Cardinals despite the presence of Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson and rookies John Skelton and Max Hall.
I haven’t been able to get in touch with general manager Rod Graves, but he told NFL.com’s Steve Wyche the team is “not actively engaged in discussion with Marc Bulger” and “right now, we’re not looking outside of our group.”
“If he is interested, we’re appreciative but right now, we’re focused on the guys that we have here,” Graves said. “Matt has done a great job so far but so has Derek Anderson and our young guys. I’ve learned to never say never. Who knows what may happen? (Coach) Ken (Whisenhunt) hasn’t made any final decisions on who will be the starter at quarterback. Right now, we’re not looking outside of our group. That’s not our focus.”
(UPDATE: Graves got back to me via e-mail, echoing the same thoughts. Included was this: “Questions regarding the depth chart or who will be the starter will be answered by Ken.”)
It certainly doesn’t put the Bulger possibility to bed. But just yesterday, Whisenhunt — asked generally about who stood out — without prompting talked about his current quarterbacks. “I thought the quarterbacks threw the ball very well this week,” Whisenhunt said. “That was nice to see.”
It’s not exactly an endorsement for the season, but it is praise — something that, if the Cards were that disappointed with the group, I wouldn’t think Whiz would say. I still think the starter this season is already on the roster, and I still think it’ll end up being Leinart. I do think, if Bulger were to sign, it would basically end any thoughts Leinart would have of being QB here. It would create an awfully awkward situation. And again, it’s May. NFL media is looking to find something to talk about when nothing much is going on (I know I am), and the quarterback situation here lends itself to speculation.
The rumors won’t stop, regardless. Profootballtalk.com just posted an entry “Don’t rule out JaMarcus Russell in Arizona.” Yeah, well, I think I’m going to rule him out right now.
Tags: Derek Anderson, JaMarcus Russell, John Skelton, Marc Bulger, Matt Leinart, Max Hall
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Most of the coaches are off, and most of the players are scarce for a long weekend, so not a whole lot going on.
But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to talk about.
— Perhaps the most stunning news of the day when it comes to this team. According to Darren Rovell, Bodog has released odds on where jettisoned quarterback JaMarcus Russell will land now that the Raiders dumped him. Bodog’s most likely landing spot, at 3-to-1 odds? The Cardinals. To which I say, what?!?!? If the Cardinals aren’t going to chase Marc Bulger, who makes so much more sense considering the circumstances, why the heck would they take a flyer on the overweight, massively underachieving, unmotivated-because-of-all-his-money Russell?
Bodog has Russell being a 10-to-1 shot to go to the CFL. Right now, I think I’d swap the Cards and the CFL’s odds (although the Cards’ odds should be a much longer shot, really. Some NFL team will give Russell a chance. But not the Cards).
–If you haven’t seen it, I’d like to think the story I posted yesterday about coming back from ACL tears is pretty interesting. The stories of tight end Stephen Spach and new draftee O’Brien Schofield are chronicled. When you listen to head athletic trainer Tom Reed, it’s easy to understand why the Cards were willing to take a chance on Schofield and his upside. One of the most telling parts was Schofield’s outlook on 2010: “They would like for me to play this year but they don’t need me to play this year,” he said. “That is what I am considering.” You hear that (and, looking at the Cards’ linebacker situation, see the truth in it) and it’s not hard to envision Schofield taking that “redshirt” year on PUP/IR when it’s all said and done. We’ll see though.
— Bill Williamson, who covers the AFC West for ESPN.com, posted the first round of the 2007 draft just for comparison’s sake after Russell was cut. For the Cards, that was the infamous Levi Brown-before-Adrian Peterson draft, and probably will remain that way. But, just for a second, take a look at the first round without AP in mind. The Cards ended up with Brown, who has been relatively solid and with whom the coaches are happy (Yes, many will argue, but those are the internal facts). Considering many of the picks in the first round, especially the top 10, the Cards actually are one of the teams that came out OK.
Gaines Adams? LaRon Landry? Jamaal Anderson? Ted Ginn? Adam Carriker?
Yes, there are superstars. Peterson. Patrick Willis. Darrelle Revis. But the Cards are in better shape than most. Especially the Raiders.
— The Cardinals are apparently going to be signing undrafted South Dakota State linebacker Chris Johnson, according to Johnson in this Iowa newspaper story.
Tags: Adam Carriker, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Gaines Adams, Jamaal Anderson, JaMarcus Russell, LaRon Landry, Levi Brown, Marc Bulger, O'Brien Schofield, quarterbacks, Stephen Spach, Ted Ginn
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