Arizona Cardinals Free Agency Preview: Quarterbacks


The Arizona Cardinals are in a good position for 2014 at the quarterback position. Carson Palmer is scheduled to be the starter for next season. Despite problems with interceptions early last season, Palmer was still able to rack up more than 4,000 yards through the air. Having Larry Fitzgerald restructure his contract to open up cap space will also help Palmer try to maintain that level of play in 2014.

The other reason is that the Cardinals have little depth behind Palmer. Drew Stanton hasn”t thrown a pass in the NFL in three seasons. Ryan Lindley has thrown passes in the league in the last three years but is still looking for his first career touchdown pass in the regular season.

The Cardinals could consider looking to the free agent class at the position. We published our list earlier today and you can see it’s a very thin list.

When you consider that Josh Freeman is the top of the list, the drop off is steep and sharp. Freeman didn’t do much in Tampa Bay before getting unceremoniously dumped mid-season. He latched on in Minnesota and played an awful game against the New York Giants and didn’t see the field again. Freeman had a couple of good seasons with the Buccaneers but free agency is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately proposition. Freeman hasn’t done much more than wear a hat and hold a clipboard.

The rest of the list is uninspiring.

Michael Vick is old, slowing down and injury-prone. Matt Cassel is still trying to ride the coattails of his one good season in New England when Tom Brady was hurt in the first game of the year. Rex Grossman doesn’t seem to be anything to write home about. He made it to a Super Bowl with the Bears but he was more of a game manager than a quarterback.

Chad Henne is the most interesting proposition on the list. He played moderately well when he got the call the last two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He helped rally the team after an 0-8 start. The hitch on Henne is Blaine Gabbert. The Jags have been waiting for years to have Gabbert come around and take the reins as a franchise quarterback. They’re still waiting and have to keep Henne for when Gabbert inevitably gets hurt by Week 6 each season.

When you see how collectively awful this group is, Carson Palmer suddenly looks really sharp. Grabbing one of these players might help the Cardinals get a reliable backup since Stanton is an unknown quantity. They could also be signed for less than the $2.66 million Stanton is scheduled to count against the salary cap this upcoming season.

Given all of the other needs the Cardinals have, this is one position where Arizona should stand pat.


Check out our analysis of the position here.

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