Free Agent Preview: Cardinals Quarterback Needs


The Arizona Cardinals will head into free agency a month from now and quarterback will be a position that will get some short-lived looks.

Carson Palmer looks to be entrenched as the starter heading into next season with Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley backing him up. Palmer started all 16 games for Arizona and threw for more than 4,000 yards in a season for the fourth time in his career. He had problems early on with interceptions but he overcame them in a stronger second-half performance. He’s also set to make $11 million next season so it would be difficult to justify that contract for someone sitting on the bench.

So why would the Cardinals look at quarterbacks in free agency?

The answer is simple: proven depth at a bargain price.

Stanton is set to make $2.66 million this season and has done nothing with Arizona. Or Indianapolis. Or anyone since he last threw a pass with Detroit in 2010. He’s thrown 187 passes in his career which is going to enter its seventh season this fall. Stanton seems to be more of a disaster quarterback that’s kept on the roster if the worst should happen. Given his price tag, the Cardinals should hopefully be able to find someone else who can fill the role for less. There would be virtually no confidence in Stanton should he need to take the field due to his lack of action.

Lindley has seen the field more recently than Stanton but could be an even worse option. He’s thrown 171 passes in two seasons for 752 yards with zero touchdowns, seven interceptions and lost three fumbles. Lindley has a career quarterback rating of 46.7 which is awful. By comparison, if you throw one pass and it falls incomplete, your rating would be 39.6 on the same scale.

The question remains who would want to come to Arizona and take less than $2 million to stand around and hope Carson Palmer doesn’t get hurt? Ideally, that list should be long but which of them could potentially step in and take the reins in this brutally tough division?

There hasn’t been any ripple of a word on if the Cardinals will stand pat at this position or if they will try to upgrade. It safe to say that Arizona’s hopes in 2014 rest on the health of Palmer.

All it takes is one awkward hit and the season could take a sharp nosedive.


Check out our thoughts as to who the Cardinals should keep or cut at this position.

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