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ESPN rates the Cardinals’ chances of landing each QB

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) steps back to pass during the first half an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Landover, Md., Sunday, Dec 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
LISTEN: Mike Sando, ESPN NFL Insider

The NFL’s quarterback carousel is a domino effect, only if there are multiple tracks of dominoes crisscrossing one another with no knowing which would fall first.

There are free agents, trade candidates, buyout candidates and draftees on the board. For the Arizona Cardinals, tapping into a combination of those options to fill out their quarterback stable is probable.

ESPN’s Mike Sando isn’t going to predict where each quarterback lands, but he did take a look at potential signal-callers on the board by how likely each was to end up on every quarterback-needy NFL team.

Here’s a look at how he ranked them in regard to landing in the desert.

Plausible

Kirk Cousins (FA): The Washington Redskins have moved on to Alex Smith as their quarterback. Arizona would need to open up cap space to sign Cousins, and while that’s not out of the question, doing so would strap the Cardinals’ ability to solidify other holes on the roster — like that offensive line that would need to protect any quarterback.

Nick Foles (Trade): The Super Bowl MVP might not be expendable until the Philadelphia Eagles know when their quarterback of the future, Carson Wentz, can return from his ACL injury. The price to acquire Foles right now, when the Cardinals need a quarterback, is as high as it will ever be.

Lamar Jackson (Draft): Everyone is jumping on ESPN’s Bill Polian — among others — who are calling for Louisville’s 2016 Heisman winner to change positions. The concerns over his accuracy, however, at worst will only be enough to drop him out of the first round. He probably won’t slide too far after that.

Case Keenum (FA): A reasonably-priced, experienced-enough quarterback to play next season, Keenum could be a bridge option after leading the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.

Baker Mayfield (Draft): The Oklahoma product’s height and a few behavioral issues might be red flags. He doesn’t have all the prototypical tools, but that might mean he is available in the draft when the Cardinals select 15th overall.

A.J. McCarron (FA): The former Bengals backup doesn’t have much of an NFL resume. If other teams aren’t extremely needy, maybe the price tag isn’t so high.

Dream on

Drew Brees (FA)

Long shot

Josh Allen (Wyoming, draft)

Blake Bortles (Jaguars, cap casualty)

Sam Bradford (Vikings, FA)

Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings, FA)

Andy Dalton (Bengals, trade)

Sam Darnold (USC, draft)

Colin Kaepernick (FA)

Eli Manning (Giants, cap casualty)

Josh McCown (Jets, FA)

Josh Rosen (UCLA, draft)

Tyrod Taylor (Bills, cap casualty)

Bickley & Marotta

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