It’s no secret that the Arizona Cardinals have struggled to replace Kurt Warner, who retired in January 2010.
Be it Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley or Brian Hoyer, no one seemed capable of coming in playing well enough to keep the job for a while.
It was hoped that veteran Carson Palmer, whom the Cardinals acquired from the Oakland Raiders, would buck the trend, but through seven games the veteran has completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,741 yards with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Whether or not blame falls entirely on Palmer or not, there is no denying the 33-year-old was likely not meant to be a long-term answer at the position, anyway.
So, as the Cardinals continue through Bruce Arians’ first season with the team, it is apparent their search for a quarterback is not close to being over.
In fact, in an ESPN Insider piece, NFL blogger Mike Sando lists the Cardinals as a team who could target a new QB because they have reason to move on from a veteran starter with a solid pedigree.
Last season, the Cardinals had one touchdown pass with 13 interceptions over their final six games. Palmer has provided an upgrade from that level of play, but that isn’t saying much. The Cardinals’ QBR score through seven games this season (32.4) closely resembles their QBR score through seven games last season (31.5). The difference is that Arizona has seven additional interceptions and 15 fewer sacks. Even if the Cardinals give the 33-year-old Palmer another year, they cannot bet on him for the long term. Stanton was with coach Bruce Arians in Indianapolis, so he could factor. Arians prefers big, tall quarterbacks with strong arms. (He’s even made admiring comments regarding Freeman, for example.) The Cardinals will not target a smaller, more mobile quarterback as long as Arians is involved in the decision making. LSU’s Zach Mettenberger fits the Arians profile as a big, strong pocket passer. He’s drawn comparisons to a player Arians coached previously, Ben Roethlisberger.
Mettenberger is just one of many quarterbacks who figure to be available in the 2014 draft, meaning the Cardinals will have no shortage of options if they look to address the position next April.
Arians also has a reputation for working with young passers, as he helped mentor Peyton Manning, Ben Roethliberger and Andrew Luck, so it would not exactly be a surprise if he looks for his next protégé when the Cardinals are on the clock.