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ESPN: Cardinals among landing spots for QB Kirk Cousins next year

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Until the Arizona Cardinals find a potential replacement for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer, these things will continue coming up.

Like ESPN did leading into Tony Romo’s eventual departure from the Cowboys a year ago, the network is looking ahead to another big-name quarterback’s next landing spot.

This week, the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins couldn’t come to an agreement upon a long-term contract, making the signal-caller a free agent following the 2017 season. Which teams might be interested in signing Cousins next offseason?

ESPN’s Dan Graziano listed the Cardinals among 10 potential landing spots for Cousins.

If Carson Palmer retires after the season, Arizona’s 2018 cap space will be in the mid-$40 million range and the team will have a clear need. The landscape here is difficult to predict, because coach Bruce Arians’ future is uncertain as well. But the Cardinals didn’t draft a quarterback and could be in the market.

Despite a trio of health scares spanning the preseason through the end of the regular season, Arians, who is currently making the rounds on a book tour, has said he feels great. Nonetheless, his future has been intertwined with Palmer’s since both arrived in 2013.

For the quarterback, much has to do with how he performs — and how he physically feels — throughout 2017 after a relative down season in 2016 followed up an MVP-worthy 2015.

Should Palmer retire, it’s likely Arizona fills its quarterback hole with a draftee or free agent; unless backups Drew Stanton or Blaine Gabbert can prove themselves to the coaching staff this season.

And if a post-Palmer Arizona team hopes to continue fighting for a playoff spot, the 28-year-old Cousins might be the most high-profile addition available.

That’s just another ‘if’ to dictate the Cardinals’ decision-making regarding their quarterback situation over the next year.

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