Arizona Cardinals might be eyeing a trade for QB Alex Smith
Between the retirement of Carson Palmer, and with backups Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Barkley now unrestricted free agents, the Arizona Cardinals’ roster has a major void at the quarterback position.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported the Cardinals have shown interest in trading for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
The #Chiefs are open to trading QB Alex Smith this offseason. Keep an eye on the #Browns & GM John Dorsey and the #AZCardinals, who called about Smith when the #49ers traded him: https://t.co/0rd4hhjGwh
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 6, 2018
Mike Jurecki from The Blitz with B-Train and Jurecki on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station also tweeted about the possibility of Smith becoming the next Cardinals signal caller, despite the league-wide demand.
This makes sense, Smith is going into the last year $17M, it will a cost a draft pick or two?
Browns have 1st and 4th overall pick. (QB-RB) https://t.co/nmOd2Ow7Ki
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) January 6, 2018
Alex Smith has a career completion percentage of 62.4 percent and 183 career passing touchdowns. In the 2017 season, he set a new career high in passing yards with 4,042, while leading the Chiefs to a 10-6 record and an AFC West title.
Smith, 33, has one year left on his contract, but what makes him an intriguing trade candidate is his back up, Patrick Mahomes. Last year’s 10th overall pick in the draft, Mahomes has been waiting for his opportunity to start despite the success of Smith. The Chiefs may want to get what they can from the veteran Smith mimicking what the Patriots did with Jimmy Garappolo.
Whether it be through the draft, free agency or trade, Cardinals GM Steve Keim will have to address the situation at some point.
At the 15th spot in the draft, the Cardinals have been linked to four prospects including Wyoming’s Josh Allen, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. One name not on that list is Washington State’s Luke Falk who many in the Valley would be familiar with from playing in the Pac-12.
NFL Insider John Clayton, however, is expecting the Cardinals to address the position in free agency.
Kirk Cousins, Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, Drew Brees, Josh McCown and Case Keenum are some of the top quarterbacks on the list of available candidate. However, Brees is expected to stay with New Orleans and the Vikings are expected to retain at least one, if not all three of their free agent quarterbacks.
Alex Smith is not the only name being floated in the NFL rumor mill. Eli Manning of the Giants and Andy Dalton and A.J. McCarron of the Bengals have all been recently discussed as possible trade bait.
Even though the Cardinals have no quarterback on the roster at the moment, there is no shortage of candidates.
The competition to sign a top quarterback, however, might be stiff. The Broncos, Browns, Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Bengals and Redskins have all been identified as teams with a potential need at QB. All seven of those teams are ahead of the Cardinals in the 2018 draft order. Not to mention teams like the Ravens, Bills and Jaguars who may have interest in some of the names listed above.
The choice of a quarterback might be significantly impacted by the selection of a new head coach. If Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is chosen, the likelihood of Bridgewater, Bradford or Keenum rises significantly. If Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo is hired, the Cardinals could turn their attention to the draft instead of free agency.