Finding their Manning? Two years later, Cardinals still need a QB

Jan 30, 2012, 6:50 PM | Updated: 7:19 pm

The email came Sunday afternoon.

“Kurt Warner retired two years ago today (January 29,
2010); and the Cardinals enter their third straight off-
season still looking for his replacement,” wrote Craig
Grialou, a reporter here at Arizona Sports.

Thanks for the reminder, Gri.

With Peyton Manning rumors flying around like errant Derek
Anderson passes, the Cardinals are certainly not settled
at the most important position in sports. Even if Manning
does not come to the Valley, there’s a chance John Skelton
will unseat Kevin Kolb in training camp, thus becoming the
team’s third Week 1 starter in three seasons.

That’s what could happen. Of course, it may not,
and Kolb may enter the season with a firm grasp on the
starting QB job, ready to lead the Cardinals back to the

But does anyone, right now, really believe he can? Does
anyone, right now, really believe he will? According to a
story by’s Craig Morgan,
there’s a chance Kolb’s health may ultimately prevent him
from being the QB Arizona needs.

Which, in turn, would bring the franchise back to the same
place it was that Friday afternoon, when Warner announced
he was ending an illustrious 12-year career.

Back then, though, the future at QB seemed clear. Matt
Leinart, the prized first-round pick who had lost the
starting job before the 2008 season, would take all he’d
learned the last couple seasons and become the team’s QB
of the present and future.

Yeah, not quite. As we all know Leinart was unimpressive
in training camp before being released, and the
aforementioned Anderson got the job. While he took the
game seriously, he wasn’t any good. Neither was undrafted
rookie Max Hall (imagine that), and while fellow rookie
John Skelton showed promise, he was anything but a sure
thing. So, the team went out and got Kolb.

Unfortunately the new QB – while better than the players
he replaced – wasn’t particularly impressive, as him
signing a big contract was about the only thing he did
last season that would make someone think “starting QB.”

So, two years later the Cardinals are in the same place as
they were when No. 13 called it quits, with a big-money-
yet-unproven QB the presumed starter but really no
certainty at the position.

And that’s why the Cardinals are being linked to Manning,
should the future Hall of Famer be released by the Colts,
especially since the team would appear to have much to
offer the 35-year-old.

Sure, parting with Kolb so soon after acquiring him would
not be great for the wallets, and there are some who think
the Cardinals may be reluctant to dump the QB after
investing so much in him and getting so little in return.

But would the team really pass on a player who can
actually pass just that just so they could see if the guy
they traded for might be the answer? Would they let
the next Kurt Warner go somewhere else just because they
paid Kevin Kolb a lot of money last summer?


Truth is, though, this would have nothing to do with Kolb.
Sure, he wasn’t great last season, and absolutely, his
injury history is a concern going forward. But the team
doesn’t want to cut him, the team doesn’t
want to save money and not pay him that big roster

Any decision to go in a different direction would be based
solely on the opportunity to get one of the best QBs the
NFL has ever seen, and one who would undoubtedly would be
looking to prove to the world that he’s still got “it.”
Does that sound familiar?

Two years ago the Cards said goodbye to a
player who brought similar goals to the team, and the team
to the Super Bowl. Will Peyton Manning be the answer?
Maybe, maybe not. The fact that the question is still
being asked, though, is an issue.

Two years ago the Cardinals found themselves looking for a
QB they could rely on.

Two years ago the Cardinals were where they are now.

Adam Green

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke adjusts his cap between pitches against the Colorado Rock...
Adam Green

Concerned about Zack Greinke? Yes, I am

It's early, yes, but Zack Greinke's struggles this season are unexpected and concerning.
7 years ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the New England Patri...
Adam Green

Chandler Jones is the most exciting addition in Arizona Cardinals history

The Cardinals added Chandler Jones not to make them good, but to get them to the Super Bowl.
7 years ago
Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin (46) prepare to hit during a spring t...
Adam Green

Money, expectations change the game for Diamondbacks

If the Diamondbacks are concerned about big heads due to being "offseason winners," they need look no further than to a division rival as a cautionary tale.
7 years ago
Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker (17) and Devin Booker (1) react to a foul call during the second half of ...
Adam Green

Who knew the Suns bottoming out could feel so terrible?

While the Phoenix Suns being bad may actually be a very good thing, the way they have hit the bottom is difficult to stomach.
7 years ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the second half of an NFL football game ag...
Adam Green

Trust leads to Arians’ aggressive approach with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had just coughed up a 14-point fourth quarter lead and had the ball at their own 16 with just 58 seconds left in a tied game.
7 years ago
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palm...
Adam Green

Cardinals show road to NFC West title goes through Glendale

Prior to the game there was plenty of talk about how the Cardinals had yet to beat a winning team and were not nearly as good as their record may have indicated.
7 years ago
Finding their Manning? Two years later, Cardinals still need a QB