ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ David Johnson, Patrick Peterson publicly recruiting new QBs

Feb 1, 2018, 4:15 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2018, 10:33 am
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer...
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 31-23. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Before hitting the dead of the offseason, two of the biggest faces of the Arizona Cardinals are getting in their recruiting pitches.

Making media rounds heading into Super Bowl Sunday, running back David Johnson and cornerback Patrick Peterson let it be known that they would love to have a premier starting quarterback join their team.

They weren’t shy about naming names, either.

“I wouldn’t mind Kirk Cousins or Nick Foles,” Johnson said on NFL Network. “There’s a lot of quarterbacks out there.”

Arizona doesn’t have a quarterback on the roster after starter Carson Palmer retired following the 2017 season.

Backups Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert are free agents, leaving the Cardinals with an entire position group to fill in.

“We’re the best team to come (to) that needs a quarterback,” Johnson said. “I mean, we went 8-8 with a lot of injuries, and we have a great defense. We have a new offense, new system coming around, so we’ll all be learning at the same time.”

Foles is under contract for next year, but his contract is set up so that it’s likely Philadelphia uses him as a trade chip at some point in the 2019 season.

General manager Steve Keim said Arizona will be aggressive in free agency, the trade market and in the draft to find the quarterbacks for the 2018 roster and beyond.

Cousins is the most highly sought-after option and appears on the way out of Washington after the Redskins agreed to trade for quarterback Alex Smith. Many analysts see the Cardinals as a landing spot for Cousins, who is expected to earn the largest contract ever handed out in the NFL.

Asked about Cousins directly on ESPN’s First Take, Peterson gave his pitch for the quarterback to join him in the desert.

“Why not? I believe Kirk can definitely, can get us over the top,” Peterson said. “He’ll be in warm weather, he’ll be playing on one of the best turfs in the NFL. We have some great talent around him, running game, receivers, tight end — you name it, we have everything he needs to be successful.”

Even Larry Fitzgerald, who remains coy about his decision on whether he will retire or not, pitched Cousins while visiting the Dan Patrick Show on Friday.

“I don’t know for sure if I’ll be back next year, but Arizona is a great place. I know you’re an avid golfer, similar to me, I can get you tee times anywhere you want there,” the receiver said.

And asked if Fitzgerald’s decision to return would be tied to Cousins’ own, he employed more private recruiting tactics, telling Cousins, “Talk to me off camera.”

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Cardinals’ David Johnson, Patrick Peterson publicly recruiting new QBs