Seeing Stars: Grading the Arizona Cardinals’ QB situation

Jul 6, 2015, 9:56 AM | Updated: 10:13 am

The Arizona Cardinals won 11 games in 2014, and if not for an incredible amount of injuries very well could have had an even more successful season.

Look around, though, and you’ll see varied opinions on how they will fare in 2015. Some view them as a contender, a team that will compete for a Super Bowl if it can have a little luck in the health department. Others believe last year was a bit of a fluke, that they are destined to take a step back.

As training camp nears, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the team on a position-by-position basis, grading each group on a five-star scale.

So, how does the team look?

QB: Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Logan Thomas, Phillip Sims, Chandler Harnish

Grade: 3.5 stars

The Cardinals are in pretty good shape at the position with Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton sitting at the top. Though both saw their 2014 campaigns cut short due to injury, each was effective when called upon. Palmer, in particular, was outstanding, leading the Cardinals to a 6-0 record in his starts while throwing for 1,626 yards and 11 touchdowns with just three interceptions. And Stanton led the Cardinals to five wins in his eight starts, throwing for 1,711 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions.

Normally, having a pair of reliable quarterbacks sitting at one and two on the depth chart would be enough to feel good about the position, but that’s not exactly the case in Arizona.

Injuries forced the Cardinals to employ four different quarterbacks last season, and ultimately were part of the team’s undoing. It would take another incredible stroke of bad luck for the team to once again need its third (or fourth) string QBs next season, but it is possible. And after Palmer and Stanton, the team’s situation is considerably murkier.

Second-year pro Logan Thomas, a fourth-round pick out of Virginia Tech in 2014, went into OTAs and mini-camp as the favorite to earn the third-string job. He failed to do so, leaving the door open for undrafted rookie free agent Phillip Sims and free agent pickup Chandler Harnish, neither of whom has thrown a pass in the NFL.

If Palmer and Stanton should go down again, the Cardinals would seem to once again be in pretty rough shape. To be fair, most teams would struggle after their top two QBs (many if their starter went down), but it’s hard to feel confident in any of the non-Palmer or Stanton options.

And looking even further down the road, the team does not seem to have a quarterback of the future currently on the roster. So while the Cardinals aren’t in bad shape at the quarterback position — see the 2012 version of the team for what that looks like — they’re not exactly in a great spot, either.

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