As we inch closer and closer to training camp and NFL rosters start shaping up, we get a better sense of teams’ needs — or at least their perceptions of their needs. At this point in the off-season, it would appear the Arizona Cardinals aren’t exactly feeling confident with the quarterbacks they currently have on their depth chart. Matt Leinart’s motivation is questionable, and he was terrible in place of Kurt Warner last season with no touchdown passes and three interceptions to go along with an embarrassing passer rating of 64.6. Leinart has never thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in a season with the Cardinals, and his passer rating has never exceeded 80.2, which he finished with in 2008 after only playing in four games. Whether or not he’s ready to take the next step remains to be seen, but thus far the former Heisman winner has an unimpressive resume. I highly doubt his attempt at MMA training is going to get him there.
Derek Anderson — who the Cardinals signed to a two-year free agent deal in March — has been a model of inconsistency throughout his young career. He followed an impressive 2007 — in which he threw 29 touchdown passes — with passer ratings of 66.5 and 42.1 in 2008 and 2009. If 2007 Derek Anderson were to show up, he’d almost certainly be the starter in Arizona. The chances of that happening seem slim at this point, and if the season started today the Cardinals would seemingly be best off flipping a coin to decide on a starter.
All that raises the question of ‘where do we go from here?’ for the Cardinals — one that rumors indicate they have been trying to answer over the past week. The ideal situation for head coach Ken Whisenhunt would be for Kurt Warner to pull a Brett Favre, and he has wisely left the door open for Warner to return. Although there have been rumblings that coming out of retirement remains a possibility, the Super Bowl MVP insists his playing days are over.
According to Pro Football Talk, one option that has reportedly been considered is the signing of former St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger. Personally, I’m a believer that Bulger could benefit from a second chance if you consider the supporting cast he had to deal with while in St. Louis. Factor in the amount of physical punishment he took while captaining the ship for the Rams and it becomes even tougher to tell whether or not he could benefit from being placed in a better situation. Of course, the Cardinals are denying any interest in Bulger to prevent hurting the feelings of their current quarterbacks in case they are unable to strike any type of deal.
Pro Football Talk has also explored the possibility of the Cardinals bringing in — brace yourselves — JaMarcus Russell. I’ll have to respectfully disagree with that thought, as we all know my feelings on Russell’s possibilities to start in the NFL again in the future. While they raise an interesting point about Russell being represented by the partner of Whisenhunt’s agent, I doubt the Cardinals front office would want to bring in another question mark (to say the least) when they already have two that are fighting for a starting job.
This will be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on as we approach training camp. Yahoo! Sports currently has Arizona slated at 28th on their list of NFL quarterback rankings, and that is a pretty fair assessment at this point. Losing Kurt Warner — especially when taking into account the level he was still able to play at — could, and probably will turn out to be a major blow to the Cardinals organization.Google+