May 6, 2011
There has been no ruling yet on the NFL request for a stay of the injunction against the lockout. I am running out of ways to say that every day. Until there is one or the appeal is heard in early June, we’ll continue to have some minor stories on the Daily!
The Cardinal QB Situation
Normally, by this time of year, we’d have at least some guess at who will be starting Week One for all 32 teams. Obviously, the lockout has stripped us of that security this year for a good handful of teams. None of these teams are more puzzling than the Arizona Cardinals, who were brutal at the position last year and didn’t spend a draft pick on a QB this year. That’s led to all kinds of speculation, and at least four big names have been linked to the Cardinals over the past few weeks.
First, rumors started that the Cardinals had “an agreement” in place with free agent veteran Marc Bulger, one that would be consummated as soon as personnel moves are allowed. But that was reported before the draft, and would have suggested one of two things: either the Cardinals were going to draft a QB in the early rounds and bring in Bulger to tutor him, or they had enough faith that John Skelton could develop into a legitimate starter down the road. After the draft, the Bulger movement lost some steam, mostly because some juicier rumors have crept up.
Along the same lines as the Bulger move, there’s the possibility that the Cardinals could bring in Donovan McNabb, who will almost certainly be released by the Redskins as soon as they get the chance. At this stage in his career, McNabb is also a stopgap option, flashier than Bulger but a bridge to Skelton all the same. And he’s been working out in Arizona with Cardinal players, too, including WR Larry Fitzgerald! Unfortunately for Donny, the Cardinals do not appear interested. Next.
Just recently, reports cropped up that the Cardinals have discussed acquiring Bronco QB Kyle Orton, who, as a younger player who figures to stick around, makes more sense than either Bulger or McNabb if you don’t believe the Cards are behind Skelton as their guy. Orton had a nice year last year, but there is reason to believe the Broncos might be hesitant to deal him as the new regime isn’t as high on Tim Tebow as Josh McDaniels was. And there’s reason to believe the Cardinals are not completely serious about making a play for Orton just yet because…
Eagle QB Kevin Kolb remains their #1 option. Kolb fits the profile for what the Cardinals need: he’s young, he can effectively run a quick-pass offense, and he’s experienced enough to appease WR Larry Fitzgerald, who was productive but miserable last year without Kurt Warner. The Cards have emerged as the favorites for Kolb, although they may have to ante up to keep him away from division rival Seattle, which is also looking for a QB. Our guess is Kolb would prefer to go to Arizona as well, where he already has a #1 target in place and the desert has plenty of varmints for him to hunt.
Oh, speaking of Warner, he thinks the best fit for his former team is disgruntled Bengal Carson Palmer. So there’s another name to add to the list…
Whatever the case, we hope the lockout ends in a timely fashion so we can watch this very interesting QB market shake itself out. Not only does Arizona need a QB, but we could see Seattle, Minnesota, Tennessee, Miami, Oakland, and others get involved for some of these veteran guys.
- The Texans are indeed moving DE Mario Williams to OLB in their new 3-4 alignment. It’s an “experiment,” as our own Greg Cosell says on Twitter, but it also should not be compared to the failed Aaron Kampman to OLB experiment Green Bay tinkered with. First, new coordinator Wade Phillips’ system features more of a 4-3 alignment with one pass-rusher standing in a two-point stance, which is exactly what Williams will be doing (similar to DeMarcus Ware). Second, Williams, although a strong guy, is a much better athlete than Kampman and could thrive in such a role. But the move certainly suggests the Texans believe in Williams and believe he can dominant from his new position, because there’s no other reason to tinker with their best player on defense. This will be fun to watch.
- This is no surprise, but there should be a market for Panther WR Steve Smith, who probably wants no part of the rebuilding effort in Carolina at this stage of his career.
- During the lockout, new 49er QB Colin Kaepernick is learning coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense from Andrew Luck, the Stanford QB would certainly would have been the #1 overall pick had he left school early.
- Joe Dolan