So now that we're mathematically officially out of the Playoffs, this is a perfect time to start getting ready for the Off-season. Here are a few moves that I think could happen.
One of the most inconsistent positions this season for us, and one of the reasons we lost a lot of the games we lost, we need to do something drastic with the QB depth chart. As we all saw in the Bronco's game and today against the Panthers, although John Skelton isn't perfect, he's like a magnet for potential. He's still got some work to do, but all in all, he could become an elite QB one day. As for our other QB's, we don't know anything really about Richard Bartel, but he's signed to a two year deal with us. In that case, give him some playing time before the season ends. Here are the two outcomes:
1) Richard Bartel plays good. In that case, keep him for the Off-season, and perhaps put him on the Practice Squad, or even keep him on the roster for next season (Yes, even this has a small possibility).
2) Richard Bartel plays bad. Cut him, let him move on to another team, and basically forget about it, because we can't take our chances with more bad QB play.
Now pretend Richard Bartel doesn't impress the Coaches and both Richard Bartel and the Cardinals move on their separate ways. We've still got Derek Anderson and Max Hall. DA needs to be cut, as he didn't work out this season. I have a feeling that with the number of teams that need QB's, and with the low amount of FA's this Off-season, DA will find his way on to a team that is desperate for QB-depth. Remember, he still has his 2007 season to use to his advantage, and besides, veteran backups are always wanted. As for Max Hall, perhaps we could send him to the Practice Squad.
We can almost forget about drafting Andrew Luck. He's not going to be around for us to pick when it's our turn, and the only way we can get him is if we trade up (Huge) for him. After him leaves players like Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, and Cam Newton. I think there's a huge possibility that Ryan Mallett could be drafted before it's our turn to pick. Considering that the Panthers and Bengals are going to pick in front of us, both need QB's, and both could end up drafting Luck/Mallett. As for Cam Newton, I have a feeling he'll stay another year in College. Which leaves Jake Locker, the last of the big three. Personally, I'd hope he falls to the 2nd Round, and then trade up to draft him, but after him, there's a vareity of options to choose from in the later rounds.
1) We somehow manage to get Andrew Luck. Phoenix parties like crazy.
2) We draft Ryan Mallett, and hope for the best that he proves his critics wrong and becomes a successful NFL QB.
3) We draft Jake Locker, and work with him through the Off-season to see if he's ready for the NFL.
4) We draft someone like Nick Foles, and keep him as a project, though this probably won't happen, as we don't need another project on our hands.
FA QB's/Other QB Deals
1) We sign Marc Bulger. Considering the last Rams-castoff QB we signed took us to the Superbowl, I'm starting to warm up to this idea. He could also be the veteran backup we'll need for John Skelton/Rookie QB
2) We sign Carson Palmer. Perhaps a change in scenery would be good for him, and he could definitely benefit in being on a diva-less team like the Cardinals. The only down-side is we thought DA would do good in a chance of scenery (Which he still could, but not here with the Cardinals).
3) We sign Donovan McNabb. A lot of people are calling for him to be signed. He could provide the veteran backup QB role we need. He could even potentially be the starter for next season. But, as Darren Urban said, it's doubtful that the Cardinals will sign him, as they really have no interest in him.
4) We sign Peyton Manning. Somehow, we manage to convince Peyton Manning that if he comes here, we can win him a Superbowl. Phoenix rejoices, ESPN, NFL Channel, and the other 31 teams stand around shocked, and we immediately become a Superbowl-contending team.
Possible QB depth charts
Here's a few possibilities for what our QB depth chart could look like next season.
1) Starter: John Skelton
Backup: Veteran FA (Marc Bulger, Carson Palmer, etc.)
Third-string: Rookie QB (Jake Locker, Nick Foles, etc.)
2) Starter: Veteran FA
Backup: John Skelton
Third-string: Rookie QB
3) Starter: Rookie QB (He'd basically have to be Andrew Luck)
Backup: John Skelton/Veteran FA
Third-string: John Skelton/Veteran FA
4) Against all odds, Richard Bartel impresses the Coaches so much that they decide to keep his two-year contract, and make him the 3rd String QB.
So as you can see, there are a lot of possibilites. You may not agree with me, but basically, I was just talking about what we could/should/can do with our QB situation. I'll publish my next part, the Coaching Staff, in a separate post later.