Projecting the roster for an NFL team is never an easy thing to do. Teams often throw curve balls by keeping players you'd never expect and releasing the long-time veterans. With that being said, I'll take my own stab at projecting the Arizona Cardinals roster in the next few weeks. The quarterbacks are first on the list.
Starter: Matt Leinart
- Leinart is the clear starter heading into camp and shouldn't have a problem keeping it that way till the season starts. Between all four quarterbacks, he's been with the team the longest and should understand Ken Whisenhunt's offense the best. Barring a very poor preseason, Leinart will be the starting quarterback when the Cardinals open the season on the road in St. Louis.
2nd String: Derek Anderson
- Anderson has a lock on the second string quarterback spot for now. He had a head-start on the playbook and a chance to workout with the team before any other quarterbacks were drafted. Although Anderson will have Leinart looking over his shoulder, he'll need to keep an eye on his own competition - John Skelton. For now, Anderson remains an intriguing option should Leinart start to struggle.
3rd String: John Skelton
- Skelton has the unfortunate task of working uphill this offseason. Ken Whisenhunt prefers his rookies to develop, so the chances of Skelton seeing any playing time besides the preseason are very slim. He's very intriguing however, and is a prospect of the future. He may work his way up the depth chart next season.
Out of the mix: Max Hall
- Although Hall looked good at the rookie mini camp that took place this past weekend, he'll likely be the odd man out come roster cuts. The Cardinals can't afford to keep four quarterbacks signed to the roster. Should one of the three listed above suffer an injury, Hall would have a good chance to join the roster. For now, he takes Tyler Palko's position - the preseason quarterback to watch for.
The quarterback battle for the Cardinals will remain heated throughout the offseason and Matt Leinart will need to keep the naysayers at bay during that time. He's been given every chance to succeed in the NFL and the offense is the most balanced and complete it has been in years. The depth behind Leinart isn't promising, and a third consecutive NFC West title rest's on how well Leinart performs in 2010. What are your projections for the Cardinals at quarterback?