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State Of The Arizona Cardinals Roster: Quarterbacks

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One thing we featured during last year's offseason was ROTB's "State of the Arizona Cardinals Roster" segment. We brokedown each position and evaluated where the Cardinals stood from there. This year we'll do the same, providing an outlook for next year and looking at any potential free agents. The first position on our list will be the quarterbacks. With all the drama surrounding Kurt Warner's decision to stay with the organization or not, the Cardinals face an interesting dilemma heading into next season.

Kurt Warner

Age and 2009 Stats: 38 years old (06/22/1971) - 3753 yards, 66.1%, 26 TDs, 14 INTs, 93.3 QB rating

Contract Status: Signed through 2010

2009 Analysis: Kurt Warner didn't have the same pass-happy year as 2008 but still managed to throw for 3,700 yards and 26 touchdowns. 2009 featured some highs and lows for the 38 year old, as he had a five touchdown and five interception performance during the regular season. He capped off the last home game by throwing five touchdowns in the highest scoring game in playoffs history against the Packers. Perhaps the biggest controversy of 2009 was when Warner's helmet was slammed against the turf at St. Louis week 11. The blow to the head resulted in a concussion and also forced Warner think twice about playing in the NFL.

2010 Outlook: Warner's future with the Cardinals is clouded but there's certainly a chance he could return to the team. If he returns he'll continue to play with an explosive offense, filled with playmakers. Warner clearly has some gas left in the tank and showed that by butchering a very good Packers secondary in the playoffs. The difference will be whether or not he truly wants to return to the game he loves to play so much.

Matt Leinart

Age and 2009 Stats: 26 years old (05/11/1983) - 435 yards, 66.2%, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 64.6 QB rating

Contract Status: Signed through 2011

2009 Analysis: Matt Leinart didn't see much of the field in 2009, but did start in an entire game against the Titans when Kurt Warner was forced to sit out with concussion symptoms. He lead the team into Tennessee and put the Cardinals in position to win the game while making minimal mistakes. He also stepped in for Warner in the final regular season game and threw two interceptions. It's clear that the Cardinals didn't see enough of Matt in 2009 to determine how ready he is to take over for a future hall of famer.

2010 Outlook: Many fans will cringe if Warner announces his retirement in the coming weeks. Matt Leinart hasn't shown many flashes of his former self and hasn't seemed to strike much confidence in the Cardinals coaching staff. The good news is that Leinart would get the entire offseason to work with the starting offense should Warner call a career.

Brian St. Pierre

Age and 2009 Stats: 30 years old (11/28/1979) - 12 yards, 50%, 1 TD, 1 INT, 56.3 QB rating

Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent

2009 Analysis: St. Pierre didn't contribute much in 2009 for the Cardinals. He did have a lot of firsts for his career however(1st completion, 1st TD, 1st INT, 1st yards). He battled with Matt Leinart for the #2 job in training camp, but after an abysmal performance in the preseason, that thought quickly vanished.

2010 Outlook: BSP will be a free agent this year and he hasn't given the Cardinals much reason to keep him around. He'll be 31 years old in 2010 and has only completed 2 passes to his name. We've likely seen the end of St. Pierre in Arizona.

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Overview and Needs: The Cardinals need to establish first and foremost, what they'll do with Kurt Warner. He's set to make his decision very soon and if it is to retire, all of the load then rests on Matt Leinart's shoulders. That change would have a domino effect, as the Cardinals would have to scramble to add two serviceable back ups for Leinart. At this point, the Cardinals need to bring in a quarterback that can challenge him in training camp. The last thing the Cardinals need is an overly confident Matt Leinart behind center next season. Here are some potential free agents at quarterback:

  • Matt Moore - He's a restricted free agent but if the Carolina Panthers don't resign him, the Cardinals should give serious consideration to Moore. He kept the Panthers from a losing season and rejuvenated the team in the second half of the year. He ended the year in place of Jake Delhomme, throwing 8 TDs and 2 INTs. Moore can air it out and he'd have a much better set of receivers to throw to in Arizona.
  • Kellen Clemons - Before anyone calls for my head, consider that Clemons is just 27 years old and was playing for the NY Jets for the first four years of his career. He never had a premiere wide receiver and has experienced two coaching staffs in just four years. Consider this as well - Clemons has had to battle Chad Pennington, Brett Favre, and now Mark Sanchezin the past three seasons and kept each QB battle close during the offseaon.
  • Jon Kitna - Although Kitna is already 37 years old, he has a mind filled with experience. He didn't do much with his time in Dallas, so if we want to look at his last significant season, we have to go back three years. In the '06 and '07 seasons, Kitna threw 39 touchdowns and nearly 8,200 yards. If Leinart went down to injury, I'm confident the Cardinals offense wouldn't dip too much with Kitna under center.

When it's all said and done, I'd imagine we'll also see a late round pick in the draft used to shore up the Cardinals need at quarterback. I also believe if Warner does retire, there's a greater chance the team resigns Brian St. Pierre. What are your thoughts on the quarterback position and how much confidence do you have in Matt Leinart leading the offense next year?