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Poll: Who Should The Arizona Cardinals Starting Quarterback Be In 2011?

After last seasons nightmarish Quarterback play, where the Cardinals went through an offseason featuring Matt Leinart as the starter following the retirement of Kurt Warner until the middle of the Preseason when he unexpectedly lost his job to Derek Anderson (the man who was statistically worse than JaMarcus Russell in 2009) and Leinart was cut shortly after that. The 2010 season quickly unraveled after that as the Cardinals went through a rotation of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, and Richard Bartel throughout the year, and they finished the year with the 31st rated passing offense, with the four Quarterbacks combining to throw ten Touchdowns and nineteen Interceptions.

Throughout the offseason, the Cardinals have been linked as a possible for several Quarterbacks. Because of the debate that has gone on throughout this site over them, here is a poll to see who the most popular option is.

Now, here is a look at some of the main guys who have been suggested, along with their stats from their last season and their career, along with some quick notes on the guy.

Kevin Kolb, Eagles

Games Yards Attempts Completions % Touchdowns Interceptions QB Rating
2010 7 1,197 189 115 60.8 7 7 76.1
Career 19 2,082 319 194 60.8 11 14 73.2

Kolb has been brought up as the most likely option for the Cardinals, but he has also been a controversial choice amongst some of the people here. Some people are very high on him and they think he can be a franchise Quarterback, and some think he is one of the most overrated Quarterbacks on the market and that he will just be average at best. Whatever he does wind up being, he has had some very good games in Philadelphia, and although he lost his job to Michael Vick you can't really hold that against him because of how Vick came out of nowhere this year to have the best season of his career. Right now, the biggest problem I have with Kolb is the high cost that it will take to trade for him, which could wind up being a first round draft pick and another player. Although he will cost a lot, Kolb does have a lot of upside, and if he can live up to his potential the trade will be worth it.

Kyle Orton, Broncos
Games Yards Attempts Completions % Touchdowns Interceptions QB Rating
2010 13 3,653 498 293 58.8 20 9 87.5
Career 63 12,774 1,952 1,194 58.1 71 48 79.6

Out of all the possible options, Orton is probably my top choice because he would be cheaper than Kolb, they are each about the same age, and Orton is more proven. During his last season with Chicago, he did have a decent year, although his performance got worse after a knee injury in week 9 (Before that, he had 10 Touchdowns against 4 Interceptions, after the injury he had 8 Touchdowns and 8 Interceptions), and he has improved each year since he was traded to Denver in 2009. He also played through a rib injury during his final four games of the season before getting benched for Tim Tebow after a 43-13 blowout in Arizona after Josh McDaniels was fired. Although his numbers did improve in Denver, his starting record has gotten worse (21-12 in Chicago, 11-17 in Denver) which is something to worry about. Orton doesn't have as much upside as Kolb, but he is a guy who many people consider to be a good fit for the offense Ken Whisenhunt runs.

Carson Palmer, Bengals
Games Yards Attempts Completions % Touchdowns Interceptions QB Rating
2010 16 3,970 586 362 61.8 26 20 82.4
Career 97 22,694 3,217 2,024 62.9 154 100 86.9

Carson Palmer has also been one of the favorites around here, but even though he wants out of Cincinnati and he has threatened to retire to get out of there because of how bad the team environment is, the owner of the Bengals Mike Brown has said that he will not trade Palmer. At one point early in his career, Palmer was regarded as one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL and Cincinnati had a dynamic offense with him under center, but following an arm injury in 2008 he hasn't played up to the same level. He has shown that he can still play well though, and he does so in a division filled with tough defenses, he would also probably welcome working with Larry Fitzgerald who is known for being a classy person in a position that is filled with diva players such as Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens who Palmer played with last year. If Mike Brown changes his mind and lets Palmer go to another team I think he would be a great choice.

Marc Bulger, Ravens Games Yards Attempts Completions % Touchdowns Interceptions QB Rating
2009 9 1,469 247 140 56.7 5 6 70.7
Career 96 22,814 3,117 1,969 62.1 122 93 84.4

Why not replace Kurt Warner with the guy who replace him in St. Louis after the pounding he took with the Rams? At one point, Bulger was said to have already had an understanding with Arizona and once the lockout ended, he would sign here, but now there are reports that he doesn't want to come here and he would rather stay somewhere close to St. Louis so it is easier to visit his wife. Bulger has played well early in his career with the Rams, but due to an overall decline in talent with the team due to aging or injuries his play also suffered, Bulger also took a beating over the last couple of years before he was released. He didn't play last year, but from everything that has been reported in Baltimore he looks very good in their practices and a year off to let all of his injuries heal up has probably done him some good. With Bulger, since he is older the best you can probably hope for is that he can give you a couple of solid years while he is teaching what he knows to some younger Quarterback like Skelton, he will also probably come pretty cheaply compared to the rest of the options.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks Games Yards Attempts Completions % Touchdowns Interceptions QB Rating
2010 14 3,001 444 266 59.9 12 17 73.2
Career 170 29,579 4,279 2,572 60.1 176 128 82.2

Hasselbeck has been mentioned, but right now it doesn't seem like he is a likely option. It does sound like he will be in Seattle again next year, even though Charlie Whitehurst might be the starter next season, and as we have all heard Leinart could also wind up in Seattle. Hasselbeck is older and although he was very good in Seattle's West Coast offense for a while, he has been injury prone lately and his play has declined. If he wound up in Arizona, it would probably be for the same kind of role that Bulger would be here for.

John Skelton, Cardinals Games Yards Attempts Completions % Touchdowns Interceptions QB Rating
2010 5 662 126 60 47.6 2 2 62.3

I know, someone else probably will be the starter on opening day, but Skelton is the most likely out of all the guys currently on the roster to be the starter, and a lot of people here think he can be a Franchise Quarterback or at least a guy who develop into a good NFL Quarterback. We all know his story, fifth round draft pick who wasn't supposed to play, but due to Leinart being cut, and the struggles of Anderson/Hall he got his chance near the end of the season he showed some potential, including a game winning drive against the Cowboys on Christmas night where he converted on 4th and 15 before driving the team down the field with a little over a minute left in the game to score the game winning Field Goal. He did make some rookie mistakes, and he had a very poor completion percentage (even though the receivers dropped a ton of catchable passes), but he showed some potential. It would be interesting to see how much he has improved during training camp and the Preseason (if the Lockout ends in time) but for now I don't want to see him starting unless whoever the Cardinals bring in to be the new guy struggles badly.

So, who do you want to see? Pick your choice in the poll, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.