Carson Palmer walked through "door number two" a few weeks ago to make the Arizona Cardinals quarterback room "as strong as anyone in the league", according to new head coach Bruce Arians.
What the evidently new Frank Lloyd Wright didn't say was who was leaving through the blinking exit sign in same house.
Currently on the team's roster at the position beside Palmer is Drew Stanton, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Lindley. Stanton was recently signed after being a hard-luck career backup, Hoyer is a also a veteran castoff, yet underplayed and was offered an RFA tender, which he accepted and Lindley is heading into his second year after an extremely rocky rookie session.
Obviously, all four will not pass the builder's inspection code and at least one will be shown the door (Number three, I'm presuming?) especially if a QB is drafted next week. But which one?
Most people would assume Lindley, who was just atrocious last year would be the first to go.
Negatives: Crappy play (and yes, that's a technical term), seemed lost last year.
Positives: Still under rookie contract, has the "big arm" Arians craves and is untested.
Outlook: Not eligible for Practice Squad, hasn't been discussed by current coaching staff in public. Would seem to be an odd guy out, especially if QB drafted.
Brian Hoyer was tendered a second round draft choice this offseason if another team wanted to sign him and has been the backup to Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, if just for a few weeks. Was a "hot" item to go back to the Steelers before the Bruce Gradowski signing and the tender slap.
Negatives: Can't see the team keeping Hoyer as third string, inactive for game days with that 2 million salary. It just doesn't compute. But other teams won't want to take on that salary either for the same status. It would have to be a team needing a backup and/or replacement for an injured QB.
Positives: Clearly the Cardinals think enough of Hoyer to place the slot on him. He performed a'ight in the last game of the 2012 season and contract isn't guaranteed. (Positive for team, not Hoyer.)
Outlook: Would seem logical choice to leave considering trade value and cost. Problem is that is EXACTLY what other teams see also and could be a late preseason cut if no other option.
"Bad luck" Drew Stanton was drafted by the Detroit Lions to reportedly replace Jon Kitna. Matthew Stafford burst that bubble. Then, he was signed by the NY Jets to back up Mark Sanchez, with aspirations of starting. Tim Tebow coming over from Denver ruined that. Third time's the charm, he probably thought and he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts last season. The Luck continued with Andrew going first, providing another bittersweet moment. With former coach in tow, he signed as a free agent with Arizona only to be supplanted by the Palmer trade.
Negatives: Has only thrown 13 more passes in NFL career than Lindley, despite being 5 years older and carries a 3 million contract guarantee. Has been a perpetual backup and despite opportunities, can't seem to take the reins.
Positives: Knows Arians' system, was considered starter before Palmer trade and is respected enough as a player to keep being a possible starter by several teams.
Outlook: Would seem to be settled in as second string, but if Hoyer impresses in training camp and can't be traded and Cards are willing to swallow Drew's 3 mil dead money I wold think most teams would prefer Stanton's 1.6 mil salary and potential over Hoyer's 2.
So, which current QB (and this can change in less than week) fits Arians' floorplan and which is blocking the emergency exit?