It is funny how a season can change everything. Last season the Arizona Cardinals were flying high, and looked like Super Bowl contenders. This season, they sit below .500 and are trying to figure out how to fix their season.
Fans know that the Carson Palmer this season is nowhere near the Palmer of last season. Palmer is 36 years old and not getting younger. The Cardinals are tied to Palmer for two more seasons. They have an opportunity this offseason to cut him and save an additional 10 million dollars, or in 2018 and save roughly 14 million.
Would the Cardinals cut Palmer in 2017? Unlikely. He's been a leader for the team since his arrival in 2013. Unless they could trade for a young up and coming quarterback, Palmer will likely be on the team in 2017.
So where does that leave Arizona? Currently the Cardinals have Drew Stanton as the backup, and Zac Dysert on the Practice Squad. Stanton will not be the Cardinals starter at any point. Arizona could cut him this offseason, which would open up 2.5 million in cap space.
Dysert is simply there in case of an emergency. It's likely the Cardinals have no real plans for him.
That leaves Draft and Free Agency.
In Free Agency, Kirk Cousins, Mike Glennon, and Geno Smith will headline the group. Once the three are signed, the leftover are aging vets, or young players with zero snaps in the league.
Glennon has been a name constantly associated with the Cardinals. When he hits the open market, it is likely that the Cardinals could try and sign him.
Cousins will command a size-able price tag, a number I doubt the Cardinals will even want to shell out, especially with their own impending free agents.
Geno Smith is another guy. His knee injury this season puts a wrench into his offseason plans, but a guy many think is talented could get a lot of attention.
That leaves the draft as the most likely route for the Cardinals.
There are a number of talented quarterbacks that seem poised to enter the draft.
A guy who has skyrocketed these past few weeks is Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina. At 6'3 and 220 pounds he fits that mold that is constantly associated as an Arians Quarterback.
Trubisky has lead North Carolina to a 6-2 record thus far this season, tossing 18 scores to a mere two picks. Both of those picks came in a loss to Virginia Tech. CBS Sports has Trubisky as one of the top prospects for 2017, and some mock drafts have him going first overall.
DeShone Kizer is another player. Out of Notre Dame, Kizer has been inconsistent this season, completing just under 60% of his passes. Kizer has however shown glimpses of big play potential. Brian Kelly trusts his second year man to make changes at the line, not something you commonly see in College.Kizer is a 6'4, 230 pound quarterback, again fitting the Arians mold.
Kizer is listed as a fringe first round player, early second round type player.
Lastly, would be Brad Kaaya. Kaaya is my draft crush this season. Kaaya was at one point one of the top quarterbacks this season. However, a four game skid has hurt him, and many draft pundits are saying he should go back to Miami next year. Kaaya does not put out eye popping numbers, but he is smart with the ball and many admire his leadership. At 6'4, 210 pounds however, he could add some weight to his frame.
Anyone I missed? There are a number of mid round Quarterbacks I have my eye on, but these are the headliners. Discuss in the comments.