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The Quarterback Conundrum for the Arizona Cardinals

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What do the Cardinals do at quarterback moving forward?

NFC Championship - Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals are a far cry from needing a quarterback, as the Cardinals are set with Carson Palmer as their starter, with Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert, and Trevor Knight stashed behind him at the start of training camp.

Obviously Stanton is (probably) a lock to be the main backup, as journeyman Gabbert and undrafted rookie from Texas A&M Knight battle for the third job. The fact will remain, it's less of a guarantee that any of these quarterbacks will be on the Cardinals roster next offseason.

Rumblings around the NFL say that Carson Palmer will most likely retire after the season, while Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert are on 1-year contracts.

In case you didn't know, if Trevor Knight were to find his way onto the active roster, the Cardinals would retain his rights courtesy of the ERFA (Early Rights Free Agent) clause.

That could make it to where Knight is the only QB on the roster, but it seems unlikely.If previous history has ever repeated itself, it's that the Cardinals have typically picked up a veteran in most instances, and bypassing the draft altogether.

All the way to 2008 when Kurt Warner was the starter on the outset of training camp, it's been mostly veteran acquisitions. Derek Anderson and Kevin Kolb were the demise of Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves, while Carson has been a quality starter since 2013.

This brings up a question: Who could the Cardinals bring in next offseason?

Let's do free agency first!

Free Agency: The options are few and far between, just because it seems highly unlikely that any of the starting caliber QB's hit the market, but if they do, the Cardinals should attempt to sign one of them.

1st tier:

Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints: If Carson retires, who's to say that the "Big Easy" QB wouldn't retire either? It's more unrealistic because Brees, even if he wants to win, would probably not leave the Saints because of loyalty.

Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions: I don't think this one is far-fetched, as Matthew Stafford seems destined for the franchise tag, but the Lions really need to focus their efforts on extending him or Ezekiel Ansah. If the Lions decided to franchise tag Ansah or Stafford, there will be a really good chance they lose out on a good player.

Kirk Cousins - Washington Redskins: It feels as though we have been living a nightmare from D.C.: is Kirk Cousins destined to leave, or will the Redskins continue to franchise tag him? My personal thoughts on him making it to Arizona, he won't. A trade would need to happen, and that would cost at least a 1 and a 2 in the 2018 draft.

2nd tier:

Jimmy Garoppolo - New England Patriots: The Patriots can deny it all they want, but unless they franchise him so that they can trade him, Garoppolo WILL leave the Patriots after the 2018 season. I know that fans would want Jimmy G, but he will probably be the realistic number one QB in next years free agency class. Too expensive for the Cardinals taste.

3rd tier:

Teddy Bridgewater - Minnesota Vikings: Way too unbelievable, both Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are free agents after the season, but only one will be back next season. My solid bet for that is Bradford. To me, Bridgewater is intriguing to me, as he does have a strong arm, solid throwing motion, but some injury concerns (torn ACL and MCL in 2016). Could overtake Bradford, but probably not.

Tom Savage - Houston Texans: There is no way that the Texans traded up to get Deshaun Watson if they truly believed in Tom Savage. Whenever I hear Savage's name, I think he seems to be a very safe pick. Could he be something more? Not really.

If the Cards lose out on Garoppolo, look for them to sign Savage, as he could fill the void of Drew Stanton if he leaves.