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Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Search: The Final Four

Putting the Arizona Cardinals quarterback carousel into the "final four".

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals’ QB Brackets: Final 4

Here we are on the verge of March Madness. Having just spoken at length with ESPN’s Bracketologist Joe Lunardi, here are Lunardi’s projections for the Final Four of the Cardinals’ 2018 QB Search:

Trade Side:

West Bracket: Nick Foles (6-6, 243, 7, Arizona).

East Bracket: Tyrod Taylor (6-1, 215, 8, Virginia Tech).

UFA Side:

Midwest Bracket: Case Keenum (6-1, 215, 6, Houston).

Southeast Bracket: A.J. McCarron (6-3, 220, 5, Alabama)

Q & A

AZ: What about Kirk Cousins?

JL: Knocked out by the Vikings.

AZ: What about Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater or trading for Andrew Luck?

JL: Knocked out by Dr. James Andrews. Look---how could the Cardinals---having just come out of a stretch where they lost Carson Palmer to the IR twice, and then both times his backup, Drew Stanton, was knocked out of action after two games---how could the Cardinals---sign another injury riddled QB?

AZ: What about signing a “placeholder QB” like Josh McCown and drafting the QBOF in the 1st round of this year’s draft?

JL: Sure---but look at where the Cardinals are drafting. At #15---with a handful of team ahead of them looking for QBs---are the Cardinals going to be able to draft one of the top 4 QBs in this draft? Are there any assurances that they will be able to trade up? Or---are there assurances that other teams won’t trade up in front of them like last year? What will it cost the Cardinals at #15 to move up? At least two 1st round picks and a 2nd or a 3rd or both, right?

AZ: Why trade for Nick Foles?

JL: He’s a Super Bowl MVP with local ties. The whole world now knows how high his ceiling is. If you sign him, you already know you can win a Super Bowl with him at QB, given good coaching, a solid supporting cast and a top five defense.

AZ: But Foles stunk for the Rams.

JL: What Rams’ QB didn’t pinch his heaping share of loafs until Sean McVay arrived?

AZ: Why trade for Tyrod Taylor?

JL: First off, a mobile QB would open the offense up in Arizona. Secondly, Taylor has proven that he can lead his team to wins even with subpar WRs and with a good running game and a stalwart defense. Taylor plays within himself and rarely turns the ball over. His career 51-18 TD/int ratio is a testament to that. If the Cardinals wait, by the 3rd day of free agency, the Bills might let Taylor go and thus make him a free agent.

AZ: Why sign Case Keenum?

JL: Again, he’s mobile, plays well within the schemes, keeps turnovers to a minimum and makes clutch plays in close games. He knows how to compliment and reward a very good defense.

AZ: Why sign A.J. McCarron?

JL: He won two national championships at Alabama and played some of his best football in championship games. He got buried behind Andy Dalton at Cincinnati but looked good when he was called upon. In McCarron, you get a smart, highly competitive gamer who is hungry to start and win.

AZ: Who do you have winning the trade side of the final four brackets?

JL: Foles, hands down. If the Cardinals can offer the right package, Foles is your guy and then you can start surrounding him with solid offensive linemen and skill players.

AZ: Who do you have winning the UFA side of the brackets?

JL: Keenum. He is going to be jacked up about locking horns with the QBs in the NFC West (Wilson, Goff and Garoppolo). Mike McCoy will give Keenum all the autonomy to run many of the same packages he did in Minnesota. Pat Shurmur knew how to play to Keenum’s strengths. McCoy will want to do the same.

AZ: So, who wins it all?

JL: Too close to call right now, but, If my hunch is correct---you can catch a glimpse of the winner at the end of this short video