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Cards Should Open Roster Slot for Sloter

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Caption:

QB Kyler Sloter passing for the Broncos in a 2017 pre-season game versus the Cardinals.

QB Kyle Sloter to the Cardinals seems like it was meant to be.

For starters, if Kyle Sloter wasn’t on the Cardinals’ radar before the 3rd week of the pre-season—-then watching him, a young, athletic, strong armed QB with a “K” name wearing #1, lead the Vikings to a 4th quarter win over the Cardinals’ on a day where the only other QB who shined was Kyler Murray—-I mean you might as well have put a neon sign on his jersey that said: SIGN ME!

The fact is that Kyler Sloter has actually been on the Cardinals’ radar since the end of his senior season at Northern Colorado. Credit GM Steve Keim and the Cardinals’ scouts because the Cardinals and the Panthers were the only 2 NFL teams to show up for Sloter’s Pro Day at Northern Colorado.

Much more on this later.

If you haven’t as yet heard Kyler Sloter’s remarkable story of how he ever got on any NFL team’s radar, buckle your seatbelt and brace yourself for one extraordinary ride.

Kyle Sloter’s story is one of uncanny perseverance.

  • High School 2 time 1st team All-State selection in both football and basketball at Mount Pisgah Christian School outside of Atlanta, Georgia. As QB, he set school records amassing 9,200 total yards (roughly 6,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing) and a combined 87 career TDs.
  • Was heavily recruited by Tulane and Southern Miss and when Tulane assistant Ricky Bustle became the offensive coordinator at Southern Miss, Sloter committed to the Golden Eagles.
  • When he arrived as a freshman, Sloter found himself penciled in as the #4 QB on the depth chart, so he requested that the coaches use him some at WR. The coaches obliged, and after a redshirt year and two seasons on the field, Sloter caught only 7 passes for 47 yards and 1 TD.
  • Heading into his 3rd year of eligibility and now 3 hours from earning his diploma (lauded for his selection to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll), the coaches informed him that they no longer had a scholarship spot for him.
  • Sloter already had a job lined up as a financial consultant, so he wondered whether he should just finish his 3 hours of course work, earn his diploma and take the job offer.
  • Three colleges called and offered him scholarships: Gardner Webb, Samford and Northern Colorado. Gardner Webb and Samford offered him to play WR. Northern Colorado was the only one that offered him to play QB.
  • Sloter committed to Northern Colorado and within a week and half of practices, the coaches switched him over to WR. He rarely saw the field and finished the season with 2 catches for 12 yards and 0 TDs.
  • Northern Colorado did not accept 45 hours of Sloter’s academic credits at Southern Miss. He still had the job offer to be a financial advisor. One day he sat teary-eyed in his car and wondered “do i really want to play anymore?”
  • The coaches told him that they were moving him back to QB for his senior year and that he would be the backup to the starter, Jacob Knipp.
  • In the 1st game of the season versus a Division III school, with Northern Colorado ahead by over 30 points, Sloter saw his first action as a college QB.
  • On his very first pass he threw a pick six. The 2nd string offense struggled so badly with Sloter at QB that the head coach said after the game that he thought of putting his starters back in.
  • Despite fearing a demotion, Sloter prepared diligently for the next opponent, Abilene Christian.
  • On the first play of the game, starting QB Jacob Knipp broke his shoulder.
  • The coaches sent Kyle Sloter into the game and on his first pass he threw a perfect 30 yard TD pass on a fade up the left sideline.
  • Sloter thought at the time, “At least i can now tell me kids that I threw 1 TD in a college game.” He thought Knipp would be returning to the game, but then the coaches told Sloter that Knipp was out for the game and perhaps for the season.
  • Sloter’s 2nd pass was a 20 yard completion. His 3rd pass was a 30 TD strike.
  • Despite throwing 4 TD in the 1st half, the NoCo Bears were behind 35-28.
  • Sloter threw 3 more TDs and ran for 1 TD in the 2nd half, leading the Bears to a victory and earning the distinction as the FCS National Player of the Week.
  • Sloter went on the have a very good season, completing 62.1% of his passes for 2,656 yards and a TD/int ratio of 29/10.
  • Sloter finished his college carreer with a 7 TD performance versus Cal Poly.
  • Sloter felt satisfied that he had “accomplished my dream.”
  • With the job offer still on the table an agent called him and said that he thought Sloter could generate some NFL interest. Sloter was highly skeptical, but decided to train for this pro day. During his preps, he was running 4.5 40s and sub 6.8 3 cones and felt that those times might capture the attention of NFL teams.
  • At the NoCo Pro Day, with only the Cardinals and the Panthers in attendance and because of 45 mile per hours winds on the practice field, they moved the workout into the gym. Sloter did not have sneakers, so he borrowed a pair from a friend. The floor was slippery and he ran a 4.67, to which the scouts added another tenth (4.77) because of running on a hard surface instead of grass.
  • But then Sloter received an invitation to throw at the University of Colorado pro day. All 32 NFL teams were in attendance. After waiting 6 hours to get his turn, after learning that they would not let him run the 40 or 3 cone, and after air mailing his first pass on a 6 yard hitch that smacked into the wall so hard that a Redskins scout walking by decided he should stay to see some more, Sloter had what he called “the best workout of my life.”
  • After the workout, 14 teams were talking to him.
  • Sloter was not invited to the NFL Combine.
  • Sloter was not drafted.
  • The Broncos signed him in 2017 as an undrafted free agent.
  • In the 2017 pre-season, Sloter completed 31 of his 43 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, earning a passer rating of 125.4, the highest of any rookie quarterback.
  • Despite such a superb pre-season, the Broncos waived him.
  • The Vikings signed him initially to their PS before promoting him to the 53 man roster in mid September, where he stayed as the backup QB for two seasons.
  • Versus the Seahawks and Cardinals this pre-season, Sloter passed for 11/13/84.6%/116 yds./1 TD/0 int and 6/7/85.7%/102/1 TD/0 int respectively.
  • If you listened to the Vikings’ color commentator when they played the Cardinals, when Sloter came into the game, he guaranteed that Sloter would come right in and win the game, which is exactly what he did.
  • In three years of pre-season play, Sloter’s stats are 111/150/74.0%/1,222 yards/11 TD/1 int.
  • Sloter developed an avid fan base in Minnesota and many Vikings’ fans were extremely upset to learn that the Vikings kept Sean Mannion as their backup instead of Sloter.
  • Videos—-fast forward on the first one to where the action starts. Take a good look at Sloter’s size (6’5”, 225), athleticism, arm, playmaking ability and overall skill set. Does he look like he would be a good fit in the K-Raid?

Question of the Day:

A number of teams tried to sign Kyler Sloter to their practice squads and of the bunch, he picked the Cardinals. It would seem very likely that some team along the line this season is going to try to sign Sloter to their roster when the need arises.

Do you think the Cardinals should prevent that from happening by promoting him to the 53 man roster?

I am very much in favor of it. Kyle Sloter appears to be a very good fit in the K-Raid (the main reason why he chose Arizona) and with Brett Hundley on a one year contract and knowing that they can have Sloter for two seasons for mere peanuts, why not protect their investment in him?

It’s kind of amazing that the Cardinals were able to sign Kyler Sloter in the first place. Don’t let another team steal him away and cash in.

Knowing Sloter’s story, it’s no wonder why his mantra is: “I enjoy proving people wrong.”

The Cardinals currently have 11 offensive linemen on the roster. That is an anomaly in the NFL. They could make a move there and then promote Sloter.

That’s my take.

What is yours?