Though the start of free agency is still a few days away, teams will be able to speak and negotiate with free agents during the legal tampering period starting today, March 13, at 12 p.m. EST.
Kyler Murray suffered a torn ACL in December and no one knows when he will be ready to play in the 2023. However, the expectation is that he will not be ready to play at the start of the season.
Colt McCoy is the only other quarterback under contract but he is dealing with an unspecified injury. David Blough and Trace McSorley are impending free agents that played for Arizona last season.
However, keep this in mind.
Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury are no longer Cardinals. Every new general manager and head coach are going to want their own backup quarterbacks of their choosing. GM Monti Ossenfort, head coach Jonathan Gannon, and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing will have to figure out if McCoy fits within their plans.
Free agency will have an abundance of quarterback options for the Cardinals to choose from and they would be wise to consider some new additions. I do not think any team wants to begin their season starting a third-string quarterback.
Familiarity seems to always be key for any management and staff so here are quarterback options with ties to the Cardinals:
Drew Petzing was Brissett’s quarterbacks coach with the Cleveland Browns last season. Current Cardinals’ quarterbacks coach Israel Woolfork assisted the quarterbacks in Cleveland as well. Ossenfort was the director of college scouting on the Patriots when New England drafted Brissett. The quarterback went 4-7 as a starter last year with a 64.0 completion percentage, 2,608 passing yards, and 14 total touchdowns last season.
Bridgewater was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and played there for three seasons (2014-17). Drew Petzing was an offensive assistant and Jonathan Gannon was a defensive assistant on the Vikings’ staff throughout Bridgewater’s time in Minnesota. Bridgewater has eight seasons of NFL experience with 15,120 career passing yards, 86 total touchdowns, and has a win-loss record of 33-32.
Dobbs signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns last offseason. He was coached by Drew Petzing and Israel Woolfork before he was released towards the end of November following Deshaun Watson’s return from suspension. He was picked up by the Titans late last season and started over their third-round selection Malik Willis. Maybe a third-string option for Arizona?
Garoppolo was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft in Ossenfort’s first year as their director of college scouting. He has a 40-17 career record, two Super Bowl championships, 67.6 completion percentage, 14,289 passing yards, and 94 touchdowns. The Cardinals are plenty familiar with Garoppolo since he was the 49ers’ starting quarterback since 2017.
Though he has not officially been released, Hoyer reportedly will be. He has been a backup quarterback in the NFL since 2009 when he was an undrafted free agent. Ossenfort is plenty familiar with Hoyer considering their connection with the Patriots. I believe his nickname is Hoyer the Destroyer.
As previously mentioned, Gannon and Petzing previously coached on the Vikings. Keenum had his best season of his career in his one year in Minnesota, leading them to the NFC Championship game in 2017. He finished that season with 3,547 passing yards, 23 total touchdowns, 67.6 completion percentage, and an 11-3 record. He also played for the Browns in 2021. Remember the Minneapolis Miracle to Stefon Diggs in the NFC Divisional Round?
Drew Petzing was a tight ends coach on the Browns’ staff in Mayfield’s final two years in Cleveland. He has 16,288 passing yards, 108 career touchdowns, and has a 31-38 record as a starter since he was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 draft. Mayfield was Kyler Murray’s teammate at Oklahoma University. He is 0-3 against the Cardinals all-time. If you can’t beat them, join them?
Minshew was the Philadelphia Eagles’ backup quarterback the last two seasons behind Jalen Hurts. Jonathan Gannon should be very familiar with Minshew’s work ethic in his time in Philly. He is 8-16 as a starter and has 46 career touchdowns in the last four seasons. Minshew Magic am I right?
As Garoppolo was the Patriots’ first quarterback selection in Ossenfort’s first year as director of college scouting, Jarrett Stidham was his last as their director in 2019 as he was hired by the Titans the following season. Stidham was traded to the Raiders last season to reunite with former Patriots’ coach Josh McDaniels. He went 0-2 in his starts with Las Vegas but had an impressive three-touchdown performance against the 49ers.