The Arizona Cardinals cut veteran QB Brian Hoyer on May 13th after deliberating whether he or second-year quarterback Ryan Lindley were the lesser of evils. Apparently the Cardinals brass believes that Lindley has more of an upside going toward the future.
Now, I believe that Hoyer has more talent and smarts than Lindley, but he doesn’t have the size or the arm strength to push the ball down field the way Bruce Arians wants his quarterbacks to.
The smart thing to do for the Cardinals offensive system was to let go of Hoyer and keep the young, strong-armed QB that fits the playbook. Let’s keep in mind though, that they were each set for the third spot on the depth chart, so what does it matter if the guy perfectly fits in the offensive scheme if, barring catastrophic injuries to the other QBs, he’ll never see the field anyway? Either of them would’ve just been destined to hold the clipboard the entire season.
Hoyer is a great game manager and is a perfect option for the third spot on the chart. If somehow the top 2 quarterbacks really did get hurt at the same time, he could come in and do exactly what Kevin Kolb did until he was injured last season, manage the game. He would’ve been the better option for the Cards to keep.
Lindley is good in his own respect, but I don’t think he can manage a situation as well as Hoyer. On top of that, he doesn’t have the experience to handle that sort of thing, and that showed last season when he came into the game to replace John Skelton and could hardly even complete a pass.
Granted, the offensive line was in shambles, but by the time Lindley had taken the reins of the offense, the line was vastly improved from the beginning of the season. Even with the offensive line that was better than what Kolb had to deal with, Lindley went 9/20 for only 64 yards in that game. That’s just a 3.2 yard average. In the words of the great Charles Barkley, that’s just terrible.
Oh, and his passer rating for the year was 46.7, which isn’t too good.
Nobody will tell you that either Lindley or Hoyer are starting-quarterback caliber. However, one is a “serviceable” backup whilst the other is a fully capable backup/game-manager.
Being able to step up in the case of an injury and control the chaos as much as possible is exactly what Hoyer is good at. He can do whatever you ask him to on short notice and has great spacial awareness for somebody who doesn’t warrant the starting grade. With the Browns needing a quarterback, it would be realistic to expect Hoyer to see the field a bit there.
Everything the new regime has done thus far has been great, up until now. Cutting Hoyer and keeping Lindley was a bad move. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come back to haunt the Cards.