Quarterback needs to be Arizona Cardinals’ utmost priority
By Jim Koch
The best candidates are dropping like flies, so the Arizona Cardinals need to acquire a signal-caller as soon as possible
Time is running out on the Arizona Cardinals. There are zero quarterbacks on their current roster, and candidates to fill those spots aren’t exactly growing on trees. General manager Steve Keim seems to believe that he has all the time in the world to acquire passers for his squad.
Another viable signal-caller can now be crossed off of the Cardinals’ list. The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to trade Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. Arizona was apparently showing interest in the 33-year old, but ultimately struck out in their quest to land the veteran.
The price for Smith, compensation-wise, was not exorbitant. Washington sent cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round draft pick to the Chiefs for the three-time Pro Bowler. Surely, the Cards could’ve topped that package.
The Redskins have already signed Smith to a contract extension. The numbers, $94 million over four years, appear to be excessive. Unfortunately, it’s the price that quarterbacks command in today’s NFL.
Smith is the second solution to the position that has eluded the Cardinals in the last three months. Back in October, the San Francisco 49ers consummated a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. A second-round draft pick was the only chip that the ‘Niners parted with in that deal with the New England Patriots.
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Not acquiring Smith or Garoppolo has severely limited Keim’s options. Free agent-to-be Kirk Cousins is now in line to become the league’s highest-paid player of all time. There will be many sharks hovering around Wahington’s castoff, some of those being organizations with much more salary-cap space than Arizona has.
There are fall-back choices. The Minnesota Vikings’ Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are all headed for free agency in March. Perhaps the Cards will show interest in whoever of that trio shakes loose from the Vikes.
There are other free agent possibilities as well. Josh McCown, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Drew Stanton and Brock Osweiler head the list. None of that group would make Cardinals’ fans excited to watch the team in 2018.
The acquisition of their next starting quarterback is the most-important move that the franchise will make this offseason. Keim needs to step up his efforts in a big way to make sure it’s someone of quality. Before it really is too late.