When the NFL's free-agent signing period got underway back in March, the Arizona Cardinals believed they had a solid plan in place for the quarterback position. Kyler Murray would be missing some time, and the franchise was banking on Colt McCoy to hold down the fort while the injured starter was out. Unfortunately, McCoy was a disaster during training camp, and it was much too late for the team to find a viable replacement for the aging veteran.
Just 17 days before the regular-season opener, Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort orchestrated a trade for journeyman signal-caller Josh Dobbs. For the first four weeks, the 28-year-old played surprisingly well. Over the last three Sundays, however, the erratic Dobbs has shown us why he'll never be anything more than backup material.
If the front office had shown just a little bit of foresight last spring, the current campaign could've been much more interesting for the "Red Sea". In the days leading up to the beginning of free agency, a contingent of Cardinals followers were clamoring for a certain passer who was out there on the open market. Coincidentally, head coach Jonathan Gannon had a familiarity with this particular individual from the two seasons they spent together with the Philadelphia Eagles.
This past Sunday, 27-year-old Gardner Minshew turned in an outstanding performance for the Indianapolis Colts. Facing the league's number-one ranked defense, the 6 foot 1, 225 pounder completed 65.2% of his passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns. If that wasn't enough, Minshew also contributed another 29 yards and two scores on the ground during Indy's heartbreaking 39-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Back in Week 2, Minshew made good on 82.6% (19 out of 23) of his passing attempts during a 31-20 triumph over the Houston Texans. The following Sunday, the Mississippi native threw for 227 yards and a touchdown during a 22-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens. In Week 5, Minshew completed 78.6% (11 out of 14) of his throws during a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
Arizona Cardinals front office made a mess of the team's quarterback situation in 2023
The fact that Ossenfort and company didn't supply the Redbirds with a more viable stand-in for Murray is a bit concerning. It's entirely possible that management had no inkling that the Cards were going to be as competitive as they were during the first month of the season. Even so, shouldn't the front office be doing everything possible to put the best product on the field for the organization's season-ticket holders?
Even more alarming is the fact that the Colts got Minshew at a relatively cheap rate. According to Spotrac.com, the former Jacksonville Jaguars draft pick was signed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. That's a tremendous bargain, especially when you take into account how well Minshew has performed this fall.
Arizona absolutely bungled the quarterback situation during the opening stages of the 2023 offseason. It's safe to say that Ossenfort and his cohorts missed the boat on what would've been a capable addition to the "Big Red" scoring attack. It certainly would've been a lot more fun for the fanbase to see the colorful Minshew in a Cardinals uniform.
(Statistics provided by Pro Football Reference)