The Cardinals’ new regime might have a imaginative and prescient centered round quarterback Kyler Murray, however that does not imply it’s going to be obvious anytime quickly. Murray suffered an ACL tear in December, and crew proprietor Michael Bidwill stated on an upcoming “Dave Pasch Podcast” look that Arizona can solely hope the QB will return earlier than midseason in 2023. In the meantime, the crew may also be with out backup Colt McCoy, with Bidwill revealing the veteran No. 2 is recovering from his personal damage.
“Colt is getting back from an damage that’s going to restrict him within the offseason,” Bidwill stated, per the Cardinals’ official web site. “It’s one other set of dynamics that (the teaching workers has) to work via, and (common supervisor) Monti (Ossenfort). We’ll see what precisely the plan is. … That’s for these guys to determine.”
Besides Murray and McCoy, who might be 37 at the beginning of subsequent season, the Cardinals haven’t got one other QB beneath contract for 2023. Emergency fill-ins David Blough and Trace McSorley are each pending free brokers, although the previous is restricted, which means Arizona might extra simply retain him with a young.
Who, then, might be beneath middle when the Cardinals take the sphere to open the 2023 marketing campaign? Here are 5 logical candidates:
The Raiders in all probability fancy him greater than anybody after his brief however promising stint as Derek Carr’s successor. But Las Vegas is primed to discover extra skilled choices after Carr’s launch. He’s bought simply two profession begins, however at 26, he is additionally an affordable low-risk, high-upside wager for the long run. GM Monti Ossenfort was additionally the Patriots’ director of faculty scouting when New England made Stidham a fourth-round draft decide in 2019.
At 35, recent off his first 12 months along with his seventh completely different crew, Keenum is aware of his function at this level, which makes him an excellent placeholder and/or future mentor. He’s made simply two begins the previous three years, however he is bought 64 profession begins on his resume, together with 14 as a shock star for the 2017 Vikings, who occurred to make use of new Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon. Keenum additionally has ties to Arizona’s offensive coordinator, Drew Petzing, who was an assistant for the Browns whereas Keenum served as Baker Mayfield’s backup from 2020-21.
Probably probably the most intriguing of the bunch, Minshew has flashed starting-level moxie however failed to carry down a gradual job. Going on 27, with fairly efficient numbers as a 24-game starter, he is exactly the sort of youthful veteran you’d need in a QB room on a rebuilding crew. A locker-room favourite, he is additionally bought an apparent connection to Gannon, having spent the previous two seasons in Philadelphia as Jalen Hurts’ No. 2.
He ought to have a couple of official suitors — maybe in Denver, the place previous good friend Sean Payton might use some insurance coverage for Russell Wilson; or New Orleans, the place the Saints are set to begin over at QB and might be considering a reunion. But Arizona would seemingly provide certainly one of his clearest paths to a assured beginning stretch. Both Gannon and Petzing, the Cardinals’ new OC, additionally overlapped with Bridgewater in Minnesota; Petzing was a Vikings assistant when Bridgewater entered as a first-rounder in 2014.
What higher candidate to carry down the fort as a assured short-term starter than the man who mastered the job in 2022? Brissett was serviceable as an 11-game QB1 for the Browns final 12 months, and he is made a residing as an emergency fill-in. More than that, he is bought among the strongest ties to this regime than another free agent: Petzing was his QBs coach in Cleveland, Gannon was on the Colts’ workers from 2018-20 when he served as a starter, and Ossenfort helped draft him with the Patriots again in 2016, when the Cardinals GM was New England’s director of faculty scouting.