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Cardinals Quarterback Situation

NFLThe NFL is a league of quarterbacks. A team needs to have a great quarterback to win the Super Bowl. Having a good or merely average quarterback and winning the Super Bowl is rare. That is not to say that having a great quarterback guarantees a championship, but an elite quarterback provides a stable foundation for the team. Not having one means one is relegated to a Wild Card at best, and a bottom dweller at worst. The Cardinals are in a position where they do not have a quarterback heir and are in need one. With Kurt Warner’s retirement two seasons ago and Matt Leinart not panning out, the Cardinals were left with Derek Anderson and fell to 5-11, which was only because they were able to play three below average teams twice. The Cardinals need to get a quarterback for this season as well as the future.

The Cardinals could pick up a veteran quarterback like Matt Hasselbeck or trade for Donovan McNabb or Kyle Orton. There is a problem doing this as Hasselbeck is nothing more than stopgap for a season or two and McNabb or Orton might cost the Cardinals too many and too high of draft picks. While Hasselbeck, McNabb, Orton, or another veteran quarterback would be beneficial to the Cardinals in the short term, they are not the long term answers. Given the state of the NFC West the Cardinals could possibly win the division in the next two seasons with either quarterback above, but mortgaging their future with large contracts or giving up draft picks does not make sense. The Rams have their quarterback of their future, and one of the other two NFC West teams will draft a quarterback in the upcoming draft. The Cardinals need to do this as well. If they can get a veteran quarterback without compromising the future of the team, then they should. If they cannot, then they should pay for an average quarterback and focus on drafting a quarterback of the future.

Another route the Cardinals could also go is another trade – they could trade for Kevin Kolb. Kolb is still a young quarterback and has the potential to be an elite quarterback given the opportunity. Kolb could turn out to be a success much like Matt Schaub or Matt Cassel, but he could also fail. It depends on how much faith the Cardinals have in the young quarterback. If they believe that he is their quarterback of the future than they should be willing to trade some combination of picks. If the Cardinals are looking to draft a quarterback in the second or third round, they should be willing to part with either of those picks for Kolb as well as a fourth or fifth round. This may seem like a steep price, and it is, but they are also getting a quarterback for the future. Yet, if the Cardinals have any reservations about Kolb, then they should not trade for him, even if it would help them immediately, and instead draft a franchise quarterback.

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