How the Arizona Cardinals began the 2012 NFL season 4-0 and finished 5-11 is beyond baffling. Most of the blame will be placed on their quarterback carousel, which didn’t include a single player worthy of starting an NFL game. Heading into 2013, that remains the case as Bruce Arians will take over as head coach for the first time in his career. While he brings along what’s left of the feel-good story of the season, he can’t bring Andrew Luck with him from the Indianapolis Colts. That means he needs to find a franchise quarterback of his own or he won’t be doing anything in Arizona.
The Cardinals hold the No. 7 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and there will undoubtedly be at least two of the “high-profile” passers still on the board. (There shouldn’t be any quarterback taken in the first round this year, much less the top 10, but that’s a different Rant). The Cardinals need a lot more than just a quarterback, but that’s by far the most pressing concern in the organization. However, that No. 7 pick will be wasted if used on a passer this year.
So what are the Cardinals’ options? Well, Joe Flacco will be a free agent after the Super Bowl, but he probably won’t leave Baltimore and if he does, it won’t be for a team like the Cardinals. Right now, Arizona’s best option would be to use a second- or even third-round pick on one of the overrated passers in this year’s draft. If taken at that point, then they become decent picks on paper, but don’t be surprised if they’re all busts.
Bruce, congratulations on getting your first head-coaching job, but man, you’ve got your work cut out for you.