Redskins: Predicting the results of the 2018 NFL quarterback carousel
Arizona Cardinals: Sam Bradford and Josh Allen
The Cardinals are once again in the market for a veteran starting quarterback. Carson Palmer announced his retirement this offseason and the team isn’t likely to be picking in a spot where they’ll be able to take a true game changer. That said, they will have a chance at landing a project and pairing him with a veteran long term.
I like this mix of quarterbacks for the Cardinals. When healthy, Sam Bradford is a very accurate passer who can really control an offense with a strong ground game. David Johnson is set to return in 2018, and he will be the focal point of the Cardinals offense. Larry Fitzgerald is still undecided about retirement, but should he return, he would be a quality No. 1 option and the Cardinals could add another guy on the free agent market. That would do a lot to help Bradford along as the starter there.
The reason for connecting Bradford to Arizona is their tendency to target proven veterans. While Kirk Cousins could be an option for them, they would have to make some moves in order to get far enough under the cap to be able to afford him. And given their lack of weapons and the sorry state of their offensive line, investing in Cousins doesn’t seem like a great idea.
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Getting Bradford would be ideal, as he would come at a relatively low price and that would allow the team to target receiving help and an offensive tackle in free agency. Targeting Jarvis Landry along with a guy like Cameron Fleming of the Patriots could pay dividends. They would still have to create cap room to do so, but they would get more bang for their buck by eschewing Cousins.
Then, to ensure that the team has a succession option in the event that Bradford gets hurt or regresses, the team could target Josh Allen in the draft. Allen is a very raw prospect in the mold of Jake Locker. He has all the tools for a franchise quarterback and is mobile, but he needs a lot of work before he can be ready to start. He could spend his first year or two learning behind Bradford before being ready to step on the field.
Also, it’s worth noting that the Cardinals may end up targeting a different veteran, Minnesota quarterback to start while Allen develops. In the event that they end up targeting current Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their head coach, Shurmur and Case Keenum have expressed an interest in continuing to work together, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. If that can’t happen, Bradford is a fine consolation prize and should be a great stopgap option if he can stay on the field.