Friday, July 1, 2011
Mailbag: Rounding up those QB options
By Mike Sando
Let's dive into the NFC West mailbag to answer lingering questions about quarterbacks.
Hashem from Imperial Valley, Calif., asked about rumors suggesting the Arizona Cardinals would consider trading cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philadelphia as part of a deal for Kevin Kolb. Hashem hoped Arizona would not make such a move because Rodgers-Cromartie has too much value, while Kolb is unproven.
Zachary from Davis, Calif., wondered why we haven't heard much about the Seattle Seahawks possibly having interest in acquiring Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn.
Separately, NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert tempered suggestions that Seattle could be the logical landing spot for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
Five quick considerations on these and other NFC West quarterback possibilities:
- Jackson did play for Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell when both were with the Vikings. I would not rule out Jackson as a possibility for the Seahawks, but neither would I expect Seattle to head into free agency targeting him. Matt Hasselbeck's status will be key. If Hasselbeck returns, Seattle probably goes through the 2011 season with a quarterback situation similar to the one last season. If Hasselbeck does not return, I could see the Seahawks going to camp with a few second-tier options. Jackson could be part of the mix. He knows the Seahawks' offense. That will make him more attractive to Seattle if the lockout extends deep into August.
- Matt Leinart, released by Arizona before last season, drew no interest from Seattle last season. Like Jackson, he has ties to Seattle's staff. Leinart played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks' new position coach, Carl Smith, was Leinart's position coach at USC in 2004. As Seifert notes, those connections can work both ways. Familiarity does not always precipitate interest. But if Hasselbeck does leave, Seattle could conceivably stage a quarterback competition featuring Charlie Whitehurst and players such as Leinart and/or Jackson. As much as the Seahawks would like to solve their quarterback dilemma for the long term, they cannot do that in the absence of a franchise-caliber quarterback.
- Carson Palmer's situation in Cincinnati could affect Seattle's thinking. Palmer played for Carroll (but not Smith) at USC. He's far more accomplished than quarterbacks such as Leinart or Jackson. If the Bengals changed their minds and decided to part with Palmer this offseason, the Seahawks would consider him.
- Palmer would fit nicely in Arizona as a player with the experience and, if healthy, the physical ability to get plenty from the Cardinals' weapons. Palmer, like Kurt Warner, can size up situations quickly enough to get rid of the football before pressure arrives. Palmer took 52 sacks over the past two seasons, attempting 1,052 passes. Warner took 50 sacks over his final two seasons with Arizona, attempting 1,111 passes.
- What about Kolb? He's a candidate for Arizona and Seattle, but much depends upon what the Philadelphia Eagles require in return. I don't get the feeling Seattle wants to trade away a first-round draft choice for the right to lavish Kolb with a massive contract. The Seahawks have shown interest in Kolb previously, however. What would Arizona part with? The points Kent Somers made a month ago still make sense. The Eagles want to drive up the price for Kolb. Seattle, Arizona and others want to drive down the price. Those competing agendas will drive reports as teams try to line up options.
- Flynn has ties to Seahawks general manager John Schneider. They were in Green Bay together. Flynn's surprising performance against New England last season makes him an intriguing prospect. Is he more than that? He would have value as someone competing in the absence of a clearly defined starter, but not as an outright No. 1 option.
What, no mention of Marc Bulger? Len Pasquarelli has you covered on that front.
One more note: I'll be taking my second and final week of summer vacation beginning Saturday. I'll be back July 11. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. has a three-part package planned for the NFC West blog in my absence. I've read it and am already looking forward to continuing the discussion upon my return. His analysis will get us thinking.
Have a great weekend.