The Arizona Cardinals season has become a disaster after starting 4-0. The quarterback situation remains undecided with Kevin Kolb still not back in the lineup and John Skelton performing unremarkably. On Sunday, the Cardinals turned to rookie Ryan Lindley. Lindley threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Given the lack of quarterback play in the last two seasons, will WR Larry Fitzgerald request a trade after this conclusion of this season in order to get away from the Arizona Cardinals?
Kolb was improved from last season in his limited action this season but once again has proven to be tough to keep on the field. His durability has to be questioned at this point and the team might move on from him at the end of the season seeing he is owed $9 million and a $2 million dollar roster bonus in March. Even if the Cardinals keep Kolb next season, the quarterback situation remains in doubt next season.
Fitzgerald has to be frustrated in Arizona despite receiving his new contract last season. The Pro Bowl receiver is a competitor and his talents are going to waste in the desert. Fitzgerald will turn 30 prior to the start of the 2013 season and is his prime as a receiver. He is leading the Cardinals in targets this season, but his quarterbacks are having difficulty getting him the ball. Fitzgerald has just 55 receptions this season for the second lowest yards per reception average, 11.4 and has scored just four touchdowns this year.
Fitzgerald’s production has fallen off in recent years as a direct reflection of the poor quarterback play. There might be little immediate help for the Cardinals this offseason at the quarterback position. The free agent class this season might be exceptionally slim. Perhaps the Cardinals should inquire about a trade for QB Alex Smith if Colin Kaepernick remains the San Francisco 49ers starter for the rest of the season. An intra-divisional trade would be unlikely though.
Philadelphia might release Michael Vick in the offseason but he has turnover and durability issues as well.
The team that should really be inquiring about Fitzgerald is the St. Louis Rams. The receiver position has been lacking ever since they drafted QB Sam Bradford. Danny Amendola has developed into a good receiver for the Rams but he struggles to stay healthy, the addition of Fitzgerald would only benefit the Rams passing attack and increase Amendola’s production.The Rams also have the draft picks to trade for Fitzgerald. Again, I doubt the Cardinals would trade him inside the division.
The Miami Dolphins need receiver help. The Jets, Browns and Seahawks all come immediately mind as well.
If the Cardinals decide to draft a rookie quarterback this season and go that route, will Fitzgerald be patient enough to go through the growing pains that entails, likely struggling for another few seasons?
Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace will likely hit the free agent market this season, but neither have the ability of Fitzgerald.
If the current slide continues for the Cardinals this season, there is also the strong possibility that head coach Ken Whisenhunt could find himself without a job next season. A new coaching staff might take the team in a different direction.
Stay tuned, this could be an interesting offseason in the desert.