Arizona Cardinals: 10 Best Quarterback Options for 2011

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 25, 2010

Arizona Cardinals: 10 Best Quarterback Options for 2011

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    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Derek Anderson #3 of the Arizona Cardinals drops back to pass during the NFL game against the St. Louis Rams at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Card
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Arizona Cardinals have a lot to fix in the off-season. They are one team with a plethora of holes and questions marks. But there is none more pressing than the one they have at quarterback.

    The Cardinals have nobody they can rely on under center. Derek Anderson is a wash. Even if he wasn't, he isn't exactly a fan favorite as he was caught laughing during a recent blowout loss. Max Hall is inconsistent at best. And John Skelton is, well, not going to last.

    So where do the Cardinals turn to next? Here is the ten best options for the team in 2011. While it is uncertain who they will be starting next season, it is clear that it will be someone other than the sad lot they currently have.

10. Michael Vick

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Ridiculous right? A bit. But remember that Vick is a free agent. That fact means that he will be courted by many teams who could use a talent like him. The Cardinals are unlikely to land him as the Eagles will throw whatever they can at him so he re-signs.

    But it is worth noting that if the Cardinals make a great pitch and can supply some talent around him. He could very well jump ship.

9. Brett Favre

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 20:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings is attended to after being sacked by the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium on December 20, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    This one is almost too ridiculous to consider. The last season of Brett Favre has been a horrible failure. But we all must realize that stranger things have happened.

    Favre has stated that he is very doubtful he will return next season. But we have heard that many times before. While it seems he has little to nothing left in the tank, all he needs is a late summer itch to play again. The Cardinals may be faced with an elderly Favre as the best option to the lead the team.

8. Matt Hasselbeck

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    SEATTLE - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on from the bench after being removed from the game in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Qwest Field on December 19, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Falcons
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Matt Hasselbeck may very well be done in the NFL. The Seahawks quarterback is in the final year in Seattle and may want to walk away gracefully. Then again he may want another year or two to send him well into retirement.

    The Cardinals will most likely be left with either Derek Anderson or a very young quarterback. That being the case, it would do them well to consider the steady hand of a season veteran. That served them well under Kurt Warner.

7. Terrelle Pryor

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    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rolls out of the pocket against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    The 2011 NFL Draft is already filled to the hilt with talented young star quarterbacks. The draft may have one more to throw into the mix.

    Ohio State was recently hit with a collection of suspensions for a few of their offensive stars. One of which happens to be quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The Buckeyes QB must sit out the first five games of his senior season. With that fact looming, Pryor may bolt to the NFL. The Cardinals will be happy to have yet another stud in the making to consider.

6. Kevin Kolb

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    NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 24:  Kevin Kolb #4 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 24, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Cardinals need a stud under center. Kolb happens to be that. The Eagles back up QB was all set to take the reins of the Eagles offense at the beginning of the year. An early injury beset those plans. Mike Vick took over and Philadelphia has never looked back.

    If the Eagles land Vick in the off season, Kolb becomes expendable. An arm like his can net quite a few draft picks in a trade. The Cardinals would be very glad to part with theirs.

5. Alex Smith

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 16:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    Alex Smith is a free agent this off season and that is good news to Smith. The once highly prized draft pick of the 49ers has failed to impress. Smith has been sidelined by injuries and inconsistency.

    He has recently retaken control of the quarterback position but it may be too little too late. It is clear that the 49ers have no qualms of starting Troy Smith. Rather than pay Alex Smith a healthy ransom, they may allow him to test the free agent waters with Troy Smith in tow.

    With no deal in stone, Alex Smith would be a great fit in Arizona. Smith is heads and tails above Derek Anderson and would be afforded the time to settle and win in Arizona.

    While Troy Smith is also a free agent. He would cost much less money and could possibly have much more upside.

4. Tavaris Jackson

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    DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 13:  Tavaris Jackson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings walks to get his helmet after a play while playing the New York Giants at Ford Field on December 13, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. New York won the game 21-3.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/G
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Tavaris Jackson has had quite enough. It seems that even if Favre had one limb chopped off they would still start him over Jackson.

    The constant slights may have Tavaris searching for greener pastures. The best part about the Cardinals gig is that there is no pressure. All he has to be is better than Derek Anderson and Max Hall. I think even I could do that. Jackson may be playing mediocre ball in a Cardinals jersey next year.

3. Andrew Luck

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    PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The worst thing the Bengals and broncos could do is win. That would put them in a perilous position come draft day. The Cardinals are currently fourth in the draft. But if they luck out and somehow Denver and Cincy can mange some late season magic the Cards take the second spot.

    That may be all it takes to land the most coveted quarterback in the draft. Carolina may fore go taking Luck in favor of the dominant defender Da'Quan Bowers. That would net the Cardinals a tremendous steal.

2. Ryan Mallett

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    COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 06:  Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    If the Cardinals are looking for an unassuming player with star like abilities. They can do no better than Ryan Mallett. The Razorbacks phenom has a huge arm with pinpoint accuracy.

    What I like most about this pick is he is a seasoned youngster. The Razorbacks star is no stranger to big time games. That fact will allow him to transition nicely to the NFL. Especially considering he will most likely need to start immediately.

1. Jake Locker

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    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Stanford Cardinal on October 30, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    More than likely, Andrew Luck will be snagged before the Cardinals pick. That leaves a great many quarterbacks to lead their team.

    There is none better than Jake Locker. Locker has a big arm and a penchant for making those around him better. The very mediocre Huskies find themselves in a bowl game this season. The Cards could use some of that magic.