32 for 32 : What Can We Expect from the Arizona Cardinals QBs this season?

32 for 32 : What Can We Expect from the Arizona Cardinals QBs this season?

Editor’s Note: This is a part of our 32 for 32 QB Profiles series.

If you have any ambitions during your time on this planet, you should aspire to be as good at your job as Tom Condon is at his — the agent to new Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford. Since entering the NFL with the first pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, Bradford has earned an incredible $114,045,000. This is in spite of his playing in just 80-of-128 games during his time in the league. His two-year pact with the Cardinals should see him pocket an extra $40 million.

When Bradford is ON the Field

When he has seen the field, Bradford has often been a steady, but far from spectacular performer. In his last full season with the Minnesota Vikings (2016), he set the NFL record for single-season completion percentage (71.6%). This record has since been reclaimed by Drew Brees (72% in 2017).

It’s hard to argue with the notion that Bradford was at his best during his time in purple. He boasted a 3.9 percent touchdown rate against his career mark of 3.5 percent. A total of 71.8 percent of his pass attempts were hauled in by a teammate, an increase on his 62.5 percent career mark. As for interceptions, despite a 2.00 percent career interception rate, only 0.8 percent of his Vikings passes ended up in enemy hands.

The case could be made, quite convincingly, that had Bradford stayed healthy in 2017, the Vikings would not have moved on from him and he would not be a Cardinal. This is born out when you see that three of his top five most productive partnerships, in terms of AYA, are players from that 2016 season.

Catalogue of Injuries

The major knock against Bradford, of course, is his health. He has played all 16 games just twice in his career, with the last instance coming in 2012. Since entering the league, he has dealt with quite the number of injuries:

Season Injury Games Missed
2011 High Ankle Sprain 2
2011 High Ankle Sprain 1
2011 High Ankle Sprain 3
2013 ACL Tear 9
2014 ACL Tear 16
2015 Should A/C Joint Separation + Concussion 2
2017 Knee Bruise 3
2017 Knee Bruise 11

Less-than-Inspiring Backup

Based on this track record, it would not be out of line to assume Bradford will miss some time in 2018. To safeguard against this possibility, the Cardinals brought in former Tampa Bay and Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon. To put it politely, if (and when) Bradford sits out; the ownership of the defense playing the Cardinals that week in DFS will go through the ceiling.

Glennon’s career completion rate is 60.6 percent, which is not truly awful. It must immediately be noted that this is muddied by his 1-for-11 2016 season. Taking this mop-up duty out of the mix, Glennon completed 58.8 perecent of his passes whilst on the Buccaneers. He did, to his credit, complete 66.4 percent of his throws for the Bears in 2017. But of all the quarterbacks to attempt at least 100 passes in 2017, only three had a lower AY/A mark than Glennon’s 4.9.

Glennon, thanks to a combination of his own lack of mobility and questionable offensive line play, has absorbed 64 sacks in his 25 career games — a rate of 7.7 percent. Glennon has not shown much in the way of forming a cohesive connection with any pass-catchers, either in Tampa or Chicago.

Surrounding Cast

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the Cardinals take a quarterback early in the NFL draft. The short length of contracts awarded to both Bradford and Glennon is probably evidence that this could happen. As such, the depth chart may change between now and the end of the season. It is hard to be optimistic about much with the Cardinals offense at the moment. Stud running back David Johnson should return to full health in time for the start of the season, and the indomitable Larry Fitzgerald will provide any quarterback with a safe and steady pair of hands. But after these two, the offense is sadly lacking in playmakers.

In J.J. Nelson,  the Cardinals have a player with game-breaking speed but also one who has caught less than 46 percent of his 162 career targets. The Cardinals spent a third round pick on Chad Williams in 2017, and saw him catch three passes as a rookie. There is some excitement regarding second-year tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, after a late-season emergence in 2017. Between Weeks 11 and 15, Seals-Jones caught 12-of-25 targets for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Over the course of a full season, this projects to 80 targets, 38 reception, 643 yards, and nine touchdowns. That would be lovely.

Until and unless the Cardinals commit to providing their quarterbacks with a more loaded arsenal of weapons, it will be difficult to trust said quarterbacks in fantasy. Especially quarterbacks as injury prone as Bradford and as inefficient as Glennon.

Neil Dutton

Neil Dutton has played fantasy football since 2005, when a dialup modem error led to him drafting Donovan McNabb and Chad Pennington back to back at the 3/4 turn. He began writing in 2013 for the now defunct UKEndzone.com. Since then he has written for Gridiron Experts, Fantasy Pros, RotoViz, numberFire, Player Profiler, and TwoQBs. He co-hosts the “Waxing Lyrical with Mainz and Dutts” podcast.

Neil resides near Liverpool in England. He lives with his fiancé and their two daughters, as well as a guinea pig named Piggle.

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