The signing of Blaine Gabbert can very well be the biggest head-scratching signing of the year, or better, the entire five-year stint of the new regime of Steve Keim, Bruce Arians, and owner Michael Bidwell.
The Arizona Cardinals did not go after a quarterback in the draft that could replace Carson Palmer one day, instead, they go after a third-string journeyman that has had very little success in the league.
Maybe this is not as bad as the fans may think it to be, perhaps there are a few things we can look at that would suggest that the horrible career of Blaine Gabbert as a starting quarterback may not fall completely all on him.
First of all, he played as a starting quarterback for two very bad teams that were not bad solely because of Gabbert alone, he had plenty of help with a group of guys and coaches that sucked collectively.
It can be safe to say he is not the starting quarterback caliber by the numbers so the reason for bringing him in would have to be to battle for the backup spot or as a third-string player, or maybe just to fill the training camp roster.
Let’s not forget that Gabbert was a first-round pick at number 10 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and someone ranks him high enough in the draft for good reasons enough for the Jags to take him over players that were on the board like J.J Watt, Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn, and Mike Pouncey.
Signing with a team like the Cardinals just may tap into the talent that made him a first-round pick in the 2011 draft.
The Cards possess many of the components that Gabbert has never been a part of in the NFL, for starters a decent offensive line so he won’t be running for his life. He would actually be able to stand in the pocket and get through a few reads and throw without going down in .001 seconds.
Next, he hasn’t had a consistent running game, let alone a dominant runner like David Johnson, the superstar running back that takes lots of pressure off the quarterback. One would argue that he had that in Jones-Drew and maybe so, but it was not consistent enough and the offensive line wasn’t good at all.
Justin Blackmon was his best wide receiver in his short career to throw the ball to, but now he will have a future Hall-of-Fame receiver along with speedy guys as well to throw to. Larry Fitzgerald will help any quarterback because of his resume and talent along with the position he currently plays, which makes him a security blanket.
The main reason that I can think of for Bruce Arians wanting to take a chance on Gabbert would be the fact that he fits the Arians quarterback mold. Standing at 6,4 235 lbs and have a very live arm.
In my humble opinion he has a better arm than Drew Stanton, perhaps he will get his opportunity to beat him out for the number two spot in camp. Remember last year’s training camp and pre-season games for Stanton didn’t look very good at all, as Matt Barkley outplayed him.
Finally, after all the happenings this offseason in the draft and free agency with the Cardinals defense this is the main reason Blaine Gabbert could be successful. Having a defense that doesn’t require you to score a lot to win a game is the greatest luxury.
This may be the weirdest signing of the Cardinals off-season but think of it this way Birdgang, a young inexperienced guy would have come in to learn under Palmer next year anyway had they drafted a guy this year. Gabbert is still young and has some NFL experience under his belt, and can still learn from Palmer and Bruce Arians, Tom Moore and the entire staff, this could turn out to be a good pick up.