Bulger, Palmer, Newton as QB options

Kurt Warner offered a few thoughts on Marc Bulger, Carson Palmer and Cam Newton as potential quarterback candidates for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011, courtesy of The Fan 1060 in Phoenix.

I'll follow up with additional thoughts after passing along a few of Warner's comments:

  • On Bulger, his former St. Louis teammate: "The thing I always look at putting guys in certain systems is, how does it fit what they have done in their career and how does it fit their skill set? If the Cardinals want to do what we did when I was there, I think Marc fits the bill extremely well. He is a very accurate passer down the field, he can read defenses, he understands the system they play there and can do those things very well.

  • Warner on Palmer, unsolicited: "I think a guy like Carson Palmer would be tremendous in that kind of system."

  • More Warner on Bulger: "(He would be) a guy that has a couple years left that isn’t going to cost you a ton of money and can be a nice stopgap moving forward. You wonder where they are at in the process. Where is his body at, how does he feel, how comfortable does he feel getting back in that (starting) role? Making sure the offensive line is shored up, so no matter who you bring in, they are not getting beat up, especially if it is an older guy."

Warner revisited some of the reservations he has about Newton. He perceives Newton to be a quarterback who relies too much on running with the ball, and who lacks experience reading defenses. Newton put up sensational passing numbers at Auburn, averaging better than 10 yards per attempt with a completion percentage in the mid 60s, so I would not automatically buy those reservations without evidence.

Warner is right in saying quarterbacks must pass effectively to succeed. The fact that Newton also runs very well doesn't disqualify him as a passer. I suspect perceptions about him might be different if he had the same passing stats, but wasn't much of a runner.

That is a subject to revisit as the draft nears.

Warner also said he thought the Cardinals should focus on landing a veteran passer if they think they have a chance to contend. That points to another question we'll want to resolve this offseason: Should the Cardinals be in rebuild mode, or could they win right away with a veteran quarterback?