With starting quarterback Kurt Warner sidelined by a groin injury, the struggling Arizona Cardinals have reached agreement in principle with free agent signal-caller Rohan Davey, a three-year veteran released by the New England Patriots last month.
There remain a few contract details to be finalized but those are considered academic and Davey, who was en route to Phoenix on Tuesday, will sign a one-year deal. Agent Joel Segal spent much of Tuesday morning on the phone with Cards officials. The financial details of the contract were not immediately available, but the deal is likely for the league minimum for a three-year veteran, prorated over the balance of the season.
Arizona acted quickly to contact Davey, who was scheduled to work out for the Miami Dolphins, and Nick Saban, his former college coach at LSU, later this week. Davey had a workout in Houston earlier this month and the Denver Broncos also indicated interest in the former LSU starter.
Warner was injured in Sunday's loss at Seattle and coach Dennis Green acknowledged on Monday that the Cardinals' starter probably would miss more than just one week. Team sources said Tuesday Warner could be sidelined for as long as a month. Josh McCown, who replaced Warner on Sunday and who started 13 games for the Cardinals in '04, will get the nod against San Francisco this weekend. The other quarterback currently on the roster is second-year veteran John Navarre.
The winless Cardinals face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night in Mexico City, the first-ever NFL regular-season game to be played outside the United States.
Once viewed as a potential future starter, and a player of estimable physical skills, quarterback Davey was waived by the Patriots after New England opted to elevate Doug Flutie to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and to retain rookie Matt Cassel, a seventh-round draft choice from Southern California who played well in the preseason.
Before releasing Davey, the Patriots attempted to trade him, but no teams wanted to give up anything in return, since they sensed he was going to be waived.
Davey, 27, was a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in the 2002 draft but, in his three seasons with the team, appeared in just seven games. He completed eight of 19 passes for 88 yards and spent all last season as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart.
Two years ago, Davey was named as the top offensive player in NFL Europe. At 6-feet-2 and 245 pounds, he has nice size and a good enough arm.
Given the unsettled situation in Arizona, where Warner and McCown are both working on one-year contracts, going to the Cardinals could be a good move for Davey's career. If the Arizona staff likes what it sees of him in 2005, the Cardinals could attempt to sign him to an extension later in the season, perhaps by dangling the possibility that he would have a chance to compete for the starting job next summer.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.