Blaine Gabbert found a home heading into training camp, after signing with the Cardinals in the offseason. In 2016, Gabbert opened the season as the starter for the 49ers for the first five games. He finished the season completing 56.9 percent of his passes for 925 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions and 173 rushing yards and two touchdowns. At best, Gabbert could be No. 2 on the depth chart for the Cardinals, but even that might be a stretch if Drew Stanton beats him out. Gabbert should not be drafted in the majority of leagues.
Coach Bruce Arians said Gabbert still has a long ways to go in his bid to usurp Drew Stanton, Bob McManaman of AZCentral.com reports. Gabbert started the Hall of Fame Game and completed 11 of 14 passes for 185 yards, leading Arizona to touchdowns on its first two drives. It was as good of a start as he could've hoped for, but the former first-rounder still faces an uphill battle due to Stanton's ample experience working in Arians' offensive system. Even if Gabbert doesn't win the backup job, a strong preseason might convince Arians to carry three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
Gabbert completed 11 of 14 passes for 185 yards in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game against Dallas. Gabbert started and played the entire first half, leading Arizona to touchdowns on its first two drives for an early 15-0 advantage. A strong preseason might convince the Cardinals to push him ahead of Drew Stanton, who's served as Carson Palmer's top backup for the past four years.
Gabbert will start and play the first half of Thursday's Hall of Fame Game versus the Cowboys, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports. With Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton taking a seat, along with the rest of the starters, Gabbert will be given the first opportunity to direct the offense. Gabbert has been in the system since mid-May, but his previous stops in Jacksonville and San Francisco were less than inspiring, as he averaged 171 yards per game and compiled a 38:37 TD:INT ratio across 43 games. Once Gabbert steps off the field at halftime, fellow reserve Trevor Knight will be under center.
Gabbert signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals on Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The 2017 NFL Draft came and went without the Cardinals choosing a quarterback, which came as a slight surprise after long-time starter Carson Palmer publicly flirted with retirement earlier in the offseason. Thus, the signing of Gabbert -- a 2011 first-round pick -- could be seen as coach Bruce Arians' version of adding a high-upside developmental project that he could potentially groom for the future. However, considering Gabbert is already turning 28 years old this season and hasn't shown much promise throughout his six years in the league, the more likely scenario is that the Arizona front office simply wants to add competition for the backup job this season after missing out -- perhaps unintentionally -- on a signal caller in the draft.
Gabbert did not suit up for the team's final game against the Seahawks on Sunday. Gabbert was displaced as the starter after he posted a 5:6 TD:INT ratio in the first five weeks of the season. His 5.8 YPA was a big step back from last year's mark of 7.2, as he looked more like his Jacksonville form rather than last season's upward-trending version. While the passing stats were lacking, Gabbert did exhibit his ability to escape the pocket, scrambling for 173 yards and two touchdowns in his five starts. He enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, but he won't be more than a backup for any potential team he signs with.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/01||San Francisco 49ers||25||21.75|
|6||10/15||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||19||19.81|
|7||10/22||@Los Angeles Rams||26||21.88|
|9||11/05||@San Francisco 49ers||25||21.75|
|13||12/03||Los Angeles Rams||26||21.88|
|16||12/24||New York Giants||2||15.71|
|3 Year Avg||60.7||998||5||4||121||1||83|