The Cardinals released veteran quarterback Colt McCoy this week, and they refuse to announce a starter for Week 1, all while incumbent No. 1 Kyler Murray is guaranteed to miss at least four games while recovering from an ACL tear. Is it possible Arizona is already eyeing the top pick in the 2024 draft, with heralded QB prospect Caleb Williams as the likely target? Former Super Bowl champion Phil Simms thinks so, arguing Tuesday "it's hard to make a case they're not trying" to tank.
Arizona looks as if it's "trying to get to a certain situation to get a quarterback," Simms said on a conference call with "NFL on CBS" analysts, lamenting on behalf of Cardinals fans that unproven reserves like rookie Clayton Tune and recent trade acquisition Joshua Dobbs are candidates to open the season under center.
"From where I sit right now," colleague Boomer Esiason agreed, "It's probably, in terms of quarterback rooms, the 32nd in the NFL. This is a startover, and I guess have to use the word 'tank.'"
Fellow "NFL Today" analyst Bill Cowher, the former longtime Steelers coach, also agreed with the sentiment. If the Cardinals are in position to secure the No. 1 pick late in the year, he admitted that team brass could be prepared to say, "I'd sacrifice this year to get to the future of this franchise." And in that case, he also believes a total shakeup of the NFL Draft could follow.
"We may be looking at a draft lottery sometime in the near future," Cowher added, suggesting a potential countermeasure to perceived tanking from rebuilding teams.
Former Texans and Cardinals pass rusher J.J. Watt, new to the "NFL on CBS" crew this year, didn't go so far as to say he also believes Arizona will deliberately aim for the top pick. But he admitted he "feels bad" for former teammates on the current roster.