Big Changes and New Faces for the Cardinals in 2010

National Football Post has a piece today on teams that have made rather big changes this past offseason, and the Cards are on that list with Kurt Warner retiring. Here is what they have to say about the two-time NFC West champs:

Future Hall of Famer Kurt Warner hung up his cleats after 12 years of NFL service, leaving fans and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald wondering about the future of the Arizona Cardinals franchise.

Enter the Hollywood Hot Tub.

Former top-ten draft pick Matt Leinart(notes) will look to prove the naysayers wrong as he finally steps into the starting lineup just over four years after leaving USC. Leinart will be a step down in accuracy and decision-making from Warner, but the hope in the desert is that the 27-year old has finally matured to the point where he can effectively run and lead an NFL offense.

But let’s analyze this move for what it is. Most of you aren’t concerned about drafting Leinart this summer. You’re worried about his impact on star wideout Larry Fitzgerald.

Look at it like this: Pro Bowl wideout Anquan Boldin is gone (more on this later), meaning there is one less big-play threat around to steal targets from Fitzgerald. While we really like wide receiver Steve Breaston’s upside this season, Fitzgerald will command the majority of Leinart’s attention, as the young quarterback looks his way at the first sign of trouble. If you were a quarterback who felt the pocket collapsing and were unsure of where to throw it, wouldn’t Fitzgerald be your first option?

The great thing about Fitz is that he’s the best in the business at staying in balance down the field and winning the battle for the jump ball. His talent alone will make Leinart a better player. Therefore owners shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on the Pro Bowl wideout in the second-round.

As for Leinart, consider him a decent QB2 with some upside.


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