Quarterback Blaine Gabbert, here running against the Cardinals while quarterbacking the 49ers last season, has agreed to terms with the Cards.
So the Cardinals have added a quarterback, it just wasn't through the draft.
Reaching out into the free-agent market, the Cards signed former 49ers signal-called Blaine Gabbert to a one-year contract Thursday, giving the team five quarterbacks on the roster. Starter Carson Palmer leads the parade, in front of Drew Stanton, Zac Dysert, undrafted rookie Trevor Knight and now Gabbert.
The Cardinals had an open roster spot for Gabbert after releasing linebacker Daryl Washington earlier Thursday.
While it's possible Gabbert could battle Stanton for the backup role, it's more likely he fights for the third spot on
the depth chart with Dysert and Knight. It also makes sense, with coach Bruce Arians talking often about managing Palmer's throwing reps, the Cards will have four other QBs to make throws as the team works in both the Phase 2 work now and Phase 3's organized team activities that begin next week. With two fields going during most OTAs and minicamp, there are reps to go around.
Should the Cards keep all five into training camp, it would also help getting through a fifth preseason game at the position.
The Cardinals worked out Gabbert last week. Arians liked Gabbert when he came out in the draft.
"He would have never played with the kind of receivers he would have here," Arians told the Arizona Republic. "And he fits our system."
Gabbert, who will turn 28 in October, was the 10th overall pick of the 2011 draft by Jacksonville. There was some
consideration of the Cardinals to draft him that year. Instead, the Cards used the fifth overall pick on cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Gabbert spent three seasons as the starter with the Jaguars, struggling to win while throwing 22 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions over 27 starts and 28 appearances. He was with the 49ers the past three seasons, playing in 15 games (13 starts) with 16 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions.
He had an 86.2 passer rating in 2015, although it dropped off to 68.4 last season when he was benched before midseason in favor of former starter Colin Kaepernick.
Sacked 110 times in just 43 career games, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Gabbert had faced the Cardinals twice in his career – both losses. The most recent came last season, when the Cardinals, with Stanton at quarterback because Palmer had a concussion, beat San Francisco, 33-21. In that game, Gabbert was 18-for-31 for 162 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 70 yards.