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Free Agent Primer 2021: Quarterback

Cardinals could be on lookout for Kyler Murray insurance

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The Cardinals cannonballed into free agency, signing J.J. Watt to a two-year deal. The work isn't done, as GM Steve Keim must fill other holes on the roster this offseason. The new league year begins on Wednesday, March 17, with the legal tampering period opening on Monday, March 15. This is the final position group breakdown as free agency draws near.

Free agent primer: Quarterback

Other free agent primers: CB I WR I LB I TE I DL I RB I S I OL I ST

Cap hit of players under contract for 2021 (via Kyler Murray ($9.8 million); Chris Streveler ($780,000); Cole McDonald ($660,000).

Scheduled free agents: Brett Hundley

Need: Low

Analysis: While quarterback speculation has engulfed the NFL this offseason, the Cardinals are one of the few teams with a young, talented signal-caller in place. Kyler Murray improved from his rookie season to Year 2 and will now aim to push the Cardinals toward contention in 2021.

The starting job is cemented, of course, but the Cardinals' decision behind him will be something to watch.

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The NFL free agency period starts on March 17. Visit our free agent tracker page to follow all the movement.

Chris Streveler surprisingly won the backup quarterback role over Brett Hundley in training camp last season. His only meaningful game action came in the must-win season finale against the Rams when Murray got hurt, and Streveler struggled when thrown into the fire.

It was a tough position to be in – Los Angeles had arguably the best defense in the NFL – but it invites the possibility that the Cardinals look for a more established option to back up Murray this year.

Some of the more prominent reserve quarterback options poised to hit the market include Tyrod Taylor, Jacoby Brissett, Robert Griffin III and Alex Smith. Hundley is a free agent and may land elsewhere after sitting No. 3 on the depth chart throughout the season.

The Cardinals would assuredly love to have an upper-tier option as Murray insurance, but even backup quarterbacks can cost several million dollars, so it will be an interesting decision for Keim during an offseason when the purse strings are tighter because of the shrunken salary cap.

Notable past free agent quarterback signings: Hundley (2019); Sam Bradford (2018); Mike Glennon (2018); Blaine Gabbert (2017); Drew Stanton (2013); Derek Anderson (2010); Kurt Warner (2005); Shaun King (2004); Boomer Esiason (1996); Jim McMahon (1994); Steve Beuerlein (1993).

Images of some of the top quarterbacks that are scheduled to hit the open market