Eleven years removed from being QB1, Colt McCoy thrives as QB2

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks
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For years, a perfectly capable starting quarterback was hiding in plain sight, as a perennial backup. As Geno Smith thrives in his first year as a full-time starter since 2014, it’s worth noting that another former starter continues to have relevance years after he last served as a QB1.

Colt McCoy hasn’t been a starting quarterback since 2011, in his second NFL season with the Browns. He’s 3-1 over the past two years in Arizona, and he’s widely liked and respected by his teammates and coaches.

In 2017, some in Washington wanted to keep McCoy as the starter at $3 million for the season in lieu of paying Kirk Cousins $24 million under the franchise tag, with the argument being that Cousins wasn’t eight times better than McCoy.

McCoy will potentially get a chance to play another game or two, as starter Kyler Murray recovers from a hamstring injury.

To McCoy’s credit, he keeps going and going as a backup. And he’s getting paid well for it; his current contract (which runs through 2023) averages $3.75 million per year. (Some Cardinals fans would say that Murray isn’t 12 times better than McCoy.)

It’s unclear how much longer McCoy will play. He’s currently 36. But he has limited wear and tear relative to other quarterbacks his age, and he can be trusted to keep things under control during a short-term absence by the starter.

At 4-6, the Cardinals are far from finished. If McCoy can keep them in the mix while Murray gets healthy, a late-season run at a wild-card berth remains possible.

It’s probable if not definite that the Cardinals will keep McCoy around. Given Murray’s size and style of play, injuries are more likely for him than for other quarterbacks. The Cardinals need a backup on whom they can rely.

They definitely can rely on Colt McCoy.

7 responses to “Eleven years removed from being QB1, Colt McCoy thrives as QB2

  1. He started 3 games in 2021. Went 2-1 with passer ratings above 100 in both wins. Very small sample size. It should be noted that James Conner was playing out of his mind in those 3 games alleviating pressure on him. He smoked the Niners in week 9 last year. Interesting story line if he starts Monday night in MXC.

  2. Backup QB is one of life’s great gigs. Get paid well, extremely low stress even when you play, career can last 15-20 years, and the only requirements are that your ego isn’t so big it prevents you from being basically an assistant coach.

  3. Geno should send a message to teams that maybe, just maybe, there are alternatives to paying guys 1/4 of the salary cap.

  4. Whisper is quietly, but a sizable portion of the Cardinals fanbase favour him over Murray. McCoy has made KK offense click, purely by playing sensible football, and getting the ball out quickly. Murray should take note, though we is not a fan of homework.

    I’ve watched every minute of Murray’s NFL career, and his height is an issue as he cannot see the middle of the field, forcing him to hold the ball to long behind a below average line. He gets to easily frustrated, and makes pure decisions.

    His biggest issue is his attitude and lack of leadership, anyone who was on the fence on that needs only to watch the Rams game, and compare him with Colt.

    All that being said, the Murray abuse is over the top at times. He has all the talent and ability to overcome these issues and become a top QB in this league, anyone that says different hasn’t watched him, or can’t evaluate talent.

    Unfortunately, it is unlikely Murray will ever that promise because his attitude is poor, and his commitment lacking. Talent isn’t enough in the NFL, it’s the intangibles that matter, and Murray is sorely lacking in this department.

  5. If I were a Cardinals fan I would take McCoy over crybaby Kyler Murray every day of the week. Murray has zero respect for his team, coaches, and teammates. His selfish ways have ostracized him in the organization. Now they are on the hook for big money. You know you are in trouble when the backup qb comes in and moves the ball up and down the field using the plays the HC calls call… that’s a foreign concept to Murray who thinks he should be able to call his own plays because he got paid.

  6. Geno had his chance with the Giants and stank.
    Lets see how he’s doing by the end of the year.
    Better yet, lets see how he does next year.
    Will he revert to what he was?

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