Cardinals add Barkley, young QB must learn difficult offense
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals didn’t have to give up much to take a look at quarterback Matt Barkley to see if he might fit in the team’s long-term plans.
A conditional seventh-round pick was all it took to acquire the former USC star from the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday.
For the Eagles to get the draft choice, Barkley must be on the Arizona roster for six games, according to a person familiar with the details of the deal. The person sought anonymity because those details were not publicly revealed by the teams.
Just what the trade means for Logan Thomas was unclear. Thomas, in his second NFL season, was competing with rookie Phillip Sims for the No. 3 quarterback job in Arizona. Sims said via a tweet on Friday that the Cardinals had released him.
Coach Bruce Arians said earlier Friday that the team’s roster cuts would not be announced until Saturday.
Drew Stanton is entrenched as the backup to Carson Palmer and Barkley will face a challenge learning Arians’ intricate offense.
Palmer took a half-season two years ago to get comfortable with it.
Physically, Barkley fits the mold of the big, drop-back passer Arians likes, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 227 pounds.
He holds the Pac-12 career records for yards passing (12, 327) and touchdowns (116).
Drafted by the Eagles in the fourth round in 2013, Barkley appeared in four games for Philadelphia, completed 30 of 50 passes for 300 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.
He had a difficult preseason this year and the trade cleared the way for the Eagles to keep Tim Tebow as their No. 3 quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez.
In the preseason, Barkley completed 27 of 52 passes (52 percent) for 351 yards and no touchdowns with two interceptions.
Against the New York Jets on Thursday night, Barkley was 4 of 9 for 45 yards with one pick.
Thomas was selected by Arizona out of Virginia Tech in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.
Six-foot-6 with a strong arm, he at times had trouble with accuracy and reading defenses.
This preseason, though, he completed 62 percent of his passes (21 of 34) for 288 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
Against Denver on Thursday night, Thomas completed 9 of 10 passes for 116 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown pass to rookie speedster J.J. Nelson.
When Palmer and Stanton both went down with knee injuries last season, Arians didn’t feel the rookie Thomas was ready and brought in Ryan Lindley to start at quarterback. The Cardinals lost all three games Lindley started.
Sims, undrafted out of Winston-Salem State, was a rookie camp tryout who impressed Arians with his poise and quick grasp of the offense.
In his tweet linked to an Instagram posting, Sims thanked the Cardinals ”for giving me this great opportunity to pursue my dream of playing on the ultimate stage.”
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