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Cardinals coach Steve Wilks says ‘Sam Bradford is our starter’

Steve Wilks, Josh Rosen, Cardinals

With veteran quarterback Carson Palmer deciding to retire after the 2017 campaign, the Arizona Cardinals were forced to address the future of the position. The team has done just that by establishing a veteran presence with the addition of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon along with drafting a potential franchise player in rookie Josh Rosen.

Although the Cardinals are set at quarterback now, the question in the months leading up to the 2018 NFL season is who will be the starter come Week 1. New head coach Steve Wilks appears to have answered that that question, at least for now, via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com.

“We’re pushing everybody to start,” Wilks explained. “I’ve stated this several times: Sam Bradford is our starter. We gotta go out there with 11 guys and Sam’s going to be the first guy out there. But everybody’s fighting for a position, so I’m not going to hold [Rosen] back at all.”

At this point, Wilks has made it obvious that it is Bradford’s job to lose. The veteran signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals this offseason with the second year being a team option.

Even though Bradford is the starter as of right now, Wilks is encouraging competition over the coming months leading up to training camp and the NFL preseason, via Wesseling.

“I want guys competing, I want guys fighting for a starting job. Whoever ends up winning the position, that’s who’s going to end up playing.”

With the team set to pay Bradford a hefty sum for the 2018 campaign, as much as $20 million with incentives, making him the starter is the logical move unless Rosen emerges as the better option in camp.

The real concern for Arizona will be Bradford’s health. The former No. 1 overall pick has struggled with injuries throughout his entire career in the NFL and surprised a lot of people by being able to secure a deal with the Cardinals for $15 million guaranteed.

Fortunately for Arizona, the team is in an ideal situation with Rosen and Mike Glennon backing up Bradford for the time being. In the event the veteran suffers another injury or can’t play at a high level, Wilks and company have some decent options to turn to shoulder the load under center.

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