Kanoff Agrees With the Arizona Cardinals
BY JAY GREENBERG
Chad Kanoff worked out for enough NFL teams–and received enough ongoing strong feedback about their interest–to almost eliminate any sense of doom as one by one, 13 quarterbacks were chosen over him in the NFL draft over three days.
When the last of the 256 picks were exercised Saturday, the Arizona Cardinals called within minutes, offering the record-setting Tiger passing maestro an opportunity.
“Yeah, I had been talking to them throughout the day,” said Kanoff. “I had been talking to some other teams, too, and still had some hope of getting drafted up until almost the end but it wasn’t meant to be.
“The goal is the same though. I have a contract, just like the people who are drafted. Of course, they have bigger ones if they are drafted, but either way, I still have to make the team.”
That would not seem to be easy in Arizona. The Cardinals have signed Sam Bradford, an established starter, for one year plus an option; plus Mike Glennon, who has started games for the Bears, and traded up to take Josh Rosen of UCLA with the 10thoverall pick. But Kanoff’s session in the desert had gone extremely well, and the Cardinals’ sincere interest in developing Kanoff was certainly reinforced by making its UFA offer before anyone else could.
“I did everything I could, put my best foot forward, and luckily I will have a chance to play NFL football, what I’ve always wanted,” said Kanoff. “[The competition] is not the thing I am going to think about, honestly. I am going to take it one day at a time.”
He even took draft day that way. “I didn’t really watch much,” he said. “I worked out, ran, threw in the backyard.
“I didn’t think watching it would help me get taken. I didn’t like the idea of sitting and waiting. Easiest way for me was not to watch it.”
Of the five teams that had worked him out privately—the Jets, Giants, Chargers and Eagles and Patriots–only the Jets, who made Sam Darnold of USC the fourth overall pick and Giants, who chose Kyle Lauletta of Richmond in the fourth round, selected quarterbacks. With the Patriots holding three seventh-round selections, that seemed a possible destination for Kanoff until they took LSU quarterback Danny Etling with the first pick of that final round.
That was a disappointment, both because the Patriots interest seemed sincere and Tom Brady is 40 years old. But one door closes and another opens.
“Those two teams (new England and Arizona) seemed to be very high on Chad through the process,” said Princeton coach Bob Surace. “So it worked out great that he is going to one of them.”
“It’s better to go to the team that really wants you rather than the team that doesn’t have anybody left they it really wanted, just needs a quarterback and takes the next one on a list,” said Surace. “They have to feel like Chad has a lot of promise to bring him in the same year they traded up to get a quarterback in the first round.
“Look, if you are drafted on the third day or are a free agent, you are likely going to camp as the fourth quarterback anyway. There is always going to be competition. But Arizona went above and beyond in getting to know him. I would guess if they wouldn’t have been able to trade up to get the quarterback in the first round, they might have taken Chad somewhere in the middle rounds. It’s crazy how the draft works.
“Teams have drafted our guys and I had no idea that they were interested. When you are a lineman, that may not matter. At Chad’s position, you want to go to a place where you fit the offense. This is an offense that will utilize his accuracy and intelligence.
“The teams that are consistently successful have quarterbacks who make great decisions, are extremely accurate and are hard workers. Chad doesn’t have the arm strength of Carson Palmer (the Cardinals’ retiring quarterback) but other than that Chad checks every box like Palmer, Eli Manning, Brady and Drew Breeze have done.
“Chad has a lot of work ahead of him. I know he’s prepared to do it.”