And then there was one. As in one NFL quarterback under contract in the desert.
When the new league year opens Wednesday, the Arizona Cardinals will sign Sam Bradford, ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported Tuesday, making him the first addition to GM Steve Keim's previously barren QB room.
Bradford, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft and one of the highest compensated players in NFL history, likely is signing a short-term, incentive-laden deal after another knee injury limited him to two games with the Minnesota Vikings last season.
Bradford enters his age-31 campaign and arguably has the highest upside of any of the available veterans this offseason. However, he might also have the lowest floor, as injuries have routinely prevented him from staying on the field in his first seven seasons, when he's missed a combined 33 regular-season games.
But Bradford and Cardinals new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy form an interesting tandem, not to mention plugging the veteran into an offense with a skill group headlined by David Johnson and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.
The biggest potential issue from our vantage point — Bradford's ghastly injury track record notwithstanding — is the state of the Arizona Cardinals offensive line. It might not be quite as dire as the one Bradford surprisingly thrived working behind in Minnesota two seasons ago, but it's not that far off.
If Arizona is hoping to capture 2016 Bradford lightning in a bottle without making some earnest protection upgrades, this is likely to fail (and it might anyway because of Bradford's fragile body). However, the talent is worth gambling on, especially on a low-risk deal as the QB musical chairs game is already slowing down.
Bradford makes a lot of sense as a bridge option for rookie coach Steve Wilks and an Arizona 'D' that isn't far from contention. Just don't remove Arizona on your NFL draft QB bingo card. Similar to other clubs that made moves for veteran passers but are hardly set, like the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, the Cardinals will be addressing the position early in next month's draft.