Cardinals proceed with QB plan minus Peyton Manning

Now that the Arizona Cardinals know Peyton Manning will not be their quarterback they have to go about the business of determining who will be that man.

Conventional wisdom is the job will go to Kevin Kolb.

The Cardinals had a deadline of Friday to make a play for the 11-time Pro Bowl performer Manning because they had to cut Kolb by then to avoid paying him a $7 million bonus. That kind of pay day, the trade the club made for Kolb last year with the Philadelphia Eagles and the overall investment are why Kolb is the favorite.

“Obviously something very unique and unexpected presented itself," Whisenhunt said in a statement released by the club. “We've said it many times: if there's an opportunity to make our team better we'll explore it; we view the potential of adding a first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback as one of those. The organization quickly put together an aggressive plan to go after it. We're proud of that and feel very strongly about what we have to offer as a team and as an organization. In the end it didn't work out but from our perspective it was very positive and we certainly don't have any regrets about it.

“We sit here today in the same spot we were heading into the offseason. That's with two experienced quarterbacks who have both demonstrated positive things in the past and who we feel good about. Like we said at the end of the season when we won seven of the last nine games, carrying the momentum of that strong finish into 2012 is important and that remains unchanged.”

But Kolb is hardly a slam dunk. Whisenhunt is approaching a position where he is going to have to start winning again to secure his future. Kolb played poorly last season before injuries sidelined him. Skelton, in his second season from Fordham, was 5-2 as a starter.

Let the competition begin.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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