Apr. 2, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer during a press conference to announce his signing with the team at the Cardinals practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals: The Potential Impact of Carson Palmer


It is well-known that the Cardinals have struggled at the quarterback position since the retirement of Kurt Warner after the 2009 season. The organization hopes it found the answer to those problems with the acquisition of Carson Palmer this offseason.

Palmer comes in as the most credible quarterback the Cardinals have had since Warner’s retirement. After winning a Heisman trophy at USC, Palmer was the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. After not playing his entire rookie season, Palmer was named the Bengals’ starting quarterback in 2004. Over his next seven seasons, Palmer led the Bengals to the playoffs twice, while breaking Bengals single season records in completions, passing yards, and touchdown passes.

After the 2010 season, Palmer threatened to retire if the Bengals did not trade him. After publicly denying his request many times throughout the 2011 offseason, the Bengals traded Palmer to the Oakland Raiders in October 2011 for multiple draft picks. In 25 games with the Raiders Palmer threw for over 6,700 yards and 35 touchdowns while completing 61 percent of his passes. In March of 2013, the Raiders traded Palmer to the Cardinals.

Palmer standing at 6’5” and 235 pounds, gives the Cardinals a reliable veteran quarterback with a great arm who can throw the ball down the field with accuracy. Palmer is coming off a solid year with the Raiders in which he threw for over 4,000 yards with 22 touchdown passes to only 14 interceptions. Those numbers seem underwhelming, but the Raiders were a team that did not have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball to begin with, but when you combine that with injuries to players such as Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford, the Raiders offense was abysmal last season.

Palmer’s best seasons as a pro came with the Bengals throwing to guys like Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh. However, he has never had a guy like Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. When you combine that with guys like promising young pro Michael Floyd, and veteran slot receiver Andre Roberts, as well as the downfield vertical passing offense of Bruce Arians, there is potential for Palmer to have a productive season like he has never had before. The key is, can the Cardinals’ revamped (and improved) offensive line keep Palmer upright? If that can happen, there is no reason that Palmer and the rest of the Cardinals’ offense can’t have success.

From the prospective of the receivers I just mentioned, there has to be a sense of relief and excitement. The Cardinals have had the worst quarterback situation in the NFL since the end of the 2009 season when Kurt Warner left and have started a total of five quarterbacks in that time. Palmer brings credentials to this team they have not had since Warner. For both the Cardinals and for Palmer, this seems like a match made in heaven, only time, and results can prove that true.

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  • Wyatt Converse

    Yeah man, look, I’m a Seahawks fan and have been since we were both created (I was born in 76, same as the Seahawks) and as one who has the absolute utmost respect for Fitz, I hated seeing what was going on with the Cards last year. Seriously, us 12th men have been terrorized by certain guys in the NFC West such as Frank Gore, Steven Jackson and my favorite non-seahawk NFL player, Larry Fitzgerald. Usually, I’m happy when a guy isn’t doing very well, but it’s different with Larry. I was sending facebook and twitter messages to John Schneider and even Paul Allen trying to get them to trade for Fitz somehow as that’s my ultimate best case scenerio, but that was not to be. Fitz is never going to leave you guys, he loves y’all Arizonians. Classy. So, my next best is to 1) Thank God for and relish the time that RW3 threw a TD pass to Fitz in the Pro Bowl (dream come true), and 2) wish you guys all the luck in the world, root and cheer for the Cardinals as they whoop up on the 49ers next year. I’m having a hard time not liking or at least respecting the Rams too. They were more of a challenge for us last year than the 49ers by far. It’s a good thing Pete Carroll and John Schneider have earned all the respect in the world from us 12s or I might be a bit more worried about the rest of the west than I am, but, I trust that we’re in good hands and with RW3, we’ll be just fine!
    Peace and good luck Arizona. But most of all, Go Hawks!!!

    • Baily Deeter

      Fitzgerald is a great player, and he’s definitely someone who you want to do well. I think he’s a player who deserves a good QB, and I think he’ll get good QB play in Palmer. Thanks for commenting!

  • papu37165

    Yeah I hate having a talent like Fitz and not being able to utilize him. I don’t know if I’m more excited for Fitz or my whole team…lol. Def praying for a great season for Fitz….but I also think we can compete in the West, despite what the critics say. Def gonna be tough tho….makes it more exciting! Go Cards!

    • Baily Deeter

      Fitzgerald will be used this year, though. It will be exciting to watch.

  • Bill Doerr

    The Cardinal’s getting a quarterback the caliber of Palmer is huge. He doesn’t have a storied career like Eli Manning with the super bowl win’s , but , his Career stat’s are better, and manning throw’s more picks than Palmer basically every season, with a career high of 25 for eli in 2010, and Manning has always had a way better offense.
    Palmer has the most talented WRs in the NFC WEST. With garbage throwing to Mike Floyd in the season finale against a very tough defense, he was able to get 166 reception yards and 2 TDs. I think he will definitely have a great year. Fitzgerald could have the best stat’s for a WR in the NFL by the end of the regular season, Andre Robert’s is very explosive , the Cardinal’s should have no problem running the ball with a stable of talented RBs and they have a good line. They have T.E like housler who is a nightmare for defender’s capable of a 4.5 40, he is the fastest TE in the NFL. He is projected to have two more receptions than he last did last year, 47rec for over 500 yard’s and 5 TDs not that he has a great QB. Imagine if Fitz get’s 12-14 Tds catches, Floyd 10, Robert’s 7 and Housler 5? Especially since the RBs definitely will combine for over 10 rushing TDs rather easily will be a good year for the Card’s . I think Palmer easily throw’s for over 4k+ yard’s again, 25-30+ TD pass’s , over a 60% comp percentage with a 90+ passer rating with this offense. I think the Cardinal’s will end up 10-6 with a WC birth but they are capable of winning anywhere from 9-12 game’s they have the team to do it.