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.