May 14, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) drops back to pass during organized team activities at the Cardinals Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Top 10 Player Countdown: #6 Carson Palmer

Carson Palmer has yet to play a game in a Cardinals uniform, but that didn’t prevent the former first overall draft pick from making the list.

The seasoned veteran was acquired in a trade with the Oakland Raiders in order to fill the void at the quarterback position. While there are certainly better quarterbacks in the NFL, the addition of Palmer was the best move for the Cardinals given the slate of options they had.  He is the perfect quarterback for the way head coach Bruce Arians wants to play football.

Arians likes to throw the football often and deep, so he needed a signal-caller with a strong arm. He also needed someone who could get the ball into tight spaces and make quick decisions. Palmer fits that description almost perfectly.

In his final season in Oakland, Palmer completed 60 percent of his passes and put up 4,000 passing yards with 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He did this with an underwhelming supporting cast. Now, he has Larry Fitzgerald and the rest of the Cardinals offensive unit to work with, which should help his production even more.

Looking at his career as a whole, Palmer has a respectable statistical standing. His career passer rating is 86.2, and he has 189 touchdowns and 130 picks in his career. Palmer struggled early as a starter for the Bengals, but his great size and arm strength helped him become a very good quarterback and a two-time Pro Bowler.

Of course, the process of quarterback judging is not purely reliant on the quarterback. The four quarterbacks started by the Cardinals were all average at best, but the offensive line that surrendered 58 sacks wasn’t much help. Bringing in a pocket passer like Palmer required that the team fix its dismal front line. The Cardinals did so, using their first pick in the draft (seventh overall) on guard Jonathan Cooper.

Carson Palmer should be both happy and successful as an Arizona Cardinal. He will be playing in a scheme that fits well with his skill set, and he will have weapons around him to help make him look even better. There’s no doubt he will make the Cardinals offense far better, or at least watchable, in 2013.

He has showcased his talent over a long period of time and should continue to be successful in the desert. Carson Palmer is more than deserving of a spot on the list of the best players the Cardinals currently have, and he should keep the spirits of Cardinals fans upright in 2013.

Assuming the offensive line can keep him upright…

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Carson Palmer

  • Bill Doerr

    Carson Palmer completed 61.7 of his pass’s last year with his receiver’s running the wrong route’s and droping his pass’s, still managed a Passer Rating of 85.5 . With Career Stat’s of a 62.5 Completion percentage, almost 30k Passing yard, 190Tds-130ints , 7.17 Y/A , and a Passer Rating of 86.3 He has better career stat’s than Eli Manning, Manning also throw’s more picks than Palmer almost every single season, throwing for a career high 25 picks (Eli) in 2010.
    Palmer has a lot more than just Fitz to work with. Although now that Fitz has a really good QB throwing to him something he hasn’t had in a while, he might very well have his best season to date and have the best stat’s in the NFL at WR. 2012 First round pick M. Floyd who had a big season finale against the 49er’s great Defense, Catching 2 TDs and 166 reception yard’s , is set for a big year this year, the Cardinal’s had 2nd and 3rd string quality QBs throwing to their prized rookie WR all year. Andre Robert’s had a good year as well with what he had to work with and is a very explosive WR. Rob Housler has Excelent hand’s at T.E , Running a 4.5 he is the fastest T.E n the NFL and should have a great season under Palmer. The Cardinal’s have a stable of talented RBs and good OL so running the ball shouldn’t be a problem. The Cardinal’s lost 4 games by 7 or less point’s , one game by 1 point, simply because they didn’t have no QB , a few more 13-14 point’s for the same reason, had they had Palmer last year they would easily been a 10 win team. This is a very good 2013 Cardinal Team. I expect them to go 10-6 this year , they have the talent to win 9 to 12 football game’s .

    • AzStudent

      This. Great comment. There is so much excitement and positive talk amongst the fan base this year, I’m excited for this coming season. Go Cards.