When the Arizona Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer back in late March, they felt, and still feel, that they had solved the quarterback woes that have doomed them since the retirement of Kurt Warner in 2009. While Palmer is certainly the best option the Cardinals have had since Warner, whether or not he is the answer at quarterback remains to be seen. But where does Palmer rank among the current quarterbacks around the National Football League?
Right now, the top five quarterbacks in the NFL, in my opinion, are very easy to sort out. For me the top five list right now goes:
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Tom Brady
3. Peyton Manning
4. Drew Brees
5. Joe Flacco
After that, the list becomes really based on opinion. I would think guys like Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger have to be in the top ten and in my opinion based on last year Andrew Luck does as well, but a lot depends on a persons view of the quarterback position itself. If someone feels like the read-option is a legitimate offense that is here to stay, then guys like Collin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, and even a healthy Robert Griffin III would go ahead of Palmer. But if one is to believe the defensive coaches in the NFL and believes that the read-option is nothing more than a fad, then those option quarterbacks I just mentioned probably do not make it.
So when your asking yourself if Carson Palmer is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL you have to look at whether or not the read-option will have long term success. Palmer has shown that he can be a very productive quarterback with good receivers like Chad Johnson and TJ Houshmandzadeh, but has never had a wide receiver the caliber of Larry Fitzgerald before. Add that to the fact that he is working with two of the greatest quarterback coaches of all time in Bruce Arians and Tom Moore, and it certainly looks like Palmer is poised to have a huge year this year.
In my opinion top ten is a bit too high for Carson Palmer. I think he is certainly a top 20 quarterback, in fact I would even put him in the top 15. I also think working with guys like Fitzgerald, Arians, and Moore, Palmer certainly can put himself in that top ten discussion, but I think that is something he has to prove on the field this year.