Top storylines to watch for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason

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Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer reacts as he is taken off the field on a cart after suffering an injury in the second half against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. How will Carson Palmer recover from his second ACL tear?

Carson Palmer was having an excellent season for Arizona before tearing his ACL in Week 10. In six games, he completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,626 yards with 11 touchdowns, three interceptions, and a rating of  95.6. He was exactly what the Cardinals needed him to be, and he had the team looking invincible.

The question now is whether he can come back and do it again. In 2005, he tore the same ligament in the playoffs while he was with the Cincinnati Bengals.  At age 35, there’s no guarantee he will be able to fully recover and be effective once again.

This is clearly problematic for multiple reasons. First, he signed a three year, $50 million extension with Arizona days before getting hurt. They need him to play up to that standard. Second, if he can’t perform, the Cardinals will need to find an alternative option, Drew Stanton was a fair stopgap but isn’t a long term starter. The possibility that Palmer will need to be replaced is a reality the Cardinals should prepare for.

Of course, the current NFL has shown examples of good, even great, quarterback play by guys in their mid-30’s. Whether Palmer can be added to that success list is important for Arizona in the coming months.