The Arizona Cardinals need to start preparing for life without starting quarterback Carson Palmer sooner rather than later
The day that the Arizona Cardinals have been putting off for so long has finally arrived. Quarterback Carson Palmer’s playing career could quite possibly be over. And a successor for the Cards’ starter of the past five seasons is nowhere in sight.
Arizona’s management team should’ve started preparing for this situation much sooner. When you have a 37-year old passer who’s nearing the end, it’s smart to have a replacement waiting in the wings. General manager Steve Keim made a couple of feeble attempts at acquiring an heir-apparent (Logan Thomas, Matt Barkley), but neither proved to be up to the task.
Back in June, Keim tried again. Blaine Gabbert, a former first-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars was brought in to show what he can do. He played well during the preseason, quickly picking up head coach Bruce Arians’ complicated system.
With Palmer now on the shelf with a broken arm, many thought that the team would turn to Gabbert. But the stubborn Arians has decided that the player currently at number-two on the depth chart, Drew Stanton, is more qualified to lead the Cardinals at the present time. So unless the teacher’s pet suffers an injury of his own, it appears that Gabbert will roam the sidelines for the remaining nine games of 2017.
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The Cards could look to the 2018 NFL Draft for a reinforcement at the position. But as it looks now, quarterback-needy organizations such as the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants could be selecting before Arizona. So being able to grab the next leader of the franchise from the college ranks is anything but a certainty.
Pursuing a trade is another way to try to solve the dilemma. Jimmy Garroppolo of the New England Patriots is brought up frequently in trade talks. Tom Brady’s talented backup would look great in a Cardinals’ uniform for the next 10 years or so.
The Kansas City Chiefs moved up in this past April’s draft to select the cannon-armed Patrick Mahomes with the 10th-overall pick. Does that leave open the chance that their current starter, Alex Smith, could be available for the right offer? If Andy Reid’s squad fails to win the Super Bowl this season, then dealing the former first-overall pick of the 49ers could become a more realistic possibility.
Despite his blatant lack of playoff success, Andy Dalton remains entrenched as the starter of the Cincinnati Bengals. Which leaves feisty University of Alabama alum A.J. McCarron holding a clipboard. The 6’3″, 220 pounder will be a free agent at the end of the year unless Cincy’s front office slaps him with a tag.
It looks as if the Cards have gotten everything they’re going to get out of Palmer. Finding the next signal-caller should now become the main priority. The future has arrived, quicker than expected.