What Does Carson Palmer Have Left?

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Journeymen football players often have not fared well in the twilight years of their career—especially at quarterback. Many prognosticators have tabbed quarterback Carson Palmer as a bottom of the pack quarterback in terms of fantasy sports. This could very well be true. I wouldn’t go that far to rank him with the likes of Jake Locker and Matt Flynn.

Palmer’s career has a chance to be revived somewhat in the desert of Glendale, Arizona. Lets not forget just a few short seasons ago he was everyone’s favorite fantasy backup quarterback. That’s an exaggeration but he was a guy that if you grabbed yourself a sure-fire starting quarterback (Brees, Brady, etc) you had no problem putting him in for a bye week cover or if an injury presented itself.

As a Bengal his career had many plights at the end of it, including a bitter argument with the front office on wanting a trade demand. They let Palmer reside in California before finally trading him away to the Oakland Raiders. His time in Oakland was basically another gap stop as his year and a half fared about as well as every quarterback in Oakland’s has since Rich Gannon.

Now though, Palmer is in Arizona where he gets to be surrounded by a team that on the surface has the talent to produce. They’ve just been missing that key ingredient since Kurt Warner left, and that is a quarterback. The Max Hall’s, Matt Leinart’s, John Skelton’s, Kevin Kolb’s, and Derek Anderson’s of the world are not going to get it done.

When Anquan Boldin left Arizona for Baltimore many were stunned that the Cardinals didn’t want to pay him enough. Future trangressions since he left all speak for themselves on how the Cardinals front office handles key ingredients. They seemed to have lost their will to attain a quarterback after Kurt Warner left.
Maybe they thought bringing in a veteran such as Derek Anderson would be good enough with Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver. Who knows. In the end the quarterback experiments have turned out to be by far the worst in football over the last three seasons.

Carson steps in with the lowest of expectations possible. Arizona is in a division that many believe will be a runaway between the 49ers and Seahawks with the possibility of the Rams being a threat as well. Arizona does not even cross the minds of consideration in the division.

Arizona’s defense has hung in there for three years with their poor offensive situations. Almost every win the Cardinals pulled out was because of their defense. Add to the equation a veteran quarterback and an offensive line that should be average or better, and the Cardinals can make some noise in this division.

Lets put it this way, there is not another team that is expected to finish last in their division that has a higher ceiling in the NFL.

Deep down Carson Palmer knows this is a chance for him to make a huge statement to resurrect his career, and say officially “I told you so” to the Bengals organization. Carson’s arm has stayed strong even as a Raider. He threw over 4000 yards with 22 touchdowns last season, and had thirteen the year prior in only nine games.

Carson has had a solid camp thus far, and I expect him to carry things over into preseason action. The feed the hunger campaign is about to start in Arizona, and this one involves the starving of pass receptions to Larry Fitzgerald last season. For a player of his caliber to have only four touchdowns and 800 yards, speaks volumes to how poor the Cardinals quarterback situation truly was last season.

Palmer will get the ball to Fitzgerald. The emergence of second year receiver Michael Floyd and veteran Andre Roberts should give Carson Palmer the best set of receivers he has had since Chad Johnson,TJ Housh, and Chris Henry.

Keep in mind Palmer is just 33 years old. A few years younger than both Brady and Manning, and a full year younger than Drew Brees. He may seem too old but he has a few solid years left in the tank if the Cardinals can protect him. I’m not buying into the all out full hype of Russ Wilson and Colin Kaepernick’s first year success. This Arizona team can make some divisional noise as well.


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