Arizona Cardinals: It’s Time to Start Thinking About Life After Palmer


Whether you like it or not, the Arizona Cardinals must start thinking about life after Carson Palmer. How much longer can he be, “the guy”?

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has been one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL over the last decade or so.

A Heisman Trophy winner who struggled early, but found success out West. After a stellar season in the desert, Palmer and the Cardinals find themselves in a rather unusual position. One that has been frustrating and flat out terrible. With that being said, its time to have “The Talk”… that does not involve birds and bees.

The first question you may be thinking of is, “Why get rid of one of the best players The Cardinals possess?”  Well lets look at the facts, shall we?

Palmer is 36 years old, and entering rather dangerous territory as few have been able to maintain mass amounts of success the latter part of 30. His decision making has been better than what most would expect, however Palmer has a love for throwing the ball into double coverage. What’s worse is the receiver he is trying to hit is either too small, or is being covered like stink on….you know.

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Teams are starting to take away the deep ball, which is Palmer’s and head coach Bruce Arians’ strength. Palmer can throw the deep ball with the best of them, however when it comes to short throws he tends to shy away. He may not even make it through this season the way that this offensive line is playing.

With cornerstone left tackle Jared Veldheer out and top five guard Evan Mathis also out for the year, this line of Taylor Boggs and John Wetzel is a big heap of garbage.

Look, Carson Palmer is still very talented.

However it is blatantly obvious that this regime does not think a good young backup is needed. Granted Drew Stanton has filled in admirably for Palmer in the past, but since that season in which he started a large portion of the season, he is statistically one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. Lets also look at the quarterbacks that were both young and vying for a backup position.

Logan Thomas: Late round pick with a lot of potential but just wasnt good enough.

Matt Barkley: Great college quarterback who was acquired for a conditional late round pick. If not for the trade then he would have been cut by the Eagles. Didn’t have the arm to compete in the NFL.

Jacob Coker: Underrated rookie who spent most of training camp with the team, however wasn’t even close to being a viable option for the Cardinals.

Phillip Sims: A dual threat quarterback who bounced around in college, however showed a lot of promise in just a few preseason games. However, he was cut in favor of Logan Thomas….who was then released to acquire Matt Barkley.

Zac Dysert: Currently on The Cardinals Practice Squad, Dysert has jumped around in the NFL has never been considered a great backup or potential starter.

Aaron Murray: Legendary college quarterback who was drafted by the Chiefs, cut after a few seasons, put on the practice squad, then cut again.

Listen, these are just facts, The Cardinals have not even remotely attempted to get the heir apparent for Carson Palmer. In the 2016 NFL draft there was talk that The Cardinals were considering Dak Prescott, and Paxton Lynch. That had there opportunities to get Dak but apparently didn’t feel he was better than Corner Brandon Williams.

The issue has been ignored for way too long, within the next two drafts there needs to be a sense of urgency regarding the quarterback position.

Frankly, the 2017 quarterback class isn’t great however that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value. The Cardinals are currently slotted to pick 12 in this upcoming draft, barring an miracle playoff run we can expect their pick to be within this range. According to multiple draft sources, the best quarterback options are but not limited to; Mitch Trubisky, Brad Kaaya, Deshaun Watson, Deshone Kizer, Davis Webb, Mason Rudolph, and Luke Falk. There are many possibilities for this team, so why not let you know who The Cardinals should take.

  • Mitch Trubisky is a young gun slinger from The University of North Carolina. Trubisky moves well in the pocket and can make almost every throw. The biggest knock on the TarHeel happens to be his lack of experience, which would make it even better if he got to learn under a certain Heisman winning quarterback.
  • Deshaun Watson had a coming out party of sorts in the College Football Playoff. He played two great defenses and lit up Alabama’s pro-ready defense in the National Championship. This season has caused a drop in his draft stock, as his ability to throw the deep to intermediate ball has been iffy at best.
  • Deshone Kizer saw a meteoric rise last year. After replacing injured starter Malik Zaire early in the season, Kizer played his tail off and got Notre Dame to the Fiesta Bowl. This year has been one to forget as his squad is barely hanging in there to make a bowl. Nonetheless he checks all of the boxes when it comes to a stud prospect, and has a chance to go in the top two picks.
  • Brad Kaaya is a rather undervalued player. Easily the most NFL ready prospect out of this group
  • This one is a wildcard but finally, none other than Chad Kelly. Chad “Swag” Kelly has had erratic behavior off of the field, but his gunslinger approach has allowed him to have success in the vaunted SEC East. He is coming off an injury and still has questions to answer about his off the field antics. However, if the Cardinals decide they don’t want to take a quarterback early, they could do what they do best and draft a project late.

Once again, I love Carson Palmer but a team that doesn’t think for the future will get trampled as it tries to compete. Sure they could trade for Romo, then sign some other former starter but what consistency does that provide to a team that has had quarterback problems the last decade?

Next: If Palmer Walks, is Romo a Potential Fit?

They could decide to skip the 2017 Draft when it comes to drafting a quarterback. 2018 provides a lot of great prospects, but for a team that’s future is on the line…2017 may be their best shot.