Carson Palmer Would Be a Perfect Fit for Arizona Cardinals in 2013

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Carson Palmer Would Be a Perfect Fit for Arizona Cardinals in 2013
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ESPN.com's Mike Sando opined that Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer could be a fit for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

Palmer has proven over his career that he can attack the deep part of the field, which would be invaluable to new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. Arians employs a vertical passing scheme, and Palmer's skill set matches the coach's style.

Consider that last season, Arians was able to guide rookie Andrew Luck and the Colts' offense to an 11-5 record despite the team going 2-14 the year before.

Comparing Palmer's 2012 numbers to Luck's, Palmer averaged 7.1 yards per attempt while Luck averaged 7.0. When all was said and done, Palmer threw for 4,018 yards while Luck accumulated 4,374 yards through the air.

Palmer had 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while Luck had 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. That said, Luck had more than 100 more dropbacks than Palmer did in 2012.

If Palmer's numbers are averaged out over the 703 dropbacks that Luck had (we'll assume Palmer stays healthy in 2013), he would have thrown for 26 touchdowns, 4,747 yards and tossed around 16 interceptions.

If Luck was able to garner an 11-5 record as a rookie with his numbers, there's no telling how well Palmer could do with players like Rashard Mendenhall (a solid running back before his injury) and Larry Fitzgerald.

The Cardinals aren't going to find their answer at quarterback in the 2013 draft. Geno Smith is a system quarterback while Matt Barkley just doesn't do anything particularly well enough to warrant a high selection.

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With Mendenhall already in town, it'd be a dream offseason for the Cardinals to acquire Palmer in free agency while drafting Eric Fisher with the seventh overall pick. The tackle could be available at that spot, and it's almost certain that Palmer will be on the market in the next few weeks.

Sando's post indicates that the Raiders will likely release Palmer over the next few weeks if the two sides can't come to an agreement on a reworked contract (it's likely that they won't, according to Sando). The Cardinals would likely pay him somewhere in the Matt Hasselbeck range, which would be fine for a starting quarterback.

Not to make this comparison, but the last time a quarterback near the end of his career came to Arizona to be the starter, Kurt Warner led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl and almost guided the team to a win there over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Arians needs to act fast if he really wants to prevent Fitzgerald and the Cardinals' window of opportunity from closing.

Drew Stanton is not the answer; Carson Palmer is.

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