Carson Palmer could be a Cardinal
Carson Palmer has asked the Cincinnati Bengals to trade him. The Arizona Cardinals would be wise to make an offer for Palmer.
The Bengals' owner, Mike Brown, has said he won't trade the unhappy quarterback. However, saying that is the only way that he can maintain any leverage in trade talks. Palmer would be let go if the price was right and may be traded even if it isn't.
Click here for an idea of what it would take to get Palmer.
Here is why Palmer is a good fit for the Arizona Cardinals.
Carson Palmer played in the AFC North. The Steelers and Ravens are top defenses year after year.
Bill Barnwell at footballoutsiders.com says here that Carson Palmer had the second toughest "schedule for a quarterback who played all season."
Despite this, Palmer had a decent season. Here are his stats:
Quarterback rating: 82.4
Completion percentage: 61.8
Yards: 3,970 (sixth best)
Touchdowns: 26 (ninth)
Palmer may not have the arm that he had in 2005, but he can still perform at a high level. The Bengals of 2010 were a mess offensively. They had a predictable offense with a poor running game (3.5 YPC), which forced Palmer to throw more than normal. Palmer would perform well in a better situation.
Carson Palmer is low risk
The Cardinals could draft a quarterback and groom him for the future.
However, even if they can get a quarterback, like Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallet, or (gasp) Cam Newton, it will be a long road to the playoffs. All draft picks are a gamble. If an NFL team turns over the keys of the franchise to a rookie quarterback and he doesn't pan out, it sets them back years.
Everybody knows what Carson Palmer brings to the table. He is an average quarterback on some days, but an elite quarterback on other days.
Derek Anderson can still throw it, but he doesn't know where it is going. The Cardinals can stick with Anderson or roll with John Skelton but that seems unlikely.
According to this article Marc Bulger could be the Cardinals starting quarterback. Really? Bulger hasn't had a good year since 2006, but he is well rested at least.
What about Richard Bartel or Max Hall? Either of those obviously won't happen.
Well, they could try to get a free agent quarterback. There isn't anybody close to Palmer available, but Matt Moore, Marc Bulger, or Matt Hasslebeck are out there. Those aren't appealing.
Carson Palmer is the best quarterback the Cardinals could acquire that could get them back to the playoffs.
Marc Bulger? Really?
The Cardinals could work out a deal for Donovan McNabb. McNabb may be good for one or two more decent years but he is a little older than Palmer. The Redskins will probably want pick for McNabb but it may not need to be a first day pick. Also, the Cardinals would have to pay his $10 million option bonus. McNabb may end up getting cut.
The Cardinals could acquire Kevin Kolb. The asking price for Kolb is steep. The Eagles want a top pick and another high pick to go with it.
Well, what about Vince Young? Young has maturity issues and is a huge risk. He also will require a first round pick.
Palmer could likely be had for a second, or even third round pick.
Ken Whisenhunt is on the hot seat
Arizona is probably not thinking of drafting a quarterback. Ken Whisenhunt is on the hot seat. Coaches in that position rarely want to mess around with a rookie quarterback. Instead, they go after veteran quarterbacks who are reliable and can deliver wins.
Carson Palmer fits the bill.