The Arizona Cardinals have had one of the worst quarterback situations in the league ever since Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season. Things hit rock bottom in 2012 when the team trotted out four starting QBs, each one more inept than the last. They hope to change that this season with new QB Carson Palmer.
With a new front office in place, GM Steve Keim traded for Palmer last week after scouting him in January. Keim recently told the Arizona Republic that he believes Palmer is the missing spark needed to reverse Arizona's fortunes:
"Adding a piece like Carson to the puzzle really does energize everybody. He's a plug-and-play guy with lots of experience, who has seen every NFL defense. His career speaks for itself."
"We started doing our due diligence on Carson in January. And with our new video system, I was able to cut up every one of his passing plays for the last three seasons. I came away very, very pleasantly surprised...I saw that Carson still has the zing and can still make all the throws. That's huge, especially with what Bruce (Arians) wants out of his quarterback."
Last season with the Raiders, Palmer completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He's a natural fit in Arians' vertical offense and will have a much better supporting cast with Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd. Arizona still needs to address the offensive line, but the Cardinals hold the seventh draft pick in a year that's shaping up to be a bumper crop for lineman talent.
At age 33, Palmer isn't a long-term solution for the franchise, but his addition brings immediate credibility to a team struggling to keep up in what has quickly become the toughest division in the league.